A wall remains almost graffiti-free after the Brentwood Public Works Department applied an anti-graffiti coating.
A wall remains almost graffiti-free after the Brentwood Public Works Department applied an anti-graffiti coating.

While home costs in San Francisco rose the last few years, the City of Brentwood, 45 miles east, also has seen its population increase. But with growth, also come the challenges of providing residents with new and needed public works structures that do not intrude on the natural beauty of the area.

In this case, it meant hiding a reservoir and keeping it graffiti-free.

To hide the reservoir, located above a residential neighborhood and in plain view of a major highway, the city's public works department had a firm build an architectural rock wall façade to hide the large structure. But keeping graffiti vandals, or taggers, from displaying their “art” posed a greater challenge. Whereas, most towns simply are perplexed by the high ongoing costs of eliminating graffiti and simply agree to clean it later, Brentwood officials sought to nip it in the bud.

“We looked at alternatives to the graffiti situation and saw it as a pay now or pay later situation,” says Paul Eldredge, assistant director of public works for the City of Brentwood.

SEI Chemical of Northridge, Calif., with its high-tech line of anti-graffiti formulations, presented a possible solution.

Eldredge thought that even with the graffiti-proof coating, his crew would have to apply the initial coating and then routinely re-apply coatings. Added to this was the inevitable cleaning when taggers proved successful. “We still saw this as an expensive, rigorous and never-ending task,” Eldredge says.

SEI Chemical's technicians partner with towns and cities, public works departments, engineering firms, and other sources perplexed by the challenges and high costs of graffiti prevention and removal.

They developed GPA-200 (Graffiti Proofer Anti-Stick), a high-performance, highly fluorinated and durable clear gloss coating formulated for applications requiring extremely high-slip characteristics and chemical resistance.

SEI Chemical manufactures several types of graffiti deterrent coatings. Special formulations are required for different materials (smooth or porous) to make paint, lacquers, enamels and adhesives “crawl” together and run off the surface. And if a tagger successfully applies a nominal amount of paint, marker, or other product, the graffiti can be easily removed with the remover products.

“Because of the durability of the coating and our ability to rid the wall of any near-successes by taggers, two years later, the project has been a roaring success,” Eldredge says. “Although the coatings make it difficult or impossible for graffiti materials to stick, when they do, we can take them off. The word is obviously out and graffiti is at a minimum.”

To Brentwood residents living and working near the new concrete reservoir and passers-by on the Highway 4 Bypass, the reservoir not only is hidden, but the attractive façade remains graffiti-free as well.

SEI Chemical manufactures resins, coupling agents, curing agents, coating additives, sealants, and building restoration products. For more information, visitwww.seichemical.com, or telephone 818-998-3538.