Graffiti removal in Milton Keynes Summary
• Large area of graffiti risks damage to business reputation
• Ideal team on site rapidly to make graffiti removal easier
• Effective two-stage cleaning process
• Graffiti removal reduces risk of further vandalism
It only takes a vandal a few minutes to whip out a paint spray can and deface a building, but the effect for the owner of that building can be long-lasting. Graffiti can affect the reputation of a business and be a sign to others that this a good spot to add further graffiti.
Ideal Response were contacted by a warehouse owner in Milton Keynes who had fallen victim to graffiti on his building. Since the graffiti was very large and in plain view on the front of the warehouse he was immediately concerned for the appearance of his building.
The challenge for Ideal was to react quickly and ensure successful graffiti removal in Milton Keynes. We believe the most effective way to deal with graffiti is to have it removed within the first 24-48 hours, since the materials used will have less time to penetrate the surface. In addition, quickly removing the graffiti can also discourage further vandalism.
The Ideal solution
Our customer noticed that the graffiti had appeared overnight and called us the next day – so we prioritised the job and ensured our team arrived on site the very same day. During an inspection of the damage, more graffiti was discovered around the side of the warehouse, so we included that in our cleaning regime too.
For removal of graffiti on the Milton Keynes warehouse, we combined our paint and graffiti removal process with brick and stone cleaning. Having examined the nature of the graffiti, we first applied a graffiti remover gel which is designed to soften and remove most internal and external oil and water-based paints, varnishes, bitumastic and thermoplastic coatings. This 2-3mm coat of softener was applied and left to work over a period of several of hours, during which time it was effective at breaking down the paint.
We then returned to the site and deployed our DOFF cleaning system which uses heated water at low pressure. This removed all traces of the graffiti without damaging the substrate. On both the front and side of the warehouse, our client once again had a warehouse frontage that was blemish-free and attractive to visitors and staff. Our graffiti removal in Milton Keynes was deemed a complete success by the client.
The challenge of graffiti
While certain examples of graffiti are seen as an artform today, that should only be true when they appear in licensed or allotted areas. In public spaces, on private properties or on business premises, the vast majority of illegal graffiti is simply an eyesore and a costly inconvenience.
It’s estimated that the United Kingdom spends over £1 billion annually to clean up graffiti, despite the fact that creating graffiti is an offence under the Criminal Damage Act.
As a business, if you’re affected by graffiti, you have the choice of whether to leave graffiti as it is, or have it removed. If the graffiti is offensive then you will almost certainly feel obliged to remove it, but any type graffiti could also create a poor first impression for potential clients and customers. It’s also true to say that graffiti often attracts more graffiti and can create an environment near to your business or home that leads to unsocial or criminal behaviour.
Removing graffiti should not be undertaken in a haphazard way. There can be many different paints or materials used in the application of graffiti. These can affect the substrate of the wall or other surface that it’s applied to; while equally, an incorrect attempt at graffiti removal can end up affecting the substrate and causing lasting, unsightly damage.
As a specialist cleaning company, Ideal Response understands different types of graffiti and the materials used to create it. This means we understand the best methods to safely and effectively remove graffiti. We’re also available around the clock for removal, ensuring graffiti doesn’t damage your business reputation or cause an eyesore outside your home.
The Technical Bit
Ideal put health and safety first, so during the removal of graffiti we will always ensure that the safety of visitors, staff and public is considered; using cordons if necessary or even our extensive knowledge and experience in coordinating path and road closures. Ideal Response is also a member of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), which promotes effective use of powered access equipment worldwide. So where graffiti is located in inaccessible locations, this makes us the safe choice to get the job of removal done.
We look closely at how graffiti has been applied and also at the substrate affected, and how porous or non-porous that surface may be. Depending on the nature of the surface, we then choose a suitable graffiti treatment to soften and break up the graffiti, applying it carefully over time. For stubborn areas or multiple layers of paint it may be necessary to repeat our softening and cleaning treatment. Our operatives always wear the correct PPE when dealing with these treatments gels, and the subsequent use of steam cleaning equipment.
DOFF steam cleaning and TORC abrasive cleaning
Ideal Response is fully accredited by Stonehealth (the equipment manufacturers) for both DOFF and TORC systems, giving complete peace of mind to our customers and clients, and enabling us to choose the best system of cleaning for your building and the type of graffiti that’s on it.
The DOFF system uses a high temperature spray of water and is best suited to the removal of flexible coatings, while the TORC system uses compressed air, abrasive and water, so it is best suited to the removal of brittle coatings. Depending on the graffiti type, and how long it has been present, Ideal will advise you on which approach will be the most effective.
DOFF differs from other steam cleaning systems in that it uses superheated water (up to 150°C) to achieve great results, while expelling the water at relatively lower pressure. This is the ideal way to fully remove unwanted paint without causing substrate damage. We also use less water to get the job done using this system, so it’s not only kind to your building, but also to the environment.
At other times for stone cleaning, we will use the TORC system. This uses granulate stone as a light abrasive combined with water, which is expelled under pressure through a vortex nozzle. It’s an effective system at getting ‘under the paint’ which means it lifts graffiti from the surface to leave a clean surface and an undamaged substrate. Once again, it uses little water and so is environmentally friendly.