Graffiti is described as any form of drawing, inscription, writing or any mark that defaces a building. It also applies to any of these that disfigure fences or other structures. Here are five things about this urban issue that you need to know.
Graffiti affects the whole community
It may not be your business or home that was tagged or hit by a graffiti artist, but it will affect the whole neighbourhood, including your property. These marks give potential buyers a sense that the area is in decline.
If you are a victim of graffiti, first record the vandalism. Then report it to your necessary local office. If it is on your property, take steps to remove it as quickly as possible.
The more quickly, and consistently, you remove it, the less likely you will be targeted again.
There are different types of graffiti
The extreme forms of graffiti are those that can be classified as hate graffiti. The content is motivated by racism or other types of prejudice. Then there is offensive graffiti. It can be anything deemed to be obscene and isn’t only limited to swear words or inappropriate drawings.
Most commonly, properties are hit by vandalism, including hip hop graffiti. This may be an etching, painting, or writing of a symbol or tag. The graffiti doesn’t contain specific wording and isn’t offensive or hate-based. Rarely, gangs may use this form of tagging to mark their territory.
There are steps you can take to prevent graffiti
You need to remove graffiti as soon as you spot it. By doing this, you will make it less desirable to vandals. If you keep your property well maintained, you will also reduce your risk of being a victim. Broken fences, litter, and an overgrown garden make it seem as if you don’t care about your property and will be unlikely to bother to remove graffiti too.
You also want to prevent access to your property, so ensure all cars and bins are not placed near walls. Pipes should be covered to avoid anyone accessing the roof or higher levels of the property. You could also plant trees in front of walls, install outdoor lighting or surveillance equipment, or paint your wall a dark colour.
These are all deterrents. A simple solution of planting thorny bushes in front of your property will pay off rapidly and is a cheap and straightforward solution. The point? Any small security measure will discourage vandalism.
Also, make it more difficult for traffic to pass your property by installing fences or barriers where appropriate. Finally, avoid building new properties that have large, smooth surfaces that make them attractive to vandals. You can also coat walls with a special coating to protect their integrity when you remove graffiti.
Options include methylated spirits, turpentine, paint stripper, oven cleaner, and graffiti removal products. A professional graffiti remover will provide you with the best solution to get rid of the vandalism.
- Use protectants on your walls
When you repaint walls, it’s a good time to look into using sealers or protectants on your wall. They work by sealing off the surface pores. This interferes with graffiti adhering to the surface. It also means that any new graffiti is easier to remove.
If you use an anti-graffiti laminate coating on your walls, you may be able to clean it off using a high-pressure cleaner. Unfortunately, it could also remove the surface coating, which will need to be replaced, but it’s an efficient and affordable solution.
You also have the option of semi-sacrificial barriers. This safety coating means that a high-pressure wash, along with graffiti removing chemicals, will be effective.
Finally, you could consider anti-climb paint. This oil-based paint never totally dries, making it suitable for deterring vandals, but also robbers. You can boost its effectiveness by placing a sign on your property, alerting others that you have this protection feature in place.
- Glass is often a target
Glass windows are common targets for taggers. They are not only vulnerable to paint but also to etching. This is when an item is used to scratch graffiti onto the surface of the glass. You can easily scratch proof windows by putting a film on the surface of the glass.
If it is scratched, you can easily remove it and replace the film without having to replace the pane. Existing scratches can be polished out if they are not too deep.
Experts agree the most effective solution for preventing graffiti re-occurring is to remove it as quickly as you can. With the correct strategies and products in place, you can ensure that your property doesn’t become a target. It sends a message to vandals that any future hits will be removed swiftly, which negates their work.