Finding a great parking spot in an easy-to-maneuver parking lot is a joy of convenience for most drivers. But parking lots can also be dangerous. In fact, 20% of car accidents take place in parking lots!
Often, the issue is that drivers are distracted, but having clearly marked parking lot striping is a big help in creating a safe place for drivers.
If you own or manage a parking lot, you definitely want to keep your parking lot lines well-defined and thought out to give drivers the convenience and safety they need.
But what exactly constitutes parking lot striping, you ask, and what’s the best way to go about painting them?
To answer your question, we’ve put together the basics on parking lot striping.
Keep reading to learn what markings are included in parking lot striping, the benefits of parking lot striping, and things to consider when hiring a contractor to do the painting for you. Then, you’ll be ready to get started on painting your parking lot lines to best serve your lot, business, and the drivers that frequent it.
What Are the Stripes Exactly?
Parking lot stripes are all the lines and other markings painted on the pavement of your parking lot to make it easy and clear for traffic to move in, out, and through the lot.
The stripes include the lines that frame each parking spot, handicapped parking, marks, and arrows showing the direction of traffic flow. They include lettered signs such as ENTER, EXIT, SLOW, STOP, LOADING ONLY, and NO PARKING. They also include speed limits and other traffic directions that will optimize the efficiency and safety of traffic flow.
Parking lot stripes include actual stripes to show pedestrian-only areas, walkways, and crosswalks. They include loading area markings, fire lanes, stop signs and lines, and customer pickup zones.
Benefits of Parking Lot Striping
The main benefit of parking lot striping is functional: it directs the traffic in your parking lot. This shows drivers where to drive and park, and directs them to do it in a safe, efficient way.
Safety is another important benefit of having well-defined lines that optimize traffic in your lot because it helps prevent car accidents, which in turn, can also mean cost savings.
Some of the main ways people get into accidents in parking lots are when two cars back out their parking spots into each other, when drivers compete for a spot, and when one driver isn’t paying attention or is going too fast and rear-ends another car stopped and waiting for a spot, or pedestrian, or at a stop sign.
Markings that encourage drivers to drive slowly with speed limits and alerts, and those that encourage drivers to pay attention to pedestrians and the movement of other cars are key.
Clean, bright, well-defined lines make your parking lot look professional. This boosts your brand and image and it looks inviting to customers and clients. It can bump up the curb appeal of your business and building.
Well-designed lines that give cars space to move, park, and make it easy for drivers to get in and out also show visitors that you value them and aim to make their experience pleasant and convenient.
Meeting Legal Requirements
There are codes and federal and state regulations for parking lots. Included are the markings, like the wheelchair markings and fire and safety signage. Getting these right can save you from getting fines and save you money.
Some markings require specific colors to meet the regulations — like the fire, loading zone, and handicapped markings.
For the other lines and markings, you can pick your colors aesthetically. You just want to make sure they’re bright enough to see! Often, parking lot stripes are white or yellow, though blue is becoming popular too.
Painting Parking Lot Lines
Parking lot stripes and markings are done with paint that’s designed specifically for pavement. It’s either solvent-based or water-based; acrylics won’t stick.
Some of the paint seeps into the pavement so more than one coat is required to get a bright line. Generally, you should repaint your parking lot markings every two years to keep them crisp and visible, and keep your lot looking nice and professional. Also, the asphalt typically needs to get redone/resealed every other year, thus requiring new striping.
A professional pavement painting machine and stencils are used to create the lines and markings. The lines and markings should be designed to optimize space and traffic flow, and meet regulations.
They should clear and bright/visible. Reflecting markers like beads can be added for visibility, as can paint that glows when lit by headlights.
Parking spaces must be large enough and easy to enter and exit, and visibility should be maximized. Diagonally designed parking spaces, for example, make it easier for drivers to park and exit.
Hiring a Professional to Paint Your Lot
It’s almost always a better idea to hire a contractor to paint your lot than to try to do it yourself. You can, but parking lot striping professionals have all the equipment and know all the regulations.
They know the best paint to use given your lot. They have the stencils or can make them easily.
And they can work with you to design the best flow for your given lot and can consult on colors. They can also keep you on a good maintenance schedule for upkeep so your lot keeps flowing and looking fantastic!
Parking Lot Striping for Your Lot
Now that you’re informed on the basics of parking lot striping and when it’s a good idea to hire a contractor to paint the striping for you, you’re ready to decide what needs to be done in your lot.
To start, you can contact us to come and take a look at your lot, discuss how it’s used, and see what kind of striping we’d recommend. We’re here to answer questions as well and help you add those lines and other finishing touches to make your lot a safe and convenient spot for drivers.