How to Get Spray Paint or Graffiti off a Roof / Rooftops?

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1) Use a commercially available graffiti remover

Graffiti on rooftops look ugly and can be hazardous if left unattended. Removing spray paint off concrete or brick surfaces is cumbersome with varying results. There are plenty of methods that help you successfully remove spray paint from rooftops. One of the most common ways is to buy an over-the-counter commercial graffiti remover.

There are plenty of options available at any hardware store. They vary in price depending on the chemical composition and brand. Most commercial spray paint removers do a reliable job of getting rid of low-grade spray paint on rooftops or asphalt. Ensure that you follow standard safety procedures while using commercial solvents and spray paint removers. Incorrect handling or exposure to fumes may have deadly consequences.

Choose a commercial-grade spray paint remover based on how much graffiti needs to be removed. Ask your local dealer for a recommendation if unsure if you will need one with more strength or less.

2) Use soap and water

Unauthorized graffiti on streets and rooftops is a growing menace in several cosmopolitan cities in the US. Los Angeles is no exception. It's an unsavory sight to see your rooftop covered in spray paint. TO get rid of the graffiti on your rooftop the easy way, choose the old-fashioned way—simple soap and water.

It can help you get rid of most spray paint of low quality. Most spray paint used for graffiti is of low quality and is easy to wash away with a generous helping of soap, water, and a hard-bristle brush. It is safe, cheap, and works best for small cleaning areas.

To remove the paint:

  1. Wear protective gloves and wet the area with soap water until it becomes moist.
  2. Start scrubbing the affected area systematically until the stubborn stains are gone.
  3. Repeat the process as many times as required until the site is entirely rid of the spray paint.

3) Pressure wash the rooftop

You can get rid of undesired graffiti without spending a fortune on professional cleaning services. A pressure washer uses high-pressure water jets to clean objects such as dirt or paint from surfaces. The concentrated spray of pressurized water effectively cleans graffiti from asphalt or roof surfaces. Pressure washers come in different PSI variants are relatively easy to use.

A low or medium PSI pressure washer is sufficient to get rid of most graffiti. Start with a nozzle of medium power and increase it as necessary to remove more challenging stains. Hot water works better than cold water for tough stains. To clean out the graffiti effectively, start by applying a cleaning solvent on the asphalt or the roof surface. Hose it down with the pressure washer by maintaining at least a 2-3 feet distance. This should help you eliminate most spray paint from your rooftop surface.

4) Use Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) for stubborn paint

The methods described so far may not always be effective in getting rid of all types of spray paint stains. One alternative with a higher success rate is a chemical solvent called Trisodium Phosphate (TSP). TSP is readily available from most hardware stores across Los Angeles and is easy to use. TSP is a grease dissolving detergent that effectively removes graffiti from asphalt roofs or concrete.

TSP is excellent for well-ventilated areas and open spaces, such as rooftops. It is not recommended for use in cramped spaces on roofs or indoors. Doing so could pose health risks. To remove graffiti with TSP, follow these steps:

  • Mix ½ a cup of it in 2-3 gallons of warm or hot water.
  • Apply it over the stained area and scrub thoroughly with a stiff bristle brush wearing protective gloves and face masks.
  • Repeat the process until the area is clear of graffiti.

5) Paint thinners and strippers are effective

Paint thinners and strippers work by breaking down paint and thinning it, causing it to fade away eventually. They are an effective method to remove graffiti from concrete and asphalt surfaces. Commercially available paint thinners are available at all hardware stores. Popular ones include acetone, turpentine, and xylene. Paint thinners and strippers have different chemical compositions but serve the same purpose. They are sold as caustic or non-caustic thinners/strippers. Choose a non-caustic paint thinner or stripper to prevent accidents when children or pets are around.

Paint thinners and strippers are relatively cheap and easy to use. To apply them:

  • Clean the surface of the roof to remove excess dirt or grime.
  • Wear protective gear. Thinner/strippers are flammable, so keep away from naked flames.
  • Apply the paint thinner or stripper. Check the product label for the prescribed quantity.
  • After some time, wipe down the area and rub the paint out with a clean cloth.

6) Hire a professional paint remover company

Hiring the services of a professional consistently delivers the best results. If you cannot get rid of the graffiti on your rooftops through other methods, consider hiring a paint removal company. You can rest assured that the rooftop will be free of spray paint. Professional paint removal companies are equipped with the right tools and experience to help remove graffiti. Try removing the graffiti yourself by using some of the methods mentioned on this page before you decide to hire a professional.

Our company Los Angeles Blasting is one of the premium paint removal agencies in Los Angeles. We have successfully removed the toughest spray paint stains from all types of buildings and surfaces. Our staff is expertly trained to work with hazardous chemical agents. We take your safety seriously and ensure that the area is clear of all dangerous substances. Call us today at (213) 459-1667 to book an appointment.

7) Use a Sandblaster to remove graffiti

Most graffiti will go away quickly with over-the-counter paint thinners or strippers. These might not be effective in some instances due to the paint's severity. A more abrasive medium is required to get the job done in such instances. Sandblasting is one such method that has proved popular for graffiti removal over the years.

Sandblasting is a process where sand is used with water to eject a high-powered jet on the surface that strips away paint from rooftops. Use sandblasting in situations where the severity of graffiti damage is vast. Sandblasting equipment comes in different grades depending on the severity of the paint. Choose one that is effective for your situation. Sandblasting is excellent for hard surfaces such as asphalt, brick, stone, or cement.

Ensure that you wear safety gear and follow safety practices while performing sandblasting. Avoid sandblasting if you suffer from any respiratory illnesses.

8) Remove with an Angle Grinder

An angle grinder is a device that is like a sander. You can attach wheels of different grit to handle various paint removal jobs. It's effective in removing graffiti from rooftops and asphalt. Angle grinding is a skill and comes with practice and experience. Using an angle grinder without training may damage the surface and lead to injuries.

Angle grinders are small and are an excellent choice for areas that are hard to reach otherwise. Angle grinders work by shaving off the rooftop's top layer taking away the spray paint in the process. Follow these steps to use an angle grinder:

  • Remove any excess dirt or mud from the rooftop.
  • Wear protective gear and a helmet.
  • Turn on the angle grinder and move it in circular motions around the affected area.
  • Repeat the process until the spray paint is stripped clear.

The advantage of angle grinding is that it does not use chemicals, unlike other methods.

9) Use a heat gun

A heat gun is a device that emits a stream of hot air at very high temperatures. It looks similar to a welding gun. You point it at the region where the paint needs to be removed. The heat generated by the heat gun causes the spray paint to melt. Melting paint is easy to scrape away or wiped down from the rooftops' surface. A heat gun is effective in removing multiple layers of spray paint.

Heat guns can be fatal if used without training. Always wear quality protective clothing when using one to prevent burns and other injuries due to the heat generated. To use the gun, follow these steps:

  • Clean the surface from where the graffiti needs to be removed.
  • Wear protective gear.
  • Hold the gun a few inches away from the surface and turn it on.
  • Move the gun in small circular motions to uniformly melt the paint.

10) Use non-chemical paint removing agents

Chemical-based paint strippers are harmful to the human body and the environment. It is risky to use it in places exposed to kids and pets. For most simple spray paint stains, you can do a pretty good job without using chemicals. There are several great alternatives to remove spray paint stains naturally.

Soy gel and citrus-based paint removers effectively get rid of spray paint stains on materials like concrete, wood, and metal. These paint removers are composed of natural ingredients and are safe. They are usually applied using a brush and then scraping away to remove the graffiti. Another popular method is to create your cleaning solution at home using water and baking soda.

Natural paint removers are biodegradable and do not leave any harmful residue. They are great for graffiti that is not too severe or has too many paint layers.

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