Romtec buildings are designed for many different applications, and some locations experience vandalism in the form of “tagging” the building. Tagging is where a person illegally paints a surface –typically with spray paint– as a form of marking territory, artistic expression, or harassment. Regardless of the intent, tagging can be a maintenance challenge for many parks and rec districts. Many maintenance people have tried to use anti-graffiti coatings on buildings which can provide mixed results. Dealing with vandalism from tagging requires a maintenance culture that can include removal of tagging or anti-graffiti coating.
Graffiti Removal includes many different options, and each option should be considered specific to that material that the graffiti is painted on. For example, concrete and steel components are durable enough to withstand pressure washing, but wood structures may be damaged by the water. Chemical cleaners can be extremely effective, but most are suitable to very specific surfaces, like concrete, wood, or plastics. Romtec has specified many different chemical cleaners for graffiti removal, and when the correct cleaner is provided for the correct surface, this method has been very effective for managing vandalism from graffiti. It can be difficult to find the correct cleaner, however, which is why some parks and rec districts prefer not to use graffiti removal.
The other option beyond removal is to use an anti-graffiti coating on the building. These coatings can be permanent or sacrificial. Sacrificial coatings must be applied after each time the surface is cleaned. These options also depend on the surfaces they are applied to and the cleaning method. Permanent coatings can be removed with chemical cleaners and can discolor some materials over time. Sacrificial coatings must be reapplied periodically and do not work with every type of paint. Just like with the chemical treatments, anti-graffiti coating is specific to each site and may not be effective in all circumstances.
When it comes to choosing between these two options, it is important to research the best method that will suit the capabilities of your crew and location. In hot or inclement locations, a sacrificial anti-graffiti coating may not be suitable as the opportunities for reapplying the coating are limited and dependent on temperature and humidity. Some coatings and cleaners require pressure cleaning, sand blasting, or steam treatments before cleaning. Understanding these requirements and the typical response and available equipment for maintenance crews will also help indicated the most appropriate graffiti solution.
Dealing with graffiti is difficult due to the high variability of surfaces, paint types, environmental conditions, and maintenance responses. By working with Romtec, we help our customers navigate these circumstances to find the most appropriate solution for each customer. In spite of the great marketing for various products, there is no “one size fits all” solution that works every time. Handling graffiti removal is an ongoing effort that is at its best when it involves forethought into many of the factors that are unique to each project. Contact Romtec today to learn more about the products we typically use and how you can get the best graffiti solution for your new parks and rec building.