If it seems you can see graffiti everywhere, you are not imagining things. It’s the most common kind of vandalism, after all. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that graffiti is the cause of at least 35% of all vandalism in the United States.
The best way to deal with it is remove is as soon as possible. “Immediate” removal is considered to be between 24 and 48 hours of it appearing anywhere, a process that can be expensive. It can cost between $200 and $500 to remove graffiti from just one street sign. Considering the fact that at least 75% of all traffic signs in the United States need to be replaced because of vandalism, the cost of removing graffiti can really add up.
Luckily, there are more cost effective options available. One way to go is to apply an anti graffiti laminate to surfaces that you think might be the target for graffiti.
Anti Graffiti Laminate Coatings:
There are several different kinds of coatings that can be used to protect a surface from this kind of vandalism.
- Sacrificial Coatings: Sacrificial coatings are protective sprays that create a clear barrier on the surface being protected. When graffiti is found, it can be cleaned with a high pressure washer, which removes the graffiti and the surface coating along with it. After the vandalism has been removed, the layer will need replacing. This is the cheapest kind of spray.
- Semi-Sacrificial Barrier: The second kind of coating is called a safety shield or semi-sacrificial coating. Graffiti can be removed by combining a high pressure wash with graffiti removal chemicals. This protective coating also needs to be reapplied.
- Permanent coating: The last kind of spray is a permanent coating. This is the most expensive option, but it does not have to be reapplied. The coating makes it impossible for spray paint to stick to the wall or sign. To get rid of graffiti, the best thing to use is a solvent like toulene and some elbow grease. Some newer products can be applied once and then left for many years, needing only to be spray washed.
- Anti Climb Paint: If you have concerns beyond just graffiti, you can use this oil based paint that never actually dries. If can be a good option if you have people climbing your wall and painting higher up. This is most effective when you include a sign alerting people to its presence, as that is often what deters them the most from climbing the wall or fence.
When picking the right anti graffiti laminate, you should take a few things into consideration. If you do not change your sign or paint your walls often, the best option would probably be to go with more permanent protection. If you redo your mural or sign frequently, it might not be worth it to spend the extra money on a more permanent protection. You can get a spray that you reapply easily after each renovation of your sign or wall.
Anti graffiti laminate paint can be applied several ways. It can come in an anti graffiti spray or anti graffiti film. One product that is widely used is TW 360 film or TW 360c. This can be used to cover large surface areas, which was the intention when it was first developed. It is about one millimeter thick and has a permanent acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive. Typically it is applied with a heat assisted roller laminators. It is easy to install, provides UV protection to prevent the underlying mural or design from from fading, so it protects your wall or sign two ways. It is also resistant to adhesives, so graffiti artists cannot just glue their art to your wall or mural.
Landscaping Can Help Prevent Graffiti:
Bushes or shrubs with thorns can help protect a wall or sign from graffiti if planted in front. Often, people will avoid areas where they’ll get hurt by thorns should they go there. Bushes and shrubs can make it harder for would be vandals to get close enough to the wall or sign to put up their graffiti.
Graffiti removal is very costly. By applying these tips, you can save your business a lot of money and time.