parking lot painting in winter

Parking Lot Painting In Cold Weather

It’s January, and if you’ve procrastinated your parking lot line painting job, you’re likely asking yourself, is it too late in the season for line striping services? Typically, line striping can be done as long as it is not below freezing. However, we don’t often recommend painting in cold weather (45 degrees or lower) if you’re looking for a long-lasting result.

When we talk in terms of temperatures, it is important to understand that there is a difference between air temperature, and surface temperature. On a sunny 40-degree day, the ground could reach temperatures of 60 degrees. Or, if there was a previously cold spell that froze the ground, the ground temperature may be closer to that 40-degree air temperature.

When parking lot painting in cold weather works:

  • parking lot painting in cold weatherWe typically reserve the late season for emergency line painting only (safety concerns, ADA regulation requirements need to be met, etc.)
  • Newly paved surfaces are darker in color. Darker colors absorb heat more intensely, and more quickly. Meaning, a freshly paved surface can probably get away with painting in cold weather and later in the season due to higher ground temperatures (especially if it’s being painted right after asphalt installation).

So, why is parking lot painting in cold weather not recommended (unless in the above scenarios)?

  • The paint won’t dry correctly
  • The paint won’t adhere/stick correctly
  • The paint won’t last (because of the above reasons)

Additional concerns with parking lot painting in cold weather:

  • Cost – Cold weather line striping will take longer, and this means it’ll cost more to complete. With a service as cost effective as line striping, it just doesn’t make sense to spend more for a less effective result.
  • Availability – Jobs need to be coordinated in advance. During cold weather season, job completion ability is usually a “game-time decision”. At the end of the season we are typically left with more jobs to complete than good painting days available. It is important to understand that just because one day is forecasted to be 45+ degrees, this does not mean that the ground temperature will be the same, and it does not mean that we can make it on that exact day/time.
  • Doing The Job Twice – It is very likely that if your parking lot painting job is completed in late winter that is will need to be fixed or redone come spring (which means paying double, or more). So, essentially planning ahead for earlier painting or waiting until next spring is much more ideal than planning for late season painting.

parking lot painting in cold weatherIf a paving contractor is completing your parking lot painting in cold weather, they will likely switch to a Chlorinated Rubber based paint, to allow for more flexibility. But, the above concerns still remain.

Parking lot line painting is really important for many reasons. Having it done by a good contractor, and when temperatures make sense will help to ensure an effective and long-lasting result. For your spring parking lot line painting needs, plan ahead and contact EastCoat Pavement Services now to receive your free consultation!

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