How to prevent and deal with an exterior graffiti problem


As a building owner keeping the exterior looking good and in nice condition is an important part of maintenance and retaining value. It’s also an important part of how you are perceived by neighbours, people walking by, and the community in general.

If there is a problem with graffiti appearing on your property it makes you look bad and can cause additional damage to your property. There are a number of strategies you can adopt to help keep graffitists away.

Remove graffiti quickly

Graffitists put up their tag so that others can see it. They want exposure and eyeballs looking at it. If you take this exposure away you can help prevent a graffiti problem. If removed within 48 hours the recurrence of graffiti is low. They will not waste their time on a spot where it will not last.

Have a plan to paint over graffiti quickly. You can either do this yourself or hire a professional contractor.

If graffiti recurs frequently persist in painting over it. Only painting over the tag rather than the whole wall or fence helps reduce cost and effort.

Maintain your property

Vandals are more likely to hit buildings and properties that look worn down and badly maintained. Upkeep shows a sense of pride and makes you a less likely target.

Get a mural

There is a code amongst graffitists that they can’t paint over someone else’s work unless they can do something much better. You can use it to your advantage. If your business is repeatedly getting tagged and you are sick of painting over it, commissioning a mural might be worth a try. Now they have to violate the code and destroy somebody’s art in order to tag your building. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen but it is far less appealing to vandals than a plainly painted wall or fence.

A mural can also help attract customers and give your business a distinct feel. As a homeowner it can be a way to express yourself. On public buildings it can help bring art into the community.

Monitor frequent graffiti spots

You can set up security cameras in areas that are frequently hit by graffiti. This both helps deter potential vandals and gives you a chance to provide something to law enforcement. Work with community police officers to set up patrols in problem areas.

Use design and landscaping to limit access

Place street furniture so that it limits access to spaces that may be tagged. Make sure that furniture doesn’t give easy access to spaces. You can also use plants to limit access to your walls. Blocking spaces off and having tall bushes makes it more difficult to get to and tag spaces.

Use a coating

You can apply both a permanent and non-permanent coating to surfaces that makes removal of future graffiti easier. The permanent ones make it easier to clean off graffiti. The non-permanent ones are removed alongside the graffiti and a new one is put on.

Install lights

Putting motion-activated lights in graffiti prone areas can help make the area more visible to people walking past and discourage graffiti.

When dealing with a graffiti problem, it’s important to remember to ensure that your property, home and business remain safe. Use these tools above to prevent damage to your home and property.

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