The Gum Giant's Blog
By special request I have provided this detailed page talking about the damage that can be done to delicate surfaces by improper graffiti removal. I am using as an example the MTC building in Ann Arbor, where I did large and therefore expensive amount of graffiti removal.



MTC in Downtown Ann Arbor


This job presented many challenges. The first was the size, which by it's very nature means that it is an expensive removal. I used over 9 gallons of remover at $75/gallon on this job. It took so much because the job was located on a colored block wall that had previously been tagged, and the removal done by others. I could see going in that there would be damage exposed once my work was done, so I did the job in three light passes. In addition, the work was on a rubber or EPMD rooftop, which cannot have chemistry, no matter how benign, come in contact or linger on the surface. So each time I had to put out drop cloths, as well as do extra rinses and use care in applying my chemistry. Those tags on the parapet will have to stay, for now. Here is the wall before I got started:


As you can see in these pictures there is more to this wall than meets the eye. The dark marks and drip lines you see are the result of earlier attempts at removing graffiti, my guess is a solvent like lacquer thinner or paint remover was used. This stained the surface of the colored block. If you look closely in the following pictures you can also see that there is clearly damage done by extreme pressure-washing - probably at pressures between 4000 and 6000 PSI. The colored cements that rise to the top of the block during it's manufacture have been stripped away, leaving aggregate exposed. This wall was destroyed before I got to it. However, I pressed on with the task at hand.


Note the old staining existing on the wall:


Note the previous surface removal where the operator chased the tag lines, basically chiselling out the stones smooth colored face:

You can see my chemistry starting to work on the first pass - the paint is softening up nicely, and the under layers are starting to show through.

NOEM soon to be gone


SUN here...

In the photo above you can see the shadow left by a previous removal attempt. An additional pass was required to reduce this shadow, although it did not disappear completely due to the length of time it was left on the wall. The longer you wait to remove graffiti, the harder it is to do a complete job. Also, it appears that this shadow/old graffiti was an enamel based paint - extra difficult after that much time in the sun. Even my Shadow Max liquid had a hard time with this mark, but I got it eventually. The important thing is, you can see how The Gum Giant is able to remove the layers of paint, careful and one at a time, without damaging the building.

I guess the point of all this is that

1) remove graffiti as soon as you see it, the longer it stays on the harder it is to get off and

2) call The Gum Giant first unless you want to ruin your expensive wall - which can easily be done by using too harsh chemistry, or the wrong type of chemistry, or too high pressure wash-offs, or a combination of both.



The Gum Giant Home | Coupon | Pictures | Services | Blog | (734) 255-6085