I am a Nevada State Licensed Contractor, I have been a contractor going on 29 years. We are all alarmed at the recent statistic shared by the California Realtors Board. Graffiti can negate your homes property value by up to 20%. If we try to get involved and confront the taggers we run the very high probability of getting shot. Two workers have been killed while removing graffiti and two women in different cities were killed when they just confronted the taggers. (I have attached the News clipping below!) I specialize in deciphering graffiti and identifying the gangs related to the markings. Graffiti is being used to sell products. If you look closely you might see My space names, Websites and even phone numbers. All are being tagged with the intent of selling everything from drugs to AK47's.
I have been working with DOTs, DOE, Chambers of Commerce, and Gang Task Forces trying to help educate our many cities about graffiti and its vast effects. Here in the USA are spending over 40 Billion on graffiti and related issues.
2 This has caused all Public Works to feel financial pressure to paint over as much graffiti as possible a day. Matching colors is close to impossible with the factors of weather, oxidation, and UV degradation to compete with. The result of painting over the graffiti is now homes, buildings, and sound walls have a new problem. The graffiti is now hidden by a quilt of colors, all varying in sizes and shapes. Everyone knows the new paint is hiding gang related symbols; the public still show signs of concern and fear in these areas. The vandalism is hidden but the new "Ghetto Quilt Effect" influences the price of properties and strain on businesses. The current paint over solution is in sharing failing. Gangs are using our walls to advertise sales of their products. I am not alone sharing this information; Timothy Kephart analyzed 450 tags and wrote his Master's Thesis on this very subject.
3 Graffiti has been around a while, originally used to rebuke those in power. Gangs are in essence still rebuking the government, they freely use our highways, buildings and city walls to advertise the goods they are selling. Profits are gathered and in some gang structures those serving time distribute the profit. The "Ghetto Quilt Effect" is affecting all of us in one form or another. There is up to an 80% your customers will not return if graffiti is on your building. Preventative measures need to be taken as soon as you see the first patch. The only proven tactic is the application of anti graffiti coatings. When will our cities acknowledge the need for a long term strategy of protecting our cities walls and buildings from looking like the South Side of Chicago in the 70's. Anti Graffiti coatings are the only proven deterrent to graffiti. Yes, they cost more than just painting over the graffiti a couple of times. I am against losing 20% of my homes value because the city is ignoring the cost of damages graffiti will be costing in the 10 years.