Road dust control oil; it’s not exactly what comes to mind when country music singers are reminiscing about driving down a dirt road.
However, people who commute on gravel roads every day know that dust control is necessary, especially in the arid summer months.
Why use road dust control oil? Are there negative side effects? What are the alternatives? It can feel overwhelming to have so many questions about safe and effective dust control. Fortunately, armed with the information in this article, you can be confident that you are making informed decisions.
Why Do You Need Road Dust Control?
As the weather gets hot and dry in the summer, vehicles driving on gravel roads begin to stir up an alarming amount of dust. Once airborne, the particulates can produce a thick layer of dust on other cars and homes and cause damage not just to property, but to livestock and loved ones as well.
Inhaling dust can damage your lungs and trigger respiratory symptoms like asthma. Infants and the elderly are especially susceptible to adverse effects from these types of dust clouds.
Road Dust Control Oil
Road dust control oil is one of the most commonly used solutions for controlling dusty gravel. Often utilizing used lubrication oil, gravel or dirt roads are sprayed with oil to create a crust on the road’s surface. Once dried, this durable crust reliably minimizes dust for most, if not all, of the season.
Road dust control oil may seem like a perfect solution, however there are a few significant downsides.
- Spraying oil on the road may adversely affect the surrounding vegetation, soil, and water supplies.
- Once the crust deteriorates, the road may be more susceptible to issues like potholes.
Road Dust Control Oil Alternatives
With the negative factors associated with road dust control oil, you may find yourself looking for alternatives. Fortunately, there are several practical alternatives on the market:
Though relatively new to the market by comparison, permeable pavers, like the TRUEGRID PRO PLUS, have quickly become the preferred method for dust control when the situation allows for it.
It is not as easy to install or apply as oil, water, or calcium chloride, however, permeable pavers are the most reliable and long-lasting solution to road dust.
Permeable pavers are three-dimensional, modular plastic grids that are used as the base layer underneath a gravel road. Once installed, you pour the gravel into the pavers, in order to create a paver that:
- Cannot kick up dust
- Cannot develop ruts or potholes
- Can still allow water to permeate through the road and into the ground
Permeable pavers are perfect for new construction projects and ideal for homeowners and residents who want to eliminate dusty roads, but don’t want to contaminate their groundwater with harmful chemicals.
Water is one of the most commonly used solutions for dusty roads.
Purpose-built water trucks often spray water while slowly driving down the road. These trucks are commonly used in road construction projects and along tracts of commercial farm and ranch land.
A common practice for wetting down gravel roads in residential areas is to set up a sprinkler to spray the road directly in front of a home intermittently. This is a simple way for homeowners to mitigate airborne particulates in front of their homes, if not the entire road.
Water is a quick, non-toxic alternative to road dust control oil, but it is not exceptionally long-lasting. Once the gravel dries, your gravel road will return to its old dusty self, which can result in the need for daily, if not hourly, water application.
Calcium chloride is one of the most common alternatives to road dust control oil.
Calcium chloride is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs and retains moisture. Typically available in liquid form, calcium chloride is sprayed onto the road and left to soak in for a couple of hours. Once the liquid is adequately absorbed, your road should remain dust-free, or at least dust-controlled, for the entire year.
Unfortunately, all of these positives come with some substantial negatives. Calcium chloride can keep your road dust-free for the entire season, but unfortunately, it has been proven to be detrimental to plant life and aquatic species, and it can adversely affect your water supply, and cause soil salinization.
Creating Lasting, Eco-friendly Road Dust Control with TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers
TRUEGRID 100% post-consumer recycled HDPE permeable pavers will solve the problem of dusty gravel roads without harsh chemicals or extensive water use.
In addition to creating long-lasting, eco-friendly gravel roads, TRUEGRID 100% American-made permeable pavers can easily create the foundation for a road that is impervious to ruts, potholes, bumps, or washouts. Never spend valuable time and money re-grading your road again with TRUEGRID.