October 2019 - TRUEGRID Pavers
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Dust Is A Health Hazard: Tips for Parking Lot Dust Control

Gravel parking lots and dirt parking lots require the least upfront investment for most businesses. Compacted soil or gravel parking areas can be found in many residential, commercial or industrial sites.

Upfront construction costs of these types of parking lots is typically the main selling point, but there are tradeoffs. Wet weather creates mud, ponding and ruts. Frequent gravel refilling is a must to keep lots usable, and this maintenance cost adds up quickly. And perhaps the biggest issue is dust.

Traffic causes grinding and compaction of gravel creating fines. When driven on, these fines become airborne. Airborne dust is a major health hazard for users of the parking lot as they breathe in these particles.

Parking Lot Dust Control Tips

Thankfully, you have a few different options when it comes to dust control in a dirt parking lot, so in case you own or maintain a gravel or dirt parking lot and want to know how to optimize it, let’s take a look at some helpful tips you can use to accomplish your goal.

1. Water

This is the least expensive method for gravel parking lot dust control as well as a dirt parking lot. Spraying down your parking lot with a fine mist of water will weigh down the dust and prevent it from kicking up into the air when vehicles drive over it.

This is a great temporary fix because your only cost is the water, but it’s not the perfect solution. Seeing as how the dust will dry out again rather quickly, you could find yourself spraying down your parking lot multiple times per day just to keep the dust down.

This is obviously a less-than-ideal scenario, but it works great if you just need a quick fix.

2. Chemical Dust Suppression

If you want to know how to reduce dust in your gravel parking lot without just using plain water, you could always resort to chemical dust suppression. Chemicals like sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, plant oils, and natural clays are all more heavy-duty options when it comes to parking lot dust control.

The most commonly utilized choices here are calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. This is because they are chemicals that naturally attract moisture from the air, allowing them to last longer than a simple spray-down with water.

If you live in a hot, dry area, calcium chloride is the best of these chemical suppressant options. Its chemical profile is such that it can last a long time even under dry, hot conditions. Magnesium chloride, however, turns to liquid under these conditions, leading to lower quality dust control.

These chemicals are not a permanent solution, though, and should not be relied upon as such. They will last longer than water, but will eventually wear off in the same fashion. And they have less than desirable environmental effects.

3. TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers

The only permanent solution to parking lot dust is to use permeable pavers like the kind offered by TRUEGRID. Dirt and gravel parking lots tend to be temporary because of the dust, mud, ruts and maintenance problems, but with permeable pavers, you can extend their life and create a maintenance, dust-free parking lot that will last for decades.

TRUEGRID’s pavers are made from highly durable, recycled plastic sourced via eco-friendly methods. They come in interlocking grids which are incredibly easy to install.

To turn your gravel or dirt parking lot into one with permeable paving, you simply need to level and compact your site, put the pavers down, refill the pavers the dirt or gravel to the top of the grid without overfilling. Roll over for a final compaction. The grid system handles the traffic loads and does not allow the gravel to be pulverized. No more dust!

The gravel or dirt fill is stabilized and no maintenance is needed.

There are also parking markers to stripe and organize your lot for better utilization and efficiency. These markers lock into the plastic grid system easily without tools By laying down these pavers you will prevent dust, flooding, ruts, mud, gravel replacement, maintenance, tire damage, and chemical contamination in your parking lot. It’s a chemical-free, one-time solution that improves drainage while preventing you and your fellow building-goers from ever breathing in parking lot dust again.

Permeable Pavers are the Responsible Solution to Parking Lot Dust

If you want to do away with suffocating parking lot dust that coats everything and everyone who walks through it, as well as prevent yourself from incurring fines or recurring maintenance expenses, you need a permanent solution. Water and chemicals can work temporarily, but only TRUEGRID pavers will provide you with a safer, cleaner, and permanent solution for dust control in the dirt parking lot.

These pavers are very inexpensive to install, long-lasting and are far and away the more environmentally friendly choice for combating dust.

By investing in permeable pavers you are making the smartest long-term choice for your parking lot, allowing it to be used for many years to come, and preventing you from having to install a costly asphalt or concrete parking lot that will need additional drainage and maintenance down the line.

Simply put, if you want to know how to reduce dust in a gravel parking lot, TRUEGRID permeable pavers are the answer.

If you’ve ever lived in a home with a driveway on a slope, low ground, or any other area prone to flooding, you know what a headache and potential disaster it can be when your driveway floods. Ponding on hardscape means you have to walk in puddles when it rains. In heavy rains, you’re worried about water getting into your garage or home or even up into your vehicle.

This is a scenario that can play out multiple times per year for some people and usually ends with them having to park their vehicles in the yard or some other nearby place that’s not flooded until the water recedes back.

Even if you have a driveway that’s in a literal valley between two hills, there is no reason you should have to deal with flooding, even if your location is prone to heavy, year-round rain.

How is that possible, you might ask? The answer is driveway water control via permeable pavers. Permeable pavers are the perfect way to maintain a good-looking, well-performing driveway that is almost 100% immune to flooding, no matter the location.

In case you’re the owner of a driveway that tends to flood, let’s take a look at this ingenious innovation in paving technology and how it can benefit not only you but the environment as well.

Pavers Work with Mother Nature, Not Against Her

Asphalt and concrete driveways are unnatural. They cover a somewhat large area of land with totally solid, impervious material that just isn’t found anywhere else in nature. While these materials can work just fine for some locations, they are very vulnerable to being overrun by natural elements in a wide variety of other locations, both urban and rural.

Because of this, when your impervious asphalt driveway is met with heavy rains, there is nowhere for the water to go. It will either drain down the slope of your driveway into the street, or it will just sit there stagnant until it is eventually able to evaporate and leak into your yard.

This process can take a long time, however, and nobody wants to sit around for days or even weeks on end waiting for their driveway to reappear from the abyss.

TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers are the Driveway Drainage Solution to Flooded Driveways

Eco-friendly, permeable pavers like the kind produced by TRUEGRID have been solving flooded driveway problems ever since they first came out. Take a family in Florida, for example, who’s driveway would flood during every heavy rain event and take days to drain.

They ordered TRUEGRID and had a local contractor come out to install permeable pavers along with clean, angular gravel that allowed water to pass right through the driveway like it wasn’t even there. Now they never have to worry about driveway water control because their pavers do all the work. The pavement system drains instantly when it rains, absorbing water at over 1000 inches per hour. The rock base below provides a detention base to store and drain stormwater during extended rainfall.

There are multiple types of materials you can use with your pavers including gravel, and grass or other landscaping materials such as mulch or crushed glass.Angular gravel works best for driveway water control, as it has the highest level of permeability.

The Environment is Better Off When You Use TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers

Not only are these pavers the best material for preventing flooding in driveways and parking lots, everything about them is sustainable and eco-friendly. From what they are made from (100 % post-consumer recycled plastic), to how they are packaged (either palletized with minimal packaging or in boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard, to the natural filtration effect of allowing the rin ate rto infiltrate through the pavers, rock and into the soil. This allows nature’s bioremediation process to eliminate most auto pollutants before water recharge in our aquifers.

And if you have auto spills or other dangerous liquid spills in your driveway, it won’t leave ugly stains or discoloration.

This is much safer for the environment and the community than the typical construction, where pollutants are carried down into the gutter and city system and potentially help pollute the water supply of your town or city.

Permeable Pavers Outperform Asphalt and Concrete Across the Board

Not only are these pavers safer for the environment, but they are also more durable than asphalt and concrete, and they won’t break down over time or require maintenance as those materials do. They are also far less expensive and time-consuming to install, putting less burden on your pocketbook and the environment at the same time.

There are no giant vehicles or fuel-guzzling pieces of equipment needed in the installation process either. You simply prepare the substrate, lay down the pavers and whatever aggregate you choose, and press it into the pavers by driving over it. The installation can done by local paving or landscape contractors or easily as a do-it-yourself home project.

All in all, permeable pavers like those sold by TRUEGRID are the perfect driveway water control solution. In addition to their myriad of other benefits when it comes to eco-friendliness and cost-effectiveness, permeable pavers are the most effective solution when it comes to keeping your driveway draining and free from flooding all year long.

If you own a brick and mortar location where people are expected to visit, you probably have a parking lot. It’s also safe to assume that your parking lot is probably made from either asphalt, non-pervious concrete, or some other non-sustainable parking lot design.

This has been the standard for parking lots for many decades, but these types of parking lots come with their own issues, most of which you could solve by implementing an eco-friendly parking lot design.

In addition to being better for the environment, green parking solutions provide business owners and property managers with a variety of additional benefits.

Green Parking Lot Solutions

In case you’re planning on installing a parking lot or revamping your current one, let’s take a look at three different ways you can make your parking lot more environmentally friendly and how it can benefit you in the long-term.

1. TRUEGRID’s Permeable Paver System

Permeable pavers, in general, are a great way to build a green parking lot, and the system that TRUEGRID offers is superior to anything else found on the market. It’s so good, in fact, that companies like NASCAR, Google, Whole Foods, and the U.S. Military have implemented it for their own parking lots.

What makes TRUEGRID the best when it comes to environmentally friendly parking are three things: 1) the fact that their pavers are made from 100% post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene, an unbelievably durable material that works in all climates and soils. While large projects are palletized with minimal packaging, even the boxes that their products come in for home projects are made from 100 % recycled material; 2) natural filtration of stormwater which allows for pollutants in to be removed before recharging aquifers; 3) reduced CO2 emissions compared to concrete and asphalt pavement. TRUEGRID is recognized by engineers and architects as the go-to solution for environmentally friendly, permeable parking lots because it is a durable, maintenance-free system suitable for high traffic and heavy loads.

Everything about their supply chain and culture is dedicated to this philosophy. Millions of pounds of post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene have been kept out of the oceans and landfills by converting disposable products like shampoo bottles and water jugs to long life cycle pavers lasting 60 years or more. Like we said, when it comes to sustainability, TRUEGRID has yet to be matched.

As a result of TRUEGRID’s dedication to building environmentally friendly parking lots, their permeable pavers are about as safe as you can get for the environment. They are completely 100% permeable, meaning they’ll let stormwater, auto spills, and other liquids pass directly through into the ground where they can be filtered by Mother Nature and safely dispersed. The natural bioremediation process of storm water passing through the rock and into the soil provides a natural filter that removes up to 90 % of auto pollutants before recharge of aquifers.

The installation process for this sustainable car park design is also much faster than your average concrete or asphalt installation, requiring far less manpower, hours, equipment, fuel, and resources. And by using TRUEGRID instead of concrete, tons of C02 emissions are avoided (the manufacture of cement generates as much as 7% of the world’s carbon emissions). This is equivalent to planting hundreds of trees with each project.

2. Grass Parking Lots

Grass parking lots on their own are a headache in wet weather. They rut and have mud issues. Stabilizing a grass parking area with a plastic paver system like TRUEGRID allows the grass area to be used for vehicular traffic and parking without rutting or mud as the grass grows through the grid system which provides the reinforcing infrastructure. Parking, fire lanes, and event centers can stay green with grass while providing car access. This makes grass parking another viable option if you’re looking for a sustainable parking design. Unless you’re looking to build a sustainable parking garage complete with a roof, a stabilized all-grass parking lot should work just fine.

These types of green parking lots are cheaper than any other option and work best for low-traffic areas. One example of where a grass parking lot would be ideal is in a sustainable park design.

You can even include lot lines with some plastic systems that have markers or spot markers. Grass parking lots aren’t suitable for moderate or high-traffic areas, however, so you should only implement one if your place of business doesn’t get a whole lot of vehicles coming in and out on a daily basis.

3. Pervious Concrete

Pervious concrete or pervious asphalt are other options if you’re looking to build a parking lot that is pervious, albeit not as green as the gravel or grass filled recycled plastic pavers. The upside to these options versus standard hardscape is improved drainage. There are several downsides, however. These options are much more expensive, are not as strong or durable, and must be maintained by industrial vacuuming every 3 to 6 months to maintain porosity.

Pervious hardscape lots are green as they do provide infiltration when maintained which, like the plastic pavement system, provides natural filtration of stormwater and reduces pollutant filled runoff.

Building a Parking Lot That’s Environmentally Friendly is Good For Everybody

Because of the emphasis on eco-friendly parking and other eco-friendly construction methods, implementing a green parking lot design will not only be better for the environment but could net you some financial incentives as well. At the very least, it will prevent you from accidentally violating new rules or regulations regarding parking lots in your area.

There are a few options on your plate if you want to build a green parking lot, and which one is best for you depends on your needs.

Whether you choose a parking lot built with TRUEGRID, a grass parking lot, or one built with pervious concrete, you’ll be able to rest easier at night knowing that you’re helping lessen the negative impact on our environment while also staying in line with the ever-tightening regulations surrounding new construction of all types.

If you’re the owner of a business and you plan on paving a parking lot near your building, there are a few things you need to consider before going ahead with your plans. Of course, your likely first move is going to be looking for a contractor to come and pour some asphalt or concrete for you, but this isn’t always the smartest option.

Both asphalt and concrete come with some hidden risk factors and expenses that make them not only less environmentally-friendly, but more expensive and potentially dangerous as well.

Parking Lot Paving Considerations

In case you’re thinking about paving a parking lot, let’s break down the process, how much it’s going to cost you now and in the future, and what some possible alternatives are.

1. The Cost is Higher Than You Think

Paving a parking lot can be more expensive than you might think. Beyond the surface, there are base preparation, stormwater management -storage, drainage, and filtering, and striping considerations. Depending on the size of your parking lot, you’d probably expect to set aside a few hundred or maybe even a thousand, right? Wrong.

Cheap asphalt is just that. It tends to tear up quickly. Also, your city may require pervious surface offset as asphalt is an impervious surface. For larger sites this means construction of a detention pond- a very expensive proposition in terms of both land costs, construction costs and long term maintenance. The same goes for concrete lots which last longer than asphalt but can be 2 to 3 times as expensive to build.

Both asphalt and concrete parking lots aren’t just one-time expenses. Potholes, cracks, faded lot lines, ugly stains and ponding, standing water are all part of your daily experience with asphalt and concrete. Both ugly and costly to fix.

Hot sun during the long summer days will soften your asphalt parking lot as well, making it harder to drive around in and slightly sticky to the touch. Concrete is in the same situation when it comes to long-term durability. Chipping, cracks, and faded lines are all in your near future, as well as the cost to fix them.

2. Asphalt and Concrete are Harmful to the Environment

While they aren’t on the level of giant, coal-fueled cruise liners and diesel semi-trucks, both concrete and asphalt parking lots have a negative impact on the environment. This is because the equipment, machinery, and fuel needed to transport and install them all have high greenhouse gas emission levels.

The companies who sell and install these types of parking lots generally aren’t very concerned about their carbon footprint, and the environmental impact of their business is given little if any thought at all.

In addition to this, it takes far longer to install a concrete or asphalt parking lot than it does to install something like a gravel parking lot with permeable pavers. The manpower, hours, and expertise needed for concrete and asphalt are far greater than a cheaper install like permeable pavers.

3. Permeable Pavers Provide an Excellent Alternative

If you’re looking to install a parking lot that is less expensive, just as durable, better for the environment, and less costly over the long-run, you should consider permeable pavers like the kind that TRUEGRID offers. The hidden benefit for owners and developers is land savings. Using a 100% pervious system, you paved area will not count against your impervious surface. What does this mean for you? A bigger building or more parking spaces to create greater value for your business.

Permeable pavers like this absorb rainwater instantly. Auto spills filter directly through them removing pollutants naturally by infiltration into the soil and bioremediation. They do this while providing a durable and attractive parking lot for you and your customers.

Permeable pavers are not vulnerable to high heat and will not break down over time, unlike concrete and asphalt. They are also far cheaper and faster to install because they are lightweight despite being super strong, require no special tools or machinery and can be installed at over 1000 square feet per man-hour.

Fast, easy , permeable. Cost and land savings. Naturally attractive. No matter how you slice it, permeable pavers like TRUEGRID are far cheaper than asphalt or concrete, yet outperform them across the board in almost every measurable variable.

Parking Lot Technology Has Evolved

Whether you’re looking for a residential grass parking lot, a commercial parking lot, or an industrial parking lot, there’s a different type of permeable paver for every situation. And when it comes to eco-friendliness, they can’t be beaten.

Manufactured via sustainable methods, these pavers are classified as low impact construction working with Mother Nature, unlike asphalt and concrete. You’ll also never have to install additional drainage around your parking lot because the parking lot itself is a drainage system with permeable pavers.

When it comes down to it, paving a parking lot in 2019 or beyond with asphalt or concrete is probably not the best or most cost-effective choice.

Permeable pavers like the ones produced by TRUEGRID are able to handle anything you throw at them, last longer than other more expensive materials, are more eco-friendly, and cost less in the short-term and long-term to install and maintain.