The Importance of Parking Lot Striping (Expert Guide)

March 30, 2023

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Parking lot striping is a vital part of commercial property maintenance. In many cases, building and zoning codes set requirements for striping and other markings. In turn, every commercial property owner should understand the importance of striping and markings on their lot.

With this in mind, check out some details about parking lot striping, signage, and the like. Then, discuss your property with a striping company near you as needed. A company specializing in marking commercial lots can ensure yours is up to code and safe for visitors!

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Why Does a Property Need Parking Lot Striping?

There are many reasons to maintain parking lot striping on your commercial property! Check out a few of them here:

  • Parking spot stripes keep parked cars a safe distance from each other. Without stripes, cars might encroach on others, blocking doors and easy exits.
  • Striping ensures an organized flow of traffic. Without proper markings, you increase the risk of collisions!
  • Proper markings ensure customers can find your business entrance easily. In turn, there’s less risk of potential visitors driving right past your building.
  • Stripes and markings also allow emergency personnel, delivery drivers, and others to find you more readily.
  • Parking lot striping keeps vehicles from blocking entryways, sidewalks, fire lanes, and the like.
  • Handicap markings ensure your property complies with regulations regarding handicapped spots.
  • Markings can tell drivers where to stop at crosswalks, to ensure pedestrian safety.
  • Yellow markings warn drivers and pedestrians of curbs, speedbumps, and other hazards.
  • Trees and shrubs can often block signage in parking lots. In turn, you might invest in stripes and markings to remind drivers of the speed limit, warn them to slow down, and so on.

How Do You Lay Out a Parking Lot Striping?

If you need to install parking lot striping, start with the following:

  • Stalls or parking spots
  • Directional arrows for traffic flow
  • Arrows for entrances and exits
  • Handicap spots
  • Fire lanes
  • Lines noting where cars need to stop at intersections
  • Warnings for curbs and speedbumps

These stripes and markings are typically the basics you’ll need for a safe parking lot. Next, you might add speed limit reminders, signage and arrows for shipping and receiving, and stripes for areas where you don’t want anyone to park.

Retail stores might also add signage for spots reserved for carts or expectant mothers. Restaurants might also add stripes and markings for drive-through lanes and pickup areas. Residential complexes might also add numbers or lettering for assigned parking spots.

parking lot striping Arlington

What Is the Distance Between Parking Lines?

In the U.S., states or cities typically dictate parking lot requirements. This includes lines and markings, space or stall sizes, and similar requirements. Typically speaking, a parking spot or stall is at least 8.5 to 9 feet wide. Some states or cities might require larger spots, up to 14 or even 18 feet!

Also, most parking spots are at least 10 to 18 feet long. Note that handicap spots are typically even wider, for easier access. Some cities or states might also dictate that at least one handicap spot have added clearance for wheelchairs.

Additionally, property owners might go beyond these requirements and create even larger stalls on their lot, to reduce the risk of accidents or damage to vehicles. They also provide added convenience in many cases. For instance, retail shoppers might prefer more clearance between vehicles, so they can empty their shopping carts easily.

How Do You Use a Parking Lot Striper?

A parking lot striper is an excellent choice for creating clean, straight lines. Simply push the machine forward and it sprays a parking line of a particular width. Most stripers allow you to change that width as needed.

Also, some parking lot striping machines allow you to create curves of various sizes. In turn, you can spell out words like “Slow” or “School” without having to paint the letter S by hand. However, one downside to these machines is that they often only work with specialty parking lot paint.

Additionally, commercial property owners might still need various stencils for some markings. For instance, a stencil makes it easier to paint a handicap symbol and various numbers for speed limits. Using stencils for numbers and wording also ensures those symbols are consistent in size. You also reduce the risk of misspelling various words!

Lastly, remember that many stencils conform to certain legal requirements for signs and symbols. In turn, you don’t need to worry about having to size a handicap symbol or other markings. They also ensure crisp signs that are easy to see and comprehend.

How Often Do You Need to Schedule Parking Lot Striping?

Weather conditions, everyday wear and tear, quality of materials, and other factors affect stripes and markings over the years. For instance, properties in areas with long stormy seasons might need striping touchups every year. Stripes might also wear off from busy parking lots faster than those with less traffic overall.

Additionally, a property owner should consider restriping as often as needed to ensure bold, bright markings. You can also adjust this schedule for various areas around your lot. As an example, stripes on stalls close to your building might get worn down faster than those in far corners of the lot.

Lastly, note that stripes might not show up as easily on concrete as they do darker asphalt. In turn, you might need to restripe a concrete covered property more often than average. It’s also good to check your lot for needed striping after vandalism, flooding, and other incidents. A simple touchup can mean a safer parking lot for both pedestrians and vehicles!

Arlington Paving and Sealcoating is happy to provide this quick guide about the importance of parking lot striping. If you notice that stripes and marks on your lot aren’t as visible as they should be, consider asphalt paving. Asphalt provides a great background for markings, ensuring they stand out. Our Arlington asphalt installation contractors can answer your questions about this material and how it stands up against other options. We’re also happy to provide you with a FREE price estimate. To find out more, contact us today.

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