Dealing with vandalized glass on commercial buildings
February 28, 2014
Blocking heat but keeping light with solar window film
July 2, 2015
Vacant Spaces, Aesthetics and Glass Vandalism
March 2, 2017
Any experienced property manager knows that an out-of-the-way area or one with less activity or visibility can be a magnet for unwanted behavior or loitering. Vacant spaces, especially those with clear glass, can be unsightly and are at greater risk as vandals will target those areas more frequently than occupied spaces. What can be done about this?
The first line of defense is to have clear, protective graffiti film installed on the glass. The larger and more expensive the glass is, the more sense graffiti film makes. This thick, virtually invisible film is designed to be sacrificial when scratched. The film we use is so tough that in 20 years of using it we’ve seen it cut through to harm the glass on only two occasions, and in both cases the damage was very slight and easily repaired. In the case of acid etched vandalism, tests performed with the acid found it not to harm the film and typically the acid residue can simply be washed off.
Having clear glass with easy view into the vacant space attracts vandalism on glass. A better option is to obscure the glass with paper or for a more professional look install a temporary white frost film that offers privacy into the interior vacant space or space undergoing tenant improvements. This film will allow lots of light to enter space while still giving privacy and depriving vandals of a canvas where their defacing is visible. Whether vandals scratch the glass or use acid to etch it, the white frost film destroys the contrast so that the damage is very hard to detect, robbing vandals of the satisfaction of visible defacing. The film need not reach to the top of tall glass, it just needs to block natural sight lines and cover the areas where graffiti is most prevalent. When no longer needed, this film can be easily removed to return the glass to it's clear condition.
With a little advanced planning, that vacant space or ongoing tenant improvement need not put the glass at great risk nor look terrible in the process.