Seal The Way – Parking Lot Striping
The average commercial parking lot occupies an area three times larger than the structure it serves. While this isn’t true for every parking lot, it’s the standard layout for commercial properties around the United States. You see this most frequently at supermarkets and large retail stores, and it’s even more pronounced at shopping malls. This may seem like overkill to some, but it’s a necessity if you wish to have visitors enter, park, and exit their vehicles safely – not to mention getting from the parking space into the building. All of these complicated dances take place in parking lots every single day with nothing more than the striping to serve as guide. That’s why professional parking lot striping is such an important part of any commercial enterprise.
At first glance, parking lot striping probably looks pretty simple to the average person. But, don’t let appearances fool you. There’s a whole lot more to it than just laying out straight, parallel, and perpendicular lines across the pavement. There are also federal, state, and local guidelines and codes to consider if you’d like to be legally compliant, and some serious planning to ensure the area is as user-friendly as possible when completed. The entire paragraph below covers nothing more than the basics of parking stalls. Imagine how much more complex the entire project will be.
- Parking Stalls: The exact dimensions for a parking stall varies according to city and jurisdiction, but, on average, a stall should be 9 feet wide and 18 feet long to be up to standard. Smaller stalls may be designated for compact cars only and larger ones may be for expectant mothers or others with special needs. ADA-compliant stalls must have an adjacent aisle no less than 5 feet wide.
Looking at these numbers, you’re probably thinking about all the places you visit that have parking stalls that are nowhere near that size. Don’t feel bad. A large part of our parking lot striping business comes from store owners who try to squeeze in more spaces to accommodate more visitors – a guaranteed disaster. Never attempt this at your own business. It’s a serious safety issue and will end up costing you far more than it helps. Seal The Way won’t cut corners for anything or anyone in terms of quality, code-compliance, or safety. All of our parking lot striping in Indiana and the southern Chicago suburbs is done right the first time, every time.
Now that we’ve covered parking stalls, and why it’s so important to ensure they meet the correct specifications, there’s still drive aisles and stripe colors to plan before you’re ready to start painting anything. So, how wide should your drive aisles be? What colors do you need for handicapped parking? Fire lanes? The questions can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t have the experience or ready access to codes, regulations, and proven best practices. Here’s a brief overview:
- Drive Aisles: These serve as the primary throughways in your parking lot. They give cars a path to navigate from the time they enter until they leave, and need to have sufficient width to allow cars to back out safely. A two-way aisle with angled stalls should be a minimum of 24 feet wide while one-way aisles can be 12 feet wide without problem.
- Stripe Colors: Standard stalls are painted white to indicate public parking. Yellow stalls and striping denotes private parking. Blue stalls are handicapped-accessible and intended for those with disabilities. Fire lanes are painted in red to conform to code. It can be even more complex, but, never fear, you hired the area’s premier parking lot striping service. We know exactly what it takes to do the job right.
Great Parking Lot Design Characteristics
- Facilitates a continuous flow of traffic throughout the lot
- Provides safe movement of pedestrians from the parking stalls to the buildings
- Allows for landscaping without interfering with site lighting
- Gives persons with disabilities easy access to facilities and buildings.
- Minimizes conflicts between vehicular and pedestrian traffic
- Accommodates access of emergency service vehicles
The Purpose of Parking Lot Striping
Seal The Way offers repair and maintenance services to assist our customers with extending the lifetime of their paved surfaces. But, we tell each and every one that maintaining the structural integrity of your parking lot is not enough. You need to take the proper steps, the first of which is calling Seal The Way, to preserve and refresh your parking lot striping on a regular basis. It’s important for a number of reasons:
- Inexpensive & Effective: Parking lot striping is a low-cost way to enhance the overall appearance of your parking lot. People overwhelmingly say freshly-striped parking lots are more inviting, and that’s never a negative for business owners.
- Increased Safety & Security: A well-striped parking lot is unquestionably a safer parking lot – as long as it was done professionally. Giving visitors the direction they need, and giving it as clearly as you can, makes a real difference for your visitors in terms of safety and security – not to mention they notice that you took the step. That’s worth the cost by itself.
- Minimizing Risk & Exposure: Having all of the proper parking lot striping makes good sense for business owners in terms of their own safety and security. Safety from the code enforcement violations they could receive, and secure from any possible litigation arising out of improper ADA-compliance, accidents due to poor visibility of traffic directions, and possible injury to a visitor due to noncompliance with codes.
Striping Should Include
Parking lot striping is much more than just lines on your pavement in fresh paint and bright colors. It’s a functioning system and, as such, must have certain parts to be operational. These include:
- Vehicle parking areas – the primary purpose of a parking lot.
- Pedestrian crosswalks – as important as parking stalls.
- Markings on pavements to show fire lanes.
- Arrows showing the flow of traffic. These include the direction of traffic and one-way aisles.
- No-parking zones and passenger loading zones.
- Other markings to convey additional information such as speed limits and stop signs.
Types of Striping Paint
Professional parking lot striping is done with one of two types of paint. The first, solvent-based, was used extensively until the 1990s in roadways across the country because of its ability to stand up to immediate and relentless abuse. But, it has serious environmental drawbacks and some weaknesses when compared with the second type of paint, waterborne, but it’s still in use because it can be applied at far colder temperatures than waterborne paint – which has to be applied when the temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Chlorinated rubber is popular in colder regions for this very reason, its ability to go on cold, and the fact that it’s specifically designed for concrete pavement. In most cases, waterborne paints are easier to work with, have better color retention, and are cleanable with water. They also have far less environmental impact and their application is accompanied by much less odor.
Parking lot striping does not require any type of priming. The one and only preparation we take is to thoroughly clean the surface before beginning. We use air jets and power brooms to ensure the area is as clean as possible before any paint is put down. If you’re working with a company that skips this step, we’d seriously recommend calling us immediately for a real professional application of your parking lot striping. It could be the best decision you make this year.
How Often Should you Restripe?
Seal The Way recommends a schedule of restriping the parking lots of our customers every two years. Some striping can last up to four years, so our free assessment and estimate process will only address those lines that require attention – or all if you so choose. Once the striping is less than 75% of its original visibility, it’s time to put on a fresh coat to avoid any of the negative impacts of letting it go too long. While there are factors that can extend or shorten this lifespan, two years is a good balance to strike between too early and too late.
Why Choose Seal The Way?
We’ve shown that striping isn’t your everyday painting and without the proper tools and techniques you could be signing up for more trouble than it’s worth. Hiring an amateur or attempting a DIY project just won’t do – especially when safety is at stake. Your best option is to contact Seal The Way at (219) 433-3924 to schedule a visit from one of our knowledgeable technicians for a free estimate. We can usually schedule you within 24 hours of your call or upon receiving a submitted Request through our Contact Page. It’s no-obligation, so you have nothing to lose – and everything to gain – by getting in touch with the area’s premier parking lot striping company. At Seal The Way, your satisfaction is our number one priority.