Warmup Electric Snow Melting Mat System
Installing Warmup Driveway Snow-Melting Mat
As a remodeling contractor I advise on, and oversee, a lot of hardscaping projects. Recently, I’ve seen an increase in snow-melting system installations.
Why Install a Snow Melting System?
Living in the North means shoveling snow, salting your walkway and stairs, and plowing your driveway (or paying someone to do it for you). Over time this becomes a hassle and is probably the reason so many older people become “snow birds” and move South. Let’s face it: who wants to deal with snow, ice, and slipping hazards as your body becomes more fragile? Here are some of the more common reasons I see people considering such systems.
- To improve safety. Personally, I feel the biggest benefit of snow-melting systems is safety. Slips, trips, and falls are the second-most common cause of accidental deaths in the U.S. each year, second only to traffic accidents. Almost 80 percent of slips and falls are due to snow and ice, occurring in parking lots or on sidewalks. One bad fall can ruin your whole day, or more realistically, your whole year! Installing a snow-melting system can reduce the chances of slip-and-fall injuries, costly and lengthy recoveries, and lost income from being hurt. They’re also extremely helpful if you have someone living in your household that is accessibility challenged.
- To reduce liability. A snow and ice melt system is also huge liability reducer and extremely useful if you have a high-foot traffic business, reducing the risk of insurance claims and lawsuits.
- To reduce the use of caustic chemicals. If you have stone walkways, beautiful grass or flowers, hardwood flooring, or pets, you’re probably familiar with the downsides of ice-melt chemicals. They erode concrete and bluestone walkways, kill plants, damage interior hardwood floors, and are unhealthy for pets. Chemical ice-melts and rock salt are also bad for groundwater supplies. Having a system that melts the snow and ice off your steps, walkway, or driveway means you do not need to purchase, store, or use caustic chemicals or rock salt.
- To protect hardscaping. Ice-melt chemicals aren’t the only way to damage your stone driveway or patio. Plows and snow-blowers can also damage pavers, cobblestones, bricks, and other hardscape details – which are all increasingly popular with homeowners. A snow melting system eliminates the need to shovel, snow blow, or plow your driveway. The system melts the snow evenly as it falls, and the melting snow runs off, following the grade of the driveway. By keeping these heated areas frost-free, the snow-melting system also protects them from frost heaving.
- Convenience. A snow-melting system is completely automatic. You don’t have to remember to turn it on, or even be at home to make sure it’s running. Sensors built into the system monitor weather conditions outside your home and turn the system on and off as needed. These automated systems provide the right heat at the right time, keeping driveways and paths free of ice and snow. There is no need for you to do anything.