Staying safe and slip-free is the number one reason to install a heated driveway snow melting system. The main reason people have heated driveways is for safety. Many driveways are impossibly steep and homeowners are afraid of the fall hazard presented by ice build-up on drives and walks.
- Added home resale value
- No salt or chemicals meaning less environmental damage
- No driveway damaging snow plows
- No need to own a noisy and space consuming snow thrower
- No more physically strenuous snow shoveling
How Heated Driveway Systems Work
The two popular types of heated driveway systems both work by generating radiant heat underneath the driveway keeping the pavement warm during snowstorms.
Generally, two types of snow melting systems are available for use in exterior slabs , hydronic snow melt and electric snow melt systems.
Both rely on four key components to turn the entire slab surface into a radiant heat source.
- A heating element, which is embedded in the slab.
- Sensors to detect outdoor air temperatures and moisture.
- A power source.
- A controller to tie the heating element, sensors, and power source together.
The first method uses a series of tubes and pumps to move hot water directly underneath the driveway, warming it up. The second heating method uses an electric current to generate heat on a wire or across a mat, in almost exactly the same manner as most indoor floor-heating systems.
Heated driveways are actually a radiant heat flooring system, which can be installed both indoors and out. For outdoor use, radiant floor systems are quite beneficial to those who live in snowy climates. When temperatures drop, heated water and antifreeze are pumped into the tubing, melting any snow that collects on your driveway. From the comfort of your home, you can flip a switch and watch the snow melt away. It’s also possible to automate the whole process. Sensors detect when the system needs to turn on so that you arrive home to a snow free driveway.
If you want a heated driveway, you don’t necessarily need to install a whole new driveway. Sometimes the tubing can be run under your current one.
Many factors influence whether you need to have the driveway replaced including time of year, soil compaction, trees in proximity, etc. Replacing the driveway ensures that the heated driveway system has been installed correctly.
Most underground systems are constructed with the ability to melt snow at a rate of about one inch per hour.
Mack Land, LLC in Denver and in Wauconda will help you decide if an electric or hydronic heated driveway system is right for you.