Most people probably don't think much when they see dust coming up off the road. Maybe it's broken down gravel or even dirt from recent rains. The fact is that the dust could be road dust, small particles that actually help stabilize gravel roadways.
What can you do if you start to notice road dust? Here are a few tips for keeping it in check.
Beat Dust With Beets
This is one of the newest ways to eliminate road dust: using sugar beet extract. The liquid extract, which is taken from beet molasses, works similarly to a glue. It is hygroscopic, which means it not only holds water but attaches to it to make sure it won't roll off the roadway before it has time to sink in. This extract doesn't freeze, so that makes it good for colder areas of the world. Best of all, it's a renewable product with each season of beet crops.
Moisten the Roadway With Calcium Chloride
Many times, the first time road dust becomes a problem is when it has been hot and dry. When vehicles travel over gravel that hasn't seen water in a while, it's easy to shift gravel around and produce dust. This is bad news, since the dust may go off the road's surface, lead to destabilization, and even result in dangerous pot holes.
If it's been dry lately, consider wetting down your roadway. The first way is to use calcium chloride. This helps gather water vapor from the air and pulls it into the roadway, keeping it structurally sound. This simple substance attracts moisture, so roads gain more water weight than they lose.
Use a Glue like Lignin Sulfonate
Another option is to use a glue that actually holds the road and all the dust together. Lignin sulfonate is used to to stabilize unpaved roads, and it's water soluble, making it safe for the environment. It's easy to use, and it can even make the road more able to handle heavier traffic. The glue doesn't prevent potholes and damage from taking place, so the top layer does have to be replaced every few months during routine maintenance. It takes around three weeks for the surface of the road to cure and harden completely, so keep that in mind if you use this process.
These are just a few of many different ways to repair and prevent road dust on your gravel road. Try one and protect your investment.