When you own a business or property that includes any unpaved access roads, you may be contributing to environmental and health issues to the surrounding areas. Excess or fugitive dust in the air from vehicle travel can reduce visibility enough to cause accidents and can leave a layer of dust on nearby crops and buildings. Fugitive dust can also cause health problems when it is inhaled by you, your employees, or neighbors, especially when it contains crystalline silica, asbestos fibers, or heavy metals. Here are two effective paving options to keep down fugitive dust on your unpaved roads.

Chip Seal Paving

One option for controlling dust over unpaved roads, without installing a full coating of expensive asphalt paving, is to use chip seal. This type of surface creates a solid, skid-resistant surface using seal coat and gravel. It also costs one-fourth to one-fifth the price of an asphalt layer. Because this type of pavement is not an asphalt pavement, it is only recommended for lower traffic roads that are used by less than 2,500 vehicles each day, which makes it perfect for less-traveled industrial and construction roads.

To install a chip seal surface, the existing road needs to be leveled and smoothed, patching any existing holes and removing any plant growth. Then, the paving crew sprays the surface of the road with a layer of hot liquid asphalt. Immediately following the layer of liquid asphalt, they will then spread a layer of crushed gravel pieces, three-eighths of an inch and smaller, onto the asphalt. As the gravel adheres into the layer of liquid asphalt, the crews compact the gravel into the surface, using a pressure roller to seal the surface in place. 

Chip seal paving takes up to two days to cure, but you can drive over its surface at a reduced speed before a full cure takes place. It is recommended to drive no faster than 35 miles per hour during this curing process. After it has fully cured and hardened, the paving crew will sweep the surface clean of any loose gravel and rocks. This is to help prevent damage to cars or injury to pedestrians from flying rocks. 

If any cracks occur in your chip seal pavement, the asphalt will soften and seal the cracks back together during hot weather. And the makeup of a chip seal pavement prevents weather and sun oxidation and aging deterioration of its surface, which normally occurs to regular asphalt surfaces.

Recycled Asphalt Paving

A second option for keeping down dust on construction roads is to pave with recycled asphalt, which is produced by grinding old asphalt road materials into an asphalt gravel, instead of adding in new gravel. Using recycled asphalt helps the environment, keeping almost 75 million tons of old asphalt out of the landfills. This reduces the need for mining rock and oil consumption for producing the asphalt materials. It also costs much less than traditional hot-mix asphalt pavement, saving you from $30 to $80 a ton. 

The road surface is prepared for paving with recycled asphalt following the same process as preparing to apply chip seal paving: the road is graded and smoothed to remove any debris and fill any potholes, then the surface is sprayed with a hot liquid asphalt. Next, the road is covered with a layer of crushed, recycled asphalt gravel, which is compacted together with a compacting roller. Just as with chip seal paving, recycled asphalt will cure within two days, but you can drive over its surface immediately.

The process of paving with recycled asphalt is different than the paving process using regular hot mix asphalt. Because recycled asphalt already has its original asphalt tar and oils in the mixture, hot liquid asphalt does not need to be combined with the recycled aggregate gravel, but applied as a base layer to the pavement. Then, as the newly-paved surface sits in the sun, the sun's heat releases these oils, causing the pavement to adhere together and create a solid surface. And using recycled asphalt increases the density of the road's paving and gives you a durable surface that will continue to grow stronger over time. 

This information gives you two inexpensive paving options to keep down excess dust on construction and industrial roads. Contact a company like GMCO Corporation for more information.