Anti-Graffiti Film

August 12th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

While anti-graffiti films have existed for years, more building owners may now be looking at these products as vandalism and riots are on the rise, say some film companies. If you are going to offer them, however, arm yourself with knowledge on exactly what benefits they provide.

Anti-Graffiti Film Explained

According to the website for LLumar, “many cities are once again experiencing the growing problem of graffiti and its costly removal. And vandals have found new targets —tagging window glass and other surfaces in public places using etching tools, acid, paint and permanent markers.”

So how does anti-graffiti film, protect against this? LLumar anti-graffiti film, (also known as LLumar Sacrificial Film), nearly invisible once installed, provides a removable, sacrificial surface that can reduce or eliminate the need for expensive glass replacement. A single replacement of just one window can easily exceed 10 or 20 times the cost of film installation, according to the LLumar website. Installation and replacement is quick and easy and avoids the disruption of window replacement.

“When vandals strike, the film is simply removed along with the tags, revealing the unspoiled glass surface ready for the replacement anti-graffiti film,” the website explains.

Window Film Depot installs 3M Anti-Graffiti Films and the film is described as protecting surfaces against most scratches, acid etching gouges and tagging. “It is easy to remove and replace quickly— without the hassle of replacing windows and a money-saving option that’s only a fraction of the cost of new glass,” according to the Window Film Depot website.

Rising Demand

Window film suppliers say they have seen a rising demand for anti-graffiti films. Jeff Franson, owner, Window Film Depot says he has seen a “major spark in interest” in markets like Portland, Ore., Seattle, Wash., Southern California, and Chicago, Ill.

At Accent Distributing sales of anti-graffiti film have taken off, according to Jeremy Meares, sales manager. “There’s been a spike, we’re up over 40% in anti-graffiti film already for the year,” he says. “I think there are three segments that are very sensitive and are searching out for these products.”

“There was a period of time where there was a lot of interest but no activity but then when people got a little more comfortable with the fact that the riots probably have dissipated in those markets,” says Franson. “When retail stores decided which stores they were going to keep open, we started to see a higher degree of actionable installation.”

“I think awareness for anti-graffiti films have increased significantly over the last five to ten years, and a lot of that is dealer driven,” adds Franson. “The dealers have done a good job of promoting the ethics of the technology. So I do think for surface protection films anti-graffiti films are pretty well known in the facility maintenance arena.”

According to Franson, anti-graffiti films are a proven technology that works and some dealers have done a good job of making the product at the forefront for facilities personnel. This compared to five or ten years ago when this type of film was a specialty product and used in a handful of markets.

Mike Butler, vice president of Solar Graphics Inc., says the company has done anti-graffiti installations in the past, in elevators or in downtown areas where it is common to have “reckless bar patrons who may be visiting multiple locations.” “Some will get in an elevator and think ‘Hey I’m going to scratch the window,’ so these films can actually prevent the scratches on the glass. I mean they can scratch the film but the film is a lot cheaper [to replace] than the glass,” says Butler. “A lot of damage that comes in is through the windows but, if you can end up protecting them
your customers can end up saving a lot in the long run.”

Chain stores, according to Meares, are also very sensitive to the smash-and-grab style forced entry. He says these films will improve that concern for business owners, as well as provide safety and security for homeowners. He also expects that there will be continued growth in this segment through 2021 and beyond.

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