Sustainable graffiti removal - eco-friendly and CO2-neutral

Graffiti - some call it art, others smearing. One thing is certain, however: as a homeowner, you would like to decide for yourself how the façade is designed. Graffiti is also more than annoying on listed or public buildings.

With the patented Tornado ACS cleaning technology, graffiti removal on clinker, natural stone, concrete, plaster, paint, tiles, plastic and many other surfaces is quick and easy.

Our cleaning machine is the ideal alternative to high-pressure cleaners and dry ice blasting. The minimally abrasive working method is gentle on the surface to be treated. Due to the closed circuit, no special occupational safety measures are necessary for graffiti removal.

The unique vacuum blasting technology enables clean and environmentally friendly work. By using renewable raw materials, such as nutshell, we are 100% CO2 neutral. The Tornado ACS cleaning system is set up and ready for use in just a few minutes. The time-consuming disposal of dirty cleaning agents is no longer necessary, as cleaning is done without high pressure, without water and without chemicals. The paint on the wall is only broken up and not dissolved, therefore the removal and the remaining granulate is not hazardous waste and can be disposed of normally in household waste.

Questions about graffiti removal

Why choose vacuum blasting to remove graffiti?

There are many options for graffiti removal such as wet-blasting, dry ice blasting, sand blasting, laser and vacuum blasting.
The first three procedures have been used for a long time but do no longer adapt to today's eco-friendly requirements because their residues need after treatment and special disposal. Nowadays, the disposal of such residues became very expensive.
The vacuum blasting method instead adapts perfectly to today's requirements since it is environmentally friendly, sustainable and CO2-neutral and of course there is no problem concerning the disposal of the residues.

Do I need protective clothing for graffiti removal?

For the graffiti removal with Tornado ACS protective clothing is not necessary. Due to the closed cycle and the vacuum no granules or particles are able to get to the outside. And the moment you separate the jet cap from the surface, the cycle gets interrupted and stops, as well as the blasting jet. That is why the danger to get hurt equals zero. Even while having the fingers under the jet nothing is going to happen. You can even remove nail varnish from fingernails without hurting them. This is something we always demonstrate on trade fairs.

What area performance can vacuum blasting achieve?

The vacuum blasting machine can cover from 3 - 5 sqm per hour. If there are several coats of graffiti on one spot it naturally consumes takes more time. The set up of the machine instead always goes quickly. Just in 5 minuts it is ready for use which makes it perfect, especially for removing small graffities. And its closed cycle keeps the environment safe by keeping all paint particles and dust inside the circuit. Systecos cleaning technology is therefore the best alternative to high pressure procedures and dry ice blasting.

Can I remove graffiti indoors?

The Tornado ACS is able to work even indoors since the closed cycle keeps all particles, granules and dust inside the circuit. With 75 Db the Tornado ACS is not louder than a domestic vacuum cleaner and therefore fitted for indoors. This way joints are cleaned in hotel bathrooms with the vacuum blasting method from systeco. In just a few hours the work is done and the bathroom looks like new.

Removing graffiti eco-friendly and gently from surfaces ...

Graffiti removal method

The variant with commercially available graffiti remover

Special graffiti removers are available in specialised shops. You can use them yourself. The graffiti remover is applied to the graffiti. After a certain time, the paint swells and can be removed with a brush or sponge. The whole process is usually only suitable for very small graffiti. However, it is problematic that in a final step, the paint has to be washed off. However, since both the graffiti paint and the remover are chemical solutions, the residues can easily get into the groundwater. The water with the chemical residues must therefore be collected and disposed of separately. When choosing a product, one should therefore check whether biodegradable agents are available. Since the solutions are usually quite aggressive, the process can quickly cause damage to the subsoil if handled incorrectly. It is not uncommon for the paint underneath the graffiti to come off as well. The graffiti must then be repainted. This method should not be used on sensitive surfaces.

The high-pressure hot water variant with chemicals

The high-pressure hot water variant works in exactly the same way as the manual method with a chemical agent for graffiti removal. The solution or paste is first applied to the unwanted artwork and then removed with a high-pressure jet. The high-pressure jet has a pressure of about 120 bar. The water temperature is around 70 degrees. The advantage of the method is the thoroughness with which the graffito itself is flushed out of the pores. However, the method can by no means be described as gentle. On the one hand, the substrate can be damaged, on the other hand, the environment is considerably polluted by this technique. This refers both to the substances that can penetrate the groundwater and to the enormous water consumption that is necessary in this process. Therefore, according to current legislation, a costly collection of the polluted water is always necessary, which makes the process considerably more expensive.

If the application of the process is incorrect, for example on a clinker facade, the salts in the soaked stones can reach the surface and white deposits can form. Once this condition has been caused, it can take up to four years until the salts have settled again and professional cleaning can be carried out.

The low pressure wet blasting process

With the low-pressure wet blasting method, a mixture of air and water and possibly a blasting agent is blasted onto the graffiti. Depending on the surface and type of graffiti, the pressure is adjusted. As a rule, it is between 0.2 and 4 bar. The abrasive varies in hardness and grain size depending on the surface. The graffiti must be blasted from several angles to achieve optimal results. The disadvantage of the method is that components of the plaster are exposed. Also, residues from the spray paints may have penetrated deep into the pores where they cannot be removed by this method. Often, distinct shadows appear on the walls and facades.

The vacuum blasting method

The vacuum blasting process works exclusively with negative pressure. As with sandblasting, different blasting media are used here. However, the process differs considerably from pressure blasting. The vacuum sucks the abrasive out of the storage container. In the blasting lance, the granulate is accelerated to approx. 400 km/h and hits the graffiti to be removed. The paint is loosened by the impact of the granulate. The advantage of this method is that it is a closed circuit, as the abrasive is automatically sucked back into the container through a hose by means of negative pressure. The dirt and paint particles are filtered out in a cyclone. The granulate goes back into the circuit. The cleaning technique is easy to operate, so that it can also be used by non-professionals. Vacuum blasting is also called a minimally abrasive process. This makes it well suited for very sensitive surfaces. The vacuum blasting method cannot be used for damp walls and facades.

The laser beam method

A special laser beam technology can also be used to remove graffiti. The laser is pulsed in a tiny fraction of a second. The light beam hits the paint smear and causes the paint to burst into tiny particles. The surface is not damaged, which is why even sensitive facades can be considered for this method. Another advantage is that it is environmentally friendly. No toxic chemicals are used and no water is consumed. The disadvantage of the laser beam technique is that it is more suitable for smaller lettering such as so-called "tags". Larger images would require an enormous amount of time and money. The acquisition costs of laser technology are also very high.

Dry ice blasting

Dry ice blasting exclusively uses dry ice for graffiti removal, which is blasted onto the surface to be treated at a low pressure of 0.5 to 16.0 bar. The graffiti comes off primarily due to the cold shock, because the dry ice has a temperature of about minus 80 degrees. Dry ice is CO2. However, if one now believes that the environment is burdened by additional CO2 emissions, this is a fallacy. Because it is merely a by-product of industry that is recycled, so to speak. Another advantage is that no harmful chemicals or water are used. In contrast to abrasive methods or methods using high pressure, dry ice is not as aggressive and is therefore also used for sensitive surfaces. However, damage to the façade is still possible. Of course, less sensitive surfaces such as plaster, concrete, bricks or clinker can also be cleaned from graffiti using this method. The storage costs for dry ice are quite high. Above all, the dry ice must be stored at -80 degrees. This only works for a short time.

Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the methods

In any case Graffiti should be removed relatively quickly , because a first graffiti encourages imitators to do more. In addition, the paint penetrates deeper and deeper layers over time, which makes graffiti removal more difficult. Especially on the south side, the paint is quickly burnt in by the sun. There are numerous methods available for graffiti removal. However, depending on the surface, not all methods are suitable. Applications based on abrasive blasting and pressure blasting can quickly cause more damage to the wall or façade than one would like. The consequences are expensive re-treatments.

Work on graffiti that you carry out yourself can also cause undesirable side effects, such as damage to the façade. This drives up costs unnecessarily. If you think about the environment, you should avoid using chemicals, water and high pressure as much as possible.

Of course, it is not only the protection of the substrate and the sustainability of the graffiti removal technique that play a role, but the result should also be right. Not all methods succeed in removing the graffiti from the pores. If the pressure is too low, for example, the wet blasting method will not be able to remove the last remnants of paint. All pressure blasting methods, even with dry ice, are not very environmentally friendly because everything that is removed flies around and remains on the ground. The disposal costs for this have skyrocketed.

Processes such as vacuum blasting are not only environmentally friendly because of the closed cycle, but also very easy to use. Special protective measures are not necessary.

If these considerations are taken into account, only vacuum blasting can be considered for the professional and proper removal of graffiti. In terms of treatment results, environmental friendliness and protection of the substrate, this method scores best. The environment is not polluted by chemicals and the substrate is not damaged. Even sensitive materials can be treated with vacuum blasting.

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Clinker facade cleaning under monumental protection

Graffiti removal on facades under monumental protection is especially tricky. This facade in Berlin, Charlottenburg, is under monumental protection and was daubed with graffiti. The authorities allowed the removal under strict conditions. The following methods were excluded, sand blasting and chemical resources. Finally, it was the vacuum blasting method that was used for the removal, and it showed splendid results.


Professional graffiti removal

Without a professional graffiti removal from facades and walls, most probably you wouldn't be able to recognize our cities today. To deal with this problem effectively, some things have changed, not only by law, also in the field of cleaning technology. Efficiency and Sustainability are two important aspects to consider. The cleaning technique Tornado ACS offers both components perfectly in one cleaning device.

Thanks to the patented and eco-friendly vacuum blast method in form of the Tornado ACS, graffities can be removed from facades effectively, residue-free and without polluting the environment. The simple operation of the cleaning machine turns the professional graffiti removal into an easy job, that can be done by any person without special knowledge.