Dust Control on Construction Sites: Quick Guide for Contractors

Construction equipment not only makes a lot of noise, but it can also kick up a lot of dust when the conditions are right. Dust control is an important part of any construction process for a wide variety of reasons. Contractors must know why dust control is important and the best measures to take to reduce dust clouds on a job site.

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It is up to the contractor to keep dust under control on a job site.

Why Dust Control Is Needed

Dust from a construction site can travel long distances and possibly add pollutants to plants and any sources of water nearby. Silica is a substance that can cause serious health problems,  and it is also one of the more common types of materials kicked up in a construction dust storm. Dust storms from construction sites can make visibility difficult for local traffic, and they can also cause problems with the construction equipment itself.

When Dust Control Is Needed

Construction job site supervisors can normally tell when a job requires dust control measures. The most obvious sites are ones where the topsoil is very dry, or where there is a great of sand mixed in with the soil. While it is easier to perform dust control on flatter job sites, it is still important to analyze the soil on a job site closely and make sure that the proper dust control measures are put in place.

Clearing A Site

In some cases, it might not be until a job site is completely cleared that it becomes apparent that dust control measures are necessary. While the EPA would prefer that construction companies do dust control measures only as needed on parts of the job site where work is being done, most contractors will treat an entire site in anticipation of keeping down emissions and not slowing down work.


One of the more common methods of dust control is to till the land and plant small vines that will take root and prevent dust from flying. It is important to note that covering a job site in asphalt is not allowed, which is why many contractors turn to vegetation.


Water is an inexpensive way to control dust, and it can be used in almost any type of job site conditions. Contractors should avoid using so much water that runoff is created as that could cause an environmental hazard. The customary way to utilize water is to apply it in a light mist three times a day only to the area where work is taking place.


A polymer is a substance that, when mixed with soil and water, will bind the soil particles together and prevent dust from flying. This solution will last longer than water, and it is easier and faster to apply than vegetation. It is important to remember that polymers should only be used in areas where there will not be excessive foot or vehicle traffic that could break the bonds and nullify the dust controlling effects.

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There are plenty of inexpensive and effective ways to control dust on a job site.

Blocking The Wind

Some companies prefer to put up wind fences on job sites that are in open areas and are relatively flat. While this will be helpful in preventing winds from the plains areas from kicking up dust, it will not stop the dust clouds created by the work being performed. Wind fences are normally used in conjunction with other dust control methods.

PDH Contractors can be your source for dust control information and for the types of courses you need to maintain your contractor’s license. You can browse courses by state and find the certified classroom material you need to get your contractor’s license in your state or renew your license to keep your company working hard and growing.

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