5 Dust Control Ideas for Roads

The majority of cities and towns maintain good infrastructure, including buildings, roads, and power supplies. Unfortunately, the further you live, the more likely there will be fewer services, including paved roads. 

You are left with dirt and gravel; when vehicles travel on them, they stir dust into the air. The wind takes it and can ruin your car and house. As rural roads worsen, potholes develop, and the usual remedy is more sand and gravel. Until your community or government paves, you must live with it. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions to your dusty problems.

Controlling dust from unpaved roads is vital because of the film it leaves on your home and vehicles. It is also a health hazard for people and pets, as well as for streams, lakes, and creeks.

Here are five ways to control dust on roads.

Lower Speed On Roads

When driving on a gravel road, you can’t help stir up dust, but the amount depends on how fast you travel. Most unpaved roads have lower speed limits, but people still travel fast to get where they are going, resulting in a dust cloud following them.

Studies have shown that reducing gravel road speed from 60km to 30km reduces dust emissions by 65%. That means people who live on these roads get less dust blowing onto their properties.

There are several ways to slow down traffic. The posted speed limit can be lowered, but not all people adhere to the signs. Drainage channels and speed bumps work well but still depend on traffic flow, slowing it down. You can also put a sign on your driveway to remind motorists of the negative effects of dust.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is a natural product with hygroscopic properties that pull moisture out of the air to keep roads damp. It is more effective than water. It is used widely for winter road maintenance, dust control, and multiple applications in many other industries. 

Magnesium chloride on dusty roads can be applied wet and dry. It stays on the surface to control dust immediately. Wetting down the road first and then applying magnesium chloride is advisable. Every additional application builds upon the previous one to add protection and coverage. The result is less dust, erosion, potholes and reduced road maintenance. 

You can buy these dust control solutions on gravel or dirt roads. Your road authorities may also use magnesium chloride spraying for dust control, so contact them to alert them that your road needs it.

Wind Breaks 

If no wind blows, dust can’t spread, so some areas benefit from a windbreak. This is done in several ways, including:

·       Hedges

·       Fences

·       Plants & shrubs

·       Berms

What you use depends on the location. Jobs sites, waste facilities, land clearing sites and other unpaved roads create lots of dust, but they may not install windbreaks unless instructed by the local government.

You can control dust on your property by having a windbreak near the road or your home. Consider which break to use, as most will add to your home’s value and fit in with your landscaping.

Watering Down the Road

Dry particles from dirt and gravel create dust, so water can effectively dampen it so they stick together and do not become airborne. Depending on how hot the day gets, moisture sprayed on the road can last several hours or even days. 

Contact your local city or municipality to ask them to water the roads. You can also do your part by hosing down the road in front of your home or using a sprinkler. There are also hand sprayers that work and tow-behind water sprayers that you can use if you have a long, dusty driveway to deal with.

Ensure you water more regularly rather than heavily, as this will create other problems. Ultimately, this is a temporary solution, but it is extremely effective.

Reducing Traffic

The amount of dust stirred up on the road directly correlates with the amount of traffic using it. You may not have much control over how many people drive on the road, but your city can restrict the vehicle weight and type allowed to be used.

Contact them and share your concern about traffic volume on your unpaved road. Ask if they can restrict vehicles.