We have offered graffiti removal services in Maryland for over 30 years. There aren’t many qualified graffiti removal companies in the area, so we are often called in to finish the job for another company that thought they could handle the job. In most cases, the contractor or home owner has tried to remove graffiti using high pressure, water blasting, wet sand blasting or incorrectly mixing chemicals resulting in dangerous chemical reactions.
Graffiti is created using pen ink, permanent markers, nail polish, wax crayons, shoe polish and of course hundreds of different colors and brands of spray paint. All of these items come in different chemical compositions and colors, and each of these materials presents a challenge that can be impossible for some contractors that are just starting to offer graffiti removal services. The ingenuity of teenagers and gang members in the area have created all types of new substances to leave tags and drawings behind. From permanent markers that are designed to write on stainless steel, and mixed formulations of spray paint that are applied and then “burned” into the surface, graffiti removal can be a tough, because the the methods constantly change. In some cases the tags can be easily painted over, but it depends on what was used to create the tag. Most of the time the tags will bleed through multiple layers of paint so removal is the only way to solve the problem.
The type of surfaces that we remove graffiti from also varies, from brick, block and other hard porous surfaces like stone, to painted surfaces like aluminum siding, garage doors, cars and playground equipment adding to the complexity of the removal job. No matter what you the graffiti is applied with, or what surface it is being removed from, the graffiti should be removed quickly so it is easier to remove and so that the vandals are discouraged from further destruction.
There are Hundreds of graffiti removal chemicals for sale and we have tried every single one that we know of over the years. Some of them work amazingly well for a while, then the taggers come up with something new and they stop working. Sometimes the graffiti removing chemicals will take off existing paint, or they will leave a shadow behind that can be nearly impossible to remove. Some contractors try high pressure and that actually “cuts” the tag into the surface. Or they try using the wrong graffiti remover and it actually causes the tag to bond into the surface better than it was. In cases like these hiring a contractor like us will save you far more money in the long run because you won’t have to repair the damages that other companies cause while attempting to do the job.
One of the most popular methods of graffiti removal performed by most contractors is just painting over it. About 60% of graffiti is done using paint and can be removed by a paint-over job. It is a simple and cost-effective option, working well for large painted walls with the use of mini-rollers, brushes or pads for faster results. The drawback to paint-over’s is the color of the paint used to cover up the graffiti matches the original color of the wall. Unfortunately, repeated applications over the same wall can cause peeling of the paint because some paints won’t adhere well to others. There are some surfaces that cannot be painted over, such as cars, siding and road signs. Plus, a paint-over job tends to give patchy results on surfaces and it makes a perfect canvas for the graffiti artist to return to!
Chemical Cleaning: Graffiti on concrete, glazed and metal surfaces and bare brick walls is best removed by chemical cleaning. In some cases 2-3 coats need to be applied with a waiting period in between to allow the solution to dwell. The longer such a graffiti remover product is left on the surface, the deeper it can penetrate and remove the graffiti. But it is important to know the right technique and duration for applying these chemicals to avoid any damage to the surfaces. A painted surface is more sensitive to chemicals, since the paint may be stripped off along with the graffiti. Chemical cleaning agents are not very eco-friendly.
These techniques are used to clean graffiti off buildings, walls and sidewalks. Hot pressure washing is preferred to sand blasting since it is not as abrasive to the surface. While they can be used directly if the graffiti comes off easily, the most common way to carry out pressure washing or sand blasting is in conjunction with a chemical remover. The pressure and distance of application are important; usage of High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) spray guns is recommended at 150 – 200 PSI at a distance of 12” – 24” from the surface being cleaned.
Laser Removal: This is an expensive but essential method of removing graffiti from the surface of historical monuments that need to be preserved. Nd:YAG wavelength lasers are perfect, but a lot of patience and skill is required in their use and are best left to expert graffiti removing services.
As you can see, there is a lot more to removing graffiti than you may have realized, many of these techniques need advanced skill and training and should always be used with extreme care. So if you need graffiti removed give us a call at 301-216-9675 for a free estimate, if you email us a photo of the area we can usually give you an estimated within an hour and if it’s necessary, we can dispatch an emergency service crew out to your property within hours. (An Emergency Service Fee Will Be Added To The Job.