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Graffiti Removal Tips

Graffiti Removal Services in Chicago, Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin

Graffiti is a nuisance that is difficult and time-consuming to remove, but if left unaddressed it can hurt your professional image and even encourage additional graffiti attacks. Before you begin scrubbing, however, there are some important things to consider. Graffiti is notoriously difficult to remove from porous masonries like concrete, limestone, and brick. The wrong cleaning method can damage walls or permanently lock in stains. Refer to the following tips for guidance.

Aim for Rapid Removal

Studies show that graffiti vandals move on when their “work” isn’t allowed to stay on display. Rapid removal is the key to effective graffiti abatement.

Start with Gentle Methods

Walls and other surfaces, especially porous ones, can quickly sustain permanent damage from chemical agents and abrasives. Always start with the gentlest method possible and pay careful attention to whether you are damaging the substrate as you work to remove graffiti and other exterior stains.

Always Test First

If possible, test your cleaning agents and methods on a small, inconspicuous area to see if they work and whether they cause any damage to the substrate.

Use Caution with Chemicals

Read the contents and warnings on any cleaning agents or chemicals you use, and always apply them per the manufacturer’s specifications. Use protective gear as needed and consider the impact to the environment–there are several eco-friendly cleaning methods to effectively remove most graffiti.

Pressure Wash with Care

Pressure washers (also called power washers) pack a lot of power, so you need to be skilled at applying pressure and treatments that remove graffiti without damaging the surface material. For most graffiti situations, commercial or industrial grade power washing equipment and hot water is needed for safe and effective removal. If you give it a go on your own, be sure to follow your pressure washer instructions and apply first to a small test area to assess effectiveness and whether you are harming the structure.

Turn to an Experienced Professional

You can save yourself time, expense, and frustration by contacting an experienced graffiti removal company for consultation. Unskilled attempts at graffiti removal often lead to bigger headaches in the end, so consulting an expert on the proper course of action typically yields the best solution. This is especially important when dealing with delicate and valuable surfaces, historic buildings, and unsound materials. Contact McCahill Painting Company for a free consultation based on our extensive experience and safe, proven method of graffiti removal. We can completely remove graffiti from porous masonry like brick, limestone, and concrete, as well as metal and aluminum siding and many other materials.

Consider a Graffiti Barrier Coating

If you are faced with repeated graffiti strikes and rapid removal does not prove effective, we strongly recommend a graffiti barrier coating system to protect the surface from future vandalism and allow for easier cleaning should graffiti occur. Consult with a professional with experience applying barrier coating systems and similar surface treatments to determine the best coating for your surface and situation.

Report Graffiti

Graffiti is a crime and we recommend you report all graffiti to local law enforcement as soon as you discover them. It’s a good idea to take pictures before and after the cleaning process.