Up to the mark?

4 ways to combat graffiti

Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote could have easily included a third absolute: “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes… and graffiti in schools.”

It is a reality that the overall problem of graffiti in New Zealand schools is here to stay. But that doesn’t mean individual cases can’t be planned for, removed quickly and prevented from reoccurring.

We’re not a company that provides 24-7 graffiti cleaning emergency services – we like to avoid the ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ approach. Instead our service covers both initial scoping and recommendations along with ongoing maintenance coverage to ensure no obvious graffiti can gain a foothold.

Our service covers both initial scoping and recommendations along with ongoing maintenance coverage to ensure no obvious graffiti can gain a foothold.

1) Don’t provide the perfect blank canvas. Elevated spaces that are highly visible, areas that are hidden (like bathrooms) and blank smooth walls are all tempting to the would-be tagger. There are many different techniques for lessening the attractiveness of these areas to taggers. We assess location visibility, paint type, access issues and other factors when creating a plan.

2) Cover it up quick. By creating a sense of a run-down or unsafe environment tagging and other graffiti can quickly gain a foothold. Yes, nothing encourages graffiti like other graffiti. However equally, on a more positive note, positivity is infectious. Keep the school visually attractive and maintained and respect and pride will be easier to sustain.

3) Fight fire with fire. New Zealand’s schools can’t afford a ‘tag along’ mentality when it comes to graffiti – they must lead the pack. That’s why aiming restless minds and artistic hands towards the right target is crucial. School artworks can make a huge difference; reducing the ‘blank canvas’ problem and ensuring pupils have a creative outlet and a sense of ownership.

4) Plan realistically. It doesn’t matter how much pride a school can have – it only takes a few thoughtless moments for graffiti to make its mark. To ensure 2) can be achieved talk closely with your school building maintenance provider. You should expect a painting and re-touching plan with expert analysis and ongoing support.

We can’t wave a magic wand (or paint brush?) and somehow prevent graffiti appearing. But we can use years of experience to ensure the most cost-effective approach to the problem in the first place.

If you’d like to organise for a graffiti site inspection and maintenance plan fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

Richard Waite

Richard Waite

Richard has been the General Manager of National Decorators for the past 5 years developing the company in the property and construction markets. Working off the base of a 100+ year old legacy, he has refined the company from a family business to be the leading painting company in the country. Some key developments have been in the integration of significant IT systems to increase the customer experience and enhance efficiency. Another big focus was reshaping the culture of the onsite teams to reflect the company in the best possible way.
Richard also leads a sales and marketing team of 7 staff, pushing into new markets and developing new services for our customers. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife Jenny and 2 young girls, as well as joining in community events.
Richard Waite

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