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An Overview of Heated Driveway Systems

While the winter months bring a sense of peace and beauty to the world around us, winter weather can also cause huge problems for homeowners. Winter weather and precipitation can cause increased energy costs, damage to roofs and gutter systems, increased difficulty in traveling and driving on icy roads, and a lot of extra effort required to keep driveways clear of accumulating snow. Shoveling driveways is one of the most dreaded tasks for many homeowners. If a driveway isn't properly shoveled, it can lead to more serious problems like a thick layer of ice on the driveway that is almost impossible to remove. When snow melts during the daylight hours and then refreezes at night when temperatures once again fall below freezing, ice can form on your driveway. When a driveway is covered in ice, it is almost impossible to safely navigate your vehicles to and from your home. One way that you can deal with snow and ice covered driveways without having to spend hours shoveling your drive is to install a heated driveway system. The expense of such as system is often justified by the benefits that it offers.

What Is A Heated Driveway System

A heated driveway system works much like a heated floor that is often included in some bathrooms and other rooms inside your home. Electrical panels below the surface of the floor run an electric current throughout the area of the panel. This electric current generates heat. When snow falls on the heated surface of your driveway, the heat causes it to instantly melt. Just as snow cannot accumulate on the ground before the earth has frozen, snow cannot accumulate on a heated driveway surface. You can install heated driveways systems that run constantly when the temperature is below freezing, or you can install a heated driveway that you can control by turning it on and off as you choose. Heated driveway systems are pretty expensive and are almost impossible to install without a professional service.

The Installation Process

In almost all instances, the current driveway must be completely demolished and removed before a heated driveway can be installed. In some cases, you may be able to run heating cables beneath your current driveway without removing the driveway completely. This depends a great deal on what the soil is like around your driveway, how old your driveway is, and whether or not you have trees planted close to your driveway. Unfortunately, a driveway heating system that utilizes cables rather than heating panels is often not as efficient and will not effectively remove snow. If the cost of a heated driveway system is a concern for you, you may be able to tackle the demolition part of the project yourself by renting a jackhammer from your local hardware store. For many consumers, the time and energy required to demolish a driveway is often too difficult to be justifiable.

Hiring Professionals to Install Heated Driveways

When you hire a professional company to install your heated driveway, you may be looking at costs up to $10,000 depending on the size of your driveway and the quality of the system that you purchase. Many consumers would rather shovel snow than pay this amount, but if you really want a heated driveway system, you can find a qualified professional company that can complete the construction process in just a few days. First, your old driveway will be demolished and removed. Then, the heating panels will be installed and a new driveway will be poured over these panels. A heated driveway system will also lengthen the lifespan of your driveway by preventing cracks from forming.

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