Living In A Drought Area? What Are The Best Dust Control Options For Your Gravel Driveway?

If you've long relied on the power of water to keep the dust from your gravel driveway under control during the hotter, drier parts of the year, you may be dismayed to learn that the drought restrictions put into place in many parts of the country dealing with insufficient rainfall can affect the amount of dust control you're able to exert. Not only does a lack of rainfall lead to dust-friendlier conditions as topsoil dries up and plants wither away, but an inability to keep your driveway moist can mean more dust in your home with every passing breeze. Fortunately, you still have some options when it comes to keeping gravel dust at bay. Read on to learn more about your eco-friendly dust control choices that can remain part of your routine even well after the drought has ended.

Calcium chloride

This liquid may not look like anything special as it's rolled onto the surface of a roadway, but calcium chloride's moisture-retention properties make it one of the longest-lasting multitaskers in the business. When calcium chloride is applied to the surface of a gravel driveway, it creates a seal that helps compact the gravel more quickly while keeping it moist. This moisture barrier does double duty, keeping any dust from being stirred up as vehicles travel over the gravel while also protecting the gravel from outside pollutants and disturbances (from a strong breeze to dripping oil or antifreeze from vehicles passing overhead). As a result, you'll often find that treatment with calcium chloride helps your driveway's gravel last much longer before requiring a refresher load, saving you money.

If you decide to go the calcium chloride route, you'll want to ensure that your existing gravel is in good enough shape to justify treatment (ordering an extra load to spread across the top if it's becoming thin in areas). You'll then apply the calcium chloride using a hose, allowing it some time to fully dry before you and others travel over the driveway. The long-lasting nature of this treatment should free up quite a bit of time if you previously found yourself watering your driveway two or three times a week. 

Larger gravel

Some types of gravel are simply more dust-prone than others; and smaller, pea-style gravel is almost always going to generate more dust than larger gravel that has been washed before application. Although having smaller (or a mix of small and large) gravel on a steep or long driveway is usually a good idea when it comes to gaining traction in slippery winter weather, those with short, flat driveways may want to opt for larger gravel pellets that have been pre-washed. 

In some cases, making this simple change to larger gravel may eliminate your need for further dust control services or products without requiring you to incur any expenses other than your normal driveway maintenance costs. As long as the layer of larger gravel is thick enough to withstand spinning vehicle tires without giving way to the smaller gravel below, you should find it to be an ideal dust control measure, and watering your driveway on a regular basis will no longer be required. 

Polymer products

Although calcium chloride is manufactured under a wide variety of labels and names, some companies have created their own proprietary (often patented) polymer road dust control solutions. Most of these products are designed with one principle in mind – maintain the moisture of the gravel to prevent dust from becoming airborne. Many of these products use silica gel or other types of gel that are efficient at removing moisture from the air and using it to create a barrier to dust dissipation. Like calcium chloride, other polymer dust control products are usually applied in liquid form and allowed to air dry before contact.   

To learn more, contact a company like GMCO Corporation.