Metal Fabrication: The Secret To A Great Roll Cage

Frequently Asked Questions About Road Dust Control

by Sally Burke

In 2009 it was estimated that approximately two million miles of American roadways were unpaved. This means that the roads were either made of dirt or gravel, rather than cement or asphalt. The primary reason for this is that cement and asphalt roads are expensive to lay, and on roads that aren't heavily traveled, a dirt or gravel road is sufficient. Unfortunately though, as cars drive over these unpaved roads, dust kicks up. As such, road dust control is needed. If you aren't familiar with this, you may have many questions about this topic. Here are a few frequently asked questions about road dust control and the answers.

Why Does Road Dust Need to be Controlled?

As gravel and dirt roads are traveled, the tires kick up dust. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can be. One of the biggest problems with road dust is the haze that is created during peak traffic periods. The dust can be thick enough to impair the vision of drivers who are driving behind the vehicles kicking up dust. This can be hazardous and can lead to car accidents. Another problem with road dust is that it can affect the property of those who live right off of the dirt road. Their homes, vehicles and land can all become covered in this dust. This can decrease home values and cause individuals to not want to live in that area. The last issue is that the dust can affect the health of people who are walking in the area or who frequently inhale the air. The dust can get in pedestrians' eyes and they can inhale the dust particles, which can be particularly troublesome for those with asthma. These are the three main reasons why counties and cities concern themselves with road dust.

What Are the Ways that Road Dust Can Be Controlled?

Controlling the dust from an unpaved road can help minimize the negative side effects of these types of roads. However, it requires a bit of work to reduce the amount of dust. One way to reduce the amount of road dust emitted from dirt roads is to grade the road and then lay a top coat of gravel over the road. The gravel helps filter some of the dust that the dirt emits as it is driven over. Another way to reduce the amount of dust kicked up from vehicles is to lower the speed limit for the road. The faster vehicles drive over the road, the more dust that will be emitted. The last way to minimize road dust is to use a chemical dust suppressant. A chemical dust suppressant adheres to dirt and gravel, binding the particles together. The larger the particles are, the less likely they will be kicked up as a car drives over them. A chemical dust suppressant is sprayed on the dirt road by a company like GMCO Corporation, much like water would be sprayed on a road. It then has to completely dry before vehicles can drive over it.

Is Controlling Road Dust Costly?

Controlling road dust may seem costly. However, when you compare it to the alternatives, it is a viable way to provide residents with roadways while still keeping them safe. The primary alternative to dirt and gravel roads is asphalt and asphalt roads are more expensive to construct and maintain than gravel and dirt roads. The other option is to place a dirt and gravel road and not control the dust. There are many negatives to failing to control the dust, but from a cost stand point, failing to do so can be costly. Dust control methods help adhere the dirt in place and weigh it down, reducing the need to add more dirt to a dirt road. As such, controlling road dust can make the most financial sense.

Due to limited budgets, many cities and counties are opting for dirt and gravel roads, rather than asphalt ones. As such, road dust is becoming a more common occurrence. Getting answers to the questions you have about this topic will help you to better understand the importance of controlling this dust and how it is done.