I have a problem with my driveway. It freezes solid and won’t melt. I have salt and hot water. I have a circular driveway that is free of snow this winter, but it’s never warm enough to melt it. I’ve tried raking the snow off, but it always comes back. My driveway is concrete. I clear it every 3 weeks. We live about 20 miles North of Seattle. My driveway is about 10 ft wide. It has gotten down to about 15 degrees. I’m seriously considering getting a heated driveway installed . Of course, this is an expensive project, which makes me ask, what is the best way to justify a budget for it? Well apart from making the above easier it also adds value to your home.
So how do heated driveways work?
They are basically electric cables which are laid underneath the existing driveway, leaving the top surface intact. The cables are connected to an outdoor power pack which is buried within the existing driveway or installed next to the driveway. The cables are then linked to the outdoor power pack using electric cable. The outdoor power pack is connected directly to the mains electricity.
Driveways are first surveyed to assess the suitability of the type of driveway you have, local regulations, and size of the driveway.
In certain circumstances additional work may be required, for example where the ground is saturated, subject to flooding, or contaminated.
A driveway can only be laid on firm ground. It must be possible to connect the cables to the outdoor power pack without drilling holes into the driveway. Before installation the outdoor power pack will be checked to ensure that it is in good working condition. The outdoor power pack is then installed within the existing driveway. The cables are then laid underneath the existing driveway. The cables are then connected to the outdoor power pack using electric cable. The cables are heated via an external heating element. The heated cables are laid underneath the existing driveway, leaving the top surface intact.
When should I consider a heated driveway?
You should consider a heated driveway when the existing driveway is in good condition, and when the ground is firm. With driveway heating installation, your driveway will be able to last all year round, even when the weather turns cold. This means you don’t have to worry about whether or not your driveway will be safe to drive on during the winter months, as it will be. Driveway heating installation is often fitted into an existing driveway, and this means your driveway will last longer, as it won’t have to cope with wear and tear that a fresh driveway would have to cope with. The same technology can also be used for other outdoor areas, something as simple as the path to your garage.
With driveway heating installation, you won’t have to worry about snow or ice. The driveways heating elements will ensure that snow and ice melt easily, and this will prevent snow building up on your drive, or ice forming, meaning you can safely drive in winter months.
When are heated driveways not suitable?
If you are considering a driveway installation, one of the first questions you need to consider is whether you need a heated driveway or not. Below are some factors that you need to take into account:
· Do you live in a cold climate?
· Do you live in a rural location?
· Do you work outdoors in cold temperatures?
· Do you use your garage as a workshop?
· Do you have pets?
· Do you frequently drive through snow?
· Do you live in an area where salt is not regularly used?
· Do you live in a flat or terraced property?
· Do you live in a conservation area?
· Do you own a motorhome?
How long will my heated driveway last?
This depends on a few factors.
1. How often do you use it?
2. How many vehicles do you drive on it?
3. How deep is your surface?
4. How often do you service the heating system?
5. How well is the heating system maintained?
6. How well is the surface maintained?
There are two main parts to your heating system: 1) the controller and 2) the heating elements.
A programmable controller ensures the heating system is operating efficiently, turning the system on and off as needed.
A heating element is what actually heats the surface. The more surface area you have, the longer your heating system will last.
Should I have a ground source heat pump or a solar water heating system?
Ground source heat pumps and solar water heating systems are both renewable energy technologies. They both have the same environmental benefits, and both save money. Both systems require careful consideration and planning. They are costly to install, and both require regular maintenance. A ground source heat pump works in a similar way to a fridge.
It pumps heat from the ground into your home. The heat pump is installed in a hole which is placed in the ground. Heat is pumped from the ground into your home via an underground pipe. A solar water heating system is also installed into the ground. A solar water heating system consists of a solar collector, an insulated storage tank, and a series of pumps. Heat is pumped from the solar collector into the insulated storage tank. The heated water is then pumped into your home. Both systems require regular maintenance.
I think heated driveways will become the norm. Gas and electricity are all viable options depending on your location. Just keep in mind that they are expensive to run. Heated driveways should be installed in a new driveway. They will not fit in an existing driveway. Heated driveways require maintenance, and you will need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t malfunction. We have been heating our driveway since 2009. We install them in our driveways after a new driveway has been installed.
In conclusion, heated driveways can definitely help you out, if you have the money. However, you have to ask yourself, can you make this project fit within your current budget? Just using these tips should help you get the most out of your heated driveway project.