CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Friday afternoon the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) warned drivers to avoid Brookshire Boulevard near I-85 after nearly 300 gallons of paint fell off the back of a truck and spilled into the road causing lane closures and traffic jams.
Crews were out all day long working on cleaning up the paint. Hasco, based in Greensboro, is the company responsible for the paint that spilled. They helped with the clean-up and NCDOT is making sure it’s up to their standards.
But what about the drivers who drove through it this morning? Judy Buchanan was one of those drivers.
“I know there’s going to be many others, and I hope this story will help them,” Buchanan said.
Driving through a puddle of white paint will splash like a puddle of water. But unlike water, it sticks to the road and to anything that goes through it.
“Once the light changed and I made my left, there was paint all in the road. We had nowhere to go but through the paint,” Buchanan said. “Not until I got on the interstate did I realize with the cars in front of me that were covered in paint that I was in trouble.”
Buchanan’s car is clean now after the body shop at her job worked on it. Tim Perkins, who cleaned the car, said it took two hours. There were still spots of white paint stuck on Buchanan’s tires. She said the car looked very different in the morning.
“The complete tires were white and all down the side. Even though my car is white, it was all white down the sides from the driver side back,” Buchanan said pointing to her Kia.
Brian Davies, the owner of Bodyworks Collision Repair, demonstrated what cars might have to deal with after the paint spill. He had a car door spray painted to mimic possible damage driving through paint.
“Anywhere that the tire tread slings it, it’s going fly onto the car,” Davies said.
Davies said ideally a driver would be able to tackle the problem immediately.
“The sooner the better. And if there is any way – if you can’t get it off – get your car out of the sun to try and slow the drying process down,” Davies said.
Depending on the paint, Davies said someone might need to use more than a pressure washer.
“What we are trying to show is what it might look like as well as a product or two a consumer at home could use without damaging the paint,” Davies said.
Davies grabbed a general purpose adhesive cleaner he says anyone could get.
“Just damp it on the towel, it’ll wipe off,” Davies said.
Crews needed shovels and pressure washers on Brookshire Blvd. Davies said ideally a driver who just drove through paint would pressure wash it off. But if not, get help.
“A detailer is where I would want to go first,” Davies said.
Buchanan said she was lucky that she works at a trucking company with an on-site body shop.
“Thank goodness I work at place that was able to take my car into the body shop rinse it off and get this off of my car,” Buchanan said.
Davies believes insurance would cover the damage. He recommends reaching out to the company that spilled the paint and your auto insurance company.
“Because it’s not a collision, it should be like an act of God like hail or a storm so it shouldn’t go against your rates if you turn it into your insurance,” Davies said.
NCDOT is directing drivers who were affected to contact the company that spilled the paint, Hasco. The secretary at the company said very few people have called.
According to the company’s web site, Hasco maintains airport runways and offers paint removal services.