Commercial Construction & Contracting Resources

Pavement Striping and Painting 101: What You Need to Know

Posted by Tom Owings on June 22, 2018
Tom Owings

Pavement and parking lot striping or painting is important for several reasons.

For one, it ensures safety within your premises by guiding drivers and pedestrians on where to drive or walk respectively. This controls traffic flow in the area and prevents accidents occurrence.

Pavement striping also helps maximize parking space, improve the curb appeal of your facility, and ensure proper access by disabled employees or visitors.

Considerations for Before You Begin Pavement Striping and Painting:

If you are planning on painting or striping the asphalt on your pavement/parking lot, here are a few things that you need to consider:

Parking lot inspection

It is imperative that you first inspect the state of your asphalt before proceeding to paint it. Fresh paint stripes on a damaged pavement will be a waste of money, and the work will look shoddy.

Therefore, scrutinize the asphalt for damages such as cracks and potholes and have them repaired before striping.

Cleaning up the asphalt

The asphalt should be clear of any dirt, rocks, gravel, sand, trash or any other objects that could hinder proper paint application. You can opt to do the cleaning yourself or contract a professional cleaner to do it for you.

If you do it yourself, use a gas blower and/or a power washer to clear the dirt on the asphalt completely. Cleaning will also help you to identify any other cracks and crevices that may have been filled with dirt so that you can repair them before striping.

Keeping the asphalt dry

After cleaning the surface, make sure it dries up well before beginning the painting process. It is best to paint the asphalt on a sunny season or day so that it dries fast after cleaning.

Paint also dries up more quickly after application on a sunny day.

Choosing the right paint for asphalt

Next, you will have to consider the type of paint to use on your asphalt. If you hire a professional pavement striping contractor for the job, then you don’t have to worry about this because they know the best paints to rely on.

Standard paints do not adhere properly to asphalt surfaces and therefore tend to peel off in no time. There are special ‘high traffic paints’ that are particularly formulated to adhere to asphalt pavements. Some are water-based while others are solvent- based.

Water-based paints are cheaper, dry faster and more environmentally friendly than solvent-based paints hence recommended for pavements and parking lots. Some states have even banned the use of solvent-based paints because they are a source of volatile organic compounds that are not good for the environment. However, solvent-based paints are more durable and recommended for outdoor high traffic areas such as runways, roadways, and racetracks.

Making sure the lines are even

You definitely don’t want your pavement donned with uneven and ugly lines, especially if you are looking to improve the curb appeal of your facility.

A line striping machine is the best way to go if you want all your stripes to be even in width and color depth. You do not need to break the bank for this machine, and you will surely love the results.

Thermoplastic Striping: Is It Right For You?

Thermoplastic striping material is made up of pigments, binder, filler, and glass beads.

Common uses include:

  • High traffic roads
  • Pavement
  • Runway markings
  • Large parking lot areas (such as malls)

It is highly preferred over regular paint because of its durability, strength and reflective abilities at night.

The glass beads in the thermoplastic material make markings on pavements and roads reflective and highly visible at night. Thermoplastic striping is also ready to use - almost immediately - because there is no drying time required.

Thermoplastic striping needs to be handled by a professional as there are various factors to consider during its application, such as heating the material to the appropriate temperature before use.

For more information on pavement striping and painting, or for general questions about making a beautiful parking lot, contact us!

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Topics: Parking Lot, Asphalt Paving, civil construction, Ohio construction