Is Graffiti Considered Vandalism?

grafittiMany people consider graffiti a gray area of vandalism. Some believe certain graffiti can enhance a neighborhood, and it’s a common topic of conversation in bars and cafes across San Francisco. But for the property owners whose buildings and neighborhoods are directly affected by graffiti, there is simply no room for debate. Graffiti is vandalism—plain and simple—and here’s why.

Graffiti costs property owners a great deal of money. In fact, the San Francisco Examiner reported in March that graffiti costs the city of San Francisco $20 million dollars per year. Of course, it costs money—and takes time—to clean up or take steps to protect property against graffiti. But over time, being a target of graffiti can lead to a significant depreciation of property value as well.

Another problem with graffiti is that one “tag” on the side of a building tends to invite more of the same. Rival graffiti “artists” compete against each other, seeing who can cover more of the landscape with their own “work”.

Even if graffiti is protected against and cleaned up quickly, the constant threat of vandalism will continue to loom over a neighborhood. Both block-by-block and citywide, there remains a compromised sense of security, and a tainted reputation for disrespect of property. Buildings are more difficult to rent, and residents lose their sense of pride.

So next time you hear others arguing the merits of “good” graffiti vs. “bad” graffiti, remind them that it all means the same thing to those who own property. Meanwhile, that cost permeates the community at large, both literally and figuratively. There are plenty of perfectly legal and welcomed alternatives for those seeking a creative outlet. After all, if something is done only at night, with it’s perpetrators sneaking around and fleeing in the dark, shouldn’t that be a sign that they’re up to no good?

At Van Gelder Enterprises, our graffiti removal specialists can quickly and safely clean up the damage to your building. If you’d like to reclaim your valuable property, or even protect it against future damage, call us at (800)-825-9040 today.

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