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How long does it take for parking lot paint to dry?

For short answer typical drying time is 30 minutes, however, traffic should remain off the lot for at least one full hour. The drying time is also affected by the type of traffic paints. In the broadest of terms, there are two basic types of traffic paints: waterborne and solvent based. Overall, waterborne is more prominent for long stripers while solvents are preferred by many in the parking lot business.

In general, paints are formulated to meet different drying needs. Most specifications are written around testing at standard conditions which very seldom exist in the real world. Thus it is important to remember that there are many factors that affect drying time, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, barometer readings, and the substrate. Waterborne paints dry much slower at higher humidity and will not dry below the dew point. The effect is less on solvent paints.

Preparing is key to a good paint job elsewhere, this also applies in the parking lot. One coat is the norm for striping. Striping is important for two main reasons, namely aesthetics and safety. Striping over fresh asphalt or sealer requires a water-borne coating, while striping over concrete substrates requires chlorinated rubber paint for optimal adherence. Oftentimes, set-fast acrylic waterborne is the best paint to use for re-striping; however, it must be applied at temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

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 Parking Lot

Paint should be applied using an airless striping machine at a minimum of 13 mils wet film thickness to ensure high-quality lot marking. Although some of the paint will soak into new pavement causing a thinner look, it is best to apply two thin coats rather than one thick one. You need be careful because too much acrylic latex paint can damage the pavement when the paint film shrinks.

Re-striping should occur on your parking lot every two years, or when the remaining coating has been visibly reduced to 75% of its original appearance. Some paint jobs can last three to four years.Of course, durability is dependent on the paint quality and type of product used. Most products perform well for up to one year, those being the standard waterborne and solvent-borne products. Longer-life waterborne products perform well for two years and into the third year depending on the severity of the winters. High-traffic roads require more frequent painting than secondary roads.

One more important key in relation to the drying of the traffic paint is in the preparation which is a good brooming. The road should be cleaned with a power broom or air jets. The better the surface prep, the better the bond between the surface and material. New surfaces should be etched and should be dry. Latex paint will still perform on wet surfaces but it will dry much slower. As a rule of thumb, do not apply a product until 24 hours after a rain.

Before performing any lot marking procedure, be sure and verify that your parking lots are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards or other related regulation that applied in your areas.  For example, your properties must contain a minimum number of accessible stalls based on the size of the parking lot.  If your property does not meet these guidelines, reconfigure the appropriate number of spaces by repainting stripes or lay out new markings.