This blog focuses on equipping the reader with the most important questions to ask in preparation for your striping project. Our original post “Best Techniques to Properly Finish and Stripe a Warehouse Floor” has been helpful to many, but your questions have led us to revisit this topic and go into more detail.
Often we are asked to quote a warehouse striping job, but upon arrival we find out there isn’t a design, and the project hasn’t been completely thought out. This creates a challenging situation for both parties because the customer knows they want warehouse striping, but the contractor is unable to properly quote without a design. Striping contractors typically are not design firms and will refer that work to others, who specialize in design. When something is not designed well, it can lead to problems during the painting phase; and at times, even with a well-thought out design, complications may still arise that need to be cleared up during the layout phase. Below, we provide a list of questions and topics to consider before calling your striping contractor.
Do I Have a Striping Design?
A design is very important if you want your project to go smoothly. It is also great to have a design if you are having multiple vendors bid a job. This allows all prospective contractors to bid off of the same design for an “Apples to Apples” comparison. If you go into a project without a design, your bids are more likely to vary because the “vision” may vary and differ from one contractor to another. Your design serves as a baseline for all parties to work off of and will help to eliminate confusion and save you time in the long-run. If you don’t have a design, many striping contractors can provide referrals. Your racking contractors can also be a good resource for striping design.
Do You Know Your Specifications?
Every warehouse is unique because the products being stored will vary in size and shape. Our advice is “try to over specify”. Below are some questions to consider during the design phase.
- How many locations do I need?
- How wide do the location openings need to be? (An average opening is about 48” wide to accommodate an average size pallet.)
- How wide do the aisles need to be? (The average is about 12’ to 14’.)
- How many pallets deep should the locations be? This may from one area to the next in your warehouse.
- Where are the post locations in my design? One needs to take into consideration where the posts are because a post located in the middle of an aisle will block forklift movement. We recommend post placement on an outer edge or inside of a location.
- Am I allowing access to exit doors and fire extinguishers?
See the illustration below as a design aid.
Above, you can see different types of common designs. However, keep in mind striping can come in all shapes and forms beyond what is illustrated above. As a contractor, we make suggestions and recommendations, but the operator of the warehouse and the logistics designer will make that final decision based on propriety operational knowledge, product type, and many other factors.
You may not think there is much of a difference between a 3” stripe and a 4” stripe, but you’d be surprised. For example, if you have 50 locations along a back wall and stripe with 3” stripe, you will gain an additional 50” compared to a 4” stripe, if all location width remains the same. That can translate into an additional location for product or have a big impact on where the posts end up in the design. An experienced designer takes this into consideration to help avoid striping pitfalls and maximize your product storage.
Type of Product
The most common type of materials used in striping warehouses are tape, water-based traffic paint, and two-part epoxy. Each of these products offer benefits and negatives at a range in price. Tape can be removed and modified much easier, but also has a shorter life span in most cases. Water based paint lasts longer than most tapes, but are not as easy to modify once they are in place. A two-part epoxy is more durable than water-based paints and is the choice for areas that get a lot of traffic and wear and tear, such as staging lanes and pedestrian walkways. Epoxy should be used in areas you do not intend to modify for a long time. For best results, shot-blast the concrete surface then epoxy stripe on top of that. This is a semi-permanent solution but has a much longer cure time. If concrete is not prepped, the epoxy can delaminate and chip. Many warehouse managers choose a combination of water-based paint for the main warehouse floor and epoxy striping for the staging lanes and pedestrian walkways to achieve best results.
Occupied or Unoccupied Building?
Performing a project in an occupied building is very different experience from performing a project in an unoccupied building for both the contractor and customer. An unoccupied building usually offers a wide-open work surface providing the contractor an unobstructed opportunity to perform larger amounts of striping at a time. Also, the contractor usually can leave equipment onsite, not having to load and unload every day. Conversely, performing work in an occupied building requires equipment loading and unloading each day, and usually requires a higher amount of coordination among the project managers to ensure that the areas to be striped are cleared and prepared ahead of time. Performing work in an occupied building often means that smaller portions of striping will get completed during a visit, which can lead to a longer project timeline overall. These factors may affect the cost of a project.
- Do I plan on installing suspended barcode signs above each location (see image above)? Signs have a production lead-time and are regularly overlooked. TCI also provides these services.
- Do I plan on painting the staging areas? Staging lanes are best done in epoxy with shot-blast and require 5 to 7 days of cure time. We recommend installing these stripes when the building is unoccupied during the start-up phase if possible.
- Do I plan to stripe the exterior dock doors to guide trucks while parking? It is best to stripe these areas when the parking lot is vacant to allow painting equipment access and movement.
- Do I plan on installing epoxy flooring at the forklift parking areas? Epoxy flooring takes 3-5 days to install and requires 5-7 days of cure time before to using it. A good plan will provide peace of mind.
- Do I have a floor scrubber on-site to be used prior to areas being painted? If not, most contractors can supply and deliver a floor scrubber for the project at an additional cost.
- Will my polished warehouse floor impact the adherence of paint and epoxy? Yes, most paints will adhere well, but Epoxy will chip and flake off if not shot-blasted first.
As your trusted partner providing a range of Warehouse Striping and Distribution Center Services, it is our hope that these helpful tips and reminders are useful to you as you plan and prepare for your next warehouse striping project. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
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TCI Striping is a full-service professional contractor specializing in Warehouse Striping and Distribution Center Services based in Southern California. With over 40 years of experience, we have earned a reputation as a trustworthy commercial and light industrial contractor with an extensive range of capabilities, qualified experience, specialized training, specialty equipment, and a workforce that pays careful attention to detail.
We have consistently provided OSHA-compliant floor markings, safety railing systems, and warehouse striping for four decades. At TCI, our work is guaranteed and has been tested over time. We are continuously committed to delivering excellent warehouse services in Riverside, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Moreno Valley, San Bernardino, Perris, Redlands, Eastvale, Chino, and beyond. Please call us for inquiries or request a quote below.