Understanding Road Dust And How To Deal With It

If you've driven down a road and experienced road dust, then you know just how frustrating it can be. No one wants to drive through an impenetrable, invasive cloud of dust. If you own the road in question, then road dust can become even more infuriating. To help you improve safety and reduce maintenance costs on your road, here is an explanation of what road dust actually is, why you should be concerned about it, and how you can correct it:

What is road dust?

Road dust is a very specific type of dust that is created as automobiles drive over roads. Cars and trucks release certain blends of chemicals in their exhaust. When this exhaust interacts with dust that naturally rises from roadwork and asphalt, it hangs in the air and can spread very easily if there are strong winds.

Why is road dust problematic?

The presence of exhaust means that there is a large volume of particulates in road dust. While this is fairly damaging to the atmosphere in the long term, it also poses a more immediate threat to people in the area. Particulate-heavy dusts tend to be harder so see through. Any conditions that reduce visibility for drivers is a large safety concern. Additionally, if these particulates are breathed in, they can cause both temporary and chronic respiratory problems. If you grow crops or other plants, the dust can affect how well they thrive.

Road dust also indicates that material is being removed from the road. Over time, this can add up to a lot of lost material, in both volume and value. When dust separates from the asphalt, it compromises the integrity and strength of the road. After you fix as much road dust as you can, you should sealcoat the drive.

So how can you treat road dust?

If you want to stop the harmful health effects and vision impairment of road dust, then one option is to reduce the particulates in the exhaust of cars. However, you can't really control the exhaust of the cars involved if your road is used by more than just yourself. In many cases, a better option is to treat the road with a solution such as calcium chloride.

The usage of calcium chloride is quite simple, although it requires specialized equipment. All you really need to do is spray liquid calcium chloride over the road in question. This will drastically reduce the amount of road dust that is created for a period of time. You can also have road dust control companies apply magnesium chloride treatments. These are great because they are safe for the environment. These--and other kinds of treatments--resist evaporation and will keep your roads smooth and your air quality clear.