Snowmelt systems reduce the fatigue and expense related to removing snow from your driveway and walkways. They can reduce the damaging effects of freeze-thaw cycles, and from the use of de-icing salts experienced by most pavements in cold climates. The inconvenience of spreading de-icing salts is eliminated and interior floor materials are kept cleaner and last longer.
Snowmelting systems for interlocking concrete pavements can be used on patios, walkways, residential driveways, and building entrances.
Types of Systems
Two kinds of systems are used to convey heat to the pavement surface: electric or hydronic.
- Electric snowmelt systems use wires to radiate heat. Generally, electric systems have a lower initial cost, but a substantial operating cost. They involve a series of control switches, thermostats, and snow-sensing apparatus.
- Liquid systems (also known as hydronic systems) use a mix of hot water and ethylene or propylene glycol mix in flexible pipes. They have a higher initial cost but a lower operating cost. Hot water systems consist of flexible pipes, pipe manifolds, pumps, switches, a water heater, thermostats, and snow sensors. They typically rely on a boiler.
Controls for activating the snowmelting system can include a thermostat in the bedding sand to maintain its temperature above freezing. Alternatively, we can employ a control located near the pavement and activates the heating system when snow or ice falls. In this case, a low level of heat is maintained in the pipes or wires and is increased by the sensor when snow falls.
Snowmelting systems generally do not completely dry the pavement surface, rather, they melt the snow to water which drains away. Snowmelting systems can be part of new construction or added later.
Tired of snow removal from your property? Call or email us today to learn more.