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Empire Parking Lot Services Blog

Parking Lot Striping for Tesla Charging Station in Culver City, Ca.

Posted by James Farley on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

Tesla Supercharger Station Culver City Westfield

This week Empire Parking Lot Services was contracted to layout and paint 12 stalls at a local Los Angeles mall for Tesla Motors. Normally a small parking lot striping project wouldn’t even be a project that we would typically blog about, however this one ended up being a bit of a challenge and its Tesla so yeah pretty much the coolest company in the world.

 Parking Lot Striping Culver City Tesla Motors


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About this Parking Lot Striping Project:

So as mentioned above this was a parking lot striping project located in Los Angeles California. Specifically it was a new "Supercharger Station" installation at the Fox Hills Mall in El Segundo California. Also known as Westfield Culver City at 6000 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City. This project required us to prep and paint 6 charging stalls at 2 locations near each other. We also created a custom parking stencils for each stall and sealed the areas for a more durable outdoor finish. The project took several days to complete and we think it turned out pretty darn good. Now if we could just get our hands on a ridiculously sexy Model S to test out the new chargers we would be set!


Parking Lot Marking Tesla Motors Culver City 


About the Traffic Paints Used:

This project was a bit of an experiment on painting asphalt surfaces. Traditionally asphalt is not painted solid because it's too soft to support paint for long periods of time.  Even parking lines on roads and freeways are not typically driven on, as much as driven over for short periods of time. When Tesla came to us with this concept we agreed to give it a try.

Although we have no way of knowing how long the paint will hold up, we had some ideas about using a couple of newer products that we have had luck with in the past. The first product we applied was the red background paint. This product is a very high end acrylic traffic paint made for parking structures and parking lots. In between the two coat application of red paint, we applied a non slip additive that adds texture to the surface to reduce any chances of slipping on the painted surface when it gets wet. With the red paint completed and the anti slip installed, next we moved onto painting on that iconic Tesla logo, we had a custom stencil created out of light aluminum for this and any future possible Tesla Motor projects. Lastly, we painted did the actual line striping for the parking stalls using a white waterborne acrylic. Empire Parking Lot Services has been working with Tesla Motors now for over 4 years and we can't say enough about how much we appreciate the opportunities that they have given us. They are truly an amazing company and truly wonderful people to work with.



Line Striping Los Angeles Tesla Motors


Parking Lot Stencils Los Angeles California Tesla Motors


About Empire Parking Lot Services:

Empire Parking Lot Services is Southern California's number one rated paving contractor. We specialize in asphalt and concrete repair and maintenance. We only offer the very best in products, materials, and skilled labor when it comes to your project. We service all of Southern California including Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and parts of San Diego and Ventura counties. Please feel free to call Empire today if you have a parking lot maintenance project, we would love an opportunity to serve you today. Oh and by the way we are hiring!


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Topics: Line Striping, Parking lot Striping, Parking Lot Stencils

Asphalt Crack Sealing FAQ

Posted by James Farley on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 @ 15:11 PM

Southern California Asphalt Crack Sealing Guide


By definition crack sealing is a method in which cracks in paved asphalt are cleaned, dried via heat lance, and then filled with a flexible pre melted rubberized material. This sealant greatly reduces most water from entering the pavements sub-base where it can cause serious damage to its integrity.

This process is just one part of an intelligent pavement maintenance program, however it’s one of the most important. Keeping your asphalts cracks sealed is a major factor in maintaining and expanding your pavements lifespan.




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Top Questions Asked about Sealing Cracks in Asphalt:


How much does crack sealing cost?

The rough price for sealing cracks in the Southern California area is approximately .60 - 1.00 per linear foot.


What affects the price of crack sealing?

Factors that can add to the cost of sealing include the overall condition of the pavement. The proximity of your cracks, the amount of preparation work required to apply the sealer, and the width and depth of cracks.


How much sealing can you do in a day?

Most days our crews can install between 10,000 and 20,000 linear feet of hot rubberized sealer.


How are weeds in cracks dealt with?

Ideally 7-10 days before applying crack seal we come in to apply weed killer to the areas that are affected.


Are there additional cost to remove weeds and grass?

10 % of the total linear footage of a project includes weed removal as well. After that there is an additional charge to treat weeds.


Can crack seal be done on the same day as seal coating?

The longer amount of time you can give between sealing your cracks and applying sealcoat the better. At a minimum we like to see at least 72 Hours between these applications. Crack sealing can be done on the same day, however it will not do as well as the crack sealer that was given the proper amount of time to dry.


Will the crack sealer material track into my buildings?

The answer is yes. Freshly poured crack seal can be tracked into buildings, cars, sidewalks etc. The best way to avoid this is to have crack sealer applied on days when traffic is reduced as much as possible. If this is not possible another solution is to apply sand over freshly poured crack sealer material to greatly reduce the chances of it tracking.


How soon can I drive on a freshly sealed crack in a parking lot?

It is recommended to give crack seal material as much time as possible to dry. There are some techniques that can be employed to allow this to happen faster.


What is the optimal temperatures to apply crack seal?

The optimal temperatures to apply crack seal are between 70 and 80 Degrees.


What are the primary benefits of sealing cracks?

The primary benefit of sealing cracks is the reduction of cost in future asphalt repairs, as well as increasing the longevity of your existing parking lot or paved surface.


How is crack seal applied?

Crack sealer material is pre-melted in a large pot called a kettle, and then pumped to a wand with a banding pot at the end. The liquid material fills the small receptacle and creates a 1- 2 inch band over the crack as it is pulled.


Do cracks get completely sealed after a single application of crack sealer?

Most cracks are completely sealed after a single application of crack sealer, however some may require a second application of sealer should product settling occur.


Are cracks of all sizes able to be sealed?

No, not all cracks, but most cracks (1")  and under can be sealed. Cracks under 0.1" can also be ignored, as regular sealcoating material will typically fill these small cracks in.


How do I repair cracks over (1") in width?

Cracks over (1") in width should be repaired using hot mix material instead of crack sealing materials.


Will cracks that are sealed need to be sealed again?

Yes cracks that get sealed will likely need to be sealed again. With time, traffic, and weather cracks in your pavement slowly start to pull apart causing them to open again. Sealing should be considered a part of your routine pavement maintenance plan.


What is crack routing?

Crack routing is the act of machine routing cracks to a uniform width and depth before sealant is poured into the cracks. Routing machines cut a 3/4” x 3/4” channel into the crack of the pavement. It is cleaned then sealed. These cuts allow a more uniform application of sealer however they are not always reccomended.


Can all cracks be sealed?

No, not all cracks can be sealed on an asphalt parking lot. When pavement starts to become alligatored, sealing the cracks is no longer a useful repair method. This type of damage is beyond the ability to repair.


When should paved parking lots be crack sealed?

As soon as cracks are noticed and larger than 0.1" in width they should be sealed. As far as time of the year goes, cracks should be sealed before the rainy weather hits. The idea is to keep water from penetrating into your sub grade layer of your asphalt.


What if cracks have moisture in them?

Cracks generally do store moisture and for that reason we use a heat lance to dry those cracks ahead of application to allow proper adhesion of the rubberized materials.


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Conclusion about Rubberized Sealers:

When it comes to asphalt maintenance, we at Empire Parking Lot Services receive many questions about crack sealing from our customers in the Southern California area. So this is just the beginning of our FAQ / Blog. Over time it will grow with the new questions that you our readers ask. So please be sure to send us any new questions that you may have regarding asphalt crack repair services.

The Top 7 Ways to Save Money on Asphalt Repair

Posted by James Farley on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 @ 17:08 PM

Now more than ever it's important to be a savvy and educated consumer. This is especially true when you are managing a property with a large asphalt parking lot. Asphalt repair in your parking lot can be one of the biggest expenses you will come across when maintaining a property, so learning ways to reduce asphalt cost should be a priority.

Many paving contractors don't take the time to educate you about what can be done to save money in your parking lot. The reason for this is often times it feels too much like an up sell, or in an effort to keep things easy for their customers, they just focus on the current project and scope of work that the customer is looking to get done.

With that in mind we decided to set up a round table with our asphalt estimate team, and discuss some of the most important things that property owners can do to reduce the cost of owning a paved parking lot. The question presented to them was simple; What can people do to save money in their parking lots? Well after milling the idea about, they started to give me some great ways to save some money in your parking lot. Keep in mind these are not a one size fits all solution, but if any of these apply they can potentially save you a lot of money over time.


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Number 1: Install Concrete Swales & Flow Lines

When it comes to parking lots there is one enemy that paving contractors can agree upon and that’s water. I have written several blogs in the past about this one enemy because it's so very true. Water needs to move off your asphalt and go somewhere else, and the thing that works best at doing that is a concrete swale, or flow line. Water that is allowed to sit, or constantly run over your asphalt will destroy it faster than almost anything else. The answer is to move the water to a flow line or concrete swale. The basic idea of the swale is to move the water off of your parking lot and onto the city street where it can get to a storm drain. Sure, installing these swales will cost you some money, but over time you will find the cost will be well worth it.  Typically parking lots with swales and good drainage last for many more years then asphalt with poor or no drainage. If you don’t have them now, consider getting them installed. You won't be sorry.

TLDR: Swales cost money now, but can increase the life span of a parking lot by many years.




Number 2: Apply 2 Coats of Seal

Many people think it's an upsell to offer a 2 coat application of slurry seal, but in fact most if not all sealcoating manufacturers recommend it. Three of the largest sealcoat manufacturers in our area all suggest this  and the reason for that is simple. A two coat application of seal last much longer than a single coat. Sounds like an obvious statement, but keep in mind that most California parking lot owners and managers are only taking the single coat option. That second coat option is often times skipped, and it really shouldn’t be. Many contractors are only offering one coat in an effort to keep their estimate competitive, Also, it comes down to the customer that can't afford the additional downtime of applying that second coat of seal.  It is important to remember that seal coating not only makes your asphalt look blacker, but it keeps more oil in the asphalt allowing it to remain flexible longer, and flexible asphalt is less likely to crack!

TLDR: Spend the money on that second coat of seal every other year.




Number 3: Thicker Asphalt (where it's needed!)

Asphalt thickness is another one of those issues that doesn’t come up often enough when bidding pavement repair projects. The thing about thicker asphalt is, it doesn’t need to be installed throughout an entire parking lot. Just spending one day on your parking lot can tell you where weigh load abuses are happening, sometimes these abuses are necessary, take for example a typical Southern California shopping center. The front parking lot doesn’t receive the same weight load as the rear parking lot where large trucks and vehicles are unloading their cargo, or where garbage trucks are entering and exiting.  If you keep fixing an area of your parking lot and that same area keeps failing, there is a good chance that you need a thicker pavement solution. The key is to design a custom paving plan that includes the areas that typically get heavier weight loads, an intelligent repair will last far longer than an ignorant one.

TDLR: Heavy trucks need heavy duty pavement. Install it.




Number 4: Treat Oil Spots Early

In parking lots oil spots are pretty ugly, but worse than that, they are breaking down your asphalt. They start off as harmless little stains, and more and more they get built up into large blotchy circles that nothing will stick to. If left unattended long enough, they will continue to unravel your asphalt until it becomes a full fledged pothole. The solution is pretty simple when it comes to this problem but will often be overlooked.  Oil spot primers are perfect for the job, oil spot primers can be used on any type of asphalt surface, including parking lots, airports, gas stations etc. These primers seal oil, gas, and grease spots on pavement prior to coating and helps prevent oil spots from bleeding up through freshly applied pavement sealer.

TLDR: Use oil spot primers before the oil stains turn into potholes destroying your asphalt.





Number 5: Sealcoating Bi-Annually (every two years)

California is pretty good when it comes to sealcoating their parking lots. We are a image conscience state and most property owners understand that a clean and well maintained parking lot typically leads to a parking lot that feels safe and inviting, but how often should you be sealcoating? The short answer to that question is typically every two years. Sealcoat should be applied every two years and with two coats as mentioned above. If you can get on this schedule and stay on this schedule from day one of your parking lot, you will be amazed at how few repairs will need to be done in your parking lot. Keep in mind your parking lot will not be pitch black for two years, but it will be protected. The cost difference between pavement repair and sealcoating is very large. So keep that asphalt sealed.

TLDR: Seal every two years and expand the life span of your asphalt by a long time.




Number 6: Fix your Irrigation

Sigh…..Ever feel like a broken record? I have talked about this one so many times now I can only imagine me saying out loud while sleeping. (Note to self ….ask wife if she hears the words "Bad Irrigation" when sleeping) Bad irrigation waste water, bad irrigation leaks water all over the parking lot, bad irrigation causes most of the problems we see in parking lots today. Maybe what I really need here is one of those sexy headlines that people can't resist like "Want to learn how Oprah became a millionaire", then just tell people to fix their sprinklers. If you haven't figured out by now, fix your bad irrigation. Call your local landscaping contractor, or better yet talk to mine here, and get him to fix your bad sprinklers and irrigation. You're gonna save a ton of dough.

TLDR: Sprinklers……Fix em





Number 7: Seal Your Cracks

This one is another service that often gets ignored by parking lot owners and managers. Asphalt cracks for many reasons, but the main reason is it gets old, it gets brittle, and then it just cracks. The problem is that asphalt doesn’t bridge like concrete does, so when these cracks open up, they allow water to flow under the asphalt and erode the base on which your paving sits. Once this base erodes, your parking lot starts taking on some serious damage. So when you see the small cracks start to appear in your parking lot fix them early. The wider these cracks are allowed to grow, the more severe the damage is that they will cause. Eventually cracks get so wide that they cannot be sealed or filled.

TLDR: See cracks in asphalt / quickly seal cracks in asphalt.




About this List & #8

So this list really is just about good pavement maintenance suggestions. These suggestions are designed to prolong the lifespan of your asphalt, and the longer your asphalt last, the less money you have to pay over time, simple concept but it's true.

Also, keep in mind that none of these items matter if you hire the wrong contractor. A good contractor is really number 8 on our list. Nowadays it's very simple to do your due diligence. With tools such as the CSLB website here it's easy to see who has insurance and workers comp, or the "Orange County Court Case look up" service here will tell you how many times a contractor has been sued for breach of contract. With a simple search you can learn a lot about how well your contractors stack up. Also, check reviews and referrals on sites like Yelp, Google, or Angieslist. Just type in (company name + reviews). We encourage you to hold all your paving contractors to this same standard and we invite you to start with us. We know we will do well because we have worked hard to earn the reputation we have.



Topics: Orange County Paving Contractors, asphalt repair, Asphalt Cost

Irvine Business Park Receives A Fresh New Look with Sealcoating

Posted by James Farley on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

Irvine Sealcoating & Striping Project

Empire Parking Lot Services performed sealcoating and parking lot striping at a Business Park located in the city of Irvine California. A local property management company called us and asked us to bid their project. A few weeks later we were awarded the project and completed this june. Read below to learn more about this asphalt maintenance project.

Click Here to Get a Free Quote on  Your Seal & Striping Project

Sealcoating and Striping Irvine California Empire Parking Lot Services resized 600


About This Asphalt Sealing & Striping Project

This project was pretty straight forward. The customer had already taken really great care of their parking lot so it was pretty much just basic parking lot maitnenance stuff. We started by cleaning the lot and sealing about 1000 linear feet of cracks. Then, we sealocated the parking lot using "Guardtop Surry Seal". Once the sealcoating was dry and ready it was just a matter of painting back the parking lot lines, curbs and legends. All in all the project turned out great and the customer was very pleased.


  • Job Size: Apx 65,000 sf
  • Services Performed: Crack Sealing, Sealcoating, Parking Lot Striping
  • Time on Project: Apx (2) days

About Empire Parking Lot Services

Having a satisfied customer is our main goal at Empire-PLS. We do this by taking extra care on every project we perform. This is why our customers have good things to say about us. From Irvine Company to Meguires, we take care of our Irvine Customer.  Please contact us if you have a parking lot maintenance project in the near future or if you have any questions about this project.

Topics: Sealcoating, Striping, Irvine, asphalt repair, California, Business Park

Costa Mesa Shopping Center Receives Asphalt & ADA Repairs

Posted by James Farley on Wed, Mar 05, 2014 @ 12:03 PM

Asphalt Paving & ADA Ramps for Bristol Shopping Center

This month at Empire Parking Lot Services we were asked to bid on a fairly large paving project for a local property management customer of ours. They were looking to have three ADA repairs done throughout their center, as well as some extensive asphalt paving, and seal coating needs addressed. After submitting a price, we were awarded the project and started the planning phase that included meetings, creating diagrams, work schedules, and pulling necessary permits with the city. Below shows an example of a work diagram that we provide for our customers to help remove any confusion about what will be fixed and where those repairs are located.  

Contact Empire Parking Lot Services


Bristol Shopping Center Diagram resized 600

Paving, Concrete, Seal Coating & Striping

So as mentioned above the work done on this project included some ADA work including concrete ramps & sidewalks fixed to meet necessary grade requirement. After the concrete work was completed we installed compliant ADA signs and post, as well as truncated domes and ADA markings. The next phase of the project was the paving repairs that needed to be done. These repairs included patching, as well as a few areas of asphalt that needed to be completely removed and replaced. The repair work was done over two days and scheduled so that once all of the heavy construction was completed we could wrap the project up with seal coating and striping, to give it that clean finished look.



About Empire Parking Lot Services

At Empire Parking Lot Services we take a lot of pride in offering the highest quality in parking lot repairs. These repairs include our four main categories including asphalt repair,concrete repair, seal coating, & parking lot striping. However, in addition to these four main repairs, we also offer many other types, and this project is a great example of some of those unique services we offer. On this project we removed and replaced several steel bollards. Another item installed was reflectorized road markings to make striping highly visible at night.  Many hours of communication go into creating and executing a project like this, and its also important to note that when we do a project like this for you, we never skimp on the types of materials used or the way the work is installed. Call Empire Parking Lot Services today or see us on line by clicking any of the link on the above page.

Topics: ADA, Sealcoating, Concrete Repair, Costa Mesa, Paving Companies, asphalt repair, Paving Contractors

Asphalt Repair for Santa Ana Business Park

Posted by James Farley on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 @ 17:12 PM

Santa Ana Business Park gets New Asphalt Repairs

This week at Empire Parking Lot Services, we were called back out to Santa Ana California to do some pavement repairs in a parking lot located on Bristol Street. The parking lot in question was badly damaged. The we performed there included a large pavement overlay,  some concrete flow lines (also referred to as concrete gutter), and lastly we applied sealcoat and parking lot striping, to the entire parking area. The customer on this project was a return customer, and we love that! They had us repair some of their other properties before, and loved the work, so they gave us a shot at a new project. Take a look below at the short video of our amazing crew performing the repairs.



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This Asphalt Repair Projects Quick Stats:

As mentioned above the project consisted of some heavy asphalt repairs that included over 91 tons of new material being installed by way of 11,000 sf overlay as well as 1200 sf of removal and replacement. In addition to the pavement repairs that were done out there, we also did some flow line repairs including the  demolishing and removal of 285 lf of (4') concrete swale or flow line. Once we removed the broken flow line we installed new concrete flow line in its place.  With both the concrete and paving completed we next moved on to the sealcoating portion of the project. The entire parking lot was thoroughly cleaned and a heavy coat of "Guardtop Material" was installed. At Empire we only use high end premium products on your job and yes if you were wondering, it does make a big difference in terms of wear and value. Lastly we did some line striping including the painting back the lines and markings to their existing configuration. We painted approximately 40 double white lines, 3 handicap stalls, and reset about ten wheel stops. All in all the project turned out perfect. We hot the project done in 3 days including all trades. The customers tenants were not affected by the repairs, and most importantly the customer was thrilled with the work.




About Empire Parking Lot Services

At Empire we are constantly working towards building customer trust and loyalty. We want our asphalt repair customers to have a good feeling every time they contract with us. This desire starts from the top and is constantly reinforced with each employee along the chain of communication.  From receptionist to estimator to production and ultimately to the field workers where the work gets done. We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to contractors and we want you to consider us as your primary paving contractor.

Call Empire Parking Lot Services today at 877-760-2757 or come and see us at our website by clicking on any of the links in the blog above.

Topics: asphalt repair, asphalt paving, concrete flow line

City of Industry Paving Contractors | Empire Parking Lot Services

Posted by James Farley on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 @ 13:12 PM

City of Industry Asphalt Repairs

This week in the City of Industry California, Empire Parking Lot Services was contracted to do some parking lot repairs for a local business. These repairs included truck line striping, parking lot stenciling, as well reflective road markers. What our customer needed was for us to implement their design of a intricate parking system to help with safety and efficiency with loading and unloading their fleet of shipping trucks. The design included a yellow painted 4" staging grid. This grid was painted using a high end standard water base product that was then coated with reflectorizing glass beads. These glass beads are used to allow the paint to become highly visible at night allowing trucks to see them with only their headlights. In addition to the glass beads, 3M amber road markers were applied using a heavy duty two part epoxy. These reflectors also helped to create a tactile and visual cues to the drivers while parking their rigs. Lastly the front entrance to there business was seal coated and striped including stop arrows and stencils. Take a look at the video below to see how this asphalt repair project turned out.

Click Here to Get a Free Quote Today



About Empire Parking Lot Services

At Empire Parking Lot Services we take a lot of pride in offering the highest quality in parking lot repairs. These repairs include our four main categories including asphalt repair, concrete repair, sealcoating, & parking lot striping. However in addition to these four main repairs, we also offer many other types, and this project is a great example of some of those unique services we offer. Road marker installations, and the implementation of a complex layout system such as the one featured above are something we take very seriously. Many hours of communication go into creating and executing a project like this. Also, when we do a project like this for you, we never skimp on the types of materials used.  For example, only the highest rated 3M reflectors were used and as well as a high end traffic paints. If you take a close look at the video above, you will notice that the reflectors line up all the way through the project. Precision layout and execution are always done at Empire Parking Lot Services. Top all of this off with the fact that we were not the high bidder on this project tells us we are doing something right.

Topics: Parking lot Striping, asphalt repair, asphalt paving, City of Industry

Guest Blogger Trulandscape on Tips for Parking Lot Irrigation

Posted by James Farley on Mon, Nov 11, 2013 @ 16:11 PM

Tips for Reducing Parking Lot Irrigation

Damaged Parking Lot Concrete

Here at Empire Parking Lot Services we have talked extensively about water damage to asphalt paved parking lots. For Southern California the main culprit of this damage has almost always been bad irrigation systems. Seeing that we are experts in asphalt paving but not irrigation, we decided it was time to bring in an expert guest blogger. When it comes to all matters relating to landscape contractors, Trulandscape is our go to source. Our companies have done business with one another for several years now, so I am confident in the information they provide us on the subject. The question we asked Tobi and his staff is the following:

How do property managers and owners solve the problem of heavy irrigation runoff?

Below is the response they provided us on this subject. I would like to thank Tobi and his staff for these answers, and we look forwards to answering any of their paving contractor questions their readers may have for us.


How to solve problems with irritating irrigation runoff in large parking lots

This blog stresses the importance of proper irrigation in large parking lots and outlines crucial preventative measures.  Keep reading if you own or maintain a large parking lot.

To begin with an example, TRU Landscape Services was awarded a landscape maintenance account in Anaheim California.  This account has several commercial buildings on the property, each surrounded by large parking lots.  During our walkthrough with the customer, they brought up a concern with sprinkler runoff on the parking lot asphalt.  The irrigation was one of the primary issues we were hired to fix because runoff was damaging the asphalt.  Proper irrigation is a preventative measure that will save money and keep people safe from tripping or slipping.  There are 3 preventative measures that we were able to implement on this lot. 

Damaged Asphalt


Orange County  Landscape Maintenance

But before the 3 crucial irrigation tips, let’s look at some of the reasons why water runoff is such a costly issue.

Water costs are increasing. Because the Western United States has been in a severe drought for the last several years, the water departments are trying to educate the public on water usage.  At the same time, the drought keeps pushing water rates higher.  In the future, will the luxury of watering your own lawn belong only to the wealthy?  Landscape areas take up to 65% of the total water used by an average person per month.  That adds up to a large monthly bill for a commercial property.  On top of these water costs, the damage that runoff does to parking lots could lead to several thousands of dollar of damage for asphalt repair.  When water consistently leaks or sprays from the landscape areas onto the parking lots, it creates cracks in the asphalt.  Large amounts of moisture over time cause a deboning of the aggregate even in properly mixed and poured asphalt.  These cracks become larger over time and can become a tripping hazard.

 Orange County Asphalt Parking Lot


Tips for Parking Lot Irrigation

Here are a few of our tried and TRU tips for controlling runoff like in the case above.  The first thing we do is run a complete check of the sprinkler system.  It is important to make all the necessary repairs at this early stage in the process to ensure the water isn’t being wasted.  During this diagnostic, we also adjust all of the sprinklers so that none spray the parking lot.  For TRU Landscape Services, this maintenance process continues throughout the year.  Every 2 weeks during the summer and once a month during the cold weather months our crews check the sprinklers for proper coverage.  The second tip is to set the irrigation timer to water twice for two short periods rather than once a day for a longer period.  In most parking lot landscapes, the grade of the dirt runs back towards the parking lot which causes the asphalt to prematurely fail due to runoff.  By setting the timer to run twice a day, we use lower amounts of water which in turn doesn’t leak or flow out of the landscape areas onto the asphalt.  The third and final tip for today is that we keep all of the parking lot island’s dirt levels lower along the curb line to help catch excess irrigation water.  If the dirt levels are too high along the rim, it is easy for over-watering to cause runoff into the lot.  In combination, these three tips will ensure that your asphalt is not damaged by improper irrigation from the landscape elements of your large parking lot.


TRU Landscape Services cares for our customers and the environment and uses the most up to date products to save water.  And by saving water, we can also keep your water bill lower.  When you hire a professional landscape company to maintain your properties, you will save your company money in the long run.  TRU Landscape Services has been landscaping for over 25 years in Orange County. Visit our website at to learn more about our services, or give us a call at (866) 487-1359 for a free estimate on your property.

Have you heard there’s a trusted landscaping company in Orange County?  It’s TRU!

Topics: Parking Lot Irrigation, Damaged Asphalt, Irrigation Runoff

How do I Remove Paint from Asphalt & Concrete?

Posted by James Farley on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 @ 10:10 AM

The Property Manager's Guide to Paint Removal on Asphalt & Concrete 

Ghosting Striping

First and foremost it is important to always consult with a knowledgeable contractor on the exact nature of your paint removal project. With the countless variables that can arise on any given project, there is no one size fits all approach. With that in mind this article is written to let people know what most of their options are in regards to paint removal. By no means should anyone take this article as a "how to" guide, because it was not written for that purpose. We hope you enjoy the article and please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

As the founder and a moderator of the "Parking Lot Maintenance Information Request group on the website LinkedIn, we see a lot of interesting questions that come up there from time to time. So we decided to post one of them here.

A few months back the question was asked:

Q.) What is the best alternative to blacking out paint on asphalt?

For those who may not know , the term "blacking out" refers to the process of painting out conflicting markings, reconfigured markings, errors and graffiti with black paint, typically on a asphalt or concrete surface. Typically this type of repair is needed when parking lot markings have either been done wrong, or have been reconfigured. A few examples of this would include things such as parking lines or road markings, or when one contractor's stencils does not match the next. In the industry we call this ghosting. This guide will attempt to cover all things paint removal on asphalt and concrete. The reason for this is because when the question is asked about alternatives to blacking out paint, it is safe to assume that removal is the only logical choice. For example when a 8 foot stop stencil is installed, it typically can come in one of two styles. The first style is called metric, and the second style is called standard. When one stencil is laid over the other there is always overlap or ghosting. One other example is the common parking lot arrow. Many painting contractors will have their own style of arrow and thus the cycle of ghosting begins. Sometimes a stencils placement changes, and the old stencil is blacked out, or is simply seal coated over. Ghosting can be reduced with black out paint, but not all together fixed. Eventually the paint will begin to show through again. This is where paint removal comes into play.

So here is the quick answer to the question…

A.) Sand and shot blasting or a chemical stripper with pressure washing are the two most common and effective forms of paint removal on both asphalt and concrete.

Heavier water base paints can be removed with many types of blasting, including water, sand, dry ice, as well as shot blasting. Always consult with a knowledgeable contractor on the exact nature of your paint removal project.

Once you get into the solvent based family of paints, it definitely can become more challenging to remove them. Epoxies and enamels are stronger paints and chemical can still be an option, although its rarely done on concrete curbs and concrete slabs, almost all contractors prefer sand blasting. It is important to consider that it can be very costly to sand blast curbs because the sand goes everywhere and the cleanup is time consuming. Also, sandblasting is not recommended in underground and in-doors situations where air filtration systems are in place.


Asphalt & Concrete Paint Removal Chart 

Paint Removal Scenarios

When it comes to the different scenarios where paint removal from asphalt or concrete is needed, there can be a lot of them. Leave it to the professionals for the best solution to the problem. Here are just a few scenarios to consider. Let us know if you have one not mentioned below.


1.) Removing Painted Lines in a Parking Lot:

For us and our accounts, when approaching this type of removal, cost is almost always the number one consideration. Blacking out with paint is the least expensive solution, but it is unsightly and can add to a the general public's confusion on where to park, stop, turn etc.  Although expensive, the correct way to address paint removal on asphalt in a parking lot situation is sand blasting. When done correctly it is by far the best long term solution. It leaves little to no paint to eventually bleed through also known as "ghosting". Furthermore, once asphalt goes through its sealcoating maintenance schedule, most of the remaining impression of where the old paint was will be mostly gone. After a few sealcoating applications there should be none at all.


2.) Removing Painted Lines on Concrete Surface:

Parking lot striping such as lines and stencils on concrete warehouses and concrete parking structures are now a very common occurrence. However, because of the huge contrast between concrete surfaces and "black out" or" grey out" paints, it is really frowned upon as an option.

When it comes to removing paints on these surface types, there a couple of things to consider.

First off how much paint are you removing? If it’s a small amount of paint, then the combination of chemical / pressure washing removal is going to be an economical approach that also has a pretty decent finished look. Be sure to use an environmentally friendly stripper. If you really need to use a strong paint stripper to get the job done, than consider using it with a good water reclamation system. Chemicals in the stripper as well as the removed paint are not good for the environment. Also, you can get hit with some pretty large fines for ignoring these rules. Consult with your local environmental agency if you are unsure.

When it comes to concrete, if the painted surface is smooth enough, then manual scraping can be a very affordable option. This option is not good typically for concrete curbs or outdoor slabs, but does work very well for warehouses and some parking structures. Invest in some good scrapers and you will be surprised how fast the paint will come off. This is a great option for lines painted on a warehouse floor, especially if the tenant does not own the building and wants to leave the concrete in decent shape when their lease is up.


3.) Removing Lines from Airports, Highways, & Roads

If it s a larger project then "fast and efficient" is the name of the game. Shot blasting and water blasting are great choices when working on large projects that are time sensitive, and the customer is not concerned with scaring the asphalt or concrete surface.

These options have come a long way in that it used to be blaster only came in pre set blast patterns and were very expensive to buy or rent. But these days it is not difficult to find modifiers that can reduce your pattern down to the exact desired size or find equipment of all sizes to get the job done quickly.

On freeways and airport runways, painted lines can be removed very quickly using very high psi water blasting units that are truck mounted. These blasters are extremely efficient, and in time critical applications such as airports highways, and freeways, these rigs really can't be beat. With water blasting you can remove pavement markings, including waterborne thermo plastics, epoxies, glue, tape curing compound, rubber and paint spills.


4.) Road Lines in an HOA:

On smaller housing projects where blacking out is not acceptable, we typically go with sandblasting. it's pretty fast, and leaves a clean finished look. We use this on HOA's and large malls where long lines are being removed. The main reason for choosing this type of removal is that it is the fastest way to remove the line with as little impact on the area its being done.


5.) Painted Curbs:

Now I know this really doesn’t belong here as you don’t ever black out paint on curbs, I thought I would throw it in for good measure. When it comes to removing paint from curbs sandblasting is still the king. I wish they made a shot blaster that could handle this task but they don’t. Some try chemical removal, and even others have tried removal mediums such as dry ice. However, in our 25 years of doing all forms of parking lot striping and markings, nothing can compete over all with sand blasting. Keep one thing in mind when sandblasting in a center. It needs to be done at times when people are not around. An incredible amount of dust and sand gets everywhere and clean up takes a long time.


A Word About Empire-PLS

Empire Parking Lot Services is a Southern California parking lot maintenance contractor with over 30 years of experience in parking lot paving, sealing, and markings. We specilize in helping decision makers improve the image of their shopping centers, business parks, and commercial center parking lots through careful planning and management. Our approach has proven to save our customers time and money while greatly improving their parking lots image. Call or contact Empire Parking Lot Services today if you have any questions in regards to this article or your parking lot project.

Topics: Concrete, California, Orange County, Asphalt, Paint Removal, Blackout

Asphalt Repair in the City of Orange

Posted by James Farley on Mon, Sep 16, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

Sealing & Striping in the City of Orange

This week at Empire Parking Lot Services, we performed some crack fill, seal, and stripe in the City of Orange, California. Orange is non-coincidentally located in Orange County and considered to be a city with an abundance of rich history. Today the City of Orange is best known for its well preserved historic buildings and a great sense of community. A local senior living home called our company in regards to some asphalt repair they needed for their parking lot. Our estimator gave them a great price and they signed a contract for the job. After a having a conversation with the owner, our estimator was able to give them a competitive price that met their budget. Empire Parking Lot Services arrived to the business in the morning and proceeded to start cleaning, crack filling, sealing, and striping the parking lot. In total Empire did about 50,000 square feet of asphalt repair.


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About this Orange Paving Project

When our crew arrived at the job site, they found that the parking lot was covered in debris that had been dropped by trees planted there. This was more difficult than expected but the crew proceeded to sweep and blow off the entire parking lot. Once a significant amount of the lot was clean, some of the crew members began to crack fill the parking lot. Crack filling is a process where seal is put into the cracks in asphalt. This keeps water out of the parking lot and slows the break down of asphalt. Next, the crew began sealcoating the lot. Seal (thick black goo in the video) is like suntan lotion for the asphalt. This protects the parking lot from environmental wear & tear. It also provides a smooth black surface that prepares the lot for striping. Incidentally, this is what the crew did next. The final step to this project was striping. The crew painted the red curbs by hand (as seen in the video as well) and used parking lot striping machines to ensure the exactness of the parking stalls. Overall, this was a long, hard, and successful day.



About Empire Parking Lot Services

When it comes to parking lot maintenance repairs such as this asphalt repair job, Empire Parking Lot Services is your safest bet. We love what we do and take pride in our work. Empire Parking Lot Services is Southern California's highest rated paving contractor with services including asphalt paving, concrete repair, seal coating and parking lot striping. We also specialize in ADA related repairs and many other services. We know what you're thinking, words are cheap -that is why we have created this link for you to see what others are saying about us. If you take the time to read through our reviews, you will see that our actions line up with our words. Call Empire today and put us to the test, you won't regret it!

Topics: Sealcoating, Striping, Orange, Asphallt Repair