Graffiti is the scourge of our time, a blight on today’s environment. You’ve seen it in your town – words and shapes, drawn, or painted, on brick and concrete buildings, fences, trains, bridges and many other surfaces. It can be one colour or many, is difficult to get rid of … and it’s against the law! So, what’s the most effective way to get rid of graffiti?
Whether they know it or not, graffiti vandals are lowering property values by ‘tagging’ or spraying graffiti onto the walls of houses and commercial buildings. Internationally, graffiti has become the most common form of vandalism and creates environments where crimes such as drug dealing, assault and housebreaking have taken hold.
We all have a responsibility to take action against these vandals by reporting graffiti and removing it as soon as possible. To help protect surfaces from graffiti, there’s an anti-graffiti paint coating available in stores. It seals the pores of the stone or brick surfaces and makes the removal of any new graffiti a simple job.
DOFF steam cleaning
DOFF cleaning is a very effective way to remove graffiti. DOFF is a steam based stone, brick and graffiti cleaning system that achieves temperatures of 150°C at the nozzle end. It’s unlike any other cleaning industrial solutions and can remove almost all types of paint, including graffiti, as well as other biological matter like algae and mould. The temperature and steam levels can be adjusted by the machine’s operator, depending on the difficulty of the cleaning job.
What can the DOFF system be used for?
The steam, or superheated water of the DOFF system easily removes stains, blood, graffiti, paint, moss, fungi, algae, and many other forms of biological matter on just about any surface. This method of cleaning also kills the spores and thus prevents further biological activity without having to use chemicals. And because the DOFF system is low pressure, there’s no damage to the brick, concrete or stone surfaces.
How does it work?
A gentle stream of heated vapourised water, or steam, is applied to the surface paint (graffiti). The system applies concentrated pressurised steam, without high volumes of water. This enables effective and accurate cleaning and a lot less damage than other mechanised and abrasive methods. The patinas of the surface are retained and unharmed in any way.
It’s important that the discharge of steam occurs once the required pressure level has been attained. As the boiling water is released through the connecting hose and the nozzle, it creates a pressurised stream. By applying a jet of steam it softens the graffiti paint, and at the same time the heat encourages molecular transference through kinetic energy, and so breaks down the paint. The prolonged application of steam in a particular area should be avoided, so as not to cause any damage to the surface patina.
As the steam is applied the paint is gently removed by brush. The use of phosphor bronze or stiff-bristled nylon brushes are recommended. For delicate areas, it’s best to use soft-bristle brushes. If the brushing is too harsh for the surface area, continue with the DOFF steam system until the paint finally comes away altogether.
The DOFF system cleans surfaces gently by using high temperature steam. Special jets directed at the surface cut through and remove the unwanted matter. When the temperature in the hose system is high, the pressure on the surface is light and gentle and the volume of water low. This method also helps the surface to dry within minutes of cleaning.
What does DOFF cleaning remove?
The DOFF cleaning system removes paint coatings, almost all types of graffiti, algae, moss, fungi and other biological matter, bird or vermin excrement and wax coatings. It can also be used together with specialised chemicals to remove certain oils and very old graffiti. In some cases, it’s used to sanitise and deep-clean kitchen appliances and oven accessories.
The list goes on – it cleans bitumen, plasticised paint coatings and other soft exterior coatings. In addition, it can clean thermoplastic paint and coatings – acrylic and oil based, masonry paints, adhesives, latex, lichen, mould, fat and grease, chewing gum, organic contamination stains from lipstick and mascara from walls, floors, appliances, machinery, and most surfaces including stone, brick, concrete, terracotta, tiles, wood and render – without damaging the material’s surface or original substrate.
What’s more, the DOFF system is used to clean historic buildings, building restoration, food preparation areas, hygiene control in hospitals, factories, transport and vehicle depots and workshops. Cleaning and sterilising toilets, washrooms, swimming pools, abattoirs, factories, pigeon lofts, farm buildings, drains, and so on.