While in some areas of Toronto, graffiti is an accepted -- indeed, expected -- part of the overall culture, says Oro Properties President Cindy Wennerstrom, it can be a costly issue for affected landlords. The headache goes beyond “curb appeal” and extends to increased vacancies and the cost of removing or repainting tagged walls, doorways, walkways and, even, windows.
And while graffiti removal companies are usually effective, they can also be pricey. Here's that list of the top seven ways to steer clear of that trouble and avoid being targeted by graffiti artists.
Top 7 things graffiti artist don't want you to know:
1. For frequently hit walls, property owners looking for the ultimate solution to graffiti can treat their exposed walls to a coating of an epoxy-based paint, which can cost up to $150 a gallon, but comes clean with power washing.
2. In some parts of town, landlords might choose to commission a mural to cover a wall to reduce graffiti, which is one of the City of Toronto’s approaches. In some cases the city will reimburse owners for up to half the cost of the mural.
3. Montreal tried a different approach last year by distributing virgin vines around the city, which are attached to walls by suction cups. Landscaping and plants can reduce accessibility to walls and appeal for taggers.
4. Illuminate the wall with a low-power sodium vapour bulb, which makes colours appear less vivid to the taggers, mounted high up and protected by a grill.
5. Keep objects and equipment, such as garbage bins and ladders, away so they can't be used to reach higher levels.
6. Avoid painting surfaces in light colours: opt for forest green, or browns. Keep extra paint on hand to easily cover graffiti.
7. Consider the “broken windows” approach – keep grounds tidy and free of refuse and brush. This includes cleaning up graffiti as soon as possible, to make the whole area seem cared for.