The most common way of striping parking spaces, driveways, roads and tennis courts is to paint the lines onto the concrete or asphalt. Many people do not realize that there are new high performing reflective pavement marking tape products available that can be easier to apply and last much longer than painted lines.
Questions to ask if considering which is better for your application:
How often will I need to reapply the stripes? For paint it may be once every 1-3 years depending on wear. Tape products will generally last 5-10 years. They can also be repaired in heavy wear areas rather than completely replaced.
Will it make a difference to the professional look of my parking area/property? For some business owners/associations looking their best at all times is the reason to use brighter pavement marking tape with crisp edges instead of paint.
Will it be cost effective for the project size? The cost for paint is fairly low, whereas pavement marking tape may cost $3-$12 for a typical 17ft parking lot stripe. For a smaller project this cost is not much but in a larger parking area the higher cost compared to paint may not make sense.
If you are tired of repainting striped parking lines, want your property to look great and can afford the best, then reflective pavement marking tape is your best choice.
Two parking stripes after 3 years:
Things to consider for best results.
Know what you are getting before you start. Tape is not perfect, it needs some time to cure completely and in the first week it will be susceptible to damage from pivoting tires. If this happens and you need to do some repair it is better to know the risk up front. If the project can be scheduled for a time when less traffic is expected this would be ideal. Foil tape has less strength against twisting tires and the cost is much less. Many cities use this foil pavement tape in downtown parking areas because it can be done around vehicles in place and there is no set up, clean up or dry time before it can be driven over.
Start with a good surface. Smoother is better for rubber based pavement tape and our foil based pavement tape will conform to uneven surfaces. Remove debris, flaking paint, sweep, use a blower, compressed air or pressure wash. The cleaner the better.
Use a primer for best results. Porous surfaces will wick water under the tape and interfere with the adhesive bond. A clear, rubber cement type primer will seal the surface and improve the bond of the tape.
Temperature, temperature, temperature! No less than 50 degrees F and rising. The adhesive bond needs warm conditions to work best.
Keep it dry. Allow 48 hours after pressure washing or rain in full sunny conditions. Wait for the morning sun to dry any overnight dew and avoid overcast, humid days to install pavement marking tape. Check that there will be a good 2 days of dry weather after the install is complete.
Keep it straight. Use a guide line for professional results. Pull out a few feet, align and apply.
Rules, tips and tricks. Do not overlap the tape seams, use butt splices. Apply at least 200lbs of downward pressure on the tape by rolling over it with a car tire (take care not to twist tires on the tape) or a tamper cart. On long runs, score the tape every 30ft to allow for expansion. Corners can be miter cut by overlapping the two ends, cutting through both with a utility blade and then remove the overlapping pieces.