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Removing Graffiti from Historic Masonry (Intro)

By The Old House Web

Removing graffiti as soon as it appears is the key to its elimination-andrecurrence. Thus, the intent of this Preservation Brief is to help ownersand managers of historic masonry structures find the best way to removeexterior, surface-applied graffiti* quickly, effectively, and safely.

TheBrief will discuss the variety of materials used to apply graffiti, andoffer guidance on how to remove graffiti from all types of historic masonrywithout harming either the surface or the substrate. Suggestions will alsobe given regarding the use of physical barriers to protect masonry surfacesfrom graffiti, and the application of barrier coatings to facilitate graffitiremoval. Building managers and owners of historic properties will be advisedon the importance of being prepared for rapid graffiti removal by testingdifferent cleaning techniques in advance in order to select the most appropriateand sensitive cleaning technique. Health and safety and environmental concernsare addressed, as well as regulatory matters. Removing graffiti withoutcausing damage to historic masonry is a job for trained maintenance crews,and in some cases, professional conservators, and generally should notbe attempted by untrained workers, property owners or building managers.Although the focus of this Preservation Brief is on historic masonry,the same guidance may be applied equally to removing graffiti from non-historicmasonry.

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