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Can You Remove Graffiti From a Concrete Wall?


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  • SERVPRO professionals are uniquely trained in the removal of graffiti from a wide variety of surfaces. Our 24-hour emergency services are always available to anyone, including weekends and holidays.

    Removing graffiti from a concrete wall may sound like a difficult task, but is it really? If your home, business, or other property is struck by graffiti, you may be wondering how to go about the removal process, or when to call in a professional. SERVPRO® has compiled a list of graffiti facts, tips, and best practices for removal below.

    Graffiti Facts

    You may be surprised to learn the following facts about graffiti, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Algirdas M. Leskys, and the Department of Justice’s Deborah Lamm Weisel’s Problem-Specific Guide to Graffiti.

    • The United States experiences about $55 per person in damages annually because of graffiti, amounting to billions of dollars (each year).
      • This includes the processes of monitoring, detecting, removing, and repairing graffiti.
    • Approximately 80% of all graffiti activity in the United States is a result of “tagging” (adding your signature via graffiti so it can be seen by others).
      • Approximately 10% is gang related.
      • Approximately 5% is a form of artistic expression.
    • Graffiti is not regularly reported to police.
    • A relatively small number of graffiti offenders are ever apprehended.
    • Graffiti is commonly added to areas of transportation terminals, such as subway stations, bus stops, and parking garages.
    • Light-colored surfaces, as well as large and plain surfaces, tend to be the most popular amongst graffiti offenders.  

    Graffiti Removal from Concrete

    The City of Milwaukee’s Department of Neighborhood Services offers numerous tips for removing graffiti from concrete walls, including:

    • Use graffiti remover or a similar product with extra strength, such as paint remover.
    • Use a wire brush to reach the inside of holes and stone pores.
    • Once the paint or graffiti remover has activated, rinse with a powerful stream of water from a hose.
      • A soda-blaster or pressure washer may be needed depending on the level of graffiti.
    • Light grit sandpaper can also remove paint if the concrete surface is flat.
      • However, keep in mind it may scratch the surface.
      • A sealer may help close stone pores and assist with future graffiti removal, if needed.
    • It is also important you wear proper protective gear, including eye protection and a respirator, when removing graffiti yourself. This will help protect against breathing in potentially harmful fumes.
      • If the graffiti is mild and on a smooth surface, using soap, water, and a wire brush may be sufficient for total removal.
    • Keep in mind that over-the-counter solvents identified as graffiti removers may be hazardous. Again, properly equipping yourself beforehand is important.
    • It is important the affected area is pretested before a solvent, or a specific cleaning technique is employed.

    SERVPRO’s Graffiti Removal Process

    As the #1 choice in fire and water cleanup and restoration*, SERVPRO has been called upon to provide graffiti removal services across the country. Using a variety of proprietary cleaning products, SERVPRO technicians will:

    • Assess the area to determine appropriate equipment (inspecting things such as  the type of graffiti and amount of surface covered).
    • Upon inspection, determine the type of removal process required.
      • Common types include using a solvent and stiff/wire brush, media blasting using dry ice or sand, and/or pressure washing.
    • Implement the graffiti cleaning process.

    SERVPRO is Here to Help ® 24/7

    With more than 2250 franchises across the United States and Canada, SERVPRO covers 97% of all US zip codes within two hours. Technicians are dedicated to promptly arriving at each job with the equipment and personnel to remediate as quickly as possible, and get you back up and running. The best part? SERVPRO provides much more than graffiti removal and standard water damage cleanup. Franchises across North America also offer fire damage cleanup, mold damage cleanup, biohazard cleanup, construction services, and more.

    Whether you experience graffiti to your home or business on a weekend, holiday, in the middle of the night, or more, SERVPRO franchises will be there. Find your local SERVPRO today, and give us a call. We look forward to serving you and returning the damage to pre-loss condition, “Like it never even happened.”

    For more information, please visit our FAQ and Glossary.


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    Unless otherwise noted, each use of "SERVPRO," “us,” “we,” or “our” throughout collectively refers to both the SERVPRO brand and the Servpro Franchise System, which is made up exclusively of independently owned and operated franchise locations.

    *#1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based on Commercial and Residential Attitude & Usage Tracking studies. Polling 816 commercial business decision-makers and 1,550 homeowner decision-makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Studies conducted by C&R Research: Oct 2019 and Decision Analyst: Oct 2019.