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Simply Cleaning your specialist graffiti removal cleaning company
Governments see graffiti as a negative because it largely inhibits or detracts from the beautification of a local community
Graffiti has long been a part of the social fabric in urban society. Despite the occasional pieces which may be deemed as street art, most instances of graffiti are often simplistic tags which offer disputed aesthetic benefits. However, due to most instances of graffiti occurring in public spaces, local governments are responsible for graffiti removal in order to maintain the aesthetics of their local shire. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 states that the person responsible for the surface is accountable for the cost of getting the graffiti removed. A ‘graffiti removal notice’ will be issued to them ordering the removal of the graffiti within a specific time period or face prosecution. Graffiti can often stigmatise a neighbourhood or community through being labelled as a low socio-economic area. Indeed, this converts to suppressed housing prices and has strong correlations with local crime and gang activities. Considering the great cost graffiti incurs on local communities, governments take the burden, through removal.
Methods for removing graffiti
Painting over graffiti
This method involves painting over the graffiti, so that it can no longer be seen. This is considered a low costs method. However, over time the negative effects of this removal method begin to surface. Although effective for already painted walls, this removal option often leads to poor results on other surfaces, as it appears out of place and develops a “patchwork effect” on the surface. If this method is used regularly on the same wall or surface, the paint begins to peel, leading to the method being an ineffective long term strategy for graffiti removal.
Chemical graffiti removal
This method actually removes the graffiti in earnest. These are cleaning products with active chemicals which remove the graffiti from the surface. These methods are largely effective, however, with poor application of the chemical, this approach has been found to damage the surface, especially painted surfaces. In these cases the paint along with the graffiti is stripped, leading to a poor result. In addition, the increasing prevalence of environmental sustainability makes this method an increasingly outdated method of removal.
Mechanics of graffiti removal
There are four controllable factors that should be understood when removing graffiti.
- Time – The longer the contact time the deeper the graffiti remover will penetrate. The more sensitive the surface the shorter the time the graffiti product is on the surface.
- Temperature – Warmer weather speeds up the rate in which the graffiti remover products operate.
- Agitation – When graffiti removal products are applied by means of hard bristled brushes or scourers, it assists in breaking the bond between the graffiti and the surface.
- Chemical – Use the right chemical for the task at hand. To compensate for any reduction in one of these for variables increase one of the other variables i.e. Should the temperature be cold, increase the contact time between the graffiti and the graffiti remover, alternatively you could increase the temperature, by using a hot water pressure washing system.
Environmentally sustainable removal
This method involves using organic products which remove the graffiti from the surface. This approach is a comparable in cost to a chemical or paint out removal, and often have the benefit of lower or no safety and health risk.
Graffiti on historic surfaces
Many graffiti removal methods involve abrasive processes (wire-brushing, grit blasting, etc.) or the use of powerful and potentially hazardous chemical solvents, which may damage historic fabric such as the stone facade of a historic building. Laser cleaning although more expensive, is likely to be more appropriate for historic stonework. Some chemical cleaning agents can also be used with an inert poultice material, in which case the chemical is usually applied first to dissolve the pigment, followed by the poultice to draw the pigment in solution out of the substrate.
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