If you live on a big farm and have dirt roads connecting your house to your barns and far edges of your property, you'll need to maintain the roads or you'll lose a lot to erosion and cause a lot of dust agitation. If the roads are heavily traveled by farm workers or during times of construction, the dust can be bad enough to coat your house or trigger allergies. The dust is an annoyance, and it is also a sign that your road is wearing away. Fortunately, you can take steps to compact the dust so it doesn't fill the air when trucks use the road, and your roads will last longer. Here is a quick look at how dust compaction works.
Grade And Compact The Road
When you have a dirt road, it will need to be graded occasionally to keep it passable. Grading usually involves mixing gravel with the dirt and then compacting it to make a hard, smooth surface. If your road is made completely of dirt, sand, or clay, then it will bog down and not be useable when it rains. This may be acceptable for roads at the far reaches of your property, but for roads that are used frequently, such as the one to your home from the highway, grading is usually necessary.
The frequency of road maintenance depends on how much traffic is on the road and the weight of the trucks or machinery using it. Grading and compacting the soil helps maintain the integrity of the road, but it isn't enough to completely control dust, especially during spells of dry weather. For that, you'll need to keep the soil moist so dust sticks together rather than flies into the air.
Keep Road Surface Moist
Dust compaction works by keeping moisture in the soil. This can be done using a variety of substances such as oil, chemicals, and even sugar beet extract. One common method of dust control involves using a calcium chloride solution. Calcium chloride is used because it attracts and absorbs water. This keeps the road moist enough that dust is held in place when vehicles roll over it or when the wind blows across it. It is effective in a variety of weather conditions too, since it doesn't wash away. When the road is saturated with water, the calcium chloride sinks into the soil, but then it comes back to the top when the road dries out again.
Calcium chloride is applied to dirt roads by a contractor using a sprayer truck. It can be applied after road grading to keep your road in the best shape. An advantage to using calcium chloride for dust compaction is that its effectiveness may prolong the life of your road and reduce the frequency that you need to have the road graded or built back up. It isn't really practical to spray your road with water every day to control dust, so using calcium chloride is a good alternative.
Controlling dust may not be something you think about when you have dirt roads built on your property, but if the roads get a lot of use, you'll soon see the need for it. Air filled with dust not only bothers you, it also bothers farm animals, and the dust can clog machinery and coat everything with a layer of dust that turns to mud when it rains. Spraying your frequently used roads with a dust compaction solution could be the answer you need.