Unpaved roads are useful and low cost so they serve the major budget-related needs of county comissioners. Unpaved roads however, come with certain issues to think about. The problems unpaved roads can have include road erosion, washboarding, and potholes along with dust and mud. That said, taking care of these problems can eat away at a township’s budget because of all the labor and maintenance needed to fix them.

Seeing how these problems can affect a community and budget, townships and county commissioners go out of their way to look for solutions. At the same time, many also look for solutions that won’t break the bank.

One solution is having your unpaved road treated with Perma-Zyme. It’s a great solution for building low-cost county roads since one application can keep your road hard and solid for up to 10 years. Perma-Zyme works by bonding the clay in the soil together to create a concrete-like surface. This same bonding process also reduces dust and prevents other road-related problems like washboarding, erosion, and mud.

Atlas Michigan’s Walker Road

One township that set out to build a low cost, solid county road is Atlas, Michigan. And after learning about Perma-Zyme at a township supervisor’s conference, they decided to take a look into how their unpaved roads could benefit from it.

One of their roads is Walker Road, an unpaved road that had problems regularly. For example, on the road, there were two very low, swampy areas that were a problem for residents. Around February and March, those areas would develop giant frost boils. The frost boils were such a problem that residents who lived near them would park their cars in another location and walk the rest of the way home.

And like most unpaved roads, Walker Road would experience problems after rainfall. Not only would it become muddy and difficult to drive through, but it would also need a lot of grading shortly afterward.

Decision to Apply Perma-Zyme

So with them having learned about Perma-Zyme, they decided to go ahead and apply Perma-Zyme to Walker Road. The residents were notified about the treatment and waited to see the results of the application.

A few days after the treatment, the residents of Atlas were happy with the results. The township surveyed the road and considered the project a success. 

Since the Perma-Zyme application, the road no longer has frost boils and the road doesn’t need the regular maintenance that it needed before. Also, there is much less dust now than they originally had to deal with.

The reconstruction of Walker Road has been so successful that Genesee County (the county in which the town of Atlas is in) has continued using Perma-Zyme to build over ten roads. 

Applying Perma-Zyme

 Applying Perma-Zyme requires a few pieces of equipment: a water truck, a sheepsfoot or padfoot compactor, a smooth wheel roller, and a motor grader.

The first step in the application process is using a motor grader to rip the soil. The depth that you should rip into the soil depends on the traffic you’re expecting the road to see.

If it’s a road that gets just normal traffic from 4-wheeled cars and trucks, use the ripper attachment on your motor grader to rip a depth of 6 inches. But if the road is going to see heavy traffic from vehicles like 18-wheelers, the depth should be 12 inches. 

Then using a water truck, spray water mixed with Perma-Zyme evenly across the road to get the soil to optimum moisture. 

When the soil is at optimum moisture, compact with the sheepsfoot or padfoot compactor on its high vibratory setting. This creates aggressive compaction, forcing the clay particles close together to get them to start bonding. Finish compacting with the smooth wheel roller for extra compaction and to smooth the road out. 

After compaction, the road will be ready to handle light traffic as soon as the road is dry. For heavier traffic, wait at least 72 hours. 

It’s also important to have at least 3 days of no rain after construction, as rain affects the compaction and curing. The temperature should also be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit throughout that time.

Low Cost County Roads 

 If you’re looking to build a strong, low-cost county road, Perma-Zyme is a great option for helping you build a road that’s solid and long lasting.

The concrete-like surface Perma-Zyme creates will reduce road problems, and since it can keep your road solid for up to 10 years, you’ll benefit in savings from less labor and maintenance throughout that entire time. Rural counties and townships like Atlas, Michigan that have several unpaved roads will benefit greatly from having their unpaved roads treated with Perma-Zyme.

Perma-Zyme is enzyme-based, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. Best of all, just one application of Perma-Zyme will keep your road solid for up to 10 years.


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