But another solution is to install bollard sleeves, which are available from a number of companies including Ideal Shield and Post Guard from Encore. Made of molded plastic, the sleeves simply slip over existing bollards to improve their appearance. Ideal Shield’s bollard sleeves are available in yellow, red, blue, black, and custom colors; Post Guard’s sleeves are available in 12 colors, 5 diameters, and 2 square sizes. Sleeves withstand a broad range of temperatures and generally can be cleaned using any nonabrasive cleaner.
"It’s a great door opener for a salesperson," says Bruce Liebowitz, president of Post Guard. "It’s a product many property or facility managers have never even thought of, and even if they have thought of it it’s not a priority for them and they don’t know where to buy them. You get a lot of attention when you walk into an office carrying a 60-in. red bollard cover under your arm. It’s a great way to prospect."
Ideal Shield’s sleeves are made of 1/4-in.-thick one-piece polyethylene plastic that is secured to the bollard with neoprene tape. Dennis Knittel, Ideal Shield national sales manager, says the tape creates an air vacuum and suction keeps the sleeve in place.
"They just lock down," Knittel says. "When put on properly you just can’t pull them off."
Where Ideal Shield uses strips of neoprene tape placed around the bollard, one strip near the top and one at the bottom, Post Guard by Encore uses two expansion foam strips draped over the top of the bollard. Liebowitz says the properties of the foam make it expand, holding the sleeve in place.
"While offering a contractor a new avenue of revenue you are also providing the end user a value-added product" Knittel says. "When you put these sleeves on they make the lot look nice for years to come. Even if a contractor typically paints bollards these save time, last longer, look better, and avoid the problem of spilling or splattering paint on the sidewalk or asphalt around the bollard."
He says once a contractor gets the hang of installing sleeves, they take only two minutes to install and mark-up ranges from 15% to 50% per sleeve.
"The finished look the contractor leaves on the facility will get noticed by others. It adds a nice professional finish to the job," Liebowitz says. "Plus, you can generate some nice cash. It’s hard to put an exact dollar amount on it but if a parking lot has 45 bollards on it a good guess is a contractor can make another $500 in an hour or so once you know how to install them."
Still another addition to the striping contractor’s arsenal of services is also the newest pavement addition: applying custom digital images to asphalt or concrete pavement. Steve Johnson, president of U.S. Striping/Digimark, can turn a parking lot or parking garage in an advertising medium.
"It’s the last bastion for advertising," Johnson says. "When you’re standing on a parking lot you are literally standing in a field of gold because parking lot managers can now become revenue generators. Their parking lots can be more than just places to park."
Johnson says the Digimark product, which can be used on both concrete and asphalt, can be used for traditional arrows, turn lanes, and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, but it’s designed to have a much bigger impact.
"We can reproduce anything a store or restaurant might want on their parking lot or a school might want on its playground, from employee-of-the-month name and photo, to company logos, to childrens’ games. One city has actually used it to put walking directions onto the sidewalk," Johnson says. "So contractors can now improve the condition of the parking lot, restripe it so it looks sharp, plus offer their customers an opportunity to market themselves or generate additional revenue by pavement marketing."
Digimark is a licensed operation in which contractors pay a fee for the right to sell and install the digital image products. The contractor can market the Digimark service to its customers or can offer it to property managers to sell to their tenants. In either case the purchase is made through the contractor and the contractor provides installation.
Under the Digimark process each contractor is provided with a template and knows what material he needs for the artwork to get the pavement digital image produced by Digimark. The contractor collects all the material and sends it to Digimark, which produces the image and sends it back to the contractor who then installs it.