There are certain things you can do to prevent graffiti from getting the best of your business; in fact we can help you fight back against vandals.
Is your business or community dealing with graffiti issues on a regular basis? It is frustrating to put so much time, effort and dollars into your business only to be faced with constant graffiti that needs to be cleaned up. The thing is, some materials don’t clean up from graffiti very well at all.
All TerraCast Products are made to resist stains from graffiti due to their non-porous nature. Cleaning any of our planters, light fixtures, benches, trashcans, etc., is as simple as wiping clean with a sponge, some gentle cleaner and water. In fact, we highly recommend the use of our products in any areas prone to graffiti.
Of course, not all materials on your building or around your property are going to be graffiti-resistant. Cleaning graffiti is possible in some cases but it is not easy, it takes a lot of time and can become rather expensive. That’s why your best bet is always to work to prevent it from starting in the first place.
The Real Cost Of Graffiti
Graffiti artists tend to believe their work harms no one, but in most cases it hurts a lot of people in the community. The costs associated with graffiti have been analyzed across the US and are estimated at around $1 to $3 per US taxpayer, depending on the size of the city you live. For instance, in Los Angeles, California the cost to clean up graffiti every year totals around $28 million dollars. In communities with smaller populations the price is much lower but still shockingly high. For instance, in Pittsburgh, PA around $350,000 is spent every year cleaning up graffiti.
Schools are frequent targets of vandalism. 52% of high schools and 47% of middle schools have reported vandalism in recent years. Even worse, 36% of students say they have seen hate-related graffiti on campus. It’s not just public institutions; private residences and businesses have all reported a spike in graffiti in recent years as well. (Reference)
How To Prevent Graffiti
When people see graffiti they immediately assume an area is not as safe, or that it is on a downward spiral. Regardless if this is true or not, it gives people an uneasy feeling that could harm your business. If people think graffiti is tolerated they will assume other illegal activities are taking place and tolerated in the area as well. Your best bet is to keep your business as free from graffiti as possible. Here are some tricks for doing just that:
-Use Our Resin-Based Graffiti-Resistant Landscaping Products
As mentioned above, all TerraCast Products are made so that they do not absorb graffiti. This means graffiti is easily cleaned off without the use of harsh chemicals, sandblasting or other abrasive and costly methods.
-Install Plenty Of Lighting Fixtures
Graffiti artists realize the associated risks with what they do. Naturally, people are going to go after buildings that seem the least risky to graffiti. If your business is lacking lighting after hours you immediately look like an easy target for vandals because they can hide in the dark shadows as they get their ‘work’ done. If your business is adorned in bright lights at all times you will prevent vandals from feeling as comfortable about making their mark.
Our LED lighting fixtures can be placed in ground, above ground, or up in trees using our awesome tree ring lighting fixtures. If you are worried vandals will try to take out your lighting fixtures, tree ring lights are ideal because they can be hidden deep in the trees. Not only will these lights deter people from vandalizing your business, but the actual fixtures themselves are resistant to graffiti as well.
-Add Security Cameras
Adding some cameras around your property, with warning signs that there are cameras in force, will scare away most graffiti artists into going elsewhere. If your culprit doesn’t shy away you will at least have the chance to identify him or her via security footage.
How To Clean Graffiti
If graffiti has impacted masonry, concrete or other porous materials there are a few different methods you can use to remove it. In order to clean graffiti from these surfaces you generally need to use harsh chemicals or abrasive methods such as sand blasting. It’s highly recommended that you start with a small test area in order to make sure your method of removal does not make the surface look worse. It is common for streaking and discoloration to result from many chemicals used to remove graffiti.
Sandblasting is not recommended to remove graffiti from masonry buildings unless carefully done under the guidance of a professional. Using too high of water pressure can easily destroy masonry.
A pressure washer on the lowest setting is often used to remove graffiti. Always be careful that the nozzle is not set on narrow spray, otherwise you risk literally etching the graffiti into the surface.
Baking soda is a useful tool for removing graffiti, although you must be very careful if you use it around plants or other vegetation because it can impact the pH balance in soil and kill plants. You also need to be cautious that no lead paint or other toxic materials end up flowing down into storm drains or seeping into soil.
Acid-based solutions are another option for removing stubborn graffiti. A safe mixture would be 1 part acid to 9 parts water. You never want to use undiluted acid on modern day masonry. When mixing the water and acid, pour the acid into the water as opposed to the other way around to prevent being splashed with acid. Always wear proper safety gear and consult with a professional. (Reference)
While there are numerous options when it comes to cleaning graffiti, most are time consuming, expensive and require hiring a professional. Your best bet is to do all that you can to prevent graffiti in the first place.
Allow us to help prevent graffiti damage to your business. Contact TerraCast Products today to learn more about our graffiti resistant products.