Las Vegas Graffiti Removal

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Basics of Graffiti Removal

It’s not often that homeowners have to remove graffiti, fortunately. Usually, applying antigraffiti coatings and graffiti removal are the province of professional painting contractors and municipal maintenance departments. But the truth is that we live in an age when desecrating someone else’s property occurs more often than we would like to think. Homeowners become involved when it’s their fence, their retaining wall or even the side of their house that has received a scrawl of spray paint, shaving cream, lipstick or anything that can be thrown, brushed or sprayed. Also, sometimes as volunteers for a Boy Scout troop, a town, a parks department or a religious organization, homeowners are called on to wage war against graffiti and vandalism. Here’s some information to help you fight back.

Nonsacrificial Graffiti Barrier

Although expensive (about $160 per gallon), CPU 647 Barrier Coating has substantial coverage. One gallon covers about 400 sq. ft. Also bear in mind that once applied, las vegas graffiti removal is supposed to be relatively rapid. The coating’s manufacturer says graffiti can be wiped from the surface using mineral spirits, spray cleaner or its citrus-based cleaner (about $12 per pint). So cost savings are achieved by not having to use some of the drastic measures discussed below. And since the coating is formulated for ruggedness, you won’t have to repaint the surface after the graffiti is removed.

As to the coating’s specifics, it’s a two-part waterborne polyurethane (you mix its A and B components, then apply it). The coating has an additive that makes it slippery. This denies another coating the ability to make a good bond, and makes it easier to remove.

Its manufacturer says you can apply it to any common building material and even unusual substances, like plastic, brass and copper. It’s available as a clear coating, or it can be tinted. It’s sold at Sherwin-Williams paint stores.

Arm Yourself

Removing graffiti is not a job for the timid. Wear old clothes, and bring along the tools and equipment you would normally use to remove paint from furniture. Depending on what substance you are removing, and how much of it you are removing, you may need: goggles, heavy-duty rubber gloves, a respirator with an organic-vapor cartridge (if you are going to use solvents or strippers), safety goggles, a variety of scrub brushes, wire brushes, scrapers, plastic abrasive pads, rags, a bucket, spray cleaner or disinfectant, abrasive and non-abrasive cleaners, hand cleaner, professional-quality masking tape, plastic masking sheet, drop cloths (preferably made from cotton canvas) and plastic tarps.

If you’re removing graffiti from a surface that has not been treated with a barrier coating, such as the one mentioned above, you may need to use a chemical paint stripper or a pressure washer. It’s always best to try the least invasive method first, saving the drastic measures only after more gentle means have failed.

Be aware that any removal process, even a gentle one, can damage building materials. Painted and unpainted wood surfaces, limestone, sandstone, aluminum or vinyl siding all can be easily damaged by scrubbing or by applying solvents, cleaners and abrasives.

To test your method, remove graffiti from the less visible areas first. If possible, test the area initially: Remove the graffiti as best you can, clean the surface, then let the surface dry. Work from the bottom of the surface to the top. If you don’t, cleaning agents and dirty water are liable to leave streaks as they run down the wall. Bear in mind that any surface that has been wetted will not clean as readily as a dry surface that still has the ability to wick a cleaner or chemical into itself.

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