Frequently Asked Questions

At Scorpion Surface, we pride ourselves in making the community a better place. With that said, The subject of what is “Graffiti:” versus what is “Art” can be controversial. From a legal standpoint, graffiti is known as felony property damage but is often referred to by the slang terms “tagging”, “Graffiti art” or just “Graffiti”. What it is called, it gives the impression that the building, or even the neighbor, has been given up on.
Often the producer and graffiti artist Banksy is used as a reference as to how graffiti can serve a purpose. The “Art” that Banksy put on surfaces actually drives in the value of the property, in some cases. We just remember this is the exception not rule.
What is Graffiti?
To us, graffiti is anything that is not making the neighborhood a better place. If it is a gang tag, name, covering over a mural or anything offensive then it is not graffiti. On your right, you see a local tag, this tag is seen often around town. It provides no positive value to the community. It is not a mural that shows how vibrant the community can be and what they are all about. This is a nuisance and is vandalism. Scorpion spends significant time removing tags like this. We work very hard to ensure graffiti like this does not stay up for an extended period of time. The longer the graffiti stays up on the wall or surface, the more likely it will happen more often.
What is Art?
Art is what makes us think, what makes us smile, and see greatness in the neighborhood. It shows the world something special; it has elegance and cultural significance. The below piece talks about how we can be great people and some words that as associated with that idea. Most of the art in Portland has been commissioned by either the property or business owner.
This art just happens to be using a building as it’s a canvas. It has bright colors, is not offensive, and usually doesn’t even make a political statement.
Have you ever thrown your food wrappers on places filled with garbage when no trash cans are around? At least once in our lives, this happened. At the time, this seemed like a logical move, since there’s already garbage there anyway.
This line of thought is applicable with almost any type of scenario involving dirt or vandalism. This is more often called, “The Broken Window Theory”. This is a scenario in which a house with broken windows is more likely to have more broken windows because it would be deemed to have nothing to lose as it is. The main concept is that when something is tainted by an unresolved impurity, more of the same impurities are likely to occur.
The same line of thinking can be followed when it comes to graffiti. Graffiti is a form of vandalism perpetrated by mostly gang members at night. They use this to convey messages or express themselves in any way they deem appropriate.
The nature of this act is much more connected to the broken window theory because it is deliberate. Once a graffiti is painted on a wall without being fixed immediately, other vandals would most likely treat that area as a place for their vandalism. Once it spreads, a quick paint job on the surface may not be enough, since this is already considered their area. vandalism may be considered a habit that tends to gather attention. If a group of people starts to perceive that an area has been neglected, they will start forming the habit of placing their vandalisms there. Just like broken windows, vandalized walls tend to be more likely targets for more vandalism. Once it is perceived as a neglected property, vandals would be more likely to paint on this area, based on the line of thinking under the broken window theory.
The problem here is that home or building owners may be reluctant when painting over graffiti immediately because of the expenses to be incurred with this. The underlying thinking here is that doing immediate paint jobs may cost more because the vandals would only come back. However, given the circumstances surrounding vandalisms everywhere, it may be better to look beyond the flow of money and analyze the behavior of the source of the problem instead. If the acts of vandalism are removed immediately, it would help with graffiti prevention. Immediately painting over graffiti may cost more early on, but the long-run benefits of doing so may be even bigger. Upon immediately painting over graffiti, the vandals would eventually get discouraged since the establishment being painted is deemed highly maintained. This means that their forms of expression would not last long on the walls.
The key to graffiti abatement is to try to fix the problems early on. In dealing with this, approaches like calling the police and installing security cameras may only benefit an establishment in the short run. Dealing with the problem by altering the behavior of the culprits may be more appropriate to create long-term solutions to the problem.
Graffiti can be a big problem for many businesses. Graffiti removal is not always easy, and it costs time and money to remove graffiti from the exterior of your business.
Tagging removal may not be enough either! There are 3 proven tactics that will keep graffiti off your property in the long run: Paint over Graffiti, Graffiti Removal Services, and Graffiti-Shield Coating Systems.
he second method is to apply an anti graffiti coating to the surface. This will make removing the graffiti easier after the surface has been tagged. Remove graffiti as quickly as possible but stop using cleaning agents or power washers that contain acids because they will eat away at the coating.
The last is to have a mural painted on the surface. The mural needs to be professionally done and approved through council channels if it is within 50m of any dwellings (kit homes, townhouses, apartments etc.), but if it is further than this you can get away with a professional-looking piece of art! Remember whatever your choice you need to decide what you want long term not just for now.
There are also some good long-lasting coatings available but most require water pressure washing equipment which is an investment that many businesses cannot justify because of its costs and upkeep. The coatings are tricky to apply, do consult a professional in order to ensure proper application.

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