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How To Remove Graffiti

How To Remove Graffiti

If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of dealing with graffiti, you know it can be difficult to remove. And, if you've ever tried to remove graffiti yourself, you also know that it can be challenging. There are a lot of different methods for removing graffiti, and the most effective solution in one circumstance isn’t the best method for another problem.

At Right Wash, we are committed to helping you manage and remove graffiti as best you can. In addition to our services, we’re happy to provide you with tips associated with removing graffiti by yourself. Knowing how to remove graffiti or a magic marker is helpful for everyone, we aim to help you maintain exterior maintenance levels.

Why It Is Important To Know How To Remove Graffiti Paint Quickly

Once graffiti is discovered, it is vital to take action and remove it quickly. Graffiti can be very difficult to remove, and the longer it is left untouched, the harder it will be to remove. In addition, graffiti can be very unsightly and can make a property look neglected. If left unchecked, graffiti can also lead to more severe problems, such as vandalism, and graffiti can also be used to convey highly offensive messages.

Unwanted graffiti from graffiti vandalism or graffiti artists can tarnish brick, concrete or a masonry surface. This then turns into cost with brick cleaning service or masonry cleaning service,

People can use several different methods to remove graffiti, and the most appropriate way will depend on the type of graffiti and the building surface on which it has been applied. Knowing how to clean painted surfaces means it is usually possible to eradicate graffiti and restore the property to its original condition.

Graffiti 1

Common Ways To Remove Graffiti Spray Paint

Some of the common ways to remove graffiti, using household items or other materials which can be bought easily as paint remover, include:

Use Soap, Water And A Scrubbing Brush

If the graffiti is fresh, remove it with soapy, hot water and some elbow grease with a firm wire brush.

Removing Graffiti with soap and water

Apply A Chemical Graffiti Remover

Several products on the market are specifically designed to clear surfaces and clean areas. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully when using chemical graffiti removers, as some of them can harm your skin or eyes, so wear protective gloves and safety glasses.

Use WD-40

WD-40 is a multi-purpose lubricant and light penetrating oil that can also remove graffiti from a building. Spray WD-40 onto the graffiti and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth. Remember WD-40 is a brand name so there are plenty of WD-40 alternatives to try that maybe cheaper or even better.

Graffiti Removal Using WD 40

Use Paint Thinners, Methylene Chloride Or White Spirits

Common paint thinner, white spirit, methylene chloride, and most paint removers are handy liquids for the spray paint removal process, albeit best used for small graffiti sections.

Sand Blasting

Sand blasting is an extreme approach to remove spray paints, but in some instances, it will be the best bet for walls.

You can also consider:

  • Vinegar and baking soda based products
  • Paint stripper
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Nail polish remover or acetone solutions

These solutions can remove paint from masonry, brick and concrete.

sand blasting

Paint The Surface Or Walls

If the process fails on a building or wall, paint over surface stains with several coats.

Environmental Concerns With The Use Of Chemicals To Remove Spray Paint

Chemical cleaners usually consist of a combination of water, solvents, and detergents. Although these cleaners remove graffiti, they can also remove paint from surfaces like brick and concrete. This can be a problem because the chemicals in the cleaners can end up in the air and water supply. Additionally, when the paint is removed from surfaces, it can create dust that people and animals can inhale.

Another concern is that some chemical cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can harm people and the environment. For example, many cleaners contain hydrochloric acid, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems.

There are pros and cons to using chemical cleaners for cleaning painted surfaces. On the one hand, they're effective at removing oil based paints quickly and easily; but, they can harm people and the environment if they're not used properly.

There is also special equipment to consider when learning how to remove graffiti paint, and you should wear specialist equipment like rubber gloves. In many cases, the best removal process is to hire a professional cleaner.

Removing Graffiti With Pressure Washing

Graffiti can be removed relatively easily with high-pressure solutions. This method of cleaning uses high-pressure water to remove dirt, grime, and other unwanted materials from surfaces. In the case of graffiti, this method will blast away paint, magic markers or ink, leaving the wall clean and graffiti-free. Pressure washers are an effective and efficient way to remove graffiti, and they can help to restore a sense of order and beauty to a community.

However, while this solution is a popular one, power washers aren't always recommended for brick surfaces, especially if the bricks are in a porous condition. 

When using this method, it is helpful to use a low-pressure washer, with a psi of around 700 or less. Also, it is best to use a wide spray, as a narrow nozzle spray can leave an imprint on the surface.

Of course, a steam cleaning solution offers a low-pressure solution that is a safer method for concrete, stone, masonry or brick surfaces.

Removing Graffiti With Pressure Washing

Remove Graffiti With Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is an effective and environmentally friendly method for cleaning painted surfaces. The high temperatures of the steam break down the molecules in the graffiti, making it easy to wipe away. In addition, the steam quickly evaporates, leaving no residue behind.

This makes it an ideal graffiti removal tool for surfaces that are delicate or difficult to clean. Steam cleaning is also safe to use on a variety of surfaces, including metals, plastics, and glass. As a result, it is a versatile and effective graffiti-removal tool that can be used in a variety of settings.

The Cost Of Graffiti Removal

A 2020 study conducted by Structural Repairs examined the cost of graffiti repair for local councils. In England, the most significant spray paint removal bill was £300,000; paid by Hackney, and then £204,700 paid by Hounslow. Outside the South East of England, the highest bill was received by Doncaster, £167,130.

According to Checkatrade, the average cost of removal per square metre works out as:

  • Steam cleaning carries a cost of £11
  • Chemical cleaning has a cost of £11
  • Sandblasting has an average cost of £13.50
  • Anti-graffiti coating carries an average cost of £15.50

What Factors Influence The Cost Of Graffiti Removal?

You'll realise learning how to remove graffiti carries a cost, with many factors influencing the true cost of removing spray paint.

The Size Of Graffiti

The size of the graffiti is one of the main factors that will affect the cost of removal. If the graffiti is small, it will generally be less expensive to remove than if it were large. This is because smaller areas will require less time and effort to remove, and thus will be less expensive.

The Location Of Graffiti

Another factor that will affect the cost of removal is the location of the graffiti. If the graffiti is located in a difficult-to-reach place, it will generally be more expensive to remove than if it were in an easily accessible location. This is because it will take more time and effort to remove graffiti from a difficult-to-reach location.

The Entire Surface The Paint Is On

The type of surface for the graffiti affects cost. If the graffiti is located on a porous surface, such as brick, concrete or masonry surfaces, it will generally be more expensive to remove than if it were on a non-porous surface, such as glass or metal. This is because porous surfaces absorb paint more readily, making them more difficult to remove.

The Volume Of Graffiti

The amount of graffiti present will also affect the cost. If there is a large amount of graffiti, it will generally be more expensive to remove than if there was only a small amount. This is because a large graffiti surface will take longer to remove and will require more effort.

The Type Of Graffiti

The type of graffiti present will also affect the cost. If the graffiti is complex or multi-coloured, it will generally be more expensive to remove than if it were simple or single-coloured. This is because a complex or multi-coloured painted surface can be more difficult to remove and may require special chemicals or solvents.

Graffiti 2

How Fresh The Paint Is

Another factor that can affect the cost of is the age of painted surfaces. If the graffiti is new, it will generally be less expensive to remove than if it were old. This is because new graffiti can usually be removed with simpler methods, such as power washing, while older graffiti may require more aggressive ways, such as sandblasting.

Removing Spray Paint From Wood

With wood surfaces, scrape paint off with a putty knife or razor blade, with the blade at a 30-degree angle. When the wood is sealed with paint, mineral spirits are a viable way to remove paint from the wood.

Removing Graffiti From Metal Surfaces

You might be surprised at the range of recommended ways to remove graffiti from metal, including ultra-fine bronze wool with water, light sandpaper and steel wool are all effective, as are power washers.

Ultra Fine bronze wool can be used with water to clean graffiti from metal and other surfaces, like glass. Steel wool and sandpaper can also be used on metal.

Removing graffiti painting from a brick, stone, wood, glass or masonry surface is a challenge, but whether you hire us or follow tips, you can manage the cleaning process.

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