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.

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 outside temperature and painting 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. Or later in the season due to higher ground temperatures.

The disadvantages of painting in the cold:

  • Because the paint won’t dry correctly
  • The paint won’t adhere/stick correctly
  • Paint will not 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 – Scheduling in advance cannot ensure what the weather will be like on your day. During cold weather season, job completion ability is usually a “game-time decision”. It is important to understand that just because the forecast is to be 45+ degrees you are all set. This does not mean that the ground temperature will be the same. It does not mean that we can make it on that exact day/time.
  • Doing The Job Twice – Late winter painting in most cases will need fixing. Or redone come spring (which means paying double, or more). So, essentially planning ahead for earlier painting is best. 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 the outside temperature makes 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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