As a business owner with your own property, unit or shop, it can be incredibly disheartening to discover that your business has been targeted by vandals who have graffitied or ‘tagged’ it. Not only is vandalism of this kind illegal and unsightly, but it can also be costly if you haven’t pre-emptively protected the building.
Ultimately, it’s a huge nuisance for building owners and tenants, and can bring a negative atmosphere and appearance to the local community and neighbourhood. Unfortunately, there will always be vandals determined to deface buildings, but, there are some steps that can, and should, be taken that might help to decrease the overall impact of graffiti.
Removal should be done promptly
If you find graffiti on your building, the first step you should take is to take a picture and make note of the date and time that you found it – this will then help you when it comes to reporting it to the local authorities. As we mentioned earlier, graffiti and tagging is illegal – so in reporting it, you’re playing an active part in keeping the community safe and welcoming
Ideally, you want to remove the graffiti off your building as soon as you’re able to – ideally within the first 24-48 hours of finding it. This is essential, as it can help to prevent it happening again as the vandals will see that you’re making a concerted effort to keep your building clean and graffiti-free.
Make use of an anti-graffiti protective coating
Ideally, you’ll have already used an anti-graffiti protective coating which makes it easier and cheaper to remove any graffiti or tagging from the walls. If not, you’re more likely to need a chemical-based removal method which can be costly, time-consuming and potentially damaging and harsh to the environment. However, if this is the route that you have to take, you can then apply a one-part, single-coat anti-graffiti protective coating paint to help for future protection.
These types of coatings are environmentally safe and friendly, they’re often easy to apply and tend to have a long lifespan. Usually you’ll only need one coat, and most anti-graffiti coatings can be applied using a brush, sprayer or roller – and once this protective coating is in place, any graffiti or tags sprayed or painted on top of it can usually be removed with a pressure jet washer or a soft bristle brush and water.
Ultimately this should eliminate the need for expensive and damaging chemicals to remove any vandalism, graffiti or tags, and these types of protective paint coatings go through rigorous testing to ensure that they’re able to last indefinitely and survive multiple or frequent washes.
There are various protective anti-graffiti coatings available and our specialists will certainly be able to point you in the right direction, but generally speaking these paint coatings can be used to protect:
- Wall art
- Brick walls
- School and public playgrounds
- Bus stops, and more
If you’re a business that’s likely to change its signs and exterior décor frequently, then it could also be worth looking into sacrificial coating that washes off along with the graffiti and must be reapplied regularly so as to remain effective. This type of coating generally depends on how often graffiti occurs and therefore how often you’re likely to need to reapply it.
Often, living in a community in a busy or built up area can mean that vandalism or graffiti is more likely to appear during certain occasions – for example, political campaigns, protests or marches, or if you’re located near to a venue that hosts large events such as sports games or music festivals. In these instances, you might find it helpful to look into anti-climb paints for areas such as parapets, ledges, pipes, gutters, window sills, fencing and walls.
This is also an effective, yet relatively harmless, way to defend your building from trespassers, thieves or vandals, as anti-climb paint is a greasy and thick substance that makes it almost impossible to get a good grip or foothold.
Similarly, graffiti tends to be most noticeable on walls that are painted one solid colour, so ensuring that your exterior décor is made from a mixture of colours both dark and light is a helpful way to deter graffiti or tag ‘artists’.
Make use of other deterrents too
While anti-graffiti painting for commercial and community buildings is the best and most effective prevention for vandalism, there are other deterrents that you should make use of too, as a comprehensive approach often works best. For example, installing a CCTV might put vandals off altogether – and if it doesn’t – then you’ve got footage to hand over to the authorities that they can use to prosecute.
If it’s an option to secure any potential entrance points when they’re not in use, then installing protective measures such as roller shutters and grilles can often reduce the risk of damaged glass or break-ins, and keep the walls of your buildings covered and protected.
Finally, if you have the option of landscaping the area around your building, planting shrubs, trees and bushes can be helpful as these leave little accessibility to bare walls – bonus points if you use plants that have thorns in them!
Removing existing graffiti and preventing its recurrence is key in keeping your business and community looking welcoming and professional – if you’re ready to take the steps needed to clean up and protect your building’s exterior, get in touch with us today!