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June 12, 2018

Pressure Washer Best Practices For Graffiti Removal



The summer season makes for the perfect time to show off our inviting Canadian cities! And, guaranteed with the warmer weather comes the aggressive showing of graffiti. In this post, we’ve put together a general graffiti removal guideline for you because having the right pressure washer is essential in getting this job done quickly and effectively.

Graffiti Removal using Pressure Washer Cleaning

Concrete, brick, wood, asphalt, vinyl siding, metal; there is a specific cleaning technique for each surface. Using the Unimanix ARH-5050GDC, a multi-purpose, hot water pressure washer. will speed up your cleaning time and often pays for itself in no time. This model is portable and easy to maneuver between buildings and locations and is the preferred choice with municipalities, public works, mass transit authorities, trucking companies and professional cleaning companies.

Here are our best practices to help you get rid of graffiti and cut time from that tough cleaning job ahead of you.

Surface Used for Graffiti

For the complete removal of graffiti and paint stains on all types of outer surfaces, it is best to start with a good understanding of the materials and components of those surfaces. That's because the successful application of graffiti removal depends on understanding the surface type and the substance to be removed.

For example, masonry will react differently to any cleaning agent because of its porous nature. For porous surfaces the use of a chemical solvent is recommended before pressure washing, whereas for old masonry, you’ll want to consider a cleaning treatment that minimises damage to the masonry. Treatments can include using a soft brush, with or without detergents, and applying low-pressure washing.

Type of Graffiti Paint Used

Your next step is to identify the paint used for the graffiti, which will be a major step in a successful removal process. There are numerous kinds of spray paints. Here’s a list of the materials most often used to make graffiti:

  • Polyurethanes, lacquers and enamels
  • Brush-applied oil paints
  • Synthetic resins such as vinyl, acrylics, acetates and methacrylates
  • Alkyds
  • Permanent felt markers 

Graffiti Removal on Concrete Surface

To clean graffiti and spray paint from concrete surfaces, use the UNIMANIX ARH-5050GDC, it is a robust hot water pressure washer capable of generating high-pressure levels of about 5000 PSI and flow rates of 5.0 GPM.

By using this hot water pressure washer, you will increase both the efficiency and quality of the cleaning job. The basic procedure involves directing the pressurised jet of water on the graffiti to be removed and allowing the high-pressure levels to work its magic. Check out the Best Practices to Clean Concrete blog post!

Graffiti Removal on Brick & Mortar Surface

Fresh paint can be eliminated and the multi-purpose hot pressure washer model ARG-5050GDC is a perfect tool to help remove graffiti on brick and mortar suface. Ensure the nozzle is approximately two feet from the surface and, using a low-spray pressure of 2000 PSI to 3000 PSI, start washing from the top and move down. Adjust the water pressure as the graffiti wears down.

When dealing with old brick, it’s critical to learn how to remove paint, with this method being the least likely to do lasting harm. Today, graffiti removal solutions for old brick include a gel or paste compounds, followed by fabric-based peeling strips. But be warned: this comes with a great deal of further scrubbing and scraping by hand. Once you’ve removed the majority of the paint by hand, and the mess is safely disposed of; the brick surface can be washed using the hot water pressure washer ARH-5050GDC for a thorough cleaning. Power washing also removes any leftover paint residue.

Graffiti Removal On Metal Surface

When it comes to metal, you’ll need to apply a paint thinner or an industrial chemical graffiti remover. Ensure you’ve purchased the right chemical cleaner or the results won’t be as expected. Follow the instructions carefully and wear protective clothing. Power wash the surface with the UNIMANIX ARH-5050GDC.

The final step is to paint over the metal area. You may want to check out the “How to Strip Paint & Rust Using a Pressure Washer” we have on our blog or contact us directly! We’re happy to answer any of your questions.

Graffiti Removal on Wood Surfaces

For wood that is sealed with paint or stain, you can remove the graffiti using mineral spirits, followed by a power wash using a 3000 PSI pressure washer. Do not use this technique for wood that is weathered because the paint will just go further down into the wood. You may need to paint over the graffiti for old wood.

Best Timing and Season for Graffiti Removal

It is also important to time when to remove the graffiti. With graffiti, it is best to remove it within in 24-48 hours because it will be easier to remove.

If there is a chance that the temperature will fall below freezing within a month of cleaning, the brick may not have had the time to dry completely before the frost. The brick building will be more likely to succumb to damage. Allow all surfaces to dry, and give at least three days for the brick surface.

Best Cleaning Application for Graffiti Removal

  • Pre-spray the surface with a graffiti removal, chemical solvent solution, which will improve the cleaning results and cut down the time spent on removing graffiti from different surfaces.
  • Work from the top to the bottom, which will force the paint and detergent to run down and reduce damage to the surface.

Unimanix Industries

Since 1993, Unimanix has been manufacturing a comprehensive range of commercial and industrial pressure washers and parts washing systems for a wide range of industries and applications. Unimanix also sells, repairs and services related brands and products including water filtration systems and automatic parts washers. To better serve its growing clientele, the company has four operations located in Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa and Toronto. Proudly Made in Canada.


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