| In Practice | Facades
A spray-painted graffito. A felt-tip graffito. Photos: Udo Ernst
Graffiti removal and protection for building service providers
Graffiti removal and protection is increasingly relevant. Especially in large cities, more and
more must be removed. Cleaners who must deal with graffiti need to know how to do this
without increasing damage to the surfaces they are cleaning.
The damage from graffiti is enormous; in Germany, it is
at 500 million euros annually. Half of these cost must be
borne by homeowners; the other half is paid for by companies and
municipalities. Insurance companies are quite restrained. Even
if some graffiti is politically motivated or artistically valuable
the majority is just illegal scribblings. Whether a graffito
or not is completely irrelevant in the eyes of the law. Anyone
who paints a wall without permission of the owner is committing
property damage. The removal costs must be paid by the offender
– if he can be caught. Unfortunately, that is seldom the case.
The result? Owners pay for removal themselves. And this can
be expensive. To remove a small graffito costs between 150 and
1,000 euros; “scratching” – i.e. of windows in trains or buses –
over 2,000 euros. When one graffito appears on a wall, others are
sure to follow. Immediate elimination of illegal graffiti lowers the
appeal to sprayers and they quickly stop enjoying damaging the
graffiti-free surface. Copycats are no longer animated, because the
inhibition of damaging a clean wall is always greater than that of
continuing to spray an already covered area.
Basics of graffiti removal
The success of graffiti removal depends greatly on:
33the type of paint/color of graffiti,
33the graffiti remover (cleaner),
33the cleaning process/procedure.
The basic procedures described below are intended to prevent
damage through inappropriate graffiti removal and discuss
approach to graffiti removal and protection.
all graffiti removal and protection against it
is based on the procedures found below.
For purposes of graffiti removal and protection against it, surfaces
are classified according to type.
Coated surfaces: Surfaces of this kind include all painted or
surfaces. These may encompass masonry, concrete or
natural stone walls painted with facade color, or painted metal or
48 GLOBAL CLEANING | ISSUE 2018