10 Signs Your Parking Lot Striping Needs to Re Painted

parking lot striping

Designing and managing a functional parking lot is a lot more complex than most people give credit for. You're not just running a muddy field that people park in. You're providing safe and orderly parking for professionals and customers of a respected facility. Which is why the stripes on the pavement really do matter a great deal in your parking lot's safety and functionality. The stripes tell drivers where to drive safely, how to follow the flow of traffic, where to park, and where not to park. Without them, your lot will quickly return to 'muddy field' rules, and all the problems that come with it.

That said, if you've been seeing an increasing number of problems in your parking lot, many building managers fail to realize that the problem is as simple as fresh paint. Over time, the stripes in your parking lot fade and the problems those stripes fix start to bubble back to the surface. Here are ten problems with your parking lot striping that are really clear signs that your lot needs to be restriped.

1) Your Wheel Stops are Wearing Down

Believe it or not, one of the biggest problems with fading lot stripes is the damage to your wheel stops. When people can't see the lines clearly, they also have trouble stopping on time. Even if the wheel stop was visible before it ducked beneath the bumper of the car. Over time, bumpers and wheel-stops will wear down your stops. If the top of your wheel stops have recently sustained more scuffs and chips than usual, this might be caused by faded striping making it harder for drivers to stop in the right spot.

2) Sloppy Parking is an Increasing Problem

Along the same lines (pardon the pun), is sloppy parking. Parking lot lines are arranged to allow the maximum number of people to park neatly next to each other. But without the guidance of those lines, parking starts getting sloppy. Those bright parking lot lines act as visual cues, helping us line a car up tightly into a spot while still leaving room to get out without scraping neighboring car doors. When your parking lot lines start to fade, so too does that guidance. And you get an increased number of people parking at bad angles, over two spots, or even over the center line if you don't have wheel stops. Increasingly worse parking habits may not be the fault of your building employees. It could be that they just can't see the lines.

3) Handicap Spots are Not Being Respected

You painted your original handicap spots for a very good reason: Handicapped people need them. And it's the law to provide sufficient handicap-accessible parking. It's also the law to enforce handicap parking by penalizing anyone who parks in a handicap space without a tag. Most of the time, people are very respectful of handicap spaces, using them without a tag only in emergencies and comparable situations.

However, if you've noticed that the people in your building have started violating handicap spots on a more regular basis, chances are the percentage of inconsiderate people has not risen significantly. More likely, people simply can't make out your handicap symbol anymore and don't realize that they are violating a handicap reserved spot.

4) Drivers are Cutting Across Parking Lanes Frequently

Etiquette in a parking lot is paramount. It's how we avoid hitting each other and it ensures that everyone knows what everyone else is doing. You expect to see a little parking lane crossing in the early morning, late at night, or out in 'the boonies' if you have extensive lots. But if you've been seeing an increased amount of seemingly disrespectful driving in the main area of your parking lot, the problem could actually be your striping. When drivers can't make out parking lot stripes, they often try to guess where the stripes should be and -- unfortunately -- often guess wrong.

worn down stripe in parking lot

5) Fender-Benders are a Common Occurrence

Just as your parking lot lines and stencils help everyone get where they're going, they also keep cars from hitting each other. The lines say where to drive carefully, the stencil say where to stop and wait, and they hold everyone to the same standards. Without lines and parking lot stencils, people's natural driving manners and situational awareness comes through. Which can mean a lot more fender benders. If you've been dealing with an unusual number of little bumps and dents in the parking lot, especially involving not-quite-parked cars, your striping could easily be the true culprit. After all, this is part of what striping is designed to prevent.

6) Anyone Parking Against the Fishbone

Of course, if drivers can't see the lines, they may also be unable to understand the efficient design of the parking lot. The moment drivers start guessing, you can start to see some crazy parking decisions. Some parking lots are designed with a 'fishbone' pattern, giving driving lanes a direction and an easier time getting into each spot. Seeing drivers parking against that pattern, or in complete disregard of it can indicate that they simply have no idea what your faded lines were telling them to do. And possibly that your lines are too faded for drivers to even guess easily anymore.

7) Any Frost or Rain Obscures Your Striping

One of the reasons parking lot striping is so bright and bold is so it can be seen in foul weather. Pavement shiny with rain, for example, should still clearly display the lines of a parking lot marking lanes, spots, and crosswalk areas. Your line striping should also be visible underneath a light layer of frost. If your lines are no longer bold enough to show in bad weather, then you simply increase your risk of all the aforementioned problems when it rains or freezes. Though there's not much anyone can do about snow.

8) The Surface of Your Lot is Crumbling

Sometimes, a parking lot gets so old (and sees so much use) that the top layer of asphalt simply wears away. When this happens, it doesn't matter if there's white and yellow paint on the asphalt crumbles. Or if those crumbles are relatively close to where the lot was originally striped. Those stripes are not effectively visible and a few sharp kicks could erase them completely. Not only do you need restriping, but you should probably start with asphalt resurfacing first. Asphalt overlays are designed to address surface damage to your parking lot.

9) It's Been More than 5 Years Since Your Last Restriping

Striping is something that should be done annually, but most businesses don't bother maintaining their parking lot paint all that closely. It's true that a good striping job can continue to serve well for several years. But eventually, it will chip and fade. If it's been more than five years since your parking lot was last restriped, this is a good rule of thumb for arranging another restriping service.

Parkign Lot Striping and Stenciling

10) You Can't See the Lines Anymore

Finally, the true way to tell if you need restriping: Whether you can see the lines. Don't think like someone who knows the parking lot design by heart. Instead, look as if you were trying to figure out your parking lot for the first time. If the lines aren't incredibly clear and easy to see -- even in bad weather-- then you probably need to think about restriping your parking lot soon and Empire can you help you with all of your parking lot maintenance needs including parking lot striping and restriping.

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