How to Control Driveway Dust
Dust from a gravel driveway can coat everything in the home and pose a visibility and health concern. A gravel road generates dust when vehicle traffic causes a disturbance to the crushed stone and clay material. The finer dry particles become airborne and, depending on wind direction, can blow all over. Options for treating a dust-ridden driveway exist. All work in different manners to prevent the fine particles from becoming airborne. The simplest is to spray water on the driveway when traffic is expected.
Chloride Based Dust Control
Spray or dust the gravel driveway with calcium chloride or magnesium chloride. Manufacturers produce both products under a number of trade names, including Soilworks and Top-Seal. Calcium chloride is either a powder or a liquid while the magnesium chloride is a liquid. Apply them at the manufacturer's suggested rates when the driveway is still wet from spring snowmelt or rain.
Apply additional chloride material after it rains, if necessary. Not all areas require additional applications. Monitor the dust conditions and add chloride materials as necessary.
- Spray or dust the gravel driveway with calcium chloride or magnesium chloride.
- Apply them at the manufacturer's suggested rates when the driveway is still wet from spring snowmelt or rain.
Apply an additional chloride treatment in late summer or early fall. This is considered routine in most dust control plans for gravel roads and driveways. Follow manufacturer’s label directions for this application as well.
Oil-Based Dust Control
Grade the road in the spring of the year. Get the road as smooth as possible, with a center crown to aid in drainage. Make sure the road is in good shape. It can't be maintained during the summer after the application of the oil-based dust control.
- Apply an additional chloride treatment in late summer or early fall.
- It can't be maintained during the summer after the application of the oil-based dust control.
Spray a coating of oil-based dust control product on the road. Vegetable oil is the most common. The oil binds the fine materials within the gravel, preventing it from becoming airborne.
Maintain the road surface without grading. This prevents damaging the oil layer at the surface of the gravel.
Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.