How to remove graffiti from Stucco and Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems (EIFS) such as Dryvit

How to remove graffiti from Stucco and Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems (EIFS) such as Dryvit

Graffiti found on unpainted exterior CEMENT BASED ‘stucco’ can generally be cleaned quickly and perfectly (employing the same techniques as with masonry surfaces) using Bare Brick, Stone & Masonry Graffiti Remover in conjunction with your pressure washer. 


Commercial stucco products have to be treated in a completely different manner. Sometimes commercial decisions have to be made regarding the ongoing maintenance of such finishes in locations with high susceptibility of graffiti. As a general rule, larger size graffiti on a painted wall can be easily color matched and painted. This rule also applies to stucco as the surface is quite often a thicker stippled version of a painted wall.

We know that after choosing the more expensive option of a stucco, many property owners are reluctant to paint the wall. We understand this as these stucco finishes (if not vandalized) will often outlast a painted finish by ten times over. They also provide an insulated, sound proofed long lasting attractive finish.


With our headquarters in California where stucco is more prevalent than any other state, we have personally cleaned many stucco and dryvit walls with total success including the removal of spray can shadows left by other graffiti removers. In many cases, total removal is achievable.


Some shadowing may occur on a pre-colored stucco wall. As always, we recommend testing the removal technique on a small area first before commencing any larger scale cleaning.


To remove larger amounts of graffiti from pre-colored stucco walls, follow the instructions outline in FAQ above for removing large amounts of graffiti from paintwork. This involves pre-wetting the wall and applying our Bare Brick, Stone & Masonry Graffiti Remover quickly to small areas until half of the graffiti is dissolved and then lightly rinsing with cold or just warm water from a pressure washer. A 40° tip is ideal.


Finally, most pre-colored stucco walls can be protected using our World's Best Graffiti Coating making it much easier to remove graffiti from in the future.

Warning: NEVER USE STEAM OR BOILING WATER ON PLASTICIZED OR ACRYLIC STUCCO SURFACES

.

Any shadows can be either removed by repeating the procedure or hand cleaning using Sensitive Surface Graffiti Remover in conjunction with Feltpen Fadeout.


Always remember, the stucco or EIFS system is a coating which is actually applied or plastered onto a block wall, plywood, or foam surface. It is often very thin which makes it vulnerable to harsh cleaning methods such as pressure washing and scrubbing, so watch that you keep your distance when rinsing with a pressure washer. If you must come in close with the spray tip to try remove a persistent shadow then keep the spray tip moving rapidly to avoid doing damage. (Ie: Only ever spray close to the stucco if you are sure of no damage and that this close gunning attempt will be your final rinse of the job).


Some stuccos are applied over a laminated polystyrene backing which is extremely vulnerable to ANY graffiti removal chemical. If there is any slight surface damage evident, then make sure you test an area before deciding to use any chemical. If not it can cause disastrous results.


If you are applying Bare Brick, Stone & Masonry Graffiti Remover you may find that some red spray cans, or any spray can or marker color with red in it, such as orange, purple, brown and pink, may stain plastered stucco slightly. These stains can generally be removed with an application of Feltpen Fadeout.


If heavy staining occurs you may decide to fog mist over the graffiti using your Graffiti beater or HVLP with a matching color. In some cases, where graffiti is likely to reoccur over and over, it is best to make a commercial decision, choose your color and paint it over as this will be the quickest and cheapest remedy in the future.


World’s Best Graffiti Coating is often used successfully on stucco finishes. However, there are simply too many stuccos of differing materials to be able to give 100% performance guarantees. Some stuccos can virtually melt with high pressure HOT water, so please request a sample to test, before applying our coating.

EIFS can appear to look like stucco or brick, having a masonry colored face, with a fiber/epoxy layer over Styrofoam. An example of graffiti on EIFS is featured above.


The surface which ‘appears’ to be brick is in fact the EIFS also and is stenciled onto the wall with a foam backing. We would recommend removing the black and white bubble writing with great care using Bare Brick, Stone and Masonry Graffiti Remover and a pressure washer. In this situation you need to clean small areas at a time, to avoid the product from penetrating the EIFS completely and degrading the foam underneath. With so much graffiti on the neutral colored wall, it would be best to paint over this section rather than attempt to remove it.


As always, test a small sample first, rather than attempting to clean an impossible job. It may be quicker cheaper and easier to color match and paint over.


General Rule 

As a general rule, larger size graffiti on a painted wall can be easily color matched and painted. This rule also applies to stucco as the surface is quite often a thicker stippled version of a painted wall.

Expert Advice

Click on any of the icons below for more how-to's and advice