Parking Line Paint: More Than a Surface Issue
Everything about parking line paint
When it comes to mapping and painting parking lot lines, there is much more to consider than one might think at first glance. It is no mere matter of painting lines across cement. Before one even loads the spray nozzle, proper thought needs to be given to time and temperature constraints, volume of traffic, exposure to elements, current state of the concrete and to any specific desired properties. Thankfully, we at Line-Marking Solutions have experts who will be happy to discuss your needs to properly establish the right type of parking line paint and application conditions for your lot.
Choice of Parking Line Paint
Cement is a surprisingly difficult surface for paint adherence. The use of any ordinary paint or even the wrong type of traffic paint for a particular surface will likely result in your fresh lines peeling right off and onto the very first pair of wheels to run them over. For instance, many outdoor parking lots are paved with asphalt. The petroleum-based binding that holds asphalt together makes the adherence of paint somewhat difficult. Sealcoatings or previous layers of paint can also generate similar problems. And so, the durability of a given parking line paint is not so much a feature of the paint itself but of how well suited it is for its surface. We maximize durability through the use of a variety of sustainable eco-friendly paints, which can be divided into two broad categories:
Oil-based alkyd paints: Oil paints dry into what is practically a solid, as such, they are not flexible and may show cracking on the long term. Their drying times are on the longer side of the spectrum as well. However, the drawbacks are the price for what is essentially a tank of a parking line paint that will stand up to heavy traffic better than any other.
Water-based latex paints: While water paints may not boast the resistance to traffic of oil, they are versatile paints and their extremely fast drying times alone make them quite useful. Both flexible and resistant to humidity, water-based paint can be used on asphalt that has been sealed or that is coated with a pre-existing layer of older coal-tar paint without the need for stripping those coatings first.
Both of these categories of paint can be made sustainably and can be blended in a wide range of colours.
Choice of Extra Properties
Choosing the right parking line paint for the job is hardly the end of it. Depending on the surroundings some customization options may be in order. Many dried paint surfaces tend to get rather slippery when they are wet, as they might when it rains on an open lot. To mitigate this, grit can be added between layers of paint, effectively turning your lines into an anti-slip surface. Similarly, parking lines are all but useless if you can’t see them. If your lot suffers from poor lighting conditions at night, we can add reflective glass beads to the paint which will help your grid tremendously with being visible in headlights. Again, these issues require a bit of forethought, as both grit and glass beads need to be applied to wet paint, as once it has dried it is too late.
Planning for Time Concerns
Before your parking lot lines are painted, there is one last concern that needs to be addressed and that is the question of timing. This is a two-fold issue: there is the question of time of year, and that of drying time. Parking line paint dries poorly, or not at all if it is too cold. Most paints require a minimum temperature within a range of 10 to 15 degrees Celsius if they are to be applied properly. We work around the clock and throughout the week at Line-Marking Solutions, but nonetheless, lines cannot be painted in the dead of winter.
If you aren’t familiar with the expression “watching paint dry” it means to be bored, wasting time and otherwise unproductive. If you need to close down your parking lot while it is painted, drying times become a concern. The longer the drying time, the longer your lot is inaccessible. Even if your job can be done with one of the faster drying paints it is always good to have planned ahead to minimize the time your lot spends behind cones and red tape along with setting up a contingency plan to reduce the closure’s impact on your business.
With all of these choices and preparations made, it is finally time to lay down some parking line paint. What may have originally seemed like the whole process, is really just a small step. Where our knowledge as professionals helped with all the previous steps, this is where our access to the proper tools comes in. Even if the right type of paint was chosen and your grid painted in ideal conditions, it is all for naught if it was poorly applied or spread too thin. We use only the best spray nozzles to ensure a proper thickness and regular application.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Hiring our professionals for your parking line paint job ensures that you will spend much longer maintaining your lot than you did painting it. As such, the question of keeping your lot clean and your lines clear is a rather important one. The best way to maintain the integrity of your lines is to maintain the cement they are painted on. In turn, the best way to maintain your cement is to keep it clean and drained.
The surfaces of your lot will accumulate dust and particles of various salts over time. While this may seem trivial, salt eats away at cement surfaces and causes permanent damage to them if left to its own devices. The longevity of your parking lines is irrelevant if the surface they are painted out is worn away. This is why we do not only paint lines, we also offer cleaning plans for your lot. First, we gather environmental waste, out of our concern for offering an environmentally sound and sustainable service. If your lot is an indoor garage we will then sweep and pressure clean the walls and columns. Finally, we will wash the lot floor with our Zamboni style cleaners which spray water onto the floor, brush and scrape it off. The system sucks up both liquid and solid waste into separate compartments, reducing the overall volume of water needed for the process. Less water used is great for the environment, but also to keep the humidity levels of your lot as low as possible.
Water is also a prime concern. It is important to keep your drainage system in good order and to keep your drains free of obstruction. Water accumulation on cement damages it rapidly. This is especially true of asphalt lots, where water will seep into cracks and a single winter’s worth of it expanding into ice will leave your lot surface all but shattered. If any cracks appear in your outdoor lot, it is a good idea to have them filled before winter. As for other seasonal maintenance, we recommend at least two cleanings a year. The spring cleaning is the most important, as winter leaves calcium and salt deposits that should not be left unchecked. Spring is also the best time to evaluate the state of your parking line paint and inspect it for damage caused by snow removal. We also recommend an autumn cleaning, so the summer dust and particles do not spend the winter eating away at your cement.
As you can see, your parking line paint needs stand to gain from being addressed by professionals who will ensure a service that is sustainable, durable, and tailored to your needs. Feel free to contact us for quotes on both painting and cleaning services, we’re only too happy to get you started.
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