Anti Graffiti Coatings are clear protective coatings that can be applied to painted and unpainted surfaces. The protective coatings protect the surface and prevent the penetration of spray paint and marking pens into the substrate.
There are two types of Anti Graffiti Coatings available, Sacrificial and Non Sacrificial. Both products protect from graffiti attacks, but are very different from one another.
Sacrificial coatings actually come off every time the graffiti is removed. To remove the Graffiti, all you need is a hot water pressure washer, no cleaners of any kind are needed. This type of coating is loosened by high pressure hot water, and the product along with the graffiti comes off the protected surface, leaving the area just like it was before the protective coating was applied. Once the area is clean and dry, the protective coating will need to be re applied. This type of coating is ideal for areas that are environmentally sensitive, as its use guarantees that no cleaners will be used to remove the graffiti.
Non sacrificial coatings are exactly the opposite of sacrificial coatings, they do not come off the surface and can withstand many repeated attacks and cleanings. Some products offer unlimited attack warranties of up to ten years, based on the amount of coats of protective coating that are applied. Non sacrificial coatings are excellent to protect areas that are subject to repeated attacks, since they do not require a new application every time the graffiti is removed. Some manufacturers recommend the use of over the counter cleaners, like citrus based cleaners or Krud Kutter Graffiti Remover, to aid in the removal of the graffiti along with the use of the pressure washer. Most will recommend that water based cleaners be used to minimize the impact on the protective coating, and some manufacturers offer their own cleaners that are specially designed to work with their products.
These coatings are becoming more common in many areas, and in many localities, they are becoming mandatory. In the County of Riverside, in Southern California, new developments need to use non sacrificial anti graffiti protection on the project perimeter block walls and fences. This is a condition that must be met before projects are released for occupancy. In the city of Los Angeles, also in Southern California, city ordinances have been proposed to make protective coatings mandatory on all buildings in the city.
There are many options of anti graffiti coatings available in the market, and the finished appearance can vary from flat finish to gloss finish. Some products are almost impossible to see once they have cured, while some are very glossy. It is always recommended to first apply a small amount in an inconspicuous place to make sure the finished product appearance is acceptable. Once the coating has been applied and it has cured, removing the graffiti is easy and painless.
We recently completed a large block wall project in the city of Eastvale, California, and within one month of job completion, the new block wall was tagged in five different places. The client called us to have us take a look and to work with his cleaners to make sure the graffiti was being removed correctly and the coating was not being damaged. To show our client how easy it was to remove the graffiti, we stopped at their local Home Depot, purchased a bottle of a water based, biodegradable Spray Paint Remover and a vinyl bristle brush, and headed to the job site. Once at the job site, we just followed the instructions on the bottle, we applied the remover, let it sit three minutes, brushed lightly with the vinyl brush we had just purchased, and used the pressure washer to remove the graffiti. The paint came off with ease, it must have taken us a total of seven minute to remove one of the tagged areas, three minutes to let the remover soak in, a couple of minutes brushing to loosen the paint, and a couple of minutes with the pressure washer. When we were done, the graffiti was gone, and the protective coating was intact. The wall looked like nothing had happened.