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When should you replace road markings?

Road markings are critical to the safe use of highways for all road users - from drivers to cyclists and pedestrians.

There’s something oddly satisfying about driving down a road with freshly-painted road markings, and usually a new road surface to boot. And I think part of that satisfaction is because most roads don’t look as fresh and new as those rare examples!

Most of the roads we use each day have road markings that are showing signs of wear and tear. Usually, this isn’t a big problem. Line markings showing the limits of each lane are visible enough, and speed warnings and other road markings are clear enough to see too.

So when do you need to think about replacing road markings? What factors are taken into consideration?

Faded road markings

The most obvious time when road markings need to be replaced is when they’re becoming harder to see, especially on clear and dry days.

Fading road markings are a hazard because it becomes more difficult for road users to understand where they should be on the road, especially at junctions and intersections, or when new lanes of traffic are added or taken away.

They lose retroreflectivity

Road markings are visible at night because they reflect some of the light that hits them. This is a key feature that enables safe road usage at night, especially on highways that have little or no street lighting.

As road markings fade, so do their retroreflectivity, meaning they’re less easy to spot at night and in inclement weather.

Line marking reflective measurement systems are often used by councils and contractors to test whether or not road markings are becoming too dull and need replacing.

High-traffic zones

Road markings on extremely busy stretches of road need to be constantly maintained as these zones tend to have the highest chance of collisions. Roads within city centres and busy motorways are particularly dependent on line markings and on-road signage to help guide drivers, especially at busy junctions and multi-lane highways with additional bus routes and cycle paths.

Just as road markings in these areas are increasingly critical, they’re also more prone to fading faster due to constantly being driven and walked over.

Shop durable line marking paints

When road markings are replaced, you want to ensure that the best quality line marking paints are used to increase the durability and lifespan of the markings in question.

At Lineway, our range of market-leading paints includes MMA cold plastic paint and solvent-based acrylics which are fast to apply and long-lasting.


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