Residential Dust Control Strategies

Dawn KruegerDust Control, Landscaping

Bethesda Residence Landscaping Project by Rasevic Landscape Company in Bethesda, MD

Looking for effective tips to keep the dust down in your yard? We can help! Nothing is more aggravating than sweeping the deck or cleaning your bookcases just to have a new layer of dust settle in the next day. We can’t avoid sweeping and dusting, but we CAN make efforts to decrease the quantity of dust in our lawns as well as the amount of dust that gets into our homes.

Keeping doors and windows shut is one option, but if you are located in the Mid-Atlantic region like us, the summers are beautiful and the perfect time to open up the house and let the fresh air inside! It’s not very tempting to close up the house if you appreciate the cool air from the beach or prefer less expensive temperature management techniques like opening windows early in the day. While it is hard to completely eliminate dust, decreasing the amount of exposed soil in your yard is among the most essential things you could do to reduce dust and prevent dirt from being carried into your house by dogs, children, and visitors. If you want to get the most out of landscaping maintenance, you should learn how to keep dust low. 

What are the best dust control strategies for your yard? 

Start with a well-compacted foundation around your home. Keeping loose dirt to a minimum is essential for dust suppression, regardless of the approach you employ on top of it. Let’s start with a few common approaches that are at most somewhat successful but aren’t always ideal solutions for various reasons.

Many homes employ these techniques, and their cost and simplicity might appeal to you as well; nevertheless, before proceeding, be careful to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the first five alternatives.

1. Using a Sprinkler

Keeping the earth moist can help keep the dust in the yard down; but, amid a drought or if you are trying to conserve water, this strategy isn’t really a feasible alternative. We’ll include it since it’s one of the oldest tactics in the book, but this is not a strategy we advocate utilizing anytime soon.

2. Pea Gravel

This is arguably one of the most common techniques of dust control for homeowners looking for a quick and low-cost solution. Pea gravel is an excellent ground cover that can be easily included into any landscape design instead of keeping dirt exposed. If your property has a lot of land or vast patios, it may be utilized to provide a fresh texture to break up things a little. Gravel creates excellent pathways and may be used as a low-water ground cover around plants. Gravel exists in a range of sizes and hues, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular in landscaping. Pea gravel is often used to cover huge areas in a visually appealing manner.

If you decide to go this path, you should look into drain rock and compare these two options. They’re fairly similar, and draining rock is a little cheaper, so if you’re covering a wide area, it could be the better option. The drawback to utilizing pea gravel and the reason it’s on our list — is that it may still be dusty. Furthermore, the little fragments may be dragged into your house by you, your dogs, or your children, which can be just as bothersome as having dirt brought in. It’s much more aggravating if you have laminate or hardwood flooring that the gravel might harm. So, although we think gravel may be used artistically as part of landscape architecture, this may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a way to keep dust out of your yard.

3. Straw or Hay – while grass is growing

To help maintain the dust down, you can add hay or straw, although it isn’t the most appealing choice and isn’t often particularly long-lasting. The advantage of hay would be that it contains seeds that may sprout and start to grow in the region, so if you’re looking for a live ground cover to control the dust, this may be one possibility. This one is included because some homes use it as a dust management strategy; nevertheless, there are various reasons why it’s not a great idea for most people.

First and foremost, if it gets moist, it will mold and decay. While we may not receive much rain, this may happen from water used to irrigate your landscape, turned over dog water bowls, or any other source of water on the ground within your yard. Hay may also be dusty, walked in on shoes as well as paws, and rather slippery, which can be a problem for both younger and older visitors. It may attract rats to settle in your yard and utilize this convenient nesting material to produce a large number of rodent pups to fill your property. Overall, hay or straw are untidy solutions that don’t hold up over time, so scratch this off the list and then go on to something more effective.

4. Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride 

Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride are more typically found on dirt roads, construction sites, and big farms or ranches than in private dwellings. These successful treatments may significantly reduce dust levels, but they can also pollute groundwater, be poisonous to some fish species, kill crustaceans, and have a severe impact on a range of tree species, including fruit trees, as per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Be very cautious if you choose this option. We recommend consulting a professional like Rasevic so you use the right amount without risking negative consequences.

Using magnesium chloride and calcium chloride for snow removal is quite popular among government properties, industrial companies, and manufacturing companies. So, if you’re tempted to take a little of that calcium chloride to your home out of a work site to control the dust in your backyard, think about the environmental consequences first.

5. Grass

Covering the soil in your yard and reducing the dust is as simple as planting grass or laying down sod. Sod is the fastest option that achieves maximal effectiveness nearly instantly, though it’s more costly than grass seed. Grass seeds, on the other hand, take time to germinate, and real grass fields take a long time to develop, so this isn’t a fast remedy. And there is still soil just at bottom of those leaf buds, you will observe a decrease in dust and filth, but it may not be as dramatic as you hoped. Contact a professional for other options like hydro-seeding and other options for grass.

Final words

There are other options of course like mulch, concrete, wood and composite decking, pavers and unlimited stone designs that can be used on residential properties to reduce dust. If you are located in the Mid-Atlantic region near Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia or Delaware, contact Rasevic for landscaping design ideas and strategies.

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