NYCEDC initiated the Graffiti-Free NYC (GFNYC) Program in 1999 as the first full-time, street-by-street graffiti removal service in New York City. The program began in Brooklyn, and early success prompted its expansion to the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan.
Graffiti-Free NYC is a cooperative effort between NYCEDC, The New York City Department of Sanitation, and the Office of the Mayor.
To request graffiti removal service, submit a claim or call 311. Property owners can submit a Forever Graffiti Free waiver directly online or download and mail the form to expedite the service. This Forever Graffiti Free form provides permission to the City to clean graffiti any time graffiti is reported without the need for the owner to give consent for each instance.
The Goals of Graffiti-Free NYC
- Provide no-cost graffiti removal for affected commercial, residential, and industrial properties throughout New York City
- Generates goodwill throughout local business communities
- Enhance overall neighborhood aesthetics
- Increase property values
- Partner with social service organizations that help to train, employ and rehabilitate segments of the City's population
Graffiti-Free NYC employs unique, state-of-the-art technology to eliminate graffiti. Our equipment is efficient and covers 10 times the area of traditional painting methods using brushes and rollers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Graffiti-Free NYC Work?
Anyone can report graffiti on any property in New York City. Simply call 311 or submit a claim and the City will mail a notice to the property owner on file. Once the notice is delivered, the property owner will have 35 days to contact the City to decline graffiti removal services. If the property owner takes no action within 35 days, the City will add the property to its cleaning schedule and remove the graffiti free of charge.
Property owners and their representatives can expedite service by submitting a Forever Graffiti Free waiver directly online or download and mail the form to expedite the service. This Forever Graffiti Free form provides permission to the City to clean graffiti any time graffiti is reported without the need for the owner to give consent for each instance.
Printable versions (in PDF) are available below.
How long does it take for a graffiti removal request to be cleaned?
It generally takes several months to remove the graffiti. Graffiti-Free receives more than 10,000 requests per year. Additionally, graffiti cannot be removed during the winter months because painting and power washing is not successful when the temperature is close to freezing or below. From the months of November – March, the Graffiti-Free cleaning crews focus on cleaning street furniture using oil based paint. Any graffiti reported during the winter is added to the cleaning schedule for removal beginning in the spring.
How does Graffiti-Free NYC determine schedule & routes?
Work is scheduled based on the date on which the City received a request for graffiti removal. Service routes are designed to minimize each crew's travel time between sites, thereby increasing their productivity and capacity to service the maximum number of properties each day. Due to the volume of graffiti removal requests, we do not respond immediately to each request. Instead, we build new requests into existing graffiti removal routes.
How do I check the status of a graffiti removal request?
Visit the Graffiti-Free NYC location search page on nyc.gov and enter the service request number which was provided to you when the complaint was first submitted.
What type of service do I want? Power wash or paint?
Graffiti-Free NYC power washes graffiti from non-painted building surfaces (e.g., natural stone, brick or concrete) and paints over graffiti on painted building surfaces.
What is power washing?
Power washing is the method used to remove graffiti from non-painted surfaces, usually natural stone, brick or concrete. We first apply a low-concentration potassium hydroxide solution, which is strong enough to break-up the graffiti but mild enough to pose no danger to plants or animals. After applying the solution, a high-pressure water hose is used to wash the graffiti from the building. Graffiti-Free utilizes a solution approved by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
What if graffiti is located on a storefront's roll-down gate?
Please indicate that the graffiti is located on a roll-down shutter so our crews may attempt removal before the before gates are opened in the morning for business.
What if graffiti is above the first story of a building?
Graffiti-Free NYC is currently equipped to remove graffiti on street level and the second floor of buildings. We are currently investigating methods for addressing elevated and rooftop graffiti.
What if the graffiti is only accessible from an interior courtyard, backyard or beyond a gate?
Please indicate if one of these situations applies and the City will attempt to contact the property owner to obtain permission and instructions needed to access the graffiti.
Does Graffiti-Free NYC remove murals?
Graffiti-Free NYC does not remove murals.
What if I have other questions about Graffiti-Free NYC?
If you have a specific question that is not answered on this page, email us at [email protected].