Why Line Striping is Essential
Are you a commercial property owner or manager? Does your retail building, office building, warehouse, or other property have parking lots or roadways on the property? If so, you need to know a thing or two about line striping and marking. Here’s why line striping and marking are a key part of maintenance for every commercial property owner.
Marking is required for ADA compliance
The ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act, applies to every business in the United States. It governs handicap accessible parking. To be ADA compliant, you have to have the correct number of handicap accessible spaces, they must be clearly marked with pavement markings and signs, and they must be a certain distance from entrances. These parking spots generally need to be van-accessible for wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles.
You can see the specific requirements here. You should also work with a paving contractor who knows the ADA laws as well as any other local and state laws that may apply.
Line striping directs traffic and shows people where to park
Generally, to keep your parking lot safe, there’s a specific flow of traffic that should be enforced. People need to see the lines to know where to park and where to drive. Most of us have experienced parking lots where the lines are so faded that you can’t see them. It can get chaotic when people start parking haphazardly. With bright white lines, it’ll be clear where people should and shouldn’t drive and/or park their vehicles.
In addition to lines, there are other markings like traffic arrows, “no parking” areas, crosswalks, and more. These markings help people know where to go and what to do when they’re parking, walking, or driving through your parking lot.
Getting Your Parking Lot Striped or Re-Striped
So, you’re no longer wondering “why is line striping important?” and you’re ready to find out how it’s done. Here’s what to expect when you hire someone to mark your pavement.
First Step: Proper Planning
Depending on the size and layout of your parking lot, you’ll need a safe plan for your traffic flow pattern and parking layout. It doesn’t do any good to have nicely-painted stripes if the parking lot isn’t well-planned and up to code with all local and state regulations.
So, if you have a new parking lot or one that isn’t working quite as efficiently as it should be, you should work with your contractor to design a safe and efficient layout. During the planning stage, you should also decide whether you want to use paint or thermoplastic. Thermoplastic is convenient because it can be reflective for nighttime visibility.
Getting to Work
Your paving contractor will first clean the surface of your concrete or asphalt. Then, they’ll use a paint striping machine to create new, straight lines for all your parking spaces and any other areas that need paint. Or, if you chose to get thermoplastic markings or lines, they will be laid into position and then melted into place with a propane gas torch.