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Cleaning Graffiti with Abrasive Blasting: What You Need to Know

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

As a business owner, you have a lot to deal with. If vandalism, like graffiti, occurs on your property, removing it may seem like a daunting task. While this is true, an effective way to eliminate graffiti from almost any surface is by using abrasive blasting.

Act Fast for Effective Graffiti Removal

Don’t wait to remove graffiti. After all, if this was left on your business or building, it will reflect poorly on your brand. Also, graffiti can reduce your property value and image, which may cause otherwise loyal customers to go to your competition. This is especially true if graffiti includes obscene or offensive symbols.

Graffiti-related repairs cost between $15 and $18 billion in the U.S. each year. If it is cold out, graffiti is even more challenging to remove. Also, left unchecked, others may be encouraged to vandalize the area, too. Acting fast prevents these issues.

Types of Graffiti

You may experience several types of graffiti on your property. These include:

  • Tagging: This is an ornate way to put an artist’s name on the surface of something.

  • Generic: Usually, graffiti is generic and includes things such as “Class of 2021” or “Sue and Kevin 4ever.”

  • Gang: About 10% of graffiti is created by gangs.

While all graffiti is problematic, it’s worth noting that most graffiti cases are caused by suburban young men rather than gangs or minorities, which is a common misconception that people have.

Using Abrasive Blasting for Graffiti Removal

Abrasive blasting is an effective way to remove graffiti from all types of surfaces. To use abrasive blasting for this purpose, there are a few steps involved:

Protect the surrounding area. The person operating the abrasive blaster should protect and prepare the area by adding a temporary roof and walls. This helps to reduce environmental damage if outside. Protect furniture and other structures by covering them with tarps before using the blaster. Make sure the area is clean and dry before using the blaster.

Use the Right PPE. Personal protective equipment is a must-have when operating an abrasive blaster.

Clean and protect. Use the machine to remove the graffiti and then add a special finish or coating to the surface. It’s also best to clean the area by wiping surfaces and sweeping up.

The type of graffiti removal method used depends on the material it is being removed from. The abrasive substance used for common building materials include:

  • Stone: Natural abrasives such as corn cobs and walnut shells.

  • Brick: Fine glass bead abrasives.

  • Concrete: Glass beads or aluminum oxide abrasive blasting.

  • Painted metal: Plastic abrasive blasting, corn cob, or walnut shell abrasives.

Hire the Professionals for Quality Results

If you want to ensure the graffiti is removed and that the underlying material is not damaged, hire professionals. They can evaluate your needs and ensure the proper methods are used. By calling for graffiti removal right when a problem occurs, you can feel confident your business’s reputation and image will be protected.

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