Anti-Graffiti Strategies and Removal Methods
Graffiti is the most common form of modern vandalism against public and private buildings. Because of the nature of the problem, various strategies may be employed to minimise or prevent graffiti attack and consequent remediation of assets. Minimise accessibility to potential sites by “proactive” or “reactive” regimes. Proactive Regimes A proactive regime provides physical barriers, e.g. fencing, or vegetation where appropriate, to restrict access to potential sites. Fencing may be a useful way to prevent access. The fence itself should be designed and constructed, being mindful of security requirements and access control, so that it does not provide a site in itself. A single chain wire 1.8metre high fence is; perhaps, one of the more ideal fences, as it will provide measured security and access, without providing a site in itself. The use of a continuous solid fence as a graffiti management technique, is not ideal because it does provide a site. However, with a little planning and thought, graffiti on this type of fence may be minimised by: • the use of vegetation, climbers and creepers to climb up, or grow down.
• planting shrubs as a screen to the fence, allowing light and vision through foliage, but not allowing people to be concealed. • planting trees and shrubs that have “uncomfortable” foliage characteristics, e.g. roses, bougainvillea, banksias. The· type of vegetation selected should be hardy and require minimal upkeep. However, consideration should also be given to its height, width and root system at maturity, so that it does not provide a ladder for access to other areas, or does not inhibit lighting or The most common forms of proactive control are: • Illumination of areas • Signage, indicating security protection • Dogs that bark, or provide security to buildings • Simple chain fencing • Natural surveillance and community guardianship. • Avoiding the creation of natural ladders and platforms, e.g. industrial bins. • Automatic after-hour sprinkler systems. • Changing ground texture – pebbles to create noise, but not stones that could be used as projectiles. • Video surveillance • Screen vegetation with thorny foliage. • Use of “street art” or camouflaged paint techniques Reactive regimes A reactive graffiti regime requires immediate response by physical removal of the offending graffiti, or by paint-out. “Graffiti begets Graffiti” if it is left on a structure, as it becomes an invitation for others to add their “tag” or mark to the graffiti site. In’ fact, International research indicates that rapid removal, of between 24 and 48 hours, is the most effective deterrent for future graffiti. • Paint-outs are the most common form of graffiti removal. • For the physical removal of graffiti, chemicals must be employed.
An appropriate substrate to allow for chemical removal would be unpainted masonry, brick and stone, or -areas that have previously been painted with sacrificial, or non-sacrificial anti-graffiti coatings. Before any chemical remover is used, it is important to: 1. Consult all M.S.D.S’s and. follow all safety procedures. 2. Consult all ProduCt Data Sheets supplied by the manufacturer. Chemical graffiti removal products include: “Graffiti Green” “Worlds Best Graffiti Removers” “Amerase” “Muck Off