Frequently Asked Questions

With decades of experience in the line marking industry working within the public and private sectors, our team has a wealth of knowledge on floor markings. Below are several commonly asked questions.

  • What are Car Park Markings?

    Car park markings are floor markings designed to direct traffic safely and effectively around a car park. Usually applied using thermoplastic (depending on the surface type), car park markings can consist of directional graphics, pedestrian walkways and various bay styles, including those reserved for disabled drivers, parents with young children or for the charging of electric vehicles.

  • What are Road Markings?

    As the name suggests, road markings are any kind of device or material that is used on a road surface in order to convey official information. Line markings can include speed limit graphics, box junctions, lines to show parking restrictions and lane dividers etc. and can be applied using various applications, such as thermoplastic, MMA or hard-wearing cold paint.

  • What are Playground Markings?

    Playground markings are outdoor floor markings designed to encourage children to play, learn and stay active. Our thermoplastic playground markings are available in a variety of colours, are hardwearing (even in areas of very high footfall), take very little time to dry, are completely non-toxic and designs can be tailored to your playground’s specific size and layout.

  • What are Warehouse Markings?

    Usually applied using applications such as epoxy paint warehouse floor markings are used to identify safe walkways, hazards, such as working forklifts or other machinery, and as general directional markings, to help with the flow of pedestrian traffic throughout the warehouse.

  • How long do line markings last?

    It’s very difficult to give a definitive answer on how long line markings last, as it’s dependent on various factors, such as:

    The line marking material used – Certain line marking material, such as thermoplastic or MMA is designed to last up to 2 years, but this length of time can vary depending on the level of traffic or footfall.

    The surface type – Line markings can be applied to most surfaces, but line markings applied to some surfaces, such as block paving or other non-bituminous surfaces tend to need reapplying more frequently.

    How the line markings are applied – Laying line markings correctly requires a high level of skill and training, and if it’s not carried out properly i.e. not sufficiently preparing the surface, not using the correct applications and primers etc., the line markings won’t last and in some cases may not bond to the surface.

  • How long does it take for the paint to dry?

    Thermoplastic dries very quickly and usually takes approximately 5-10 minutes to dry. Line marking paint used for car parks and road etc. can take up to 2 hours to fully dry.

  • What are thermoplastic line markings?

    Thermoplastic is a highly durable, bright and reflective material with anti-slip properties. Thermoplastic line markings are easy to install and is longer lasting than regular paint. It is also self-cleaning and non-slip.

  • How do you remove old line markings?

    There are various ways to remove old line markings, whether they’re car park markings or other types of road markings. Some of the most effective are:

    Scabbling: Scabbling or scappling is done using a specialised rotating tool that gradually chips the old line markings away.

    Water blasting: This is done using ultra-high pressure water jets, to break down and disperse the old line markings. The great thing about this technique is that it doesn’t scar the road’s surface.

    Burning off: This is an effective method that uses compressed air heated to extreme temperatures to burn away the old line markings.

    Captive shot-blasting: Captive shot blasting is a highly effective method of firing small abrasive shot at the road’s surface to quickly break down the old line markings.

  • Can thermoplastic be laid on concrete?

    Yes, you can apply thermoplastic to concrete, but for it to successfully adhere you will need to apply a primer-sealer first. The best option for concrete would be MMA or a hardwearing paint.

  • What is the difference between thermoplastic and paint?

    There are many differences between thermoplastic and paint, but the main differences are:

    • Paint is water based and liquid, whereas thermoplastic begins as a powder and doesn’t become liquid until heated.

    • Thermoplastic has a much shorter drying time than paint, so often doesn’t require the need to cone off areas.

    • Thermoplastic is generally better for the environment than most paints, which sometimes contain ammonia and other toxic elements.

    • Once laid, thermoplastic road markings are much easier to clean than paint road markings.

  • Does the road surface need to be dry before line marking?

    Yes, the surface does need to be dry otherwise the line marking material will fail to bond.

  • Can line markings be applied to block paving?

    Yes, line markings can be applied to block paving, but because the surface isn’t bituminous like tarmac, the lines won’t last as long and will need reapplying more often.

  • When can new line markings be driven on?

    This depends on the type of line marking application, but a material such as thermoplastic will be dry enough for driving on within 10 minutes.

  • Does the road have to be cleaned before road markings are applied?

    Yes, before any road markings can be applied the surface must be cleared of all dust, sand or litter, and must also be dry. Any contaminants could prevent bonding or create an unprofessional, gritty finish.

  • Do road markings glow in the dark?

    Not as such, but thermoplastic is a highly reflective material due to it containing glass beads, so when light hits it, it gives the appearance of glowing in the dark. That said, tests are taking place around the world using solar absorbing luminescent paint for road markings, which charges throughout the day and gives off light at night.

  • How wide do car parking spaces need to be in the UK?

    The standard parking space in the UK is 4.8m (15.7ft) in length and 2.4m (7.8ft) in width, although, some car park owners are making spaces wider to accommodate a higher number of larger cars.

  • What type of material is used in road markings?

    Road markings are applied using different materials, depending on the roads surface and the type and design of the road markings being installed. The most common materials used are:

    Thermoplastic – Apart from its hardwearing properties, the main reason thermoplastic is used for road markings is that’s it’s incredibly quick drying. This means that installing it on busy roads can be done quickly and efficiently without causing too much delay to road users.

    MMA – MMA (Methyl Methacrylate) is a solvent-free, cold-applied, hardwearing material suitable for most road surfaces. Two of the great benefits of MMA is that it retains colour without fading and lasts longer than most other road marking materials, even in high traffic areas.

    Single-pack epoxy – Single-pack epoxy has a variety of benefits, but the key benefits are that it has a rubber-like consistency, making it ideal for most uneven terrains, whilst its anti-skid properties helps to aid road safety.

    Paint – Water-based paints are also commonly used in certain road marking situations. The two main reasons for using paints of this kind is that they’re generally cleaner and better for the environment, and also come in a wide range of colours, making them ideal for car park marking, runways and playgrounds etc.

  • Are playground markings non-toxic?

    Yes, playground markings installed by a line marking professional, such as City Road Markings, will be completely non-toxic and also have anti-slip properties to further increase playground safety.

  • Why are playground markings important?

    Playground markings are important for various reasons, including:

    Helping to keep children active: Bright, vibrant and imaginative playground markings help structure children’s play and can provide them with ready-made rules for games designed to get them active.

    For directional purposes: Playground line markings are an ideal method of directing children and visitors to certain areas of the school or college. This doesn’t just have to be lines or arrows, cleverly designed and colourful graphics can also be a great way to get children moving to the places they need to be.

    For safety: Safety in a playground is paramount, especially in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. By installing relevant and strategically-placed playground markings, children and teachers will know the best escape routes or where to line up safely and out of the danger zones.

  • Why are warehouse markings important?

    Warehouse markings are important for a variety of reasons, including:

    • To designate specific danger areas, such as hazardous chemicals or moving machinery

    • To designate laneways for vehicles, such as forklifts or delivery trucks or vans.

    • To show employees and visitors the safest and quickest route around a warehouse.

    • To highlight steps or other raised platforms.

  • What are the most effective colours for warehouse markings?

    The colours of warehouse markings can vary from warehouse to warehouse, but the recommended colours are:

    • Yellow – for pathways and traffic lanes

    • Red – for danger zones

    • Black – for works in progress

    • Blue and Green – to indicate areas with raw materials

    • Red and White – to indicate restricted areas