It might be tempting to skip out on the expense of a comprehensive dust control program, but not attending to this crucial necessity for your work site can cost you far more in the long run.
Industrial sites and unpaved roads tend to produce a lot of dust, and when those particulate emissions are introduced into the air, they can create visibility hazards for drivers or damage vital equipment. Additionally, some companies are obligated to maintain a certain degree of dust control in order to meet specific environmental regulations, which means that failing to control dust simply isn’t an option.
And it isn’t just outright ignoring dust control that will cost you later on down the road — cutting corners on your program can actually cause more harm than good, for both your budget and your roads.
The Negative Cycle of Watering
When you think about dust control, watering might be the first thing that comes to mind. After all, a freshly watered road will produce almost no dust for about an hour or two before the water begins to evaporate, and the visual effect is immediate and striking. But water is actually one of the most destructive elements for a road, and regular watering can actually lead to potholes and rutting, not to mention the loss of essential fines.
To remedy these damaged roadways, most industrial site operators will bring in a grader to reshape the road surface and plug up potholes with fill material from the site. Fill material lacks the fines that are contained in a well-constructed road, however, and because the quality of the road’s paving material deteriorates with each cycle of watering and grading, you can easily become trapped in an expensive cycle. Watering and grading aren’t free, after all — there’s no sense in paying thousands and thousands of dollars for the destruction of your own roads.
The Hidden Costs of Ineffective Dust Control
Although skipping on the investment required to properly tackle dust control might seem like an easy way to save money, inaction (or ineffective action) comes with a bevy of hidden costs. For instance, deteriorating roads can damage the trucks that drive on them, potentially causing thousands of dollars in damages.
And the causes of deteriorating roads go beyond your expected wear and tear: it’s often ineffective dust control solutions that undermine a road’s stability. Regularly watering roads may appear to suppress dust in the short term, but ends up washing away the fines that hold the road together, weakening the surface’s underlying structure. This necessitates regular regrading of your road, which in turn necessitates hauling in new aggregate with which to replace degraded road matter.
Road degradation can also occur when purchasing bad solutions from a dust control vendor who may or may not take responsibility for failing to achieve your desired results. Add the time and resources management must dedicate to these continual maintenance efforts, and all these costs begin to add up fairly quickly.
If you choose not to consistently regrade roads that sustain damage over time, the consequences can be even worse. Some roads get to a point where drivers suffer back problems due to the extreme bumpiness — if they go on to file worker’s comp claims, damaged roads can indirectly cost you a pretty penny. Perhaps most significantly, failing to meet EPA emission standards can lead to a Notice of Violations and a civil penalty fine.
Considering the nearly endless potential for expensive headaches, it’s not hard to see how implementing an efficient dust control program can save more money than doing nothing at all, while also keeping roads smooth and safe.
Midwest: Your Dust Control Partner
At Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc., we bring the full breadth of 40+ years of dust control experience to the table every time we create and customize a program for a specific worksite. We design every single program to each site’s exact specifications, no matter how large the site is or how complex its needs might be. In every proposal, we specify program duration, the level of dust control you want, and a monthly cost.
Our suite of dust control products were custom-built to address every possible industrial scenario, from inclement weather to huge variations in traffic intensity. Moreover, our products reduce dust and strengthen the road itself. So no matter the size or scope of the dust control challenges your site may face, you can turn to Midwest to solve them.