How to Stripe a Parking Lot – Line Removal

By | December 25, 2013

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Line Removal – I can’t make it easy, but, I can make it easier. I have (3) topics or types of Line Removal.

1) A wire brush, for small mistakes.
2) A “Scarifier”.
3) A “Shot Blaster”.

First; A Wire Brush. Everyone carries a wire brush. One might look like an 18″ toothbrush. The wires are about 1″ long. Another may look like a wood block. Wires are 1″ long and the wood block is 3″ x 8″. It’s a scrub brush! Next, buy boxes of rags and have one within reach. And, you’ll have the cutting agent for the particular type of paint. So if your machine does not shut off (notice how it’s the machine’s fault), and the line is too long, grab the brush and try to quickly scrub it off. If your rag is closer, wipe it up quickly before it dries. That way, you’ll have less to wire brush off. And if you can wet the rag with the cutting agent to wipe it off before it dries, you’ll do well. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. But, it’s not hard either. This “elbow grease” job only lasts for a minute. And you’re a responsible person. So forget ego and scrub.

Next; A Scarifier, pronounced “scare”, but, think “scar”…because that’s what you’re going to do. You’ll scar the pavement by scratching it. You’ve probably seen this, on the street. If you move a traffic lane, you cannot simply “black out” the old line. You need to remove it, so people don’t crash. And, the end result is this; you’ve seen the “scratches” where the old line was. They’re not too deep. But they are there. This “path” is about 8″ wide. (The scars or scratches look like grooves.) You’ve just “scratched” = “scarred” the road. You’ve removed the old line, taking a little bit of the road too. But, the line is gone! The small hand operated machine that does the work, looks like a hand operated Garden Tiller. It’s called a Scarifier. Rent it. It costs something like $200.00 per (4) hours or $400.00 per day. And you may have to pay for the blades. They look like the sprockets from a bicycle.

Or, “Sub” the job out, which means, call someone with a Scarifier to grind off the lines. If they charge $200.00 for removing 30 lines or an abandoned Crosswalk, hire them. Try to be there, to help. Maybe you can help clean up. That’s next. Picture grinding a parking lot using an 8″ grinder, walking slower than normal. There’s debris. Bring (5) gallon buckets, a blower, (big or small) a large dust pan and an 8′, big broom. You can blow the debris to a spot and sweep it up, then haul it away. Or you can sweep every line, (the debris doesn’t really fly very far and this saves blowing off the entire lot, unless you bid for that too). Here’s some good news; I hear the debris is a fantastic base. It may be. Or, dump it at a local Landfill. Charges may be $35.00. Call your local Landfill. Check me on costs. Check me on the Grinder’s Rental cost too. Pricing varies…I think the going rate is.40 to $1.00 per foot. So, if you have a “Scarifier”, you may also get jobs from other stripers. Bid fair. Help them. Don’t steal their client. You’ll need help on a job one day, too.

Last; A Shot Blaster. Think of it as a Sand Blaster. But, instead of using Sand to Blast off the line, and what a mess that would be, a Shot Blaster uses metal “Shot”. Yes, just like the metal BB’s that are inside a Shotgun Shell, called Shot. So, it’s called a Shot Blaster and we are Shot Blasting. Shot blasting is a bit specialized. It’s used almost exclusively for “roughing up” concrete, so that, the paint will be able to get a better “grip” on it and hopefully last longer. So…you can Shot Blast either the entire floor before you paint the entire floor. Or, you can Shot Blast only where you’re going to stripe. Or, use the Shot Blaster just to “clean off” ugly, disgusting concrete. And again…you’ll be “roughing up” the smooth, and sometimes, shiny surface of a concrete floor. Such as, warehouse floors or parking garages.

Warehouse floors have (2) strikes against them.

(1)…they’re smooth…so smooth…they’re shiny. The paint won’t stick.
(2)…they see enormous volumes of hard traffic.

There are fork lifts at the dock area. Floors are smooth and fork lifts pirouette. Paint won’t last. So, Shot Blast, first.

Parking Garages also have (2) strikes.

(1) They’re filthy.
(2) They’re really filthy.

So again, the Shot Blaster will “rough up” the surface by blasting it with metal BB’s and also remove the filth and paint that’s there. The new surface will now resemble the “prickly” surface of the outside sidewalk. Now we can do a couple things; paint it; the paint can now “grip” the surface, or, walk away. It’s clean! A note here; If you’re Shot Blasting the entire floor, it’s called Shot Blasting. If you’re only Shot Blasting where you plan to stripe, it’s called “Track Blasting”. 8″ wide “tracks”. Your stripe will then go “on” or “in” this “track”. Track Blasting. Another note; pretend you’re Shot Blasting an entire floor. If you move methodically and if you move at a consistent speed, you’ll do well. But, if you stop to look at the pretty people, your Shot Blaster won’t stop. You’ll have an area rougher = “alot prickly”. So, if it’s filthy, go a little slower. If’s if not too bad, you can move a little more quickly. But, I wouldn’t stop. Don’t just stop.

Now the machines. Basically (2) types; electric = plug it in or, gas engine. And (3) sizes; a dinky one, a medium sized one and a big one that you ride! First, if you rent the dinky one or the medium sized one, you’ll also rent the vacuum system with it. The vacuum system vacuums up the debris you’ll create, which are very small chips of concrete. It also collects most of the BB’s. A few fly all over the place. You must wear eye protection and ear plugs. Then, walk around with a “magnet broom” to pick up remnant BB’s. The vacuum gets most. You’ll like the “Big Boy”. It vacuums itself. The rent does not include the trailer. If you have a trailer, cool, if not, rent the trailer with it.

Now, about those BB’s. Ask the Equipment Rental Company how many bags of BB’s you’ll need. Then? Buy more than that. You can always return them and get your money back. Besides, you’re bringing the machine back anyhow. Do not run out of BB’s.

OK? (3) machines; (2) types; = Dinky, medium and big; electric = plug in, or gas. Dinky and medium need a vacuum. “Big Boy” has his own and you can ride him, but, you’ll also need a trailer to tote him around.

(3) types of jobs; Shot Blasting, “Track Blasting” and “Just Clean The Concrete”.

Line Removal. (This is my recap = recapitulate.)

A) A Wire Brush, Rag, Cleaning Agent, Elbow Grease.
B) A Scarifier, Empty (5) Gallon Buckets, Blower, Large Dust Pan, Large Broom.
C) Shot Blaster, Eye and Ear Protection,
(5) gallon buckets to empty the vacuum. (Or hire someone else to do it = a “Sub” contractor = “under” you = “Sub” it out.)

I hope this primer helped. Find your niche. Work hard. At least you know basics. See ya. Dan Zurcher American Striping Co.

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