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  • Tagging on a building or mural tends to show up when you least expect it, and has a negative impact on property value not only for itself but also for the community. What do you do when the surface that has been tagged hasn’t been treated with an anti-graffiti coating? One of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to graffiti removal comes down to the type of surface that was tagged. There are two types of surfaces, porous and non-porous, and each has unique properties that need to be taken into consideration when finding a solution for graffiti removal.

    Porous Surfaces

    Porous surfaces that have been painted, integrally colored, or left unpainted include materials such as concrete, stone, stucco, plaster, and EFIS. A porous surface has many tiny pores that absorb the spray paint and is typically rough or high profile in texture. Removing graffiti from porous surfaces that have not been coated with an anti-graffiti coating is extremely difficult because the spray paint can penetrate deep into the pores of the surface. This makes removal virtually impossible, especially if graffiti has been left to cure for a few days, weeks, or even months.

    Non-Porous Surfaces

    Non-porous surfaces that have been painted, unpainted, or integrally colored include materials such as concrete and brick, plastic, wood, and metal. A nonporous surface is typically smooth and has almost no texture.  Even though pores in a non-porous surface are smaller than those in a porous surface if it is uncoated, the spray paint will still somewhat penetrate into the surface. Trying to remove graffiti from these types of surfaces almost always leaves shadowing and permanent damage to the surface. For example, uncoated bare wood surfaces absorb the spray paint so well that the only way to remove the graffiti is to paint over or replace the wood.

    Graffiti Removal Solutions

    If an uncoated surface has been tagged, power washing or scrubbing with a graffiti remover may be able to remove most of the tagging.  However it depends on how long the tagging has been left to cure and how much of the spray paint has penetrated into the surface. To prevent permanent damage caused by graffiti to any porous or non-porous painted/unpainted surface, finding the right graffiti coating is essential. Unpainted surfaces should always be treated with a water repellent first, to prevent the spray paint or marker from penetrating the pores. Then, it should be coated with an anti-graffiti coating that is silicone based, urethane based, RTV silicone, or paraffin wax based. The type of anti-graffiti coating depends on the warranty needed, frequency of tagging, and type of project. To find the right graffiti coating for your project you can browse our line of anti-graffiti coatings or contact a RainguardPro sales representative.

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