The concept of a heated driveway revolves around the idea of keeping the pavement warm enough to be able to melt falling snow when it contacts the surface instead of allowing it to pile up. The two popular types of heating systems both work by generating heat underneath the driveway, which keeps the pavement warm during snowstorms. The first heating method uses an electric current to generate the heat on a wire or across a mat, in the same manner as more indoor floor heating systems. The second method uses a series of tubes and pumps to move hot water directly underneath the driveway, which warms it up.
The easy removal of snow is obvious but that’s not the only reason why you should consider upgrading your driveway. The driveways that are heated are also good for preventing ice accumulation during some of the most freezing rain or chilly nights that appear after warm rainy days. This makes the simple act of walking to the car much less dangerous than you might expect. The driveway also reduces the need for using salt and other snow removal chemicals on the driveway, which reduces the amount of damage that the driveway absorbs.
There are many factors that go into the installation of a driveway heating system. You might want to consider the type of system that you want and how expensive that materials are in your area. You also need to consider if you already have a driveway in place that you could use for the project. For most homeowners who have to demolish an existing driveway in order to install the heating system, the cost is around $14 to $24 per square foot. A 20 by 50 foot driveway would cost more than $15,000. There is also a large cost factor that is involved with operating the system itself. Water based systems are usually more expensive generally speaking but they make up that cost over time because they use less energy in comparison to their electrical counterparts. You can also add a sensor system that would automatically turn the system on when it starts snowing, which would add expense to both installation and operation.
Considering how much these systems can cost, installing one is not something that most homeowners want to handle on their own. The installation can be long and very difficult, especially if you have to demolish the entire driveway before you can install the new heating system. Professional driveway installers have more experience with heating systems than the average homeowner and most of them are proficient at being able to remove and reinstall the actual driveway. A professional will also be able to provide some peace of mind to you when it comes to getting the system to work correctly; as you can imagine, a heated driveway isn’t something that you can replace easily if it malfunctions. In consideration of this, it’s a good idea to opt for professional services during the installation process.