Graffiti Removal – A Sensitive Task


Graffiti is one of the most common types of property damage in the U.K. The act of graffiti has grown significantly in the last 50 years, and has now even become a popular form of street art.  However, when it’s unsolicited, it’s not only deemed as an eyesore but is something which can cause problems in terms of graffiti removal.


Any proposal to remove it from sensitive historic surfaces in particular should be carefully considered. For instance, techniques designed for robust utilitarian surfaces are likely to cause more significant damage to a historic building, causing more problems in the long term.


Keystone Preservation use specialist machines that are built with care and sensitivity in mind. Stoneshealth’s DOFF, a high temperature, low pressure steam system works at removing the paint damage without causing any harm to the stone surface. Most importantly, there are no harmful chemicals involved, only steam.


This is contrary to typical pressure wash systems which may not only use chemicals, but are also at risk of creating inverse graffiti marks on buildings due to the pressure applied on the stone surface.


Response time


Response time is imperative when it comes to graffiti damage, particularly when it involves porous materials, such as sandstone. The longer the solvent is left untreated on the stone’s surface the greater the chances of irreversible damage.

In material such as stone, pigments are carried by the solvent well into the body of the material which makes it difficult to get at. This is particularly true in the case of aerosol paints – the main solvent used in graffiti.


Keystone Preservation operate a quick response team where they aim to attend a call out within 48 hours. This rapid response is vital to ensure the paint does not permeate the stone and any damage can be reversed. However, should it be the case that graffiti has been present on the building for some time, there may still be removal options available. This is dependent on the building surface, type of graffiti and of course time decay. Speak to us for more on lasting graffiti removal.


No patches


Another aspect to consider when using the DOFF machine to remove graffiti is the cleaning process will also remove the patina of surface grime and pollution products resulting in an uneven or patchy appearance. Particularly on historic masonry it may be preferable for the full elevation or wall to be cleaned to give a consistent appearance. This is especially important if the exterior your building hasn’t been cleaned or painted in a while – you may end up with a gleaming section post graffiti removal, with the rest of the façade a rather different shade!


With a combination of DOFF equipment and the knowledge and expertise from our highly-trained team, Keystone can ensure you don’t get caught with any unsightly patches from graffiti removal. For more information on graffiti removal or any other cleaning service, please get in touch.

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