Chalk is an indispensable tool when it comes to preparing freshly-paved or sealcoated parking lots for striping. Using the right chalk for the job can make the difference between a job well done and one that has to be redone at great expense. Not all chalk is created equal -- the most common chalk colors used by contractors offer their own advantages and downsides for a broad range of striping jobs.
White marking chalk is the standard go-to for contractors when laying out parking lot stripes. Not only is it readily available from a wide variety of supply stores, but it's also relatively affordable and it stands out on dark-colored pavement.
However, white marking chalk can inadvertently blend in with lighter surfaces, making it harder for workers to spot and follow the chalk line. Others can confuse the white lines for paint overspray, especially if the chalk lines do not fade or wash away after the striping job is complete.
Like white chalk, blue marking chalk is also easy to see on dark-colored pavement. However, it's not the same color as the stripes being laid down, making it easier for others to distinguish between the finished striping and prepared sections that have yet to be striped. This can be advantageous for use on parking lots that are still active during the striping.
Black and Red Chalk
Most contractors use black and red marking chalk for marking light-colored surfaces such as concrete and light-colored asphalt. While both colors offer a high level of contrast against gray asphalt and white concrete, many formulations of black and red chalk also resist fading. Because of this, black and red marking chalks tend to provide longer-lasting lines than other chalk colors.
Unfortunately, the same advantages that black and red marking chalks have over other colors also offer notable drawbacks. Since both chalk colors can't be washed away as easily as others, any chalk lines left behind in the striping process could end up being permanently embedded into the parking lot surface.
Day-Glo Orange Chalk
Day-Glo orange chalk is ideal for work crews performing their striping operations under low-visibility conditions due to its overall brightness. This variety of chalk also shows up well under sodium work lights, making it ideal for use under nighttime conditions.
Like white and blue chalk, Day-Glo orange marking chalk can also fade after a certain length of time. Orange chalk is also commonly used to mark underground utility lines, which could confuse some workers if the lines are laid down close to any existing utility line marks.
It's important to consider the pros and cons of your chosen marking chalk color before preparing the parking lot for striping work. Using the right color for the job can help prevent costly and time-consuming mistakes from being made. Contact a paving company, like Gann Asphalt & Concrete or a similar location, for more tips and info.