The difference between Graffiti and Art is permission
Graffiti Vandlalism costs the US $12 billion a year. Fame and recognition are key elements in why taggers leave their mark. Studies show quick removal within 24-48 hours dramatically reduce the reoccurance of graffiti in a particular place. To support quick, effective & complete removal of graffiti, anti-graffiti barrier coatings have been developed which also prevent permanent defacement of buildings that occur when graffiti cannot be completely removed. After reading the article below, you should have a good idea of the graffiti problem, why anti-graffiti coatings and selecting the proper system. Feel free to purchase your anti-graffiti solution at our online store.
What are the types of graffiti?
Two categories account for most graffiti in US Communities: (1) street gang graffiti and (2) hip-hop or “tagger” graffiti. By some estimates, gang graffiti only accounts for 10% of the national graffiti problem while Hip-Hop taggers and the occasional tagger account for 90%.
Gangs use graffiti to mark territory, intimidate, or recruit, and they incorporate gang symbols (stars, pitchforks, etc) in their graffiti. Gang graffiti is incidental to other activities (violence, drugs), and the application of graffiti is often an entry-level assignment. Gang graffiti is locally organized and tends to be territorial (i.e., confined to the “hood”).
For Hip-hop taggers, graffiti is the main focus and often becomes addictive behavior. Hip-Hop tends to be regional in nature as vandals network through pro-graffiti magazines and the Internet. (e.g., there’ve been instances of German vandals meeting on the Internet with NYC counterparts, resulting in the Germans flying to NYC, participating in “bombing runs” (large-scale application of graffiti to an area) there, then the NYC counterparts returning to Germany to do the same) Hip-hop graffiti is, by design, prominent and very visible. Vandals cannot achieve “fame” if their “art” is not seen and is thus applied to billboards, traffic light control boxes, freeway signs, downtown buildings and places where many will see it.
Hip-hop taggers operate in “crews” (3-5 person teams), which usually have a unique, 3-digit name (e.g., “ATS”, standing for the “As They Sleep” Crew; “CMW” standing for the “Chicago’s Most Wanted” Crew); each member of the crew usually has a unique graffiti moniker (e.g., “KORL” or “WERK” or “JEDI”). Thus, a vandalism site is typically marked with one or more monikers plus the crew name (initials). Within the subculture, there is a hierarchy of graffiti: (1) simple tags, in a single color; (2) throw-ups (bubble-type graffiti, with at least two colors); and (3) pieces (or masterpieces, the most complex). In general, the higher up the hierarchy a tagger goes, the more fame. Additional “fame” points are accrued for applying graffiti to a high place (top of a building or a billboard); these are called “heavens” tags as well as for “the quality of the art”. Hip-hop taggers have been known to use grappling hooks or steel bucket trucks to achieve a “heavens” tag.
Why Anti-Graffiti Coatings
It is important to find ways to reduce graffiti attacks. “The mere presence of graffiti doubles the number of people littering and stealing in a neighborhood“, according to a research study reported in the Nov. 21, 2008 issue of Journal Science, supporting the so-called broken windows theory, which forms the backbone of many crime prevention programs in major cities such as New York. Studies indicate when graffiti is quickly removed, within 24-48 hours after tagging, the incidence of graffiti taggers coming back is reduced dramatically to near zero. Acccording to a report published by the City of Ottawa Canada “Graffiti vandals want their work to be seen. Prompt cover-up/removal is the most efficient method of combating the problem. If graffiti is covered-up/removed quickly, future acts of graffiti are discouraged. Also, the sooner removal is attempted, the easier it is to remove the graffiti. Prevention is also a key component in the eradication process. The graph below illustrates how quick removal of graffiti results in a lower recurrence rate.”
- 15% recurrence if removed within 48 hours
- 50% recurrence if removed within 7 days
- Proliferation if removed after 2 weeks.
A US Dept of Justice (COPS No. 9) report from Feb 2002 confirms the value of anti-graffiti coatings as one of the response strategies a community should employ, saying “Graffiti offenders can be thwarted by vandal-proofing vulnerable areas…Anti-Graffiti coverings and surfaces make surfaces easy to clean, difficulut to write on, or both.” Use of an anti-graffiti coating forms a barrier to a graffiti taggers’ spray paint, allowing quick, effective removal of the graffiti tag. Without an anti-graffiti coating, many times a shadow remains, permanently defacing the building and encourageing the tagger to return.
Important Attributes of an Anti-Graffiti Coating
- Sufficient adherence without damage to historical buildings
- Minimal change in building appearance
- Hydrophobicity (water-repellance)
- Environmentally friendly composition and processing
- Resistance to UV aging and weathering
- Good Cleaning Efficiency
- Ease of application
- Product cost
- Manufacturers warranty #years (material only or material & labor)
Types of Anti-Graffiti Coatings
Non-Sacrificial Permanent Anti-Graffiti Coatings – A graffiti protective coating designed to sustain multiple graffiti removals using specialty graffiti removal chemcials without the need to replace the anti-graffiti coating. We carry VandlGuard, North America’s best selling anti-graffiti product line from Rainguard International. The VandlGuard Non-sacrificial Permanent Anti-Graffiti Coating comes standard in a 1, 5 or 10 year material warrantied system. VandlGuard also offers a premium warranty option in a 1, 5, or 10 year labor and material warrantied system, the VandlGuardONE, VandlGuardFIVE and VandlGuardTEN. Rainguard’s VandlGuard Non-Sacrificial Permanent Anti-Graffiti protection system is specified on all new construction Walmart stores when they require anti-graffiti coating protection. See our online shopping store link below.
Sacrificial Anti-Graffiti Coatings – A graffiti protective coating that offers removal of graffiti tags using hot water only, without the use of graffiti removal chemicals. However the sacrificial anti-graffiti coating needs to be replaced after each graffiti tag removal. We carry the VandlTop Sacrificial Anti-Graffiti Coating from Rainguard International. See our online shopping store link below.