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How to Clean Up Damage Caused by Vandalism

Cleaning up after vandals have struck should be done quickly. Depending on the type of vandalism that has occurred, property owners have several tactics to return the home or business to its pre-loss state. Following are ways to clean up the damage caused by opportunistic vandals.

What is vandalism?

Willfully damaging or defacing a property is against the law. Vandalism, though considered a non-violent crime, may be related to other crimes, such as trespassing and burglary. Penalties wrongdoers may receive for committing acts of vandalism include clean up, jail time or fines.

What are types of vandalism?

Vandalism can take many forms. Egging a home or vehicle, keying (scratching paint off a car), breaking a property’s windows, slashing car tires, knocking down street signs, throwing toilet paper along the treetops and graffiti are common types of vandalism.

Who engages in vandalism?

Opportunists, protesters or simply those with malicious intent go to great lengths to destroy a property. Youth are typically the most prevalent age group to commit the crimes. Aside from youth, political activists are known to engage in vandalism as a form of protest.

Property destruction caused by rioters during political protests include setting fire to cars or mutilating political posters of the opposition. Animal rights activists may resort to destroying farmlands or biotech properties and setting farm animals free. Disgruntled people may also destroy properties out of spite.

Where does vandalism occur?

Both public and private properties are fair game for ill-intentioned vandals. Schools of all types are as equally subject to vandalism as private homes and businesses. Urban environments are commonly destroyed by inner city youth who take to spray painting the walls.

No matter where the defacement occurs or who committed the offense, vandalism is one of the most challenging forms of destruction to restore. Property owners who respond swiftly to acts of vandalism are more likely to see success. Restoration can be complicated, necessitating professional services.

How do property owners clean up an egged property?

Cleaning up a home that has been egged is a nuisance. Once the sun shines on the eggs, the yolks and whites start to set, making removing the protein substance extremely difficult. Throwing hot water on the eggs oozing down the property only accelerates the cooking of eggs.

Rather than use hot water, reach for the garden hose. The cool spray of water dislodges the runny eggs from the sides of the property. Next, use an alkaline cleaner to scrub the stains; the alkaline cleaner works efficiently to break up the proteins inside the splatters of eggs.

What is the best way to remove toilet paper?

Mischievous youngsters are notorious for their antics, like toilet papering a home, that is, throwing rolls of toilet paper throughout the treetops. Removing the fragile toilet paper is difficult, since tugging the sheets can tear them and leave the sheets positioned higher and unreachable.

Utilize a leaf blower to blast the low-hanging toilet paper. Unhook the sheets along the higher branches with a long tool, like a pool cleaner or rake. Be careful when working around power lines. Leave inaccessible sheets in place, as the rain and wind will break down the toilet paper.

How is graffiti removed?

Damage caused by graffiti can be long-lasting. Painting over the graffiti is the simplest solution. First, scrub the area; then, apply a primer coat. If available, apply paint left over from painting the home; otherwise use a paint-store app to find the right shade of paint.

Removing graffiti on concrete or wood is a labor-intensive task. A power washer can dislodge the paint. Apply a paint thinner prior to using the power washer on unpainted surfaces. Do not use paint removers on vinyl siding; rather, use a specialized cleaner to remove the graffiti.

What is the best way to fix broken windows? 

Breaking car or building windows is an easy way for vandals to gain entry. Repairing the damage, however, may require professional assistance. Cleaning up shards of glass is a hazardous task, as sharp glass pieces can be left behind; or, further damage to the window could result.

Use a heavy duty wet dry vacuum to clean up the broken glass. Tape a plastic sheet over the window to prevent rain and snow, animals and thieves from causing more destruction. A car’s interior electrical system, for example, can be destroyed by exposure to rain.

A call to a vandalism cleanup company or a glass repair shop starts the window replacement process. Repairing the window is typically done quickly, so that the home or business owner can return to normal life as soon as possible. Technicians often work with the property owner’s insurance company.

Encountering any form of vandalism is a frustrating experience. Acts of vandalism can be prevented to some extent. Motion activated lights and sprinklers are two ways to keep troublemakers at bay. Anti-graffiti coating facilitates removing future graffiti. Surveillance cameras alert property owners of suspicious activity.

Vandalism should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Ensure a fast and dependable vandalism cleanup by calling ServiceMaster Professional Services. Technicians from the company work swiftly to remove graffiti, eggs and other substances using powerful cleaning techniques and products.

ServiceMaster Professional Services specialists will also repair the physical damage that results from acts of vandalism, such as broken car or building windows. Our skilled technicians have the experience and tools to fix your property’s siding and roof when it undergoes damage from illegal activity.

Vandalism cleanup specialists at ServiceMaster Professional Services advise against property owners cleaning up dangerous chemical stains. Also do not dispose of broken pieces that could be utilized during repair. Damaged electrical appliances should be inspected prior to using them again.

We serve property owners in 32 counties of Minnesota in East Central, Northwoods, South Central, Southwest Minnesota and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & Saint Paul, and are urged to call ServiceMaster Professional Services to clean up vandalism. Our quick response speeds up the restoration process and returns peace of mind. Call us any time, 24 hours a day, for immediate property damage restoration.