Is it possible to stay clean on a construction site? Of course, it isn’t, whether you are a work manager or one of the workers. One of the main reasons why your suit will always get dirty while staying on a construction site is dust. This occurs in all situations, whether small or large projects. So, it can be said that dirt and dust are an indispensable part of construction work.
However, apart from a dirty suit, dust can cause much bigger problems. For example, if it is windy, it will cause the dust to move through the air. The consequences of this flow can be different. Some of the problems are health problems, the risk of damage to equipment, but also the risk of damage to electronics. We believe that no one wants this to happen because it will cause additional costs, or even injury to workers, which is certainly not the goal. Therefore, it is necessary to plan an effective dust suppression strategy. We have decided to discuss this topic below and provide you with some of the most common solutions to this problem. Well, if you’re ready, let’s get started.
1. Vegetation and Mulch
One of the most common and best solutions for dust suppression on a worksite is to use mulch and vegetation. Apart from the fact that this method is very effective, we must emphasize that it is also very simple. So, all you have to do is set the mulch properly and that’s all. Of course, you can combine mulch with vegetation to get even better results. In this case, you need to irrigate the grass at an early stage. It won’t be necessary later.
The principle is pretty simple. Mulch covers land that has become loose due to construction work. This means that even strong winds won’t be able to cause problems and that dust will remain in place. With the addition of vegetation, protection will be even better and more effective. The grassroots consolidate the soil so that there is no chance that wind and dust will cause problems.
2. Barriers and Fencing
Another fairly effective way of fighting dust in a construction site is to set up barriers and fencing. While it may not help to completely suppress dust, fences or other barriers are certainly a good way to partially reduce and retain dust. It is also very important to emphasize that most states have regulated laws when it comes to protective fences and barriers. Therefore, it is mandatory protection on construction sites.
According to research conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, fences need to be installed at right angles to the wind direction. You select the side where the wind is dominant, and then install protective fencing. Pay particular attention to the gaps between the barriers. There are different types (burlap, solid board, crate walls, hay bales, etc.), so it is important to fit barriers as good as possible so that there is no too much space between.
Water is also one of the great things for dust suppression. However, if you use it, you have to be careful because too much water can be bad. As we have mentioned many times before, windy weather is a major cause of dust problems. Therefore, the dust should be kept in place. You can use water for this purpose. The principle is simple and you probably know it if you’ve ever played tennis on a clay court or at least watched a match on such type of court. So, you probably noticed that tennis volunteers regularly wet the court with water so that the wind doesn’t lift the dust off the surface. The same is the case with construction site dust. However, this is not a long-term solution, as the ground will dry out at some point. On the other hand, water is cheap, so that is an advantage.
When it comes to more modern methods of dust suppression, the use of polymers is definitely the leading way. This method is very effective, however, if heavy vehicles are used on the construction site, then the effect won’t be too long. The application of polymers is usually done in two stages and involves the use of the aforementioned water. One of the most common polymers used for this purpose is polyvinyl acrylic. The first phase involves the application of a dry polymer, while in the second phase, it is moistened with water to cause fastening and to keep the dust in place.
In this way, a kind of seal is created on the surface of the soil, so that the dust problem is solved in a very efficient way. Still, as we said, heavy vehicles can easily break down the structure and re-create dust. You can read more about this method on the official website of SprayGrassAustralia, which deals with various methods of dust suppression, especially polymers.
The last commonly used method involves the use of chemical compounds called tackifiers. These are in some ways adhesives that help to create a firm bond and seal on the surface. The most common color of tackifiers is green and there is a good chance that you have already seen how these compounds work. Another major area of application is road construction sites.
There are two ways to implement them. Tackifiers can be used on their own without any additives. This is a good way, however, if you want to amplify the effect, then mulch and seed additives are most often added. We explained the seeds and mulch effects earlier in the first method.
If you have read carefully so far, then you have concluded that different methods of dust suppression are used on construction sites. Some are cheaper, others more expensive, more efficient or less efficient. However, it is very important for the construction site to have as little dust and dirt in the air as possible, as it can cause health problems for workers, and can also cause damage to equipment (electronic above all).