Graffiti artists are everywhere, and even the simplest of homes can be the victims of some kind of graffiti. It is always better to remove graffiti as soon as possible, because the longer it stays on the fence, the more difficult it will be to remove. If you have Colorbond fencing, you can find several different graffiti removal products that promise not to damage your fence. Some products contain strong chemicals that could spoil the appearance and durability your fence. These include chemicals such as methylethyl, acetone, ketone, toluene and paint thinners.
Colorbond is a steel sheet that is layered with a zinc and aluminium alloy. It also has a layer of a polyester primer and is coated with a special paint. This produces a very light and durable product that will last for years. Colorbond is made in Australia and is used for roofing, guttering and other industrial and household products.
Colorbond fencing has a 10 year warranty with certain conditions such as not being too close to the ocean and requires very little maintenance. It comes in 14 different colours and will not rust. If your Colorbond fence has been vandalized with graffiti, you need to select the right graffiti remover that will not void the Colorbond warranty.
DuPont Graffiti Remover (EZ-3463) in a biodegradable, water based product that will not void the warranty if it is used on a Colorbond fence provided it is used according to the instructions on the package. It is a non-hazardous product that is very effective in removing graffiti.
How to Clean off the Graffiti?
- Start by wearing protective equipment including glasses, gloves and a long sleeve shirt.
- Before applying the cleaning agent, wash the area of the fence that has the graffiti with water.
- Do a spot check. Apply a small amount of the product to the edge of the graffiti. Wait one minute and then gently rub the graffiti with a soft cloth brush or sponge. The amount of pressure you will need to apply to the graffiti will depend on the type of paint it is.
- The surface should be continually rinsed with water while you are working. The remover should not be left on the fence for long periods. Continue the process of applying the remover and gently rubbing off the graffiti and rinsing with water until it is all gone.
- Do not use any abrasives such as kitchen scourers or steel wool. These will damage the surface. If the graffiti has been left for a long time and is more difficult to remove, it may take more time and applications of the remover as well as a little patience to gradually remove all the graffiti from the surface of the fence. However, too much remover can dissolve the over-paint and stain the areas that are uncovered, so it is better to go slowly and check the surface when you rinse with water.
- You may see a temporary increase of gloss on the Colorbond steel surface. This is a normal reaction and will reduce in a few days.
You may be tempted to apply an anti-graffiti coat of paint to your Colorbond fence thinking it will make it easier to remove graffiti in the future. This may be true, but there are some things you need to consider before taking this step. An anti-graffiti coating will void your warranty. It may also change the appearance of your fence. The coat will eventually yellow and peel and this will not be easy to repair.
It is also very unlikely that the colour of anti-graffiti paint will match your Colorbond paint.
The anti-graffiti coat may contain some strong solvents that will have a detrimental effect on the Colorbond finish. In some cases, the paint stays tacky when it fully dries, which attracts dirt and dust, which further changes the appearance of your fence.
Once the graffiti is removed from anti-graffiti paint, the paint will most probably be damaged and will need to be reapplied. If graffiti is a constant problem, this could lead to a build-up of anti-graffiti paint.
There are many graffiti removal products on the market that claim to remove graffiti from Colorbond products. These may contain harsh chemicals that are not only bad for the environment, but will harm the surface of your Colorbond fence. Even if they claim to be safe for Colorbond steel, there is no guarantee for their effect on the performance of the Colorbond fence after they have been used.
Martin Softly owns and runs Graffiti Removal Perth, experts in graffiti and paint spill removal from all surfaces.