people washing off graffiti on a wall

Protect Your Property: 3 Proven Techniques for Graffiti Removal Every Business Owner Should Know

Keeping your business in good condition is a top priority for every business owner. And yet—whether it be from accidental spills, regular wear, and tear, renovations, graffiti, or vandalism— thousands of businesses spend money every year to clean up their property. During the year 2020, several cities across America witnessed significant civil unrest and protests. The death of George Floyd ignited a flame of outrage that was difficult to quell, and, unfortunately, many cities suffered destruction to property as a result. In November of 2020, the city of Portland reportedly spent $65k to remove graffiti from business storefronts, walls, and property.  So you drive up one day and see graffiti damage or paint damage on your property. What are the best ways to deal with this, and who should you call?  Not only are sandblasting, hydro blasting, and pressure washing the choices, each one has its unique benefits depending on the surface you are trying to clean. 

A Note on Graffiti Removal from Commercial Spaces 

Derived from the Greek word ‘graphein,’ the word graffiti means to write. Most people recognize this as decorative lettering seen on city walls, under bridges, and (when it’s a commissioned art project) as part of murals and admirable artworks. Unfortunately, for many business owners, the word conjures up connotations of property damage and a hefty bill.  According to some EPA data from the early to mid-2000s, the annual cost of monitoring, detecting, and removing graffiti costs $15 to $18 billion. During this period, a report published by the Department of Justice claimed that $12 billion a year is spent to clean up graffiti every year. 

Effective Paint and Graffiti Removal Using Top-Notch Equipment

You’ll need a lot more than elbow grease to remove serious graffiti from a wall, street corner, or storefront. Taking out your favorite heavy-duty brush and paint remover is not enough either—this can cause damage to surfaces or remove the paint unevenly.  Here are three proven methods to tackle paint and graffiti removal:

Sandblasting — The Power of Abrasives

Early forms of abrasive sandblasting have been around for some time. The first patent for an abrasive blasting piece was filed in Pennsylvania in 1870. The method utilizes high pressure, sand (or abrasive materials), and water in a triumvirate of power elements. The abrasive materials used in sandblasters are similar to those used in sandpaper or sanding pads. For high-quality results, high-quality materials are needed. This includes abrasive materials such as glass beads, aluminum oxide, or silicon carbide.  It was a game-changer for many applications in manufacturing. Today, sandblasting techniques are used against paint, grease, dust, and other coatings. They are effective in completely removing paint from certain surfaces. For this method, the surface in question needs to be considered.  Because sandblasting involves high pressures, stripping paint from certain surfaces incorrectly may cause damage to the surface. Hiring a professional ensures that the surface is protected. 

Hydro blasting — The Power of Pressurized Water

Water demonstrates its might every time a community is engulfed under its weight, as storms destroy entire cities or waves swallow entire ships whole. The power of water is often enough to remove stubborn substances like paint from certain surfaces. Abrasives are not used in hydro blasting, which makes it a lot more tolerable by specific surfaces.  Hydro blasting is typically conducted at several pressures. One is considered high pressure at 680 bar, and the other is considered ultra-high pressure at 1,700 bar or (25.000 psi). This method is performed by a hydro blaster or hydro blaster technician— a professionally trained person able to operate the equipment properly and safely. 

Pressure Washing — Using Pressure and Steam to Combat Paint Particles

Another effective method used to remove stubborn substances such as paint and graffiti includes pressure washing or power washing, which uses heat. Pressure washing can be very effective on certain surfaces without the use of abrasives. Paint stains in concrete, for example, can be tackled with pressure washing—although if the paint has settled for more than a few days, this might prove difficult. Using hot water pressure of about 2000 PSI to 4000 PSI. To break up paint, 3000 PSI is also used.  Your power washing professional will know the right PSI to use to get the job done quickly and effectively without causing damage to surfaces or surrounding property. 

Remove Graffiti the Right Way with Enviroblast 

Preparing surfaces for treatment and using the right technique for the specific circumstance is central to getting the job done right. It’s not always easy to tell what the best answer is.  Connect with Enviroblast today and find out more. 
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