When done by professional artists, graffiti art can add cultural value to cities, attract tourists and become a positive economic force for local communities. That’s because this form of street art can boost the curb appeal of neighborhoods and change the face of cities, according to sociologist Gordon Douglas.
However, graffiti is also the most prevalent type of property vandalism, costing us between $15 and $18 billion a year, as confirmed by the EPA.
In addition to the time and costs involved in removing and repairing graffiti damage, this type of “art” can do immense harm to businesses.
As graffiti negatively influences people’s perception of buildings, it can chase away potential customers, contributing to lost revenue due to reduced sales and decreased market value of properties. Therefore, the negative implications of graffiti damage on commercial buildings across the country, including Florida, cannot be denied.
But graffiti has some adverse effects on the environment as well. The volatile organic compounds released into the air during spray painting followed by chemical cleaning operations designed to remove graffiti often contribute to ground-level ozone, which can be hazardous not only to the environment but also to people.
Fortunately, there are some relatively simple proactive measures an experienced Florida commercial painter can recommend in order to help businesses prevent and mitigate graffiti-related damage. More importantly, these measures can save business professionals from the time-consuming and costly process of cleaning, repairing and repainting exterior surfaces.
The best proactive measures for preventing graffiti damage include:
- Opting for anti-graffiti primers – These primers come in handy especially when graffiti cannot be completely removed from surfaces. In this case, applying a primer like TK Anti-Graffiti Primer can help you get rid of any remaining traces of graffiti. Anti-graffiti primers also ensure good adhesion of subsequent sacrificial or semi-sacrificial coating systems to substrates, while providing a more uniform, smooth finish coat.
- Using sacrificial coatings – Products like Aqua-Shield from Watson Coatings and VandlTop Sacrificial Graffiti Coating from RainguardPro form a clear film that prevents graffiti spray paints, inks and permanent markers from bonding to surfaces.
These coating products are compatible with a variety of materials, including concrete, brick, plastic, metal, wood and previously painted surfaces.
Additionally, VandlTop contains low levels of VOCs, which makes it appropriate for indoor use. In case of graffiti damage, a Florida commercial painter can remove the entire layer with a pressure washer and apply a new coat of paint.
- Selecting permanent coating systems – Permanent anti-graffiti coatings are more expensive than sacrificial paint products. But when applied professionally by a Florida commercial painter, these coatings can last a very long time.
Since these products have superior weatherability and cleanability properties, the graffiti can be simply wiped off with a graffiti remover, without damaging the coating.
As an example, RainguardPro’s VandlGuard Finish Coat and Armorex from Watson Coatings is a permanent anti-graffiti coating system that can be successfully used to prevent graffiti damage to different surfaces.
As it’s unlikely that graffiti damage will stop any time soon, commercial property owners and managers in Florida should develop a plan for preventing potential graffiti-related damage.
If you’re ready to get rid of graffiti damage for good, please call Performance Painting Contractors today for a comprehensive anti-graffiti strategy that will help protect your commercial facility.