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How to Keep Dust Down on Gravel Roads

By Frank Elswick on 09/20/2016

Dust Controlgravel roadsgreenpaveEK35Soil Sement Engineered Formula

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Dust churned up on gravel roads can pose a risk to surrounding communities and the environment. Proper dust control is about more than just clear air — it’s about clear decisions for citizens and businesses alike.

Anyone who has spent time driving on gravel roads (especially stuck behind another car or truck) knows firsthand just how frustrating road dust can be. Aside from reduced visibility and the potential safety hazards that accompany it, fugitive dust can have a negative impact on surrounding communities by reducing agricultural output (and therefore profits).

Thankfully, eliminating airborne dust is as easy as 1-2-3: surface stabilization, locking in fugitive particulate, and effective maintenance.

Stabilization

A preliminary concern when implementing a dust control system is identifying the primary source of dust in the first place. A lack of properly stabilized soil is often to blame for excess dust — an unpaved surface, without the proper treatment, can deteriorate and emit particulate into the surrounding environment. Thus, locking in these loose particles with an innovative road stabilization system is an effective way to prevent the surface breakdown that comes with heavy traffic.

And this is exactly what Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc.’s patented GreenPaveTM technology does. With the GreenPave system, alternative binders are integrated with on-site soils to improve the structural integrity of the road. Not only does a stronger foundation increase the loading capacity of the road, but it also reduces traffic-generated dust by providing a solid sub-base for subsequent chipping and sealing. This reduces the rate of moisture penetration — a notorious destabilizer and dust producer.

Trapping Dust

When it comes to implementing a holistic dust control strategy, stabilizing the base of the road is just the start. Next, any loose particles from the surface of the road itself must be captured and retained. Dust suppressants like Midwest’s EK35® product, a synthetic fluid and resin binder, interlock the surface fines and aggregate to keep them in place. As traffic generates more fines, they in turn are locked into the system, unable to escape as harmful fugitive dust.

In the same way, Midwest’s Soil-Sement® Engineered Formula strengthens unpaved roads using innovative polymer emulsion technology that stabilizes the material on a molecular scale, regardless of wind, UV light, and other harsh weather conditions. This nanotechnology traps the dust while preventing water from destabilizing the surface, increasing the load-bearing strength of the road (which in turn prevents production of more dust).

Staying Proactive

Ultimately, the most important way to keep gravel roads dust-free in the long-term is by addressing the issue proactively and consistently. Neglected roads fall into disrepair and ultimately require new construction or significant repairs that are substantially more expensive and time-consuming than regular maintenance. Thus, it’s essential to develop a long-term strategy that includes scheduled applications and inspections, during which any necessary modifications to your customized dust control program can be made.

You can trust Midwest’s experts to develop that program and offer market-leading dust control solutions that serve your site’s particular needs well into the future.

About Author

Frank Elswick

Written by Frank Elswick

Frank is the sales unit manager of Midwest's road construction, natural paving markets.

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