Summer 2021 has delivered a record-breaking heatwave and along with extreme drought in the U.S. West. Drought and heat are becoming more common and this makes dusty conditions more likely. It’s important that primary sources of particle pollution like construction sites and unpaved roads have dust mitigation plans in place for the sake of public health and visibility. In terms of pure performance, chemical dust suppressants are often the best way to do this.
However, it is not uncommon to spray water down as a go-to dust abatement tactic. Water might be a cheap and easy solution in the short term, but its long-term application costs can exceed the benefits of short-term savings in many cases. This is especially true when the weather is hot. Water can evaporate in less than a day. Water also doesn’t stabilize the soil. This means more frequent road maintenance than roads treated with chemical solutions.
When To Use Chemical Dust Suppressants
So, when should you seriously consider chemical dust suppression products? When making this decision, consider factors like:
- Regulatory obligations
- Climate conditions
- Short and long-term financials
- Traffic volume
- Soil stabilization needs
Chemical dust suppressants usually have a quick positive impact on operations dealing with unpaved surfaces in hot, dry climates. This is especially true if surfaces get moderate or heavy traffic.
However, do not rule out chemical dust control for unpaved areas in more moderate climates. Surfaces in more moderate climates may only require one application per year (or less) to keep dust down. This application will also reduce expensive road maintenance work, which water does not offer.
How To Use Dust Suppressants On Unpaved Surfaces
Chemical dust suppressants tend to be applied one to three times over the summer months. Application frequency depends on the type of dust suppressant being used, product concentration, application rate, road quality, and weather.
Visit our post about how to control dust on gravel and dirt roads using dust control chemicals if you’d like to learn more about the most commonly used dust palliatives. It discusses:
- Calcium chloride, magnesium chloride dust control, and lignosulfonates
- How to apply these palliatives in liquid form
- Factors that impact product performance
If you want to connect with a dust control specialist, feel free to reach out. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can.