Graffiti is everywhere in Houston and surrounding areas — on billboards, garage doors, bridges, bus stops. In 2016 alone, city data show crews cleaned up 2.3 million square feet. Should graffiti be considered art or vandalism? The reports keep coming in, too, hitting record highs in recent years. The number last year surpassed 47,000, and it’s on track to be even higher in 2017. All of this comes with a cost. Houston spends about $1.7 million per year dealing with graffiti, a price tag the city sees as a bargain but that others argue could be better spent elsewhere. This hits at the crux of this controversial topic — education versus interpretation.

Don’t get me wrong, I am an art lover. I don’t mean the street artistry featured at Lawndale Art Center, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, and even inside the Mexican Consulate that Houstonians have come to know and respect. I love going to the Harrisburg Art Museum, an East End warehouse focused on showcasing community graffiti and street artists. In front of the warehouse, nicknamed HAM, I enjoy the public-facing murals—painted by noted Houston street artists like ACK!, DECK and Wiley Robertson. The point of graffiti is frequently to claim a space as your own. This leads to other people putting graffiti on top of the old graffiti and commenting on the last graffiti. People committing this crime also get a thrill out of seeing their handiwork, and if they see it often, they will feel encouraged to do more.

Vandalism may make your properties less safe. Broken windows mean broken glass everywhere. Spills of biological fluids or chemicals can make people sick. The sooner you get the vandalism cleaned up, the less likely that a visitor gets injured. From both a strictly humanitarian and a legal perspective, you want your cleaning crew on the job as soon as possible. As a business owner, you need your space to look beautiful all the time. First impressions are hard to reverse. Even more likely, future customers could pass your properties on their way to work. If they see your place vandalized, they will assume you take a lax attitude towards your place of business, and they should deal with someone else. You can keep your company’s name associated with good work by eradicating the signs of vandalism before any chance a passer-by can see the damage.

Today, you can’t throw a rock in Houston without hitting some form of commissioned street art, and the city itself is beginning to embrace the form, using murals to promote tourism and sponsoring urban artists to paint utility boxes across town. More and more, businesses too are hiring these artists to paint murals on the sides of buildings, turning a tradition that was once considered solely the purview of criminals into citywide beautification. Fortunately, Westpaq Cleaning Solutions has offices open all day and night. If you are anywhere in the Geater Houston Cosmopolitan areas or surrounding Communities, Westpaq Cleaning Solutions can clean up your damage on a moment’s notice. If you need a company that will keep your properties vandalism-free all the time, no matter what, contact us at / (832) – 429 – 8619

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