Preventing and Removing Graffiti – Best Management Practices

Tagging Public Restrooms with Graffiti is a Common Concern in Parks and Rec Applications

Romtec designs, supplies, and constructs buildings and structure for many public applications. For whatever reason, public restroom buildings and other similar facilities are often targeted for graffiti and other forms of vandalism. Municipalities across America spend millions of dollars annually cleaning up defaced buildings in their parks and public spaces. Many public agencies have invested in developing a response plan to graffiti in their cities that improve how graffiti is reported and cleaned up. Romtec can help to reduce the impact of graffiti on our buildings using anti-graffiti coatings, but these products only offer limited protection by themselves and should be combined with other deterrents for the best results.

Concession Restroom Building with Security Camera

There are several products available to reduce the impact of graffiti on your buildings. Anti-graffiti coatings can be applied to new or existing buildings with vulnerable surfaces that are frequently tagged. These are available as either permanent “barrier” coatings or as temporary “sacrificial” coatings. Once application is complete any paint or other markings will be attached to the coating and can easily be removed with cleaning chemicals or a pressure washer. Buildings and structures with important visual design features can utilize clear anti-graffiti coatings to not impact their aesthetics. Even with these preventative measures in place, graffiti or more damaging forms of vandalism can occur.

One of the most effective preventative measures for stopping vandalism in your parks is by increasing the presence of security features. There are many different security options available to mitigate these risks effectively. Security cameras can be installed around the park at points with a clear point of view to at-risk areas. Even “dummy” cameras can greatly reduce vandalism in certain areas. Additionally, providing adequate lighting in areas being monitored with can further deter criminal activity. Pairing lighting with motion activated switches will lower the power consumption and will draw help draw attention at night for police, security guards, or other personnel patrolling the park after-hours. Increased security in the park can help prevent future vandalism, but not all damage can be prevented entirely.

Developing and implementing a well-defined response plan to graffiti can greatly increase the efficiency of graffiti clean-up operations. Having a quick response to graffiti that does occur on the property can help discourage future events. Many successful parks & recreation departments have created a “hotline” system for the public to report graffiti. These can be automated systems or manned phone lines. Hate-speech and other unpleasant messages should be a priority and warrant an immediate response, while others should be cleaned up quickly when convenient. Graffiti can easily be removed by repainting the surface, using cleaning chemicals, or by using a sand blaster or pressure washer.  Larger cities often handle so many cases they hire third party contractors as cleanup crews to respond to graffiti. Alternatively, commissioning a mural or reaching out to the community to decorate especially vulnerable surfaces can deter future vandalism by increasing the sense of community involvement.

Public property is a popular target for vandalism, like graffiti. Improving park security by increasing the number of cameras and lighting can greatly reduce the amount of vandalism that does occur, but it may not stop it altogether. Developing a graffiti response plan that utilizes input from park visitors will help to remove graffiti quickly while discouraging future vandalism. Romtec can design and supply our buildings with increased security features, like cameras and motion activated lighting, to meet the unique needs of your project. Contact Romtec today for more information about anti-graffiti coatings or to get started on your building project!

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