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Four Ways To Protect Your Glass From Future Graffiti

by Neil Craig

Vandalism can happen to anyone, but a business with a lot of windows is especially vulnerable. Vandals can either just smash the glass or opt for the more creatively destructive idea of creating graffiti. Protecting your glass is essential both to your budget and to your business reputation, but if you've had your glass vandalized in the past you may feel a particularly urgent need to keep it from happening again. Here are four ways to protect your glass from further graffiti in the future. 

1. Use visible security measures.

Vandalism often occurs at night when nobody is actually on-site. Making your security cameras readily visible (and so numerous that a vandal can't smash them without being caught on camera) will discourage any vandalism. You should also use motion-sensing floodlights in addition to your permanent lighting. Opt for vandal-proof floodlights, which are made of a sturdy material that can't be smashed rather than using fragile glass or thin, brittle types of plastic. These security measures are open to a business of any size, but if you have a large business you should also hire on-site security personnel to guard your building around the clock.

2. Use a protective glass coating.

Special anti-vandalism coatings for glass can significantly reduce the damage done if anyone does try to graffiti your windows. These coatings work by offering a tough layer of plastic that both resists damage and insulates the glass beneath by acting as a sacrificial layer of material. You can either apply this coating yourself or have it applied by a company that performs graffiti removal.

3. Get any damage fixed right away.

Because people who engage in graffiti often consider themselves artists and look on their graffiti as art, leaving the graffiti up for any length of time acts as a reward to the vandal, who seeks exposure and publicity for his or her "art." The presence of graffiti on your building can also attract other graffiti artists looking for publicity. For these reasons, one of the best ways to prevent future vandalism to your glass is to remove the original graffiti immediately. You can hire a graffiti removal company or purchase your own supplies and then keep them handy to repel any future forays.

4. Manage your landscaping and surroundings.

Making your business inhospitable to graffiti is essential if you want to repel vandals. Start by standing in front of your building and trying to imagine what possibilities it offers for graffiti. Any blank, open spaces, especially those that are easily accessible, are an open invitation to someone with a spray can. Windows, especially big ones, are similar. You can make your business less inviting to vandals by using tactics such as:

  • painting murals on the walls so they're no longer blank
  • reducing the size or number of windows
  • planting climbing vines to cover walls so they're no longer accessible
  • installing fences around the building
  • planting thorny bushes thickly in front of windows to limit access
  • keeping every side of the building well-lighted at all times
  • using graffiti-resistant paint on walls (because graffiti attracts more graffiti)
  • keeping sight lines open so intruders can't hide easily

Use these suggestions and your own observations to decide what physical aspects of your building you can change to discourage graffiti. 

With these four methods, you can put together a plan of action that will protect not only your glass but also the rest of your building from graffiti vandalism. The costs of some of these techniques (such as painting murals, buying security cameras, and getting glass coatings) may be significant, but you should think of them as an investment in your future. Your business, the building you're protecting, and your neighborhood can all go up in value when crime rates drop and neighborhood residents feel safer.