How Are Road Markings Best Removed?

Road markings are an integral safety feature, designed to help motorists navigate the highways in an orderly fashion. They are made to withstand a lot of wear and tear, and in most cases, they last for many years. However, road layouts and rules change from time to time, and the markings need to be safely removed. So how is this carried out?

There are a few different methods, including burning off the markings with a high temperature thermic lance. This is a common technique that has been used for many years, but it is noisy and not always 100% effective.

Another method is known as scabbling. This involves using heavy machinery known as a scabbler to scrape the markings off the road. The drawback of this method is that it is very forceful, and can damage the surface of the road, leading to costly repair work. It is also noisy and can create a lot of dust and debris.

One of the most effective and environmentally friendly methods of removing obsolete road markings, including thermoplastic markings, is to use a high-pressure water jet, also known as hydroblasting. This method is suitable for all types of road surface material, because it is far less abrasive than other techniques.

No harmful chemicals are added to the water, which can be captured, cleaned, and recycled. Compared to other methods, water jetting creates far less dust, air, and noise pollution. This makes it ideal for environmentally sensitive areas, as well as for safeguarding the health and safety of operations staff.

The machines can be operated remotely, so workers do not have to place themselves in risky positions near fast moving traffic. Water-based line removal techniques are easy to carry out, and bring swift results, meaning that the road can be put back in use within a shorter timeframe. This is often a high priority for the UK’s pressured transport network.

Line marking removal isn’t the only use for high pressure water jet cleaning. The method is also used to clean and prepare concrete surfaces, to ensure that it is in the best possible condition for the application of new coatings or repair work. Water jetting techniques cause no damage or shock to the concrete, and require no abrasive chemicals.

The method is widely used in the construction of roads, tunnels, and bridges. It can also be applied to the cleaning of industrial tanks and other metal surfaces, to remove rust, bitumen, and other unwanted coatings.

Tank cleaning can represent a particular challenge. It is a task that needs to be done on a regular basis, to avoid the build-up of debris and sludge, which could eventually damage the contents of the tank, as well as the wider operating system that it is connected to.

Traditional manned entry is a hazardous method of cleaning the tank, as they are likely to contain flammable materials, toxic chemicals, and it also poses the risk of oxygen deficiency. Specialist jet cleaning equipment which can be remotely controlled is a far safer way to clean out the tank, and can reach small awkward spaces that other techniques miss out.

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