Safety Striping Tricks of the Trade
by Steve Heskett - Technical Sales Representative, Specialty Flooring
Floor striping can be essential for safe aisles, hazardous areas, passageways in warehouses, distribution centers and similar facilities. Yet applying safety stripes can be challenging – you have to carefully consider need, placement, product selection, transparency, potential bleed through and surface roughness, among other factors.
Follow a Blueprint
Blueprints should be provided by the general contractor or a professional engineer. For a successful job, it’s best to follow the blueprint that specifies the layout, size and color of the stripes that will be installed.
If you put down safety stripes in the incorrect area, it can actually increase the potential for accidents and serious injury. Plus, it can cost a lot of money to install new ones. When stripes are applied incorrectly, an entirely new topcoat is required in most cases to avoid the look of patchwork.
Apply Clean Tape Lines
Tape should be used to create clean lines without any bleed through. When applying tape lines, consider the following:
- Be sure to buy high quality tape. Cheap tape will wet out quickly and create numerous problems
like bleed through and tape separation (splitting) as the tape is pulled when the product is still wet.
- To further eliminate bleed through, seal the edge of the tape with coatable, fast-drying caulking. Or, you can use a sprayable epoxy clear (rattle can) so you don’t have to worry about any color bleeding underneath the tape.
- I also recommend using APF’s Polyaspartic 7500 in a clear finish with a color pigment pack. This allows you to coat the stripe first while clear sealing the edges of the tape line. Since the product dries fast, you can apply a second and third coat with a color relatively quickly. Also, I find that Polyaspartic 7500 has a better color hide than most urethanes, and it doesn’t require as much build as epoxies do. This system works extremely well on rough surfaces, such as aggregate-filled flooring.