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Old 08/05/06, 04:28 PM
farmergirl's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Austin-ish, Texas
Posts: 5,001
How to keep dust down in barn?

The thread about dirt floors for livestock barns got me thinking.....Our barn, used for horse stalls, woodworking, raising baby chickens, storing the riding mower and various other outdoor tools, and also used for storing hay, has a very dusty dirt floor. Part of the floor is covered with rubber mats (the cross-tie area where I groom and tack up the horses). I can't afford to buy mats to cover the entire floor. Is there a way to keep down the dust? It's been very dry in Texas this year, so the dust is worse than ever. I know I could just use a hose and spray the floor down periodically, but I thought there might be another solution out there. Is there some kind of compound that people use to keep the dust down? Something that could be poured or sprayed on the floor every couple of months maybe?
"Perhaps I'll have them string a clothesline from the hearse I am in, with my underwear waving in the breeze, as we drive to the cemetary. People worry about the dumbest things!"
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Old 08/05/06, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Central Montana
Posts: 58
You could spray oil on the floor and it would last for a year. Problem is that oil isn't a great choice.

We use rainbird sprinklers in the barns for a couple hours every few days.
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Old 08/05/06, 08:47 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ocala, FL
Posts: 3,540
In the north where there are alot of indoor riding arenas for wintertime, we used a sprayer with mineral oil once a year. A bonus was that the mineral oil was good for the horses hooves AND helped hold the water under/in the arena footing when we watered and dragged.

Now, this was a BIG sprayer pulled along behind a truck, and we hired the guy who did it each year, but I'm sure if it's just your grooming area or a portion of your aisles, you could use one of those sprayers that you pump up yourself and spray with a wand.

To help the mineral oil get through the nozzle, I would mix it 2:1 with VERY hot water.

A tip: you can get mineral oil a gallon at a time pretty cheap from your vet.
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Old 08/05/06, 09:53 PM
Bearfootfarm's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 45,307
Do a Google search on "dust control" and it will pull up some commercial products as well. Ive never tried any of them but they sound interesting. Tractor Supply also has mineral oil by the gallon and probably cheaper than a Vet would
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Old 08/06/06, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 3,021
A friend of mine has a company that uses some sort of solution for de-icing roads AND dust control. I believe it's a mixture of corn syrup and salt, but I don't know what it is called.
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Old 08/06/06, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 104
I will begin this by stating that I have no clue if this should be used around animals.......

One of the products that some refer to is Calcium Chloride. Typically it comes in flake form, and reminds me of the salt on a hot pretzel.
It can be used a couple of ways.
1) It is used in the winter as "ice melter" and works well at that. I am not sure if all "non salt" ice melters are calcium chloride, but believe many are.

2)It is used (typically) on construction sites. The nature of calcium chloride in the summertime, is that when sprinkled on a dusty road or construction site, it naturally attracts the moister from the ground and out of the air (the same way your salt shaker without rice in it will get all nasty on top in the humid weather) Anyway, this moister, attracted by the Calcium chloride lays on the surface of the ground, thus preventing dust.

3)Duh, it just occurred to me that it is further used on the farm. Anyone that has a farm tractor with "calcium filled tires", this is it! Don't quote me on the mix, but I think it is 50# CC to 50 Gallons of water. I believe this is a northern climate thing.

If you have ever seen the rims of tractors that have had the calcium mix leak out without being cleaned up, you will know what I mean, and I am not sure I would want to spread that willy-nilly in my barn, especially with animals, equipment, etc.
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Old 08/06/06, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Central MN
Posts: 191
I remember awhile back someone was trying to develop a soybean byproduct for dust control. I did a quick search and maybe these sites would help.
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Old 11/13/06, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: East coast, Canada
Posts: 171
try soaking hemlock bark in water for a few days to a week. spray on liberally to dusty floor. it is a temporary solution, reapply weekly to monthly depending on conditions.
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Old 11/14/06, 11:33 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8
Can straw be thrown down on the dirt floor and help control dust? Also is there anything else other than chemicals that would help, like rock or crushed concrete or asphalt?
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Old 11/14/06, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: sw virginia
Posts: 381
Straw works well for me, it's cheap and absorbs moisture too.
"Common sense is no longer common"
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Old 11/14/06, 03:07 PM
minnikin1's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Central NY
Posts: 1,658
Earthen floors for interiors are made by pouring on oil and then a solvent.
I would use mineral oil and one of those citrus based solvents.
You put it on and just keep letting it absorb until it won't take anymore.
For more detailed instructions, google search earth floors or earthen floors.
Hut on the Hill Farm
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