Imagine being able to stay inside on a cold and snowy day and not have to worry about getting up earlier to ensure that you can shovel snow off your driveway or sprinkle salt and grit on the ice, before you need to leave for work. It probably seems like an unimaginable luxury!
Well, not anymore. These days there seems to be a solution for almost every problem and it would appear that snow and ice are no different. When it comes to the world of driveways, it would seem that heated driveways are starting to become increasingly popular and although they aren’t cheap, for those who have opted for their installation, the benefits seem to far outstrip the initial costs.
How do they work?
There are two types of heating systems which can be used for a heated driveway although both work by keeping the concrete warm enough to melt falling snow and ice before it settles on the surface. The first method uses an electrical current to generate heat in much the same way as you would find in an under-floor heating system. The second uses tubes to pump anti-freeze water underneath the surface of the driveway.
What are the benefits?
Aside from the removal of snow and ice, which is fairly self-explanatory, installing such a system could also prevent damage to the surface of your driveway in the long term. Salt and other ice melting materials can cause surface-cracking as the moisture seeps down into the cracks, which can ruin the overall appearance of your driveway. It can also ensure that your driveway is safer to walk on, which could be crucial if you are looking at a commercial property and want to ensure that customers are not at risk.
What does it cost?
As heated driveways are a relatively new concept, it is difficult to quote an exact amount. There are various factors to take into consideration such as whether you currently have a driveway in place which will need removing and replacing, or whether you can add it into existing works. You will also need to ensure the services of a reputable company who know what they are doing, and be aware that the water system requires a boiler to be installed which can incur additional costs.
Is it worth it?
This is perhaps something only you can decide. You can’t have the system installed without removing your existing driveway so it really begs the question, how attached are you to the one currently in existence? If you have been considering paying out to have a new driveway installed and you want to ensure that it looks good for as long as possible then certainly, it might be worth paying the extra amount to have a heating system put in place to ensure that you get as many years as possible from your attractive, new driveway.
Certainly, if you are willing to wait a few years you may find the installation costs come down as the popularity increases and more companies begin to offer this service.