Dust control on dirt roads is an important concern, both for environmental and health reasons. To avoid paving a road over to get the dust under control, here are five other options to try first.
- Reduce Traffic Speed
This is very simple: The faster a vehicle is moving on a dirt road, the more dust will be made. Slowing from 40 mph to 20 mph reduces dust drastically. You can add signs stating the speed limit to a road; but if you want to really make sure people slow down, you can add speed bumps or drainage tunnels.
- Reduce the Wind
It’s common sense that more wind means more dust. Decrease the effects of the wind on dirt roads by adding windbreaks such as trees, shrubs, or fences. As an added bonus, these additions will also enhance the property’s appearance.
- Water the Road
When dirt particles are wet, they stick together, making it less likely they’ll become dust. A single watering can last either for hours or days, depending on the weather conditions.
- Cover the Road With Gravel
Gravel decreases the amount of dust on dirt roads by providing a hard barrier between a car’s wheels and the dirt. However, over time, the gravel will simply get pushed down into the dirt. For this to work as a long-term solution, the gravel must be mixed with aggregates or soil adhesives.
- Increase Moisture Content
There’s another way besides watering a dirt road to increase the amount of moisture it contains. Adding a deliquescent salt such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride will absorb water from the air so the dirt particles are able to stick together, reducing the amount of dust. This method will work for about a year without reapplying the salt.