When you visit a business, what is the very first thing you experience? The employee at the front desk? Or the interior decor?
Nope. The very first thing you see and experience is the parking lot.
The parking lot can influence your first impression of a business. A smooth, well-laid-out parking lot makes your experience much more pleasant than a confusing, pothole-filled parking lot.
At DRYCO, we realize how important maintaining your parking lot is. It is one way you can make good impressions on customers right from the get-go. Plus, it prevents customers from storming into your business already on edge from not finding a parking space or having a fender bender.
In this article, we will explore the basics of parking lot striping. We will learn what parking lot striping is, why it is important, and then discuss some things to think about when getting ready to stripe your parking lot.
Are you ready to go?
Let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
1. What is Pavement Striping?
2. Why Is A Good Striping Job Important?
3. Things To Think About When Striping Your Lot
What Is Pavement Striping?
At this point, you may not know a lot about what pavement striping is.
Before we get started, let’s answer a few basic questions about pavement striping.
The basics of pavement striping
In simple terms, pavement striping is painting the lines on a parking lot, road, or other asphalt/concrete surfaces, so people know where to go and what to do.
Equipment used for pavement striping
Needless to say, while it’s possible to use a simple paint roller for striping, the pros don’t paint all those lines by hand!
There are striping machines professionals use to do pavement striping. These machines range from simple to complicated and do a faster, more accurate job than hand painting.
In fact, here are few technologies many striping machines utilize to do an amazing job.
Replacing dull and faded markings is critical to achieving a professional-looking parking lot. This can also be fairly difficult. Utilizing laser guides ensures a perfect result each time, by outlining the exact location of your new line with a light beam.
Reflective beads are excellent additions to a parking lot’s lines, increasing visibility for vehicles and pedestrians at night. Attaching a reflective bead dispenser to the line striping machine eliminates the need to do this step by hand, saving time, and improving results.
Even the most precise line striping machines are vulnerable to the wind. As paint exits the machine, a gust between the surface and the spray tip is all it takes to divert the paint’s stream and leave an uneven line. A spray shield protects the paint from wind and ensures an uninterrupted stream, every time.
If your parking lot needs striped or restriped, it may be possible to DIY it with a paint roller. But for large projects, or if you want a good job done, it’s best to hire a professional.
Types of paint for parking lot painting
Are there different types of paint used for pavement and road striping?
There are three main types of paint used for parking lot striping:
- Oil/solvent-based paint
- Water-based paint
- Thermoplastic paint
We will talk a bit more about the pros and cons of each type of paint later on in this article.
How long does it take to paint a parking lot?
How long a job takes depends on the size of the parking lot and how quickly the specific type of paint dries. Weather also comes into play.
The striping company may need some time to make a plan of action for the job, but once they start painting, it may only take several hours to finish, depending on the size of the lot.
Most types of paint are dryable within one hour and are totally cured within four hours, depending on the weather conditions.
Cold weather and lack of sunlight lengthen the dry time.
If you want to minimize downtime at your business, look for a company willing to work at night.
Cost of striping a parking lot
Again, this depends on variables such as paint type and parking lot size. However, if you want a very rough generalization, expect to pay $0.04 per square foot. So, if your parking lot is 100,000 square feet, you can expect to pay $4,000 (100,000 x 0.04) to have the parking lot striped or re-striped.
Specialized markings like arrows, logos, and letters are individually priced.
Here are some prices to give you a ballpark idea:
- 4 inch lines > $0.20 – $0.30 per linear foot
- 6 inch lines > $0.25 – $0.35 per linear foot
- 8 inch lines > $0.35 – $0.45 per linear foot
- 10 inch lines > $0.45 – $0.55 per linear foot
- 12 inch lines > $0.55 – $0.65 per linear foot
- Curb painting > $0.75 per linear foot
- Handicap logos (with background) > $25.00 each
- Handicap logos (no background) > $15.00 each
- Arrows – small > $10.00 each
- Arrows – medium > $20.00 each
- Arrows – large > $30.00 each
- Letters – small > $2.00 each
- Letters – medium > $2.00 each
- Letters – large > $2.00 each
- Car stops > $10.00 each
- Light pole bases > $10.00 each
- Mobilization fee > $150-350
If you want more specific numbers, you can schedule a free estimate with DRYCO today!
Why Is a Good Striping Job Important?
We all know parking lots look much nicer with crisp, clean lines. But are there other reasons to put some thought into your parking lot painting?
You bet! It’s a lot more than just looks.
Here are a few reasons parking lot striping is important:
Clear Parking Lot Marking Eliminates confusion
Imagine a big, bare parking lot with no lines.
Now imagine people trying to navigate that parking lot.
It’s utter chaos, isn’t it?
We have all experienced those confusing parking lots that aren’t well-marked. You don’t know which direction to drive or where to go. You might even meet someone head-on in a narrow aisle and not know what to do. It is confusing and stressful!
Clear, thought-out marks on the pavement would solve these problems and eliminate the confusion.
It is especially stressful trying to navigate parking lots when they are busy, and there are lots of other vehicles. This is when a well-planned layout and bright, clear striping pay off!
A well-planned layout helps traffic flow smoothly and efficiently even when the lot is crowded. You want your customers to be able to easily enter, navigate, and exit the lot without running into each other and causing fender-benders.
Plus, this saves customers the stress of blundering around in a crowded parking lot, wondering if they are going the right way. You don’t want your customers confused and stressed before they even walk in your doors!
Ensures you are up to date on regulations
In every state, there are different rules to ensure that businesses are accessible to all. Northern California is no exception. There are stringent parking lot guidelines that businesses must follow to ensure all customers have access without discrimination.
Business owners must comply with these regulations or be fined. You want to be sure your parking lot is up to code!
Besides, making your business accessible to all is more than a compliance issue. It is simply good business.
Stay tuned to find out more about specific regulations.
Keeps customers and employees safe
It sounds surprising, but over 50,000 parking lot accidents happen annually.
And while parking lot accidents are seldom serious, they still cost both parties time, money, and stress.
Business owners could prevent some of these accidents if their parking lots were clearly marked. By carefully planning and marking your parking lot, you keep your employees and customers safer.
Plus, you keep yourself safe from litigation as well. If your parking lot is not clearly marked, you may be held liable for accidents.
Increases curb appeal
We all know how satisfying a parking lot is when it has crisp, clean pavement striping!
On the other hand, a lot with faded, chipping lines can look unattractive and unprofessional. Keeping your parking lot well-marked increases its aesthetic appeal.
Ever heard of the halo effect?
The halo effect is the idea that first impressions really do matter. If you perceive one good characteristic in a person or thing, you may mentally surround them with a glowing “halo” and assume everything else about them is good as well.
For instance, if you meet someone and perceive them as good-looking, you may also assume they are smart, funny, and likable, even if this is not true. The fact that they are good-looking surrounds them with a halo that affects your impression of them.
The halo effect can apply to objects too! You can use it to your advantage by keeping your business and parking lot in good maintenance.
5 Things To Think About When Striping Your Lot
Now you know more about how parking lot striping works and why it is important.
Perhaps you have a new parking lot that needs to be striped or an old one that needs to be re-striped. If you have a striping project you need to get done, where do you start?
Let’s go over some things to think about when striping your parking lot.
Quality of paint
How long your striping job lasts depends, among other things, on the quality of your paint.
Water-based paint is a great option for a tight budget, but it’s not the most durable option. If you have a bigger budget, invest in a more durable paint. Then your striping job will last longer, and you won’t have to do as much parking lot maintenance.
Some paint options are:
- Oil/solvent-based paint – The key ingredient in this type of paint is oil instead of water. Oil-based paint is the most widely used type of paint because it offers the best durability for the cost and won’t freeze in cold weather like water-based paint.
- Water-based paint – Made mainly of water, water-based paint is the cheapest and most environmentally friendly paint. It is also quick-drying.
- Thermoplastic paint – Thermoplastic paint contains plastics and is the most durable option. However, it is also the most expensive.
- Canned Aerosol Line Sriping Paint – Using the Aerosol Line Striping Paint with the a line striping machine is one of the easiest and simplest ways to paint a parking lot. Anyone can get a professional result with these canisters! For someone like a property manager looking to maintain their own parking lot, this is the perfect solution.
Before you run out and buy it, calculate how much you’ll need of each color. Yes, colors. At the very least you’ll need a yellow or white for the parking lot lines, and blue to mark your handicap stalls.
Earlier in this article, we talked about keeping your parking lot up to code. Now let’s look at what exactly that means.
Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has placed laws ensuring that all people have equal access to businesses. If you don’t comply with these laws, you may be fined. Multiple fines can even result in the suspension of business operations.
It’s wise to contact professionals who can help you stay in compliance with ADA requirements. It can be confusing, trying to wade through them yourself!
Here are a few compliance specifics for handicapped parking in northern California:
- Number of handicapped spaces – California law requires you to have a certain number of accessible parking spaces in your lot. The general rule is that for every 25 spaces you have, at least one must be marked as handicapped. For large commercial lots with over 300 spaces, you only need eight handicap spaces.
- Measurements – Accessible parking spaces must have specific measurements. They must be at least nine feet wide and have an access area for wheelchairs.
- Location – Compliant accessible parking spaces must be within the most direct route to the building. There should not be any blockages or stairs in the path to the entryway.
The best way to ensure that your parking lot is compliant with ADA regulations is to hire a professional to help you plan and stripe your parking lot. Professional stripers are trained and up on current regulations.
If you don’t do your parking lot right the first time, you may have to go back and redo it or even face a lawsuit. It pays to get it done right!
Contact DRYCO to get an estimate for your ADA compliant California parking lot. And, if you really want to make sure you stay on top of your asphalt, read our blog: The Ultimate Guide to Pavement Maintenance.
Use of reflective lines
If your customers are often hurried or in a compromised state when they arrive at your building, you may want to invest in reflective lines.
For example, people are often rushed and stressed when arriving at a hospital or airport. They may not see dull lines on the pavement as they rush to park and catch their flight or get a family member into the hospital.
Reflective lines will pop out better, making it easier for them to navigate and park without accident.
Downtime at your business
People won’t be able to use your parking lot while it gets painted, which means your business may have to experience some downtime. You might want to plan and schedule your striping job to minimize that downtime.
How can you do that?
Quick-drying paint helps minimize downtime and get customers back on the pavement as soon as possible. If your parking lot is only half full most days, the work can be phased to do half at one time and half at another time to ensure your business always remains available to your customers. You may also be able to find a road striping contractor willing to work at night or on the weekend, so the job gets worked in around your schedule.
Hiring a competent contractor
Honestly, pavement striping is not that easy.
You have to know about parking lot layout and design, different paint types, ADA requirements, and more to do a good job.
You want to be sure you hire a competent contractor who can provide layout plans and reliable equipment to do your job correctly. This will ensure you have a good experience.
Bonus: Here are some more tips for a great asphalt experience, from hiring the right contractor to maintaining your new asphalt.
Your parking lot is the first thing people experience at your business. Keeping your lot in good maintenance is a great step towards making a good impression on customers!
If your lot needs to be striped, restriped, or adjusted to comply with ADA regulations, give DRYCO a call today!
We have over 30 years of experience as parking lot striping contractors. We can provide a quality of layout, design, and craftsmanship that only comes with that kind of experience.
Beyond parking lot striping, we offer a wide variety of asphalt services in California:
- Asphalt Sealcoat Applications
- Slurry Seal Services
- Parking Lot Repair and Maintenance
- Game Court Construction and Maintenance
- Concrete Contractor Services
- Commercial Fencing
We will try our best to make your job as easy and stress-free as possible. Schedule a free estimate today! We look forward to hearing from you.