This program is not a service the public can purchase from us, yet it is something we perform on various sections of gravel roads and it usually gets some attention of those who live on the particular road we are treating. The following information will help you understand just what is happening.
At first glance it appears we are trying to control dust, and although this treatment may provide some temporary reduction of the amount of dust, our main focus is trying to stabilize the surface of the road which, in turn, means less need for grading.
There are several factors which influence our decision to treat a particular section of road. These can include the availability of a close source of water as grading a gravel road requires water to get a good final result. Other factors are things such as slope and speed of traffic, corners, traffic volumes, etc. In summary, we use this program to allow us to spend more time on other activities such as asphalt maintenance when the weather is warm is dry.
We currently use an environmentally-friendly product commonly called Earthbind. This product has been found to provide the best surface stabilization result for our area conditions which include factors such as climate, humidity, rainfall and care of the environment.
Application of the product is usually done in the late-spring or early summer. Steps related to the product application include:
- Some basic preparation of the road surface is usually required ahead of time, such as grading. This is normally done within 1-2 days of the anticipated application date.
- The application of the product is usually accomplished in a single day with a truck typically making two passes over the roadway; one immediately following the other. There is sometimes variability determined by several factors, including the aggregate surface being treated.
- During and after application, the road will be closed for up to four hours to apply the product and let it set up. While emergency vehicles could use the road if needed, it is best if residents refrain from driving on the road during this closure period. Any driving absolutely necessary before curing should be done at VERY slow speeds (1-5 MPH) to avoid getting product on the vehicle. Any product on the vehicle should be removed immediately using a hot water/steam pressure washer (no scrubbing/abrasives).
The duration and degree of effectiveness in stabilizing the surface is dependent on a lot of variables. Primarily, high volumes of traffic, high speeds, and heavy truck traffic can decrease effectiveness.
So if you live on a county-maintained gravel road, keep an eye out for signs which would indicate this treatment is coming. We usually post the signs with at least 24 hours notice. If you have further questions please check out the attached PDF brochure or contact our office.