Getting Rid of Graffiti
Whether you see it at your business, walls around the city, billboards, residential homes, or street signs, graffiti is bound to show up in your area. At AJET Services (our sister company) we clean graffiti on a monthly basis. This is why we decided to share some of our tips and tricks on removing graffiti.
Chemicals to Use
If you possible you should try to avoid chemicals to remove graffiti because they can sometimes be too harsh for certain surfaces. For most cases, graffiti can be removed with just a high pressure washer. However sometimes chemicals are necessary to help loosen the graffiti before you use the pressure washer. Usually this is needed if the graffiti has been sitting for too long on a surface.
When applying chemicals, you should dial down the PSI to 80 PSI and use a low pressure spray to avoid leaving stains from the chemicals or any harm to the actual surface. After you have used the chemicals, you can up the PSI on your pressure washer to get that last bit off.
General Graffiti Removal Tips
Spray with a low-pressure spray pattern.
Begin with the nozzle (use turbo nozzle on brick or masonry) around 2 feet away from the surface (you can move closer as the graffiti begins to come off).
If low pressure spray is not working, try high-pressure, just be careful if the graffiti is on soft material (ie stucco or wood).
Different Types of Surfaces
Use a robust hot water pressure washer that has high-pressure levels of around 5000 PSI and flow rates of 5.0 GPM.
Brick & Mortar Surfaces
Pressure wash with a low-spray of 2000 PSI to 3000 PSI. Graffiti removal for old brick can require you to scrub by hand with a gel or paste compounds followed by fabric-based peeling strips. Once you have removed some of the graffiti you can then use the hot water pressure washer for leftover paint residue.
For metal surfaces you need to use a paint thinner or an industrial chemical graffiti remover. After applying these products use a power-washer with a 3000 PSI to remove that graffiti.
Use mineral spirits followed by a power washer with 3000 PSI. However, don’t use this for weathered wood because the paint will just sink deeper into the wood.
Removal of graffiti can sometimes leave a shadow of the graffiti, but this is normal. Over time it will oxidize and go away.
It is easiest to remove graffiti within 24-48 hours of it being done.
Work from top to bottom. This will force paint and detergent to run down and reduce damage to the surface.
Use different kind of spray patterns so you don’t etch any paint into the surface.
Direct the pressure washer at a steep angle toward the surface by keeping your spray close to the wall. This helps remove graffiti easier. Don’t ever spray straight on.
If you currently live in Utah and are needing to remove graffiti from your business or residence, contact our sister company, AJET Services (801-330-0398 or email@example.com).
Visit our pressure washing, janitorial, detailing and how to blog posts by visiting our “Tips & Tutorials” page.