Although many people argue that graffiti is a form of artistic expression, when your property gets tagged, philosophy flies out the window. It’s vandalism, pure and simple. Unfortunately, once your property or neighborhood become a target, it seems to attract more and more “artists.” This post discusses five reasons to remove graffiti right away. We also look at ways to protect your property against future graffiti attacks.
1. Send a Message to Criminals
The broken windows theory tells us that visible signs of crime tend to encourage more crimes. What’s more, these incidents typically increase in seriousness over time. In other words, relatively minor vandalism, such as graffiti or a broken window, sends a message that this area is safe for vandals and other criminals.
Scientists researched the broken windows theory and found it plays out in communities all over the country (and even in other countries). They published their findings in Science in 2008. Removing graffiti right away helps reduce crime in your neighborhood.
2. Reduce Gang Violence
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, gangs use graffiti to accomplish a number of goals:
- Advertise the gang’s power
- Challenge rivals
- Communicate messages between gangs
- Glorify the gang
- Intimidate others in the neighborhood
- Mark their territory
Once a neighborhood is tagged by a particular gang, the LAPD warns that everyone in that neighborhood has been marked for violence. That’s because rival gang members see even the innocent residents and businesses in the neighborhood as a threat. Ignoring graffiti may lead to increased gang violence in your neighborhood.
3. Create a Good Impression
Beauty is only skin deep. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Whatever way you say it, the intent is the same: You shouldn’t judge things or people by their appearance. Unfortunately, people rarely do that. And if your business is covered with graffiti, potential clients typically form a negative opinion of your services before they even walk through the door. To make a good first impression, remove graffiti right away.
4. Save Your Exterior Paint
Your building’s exterior paint was formulated to protect the structure against sun, wind, rain, and more. The paint used in graffiti weakens that layer of protection. And the longer you leave it there, the greater the damage, since your exterior paint keeps absorbing the graffiti.
5. Protect Your Investment
The long-term cost of graffiti can be pretty steep. It drives down property values for you, but also for the neighborhood – particularly when the problem spreads to other buildings (see #1).
Leaving graffiti in place also makes it harder to remove, which means it’s going to cost you more.
How to Protect Your Property Against Graffiti
In addition to removing graffiti right away, you can protect your property by stopping it from happening in the first place.
- Consider anti-graffiti coatings for your exterior surfaces
- Install security lighting, preferably with motion sensors
- Install video surveillance to help deter criminals
- Paint walls and fences (unpainted surfaces seem to attract taggers) – use dark colors if possible
- Plant shrubs, climbing vines, or trees near exposed walls and fences
Removing Graffiti from Unpainted Surfaces
Taggers seem to love marking trees, unpainted concrete walls, and fences. You can remove graffiti from a tree with baking soda and water. Scrub the area with the baking soda and then rinse well with water. For unpainted surfaces, you need a pressure or power washer.
Call a Paint Pro
Professional paint companies have the experience to remove graffiti without damaging the building or wall. They’re also insured to perform the work and can advise you about protecting your property against future attacks.
If you have a graffiti issue, call Five Star Pro Painting at 800-PRO-0750. Or, complete our contact form and we’ll respond as soon as possible.