So, you have just had a beautiful new piece of asphalt pavement laid down out in front of your new business to serve as a parking lot. With the asphalt cured, you are ready to open your doors, right? Not so fast – before you can open your business to the consumer public, you are first going to need to have marking complete on the lot. The process of lot marking is an important one as the design that you lay out on the lot is going to dictate the flow of traffic as people come and go from your business.
Before you even think about marking, however, you do want to think about the condition of your lot. Of course, if are dealing with a brand new lot as stated above, you won’t have any concerns on this point – your lot should be ready for marking. However, if you are taking over an old lot, or you need to have your old lot remarked after years of the lines wearing down, the surface is going to need to be examined. It would be a mistake to mark up an entire parking lot only to then have to resurface the lot just a short time later due to structural deficiencies. Check on the condition of your lot with the help of an experienced contractor and then move on to the issue of marking it up properly.
Why is Marking Important?
Lot marking is important for a number of reasons. Obviously, the people arriving at your parking lot are going to need to know where to park, and it is the marking on the pavement that is going to point them in the right direction. A lot without marking would be nothing short of chaos. You want people to have a positive experience from start to finish when they visit your business, and one of the first things they are going to see is your parking lot. If they are able to park easily without any hassle, that will be a small but important positive regarding your business in the eye of the consumer.
So, beyond allowing your customers to know where to park, what else is it that makes lot marking so important? Consider the following points –
- Fit a maximum number of vehicles. One of the last things you would want to have happened is for people to have to leave your business without entering because they can’t find a place to park. You likely only have a limited amount of space available for a parking lot, so make that space count with an intelligent marking design. A well-designed parking lot will make it easy for as many vehicles as possible to get in and out without a problem.
- Markings for specific individuals. Does your parking lot need to include spaces for specific people? For instance, if your lot is going to be shared by both employees and potential customers or clients, you will want to have parking stalls marked out for those visitors that you would like to provide with special treatment. Including a few stalls marked for customers right near the front of the building will make sure those visitors aren’t blocked out by employees who chose to park in front of the door.
- ADA compliance. You need to include a specific number of spaces within your lot design to be used by people with disabilities. To comply with the ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act – you need to be sure that you have the proper number of stalls marked out as handicapped-accessible. The appropriate number of stalls for your lot will depend on the capacity and overall size of the lot, so be sure to check in on this point.
Those are just a few examples of why lot marking is so important in front of your business. To both comply with the law and to impress your visitors and customers, make sure you have your lot properly marked right from the start.
Overall, parking lot marking is a relatively simple job. Most would consider the design of the lot to be the most difficult part of the process, as the actual application of the paint is pretty straightforward. However, there are ways in which this job can go wrong, so it is always best to work with a contractor that has experience with this type of project.
One of the basic keys to pay attention to with regard to lot marking is the cleanliness of the surface. This is particularly important when remarking an old lot, but even a new lot should be cleaned prior to painting. You always want to apply paint to a clean surface no matter what kind of job is at hand, and that is certainly true in this application. Also, it is important that you make sure the air temperature outside is at least at a certain threshold, as cold temps may prevent the paint from adhering properly.
Another key point that is somehow missed over and over again is the importance of keeping cars off of the lot until the markings have dried. You have certainly seen a parking lot somewhere near you where this mistake was made – and there are colored tire tracks headed all around the lot as a result. It usually doesn’t take particularly long for marking paint to dry, but be sure to comply with the recommendations that you are given based on air temperature, the paint used, etc. Keeping vehicles off of the lot for a short time is a small price to pay for a great looking set of lines that can last you for years.
Parking lot marking is one of those things that is easy to take for granted – until it is done incorrectly. Proper marking is an important part of any lot, so be sure to work with a contractor who knows how to get the job done right the first time. Once your new lot is marked, or your old lot is marked with new lines, you can look forward to getting back to business as usual while providing your customers with a great parking experience.