Record Breaking Storms Make Heated Driveways an Attractive Solution
Automated Driveway Heating Systems Offer a Clean, Affordable Alternative to Manual Snow Removal
With record snowfall from the Midwest to the Northeast United States, many residents are considering upgrading from snow shovels to more automated options like heated driveways. In Amarillo, Texas, a February blizzard surprised residents by dumping over 19 inches of snow in 24 hours, eclipsing a 120-year snowfall record. Even in cold-climate areas like Chicago, where over 1,000 flights were canceled due to a December storm in 2012, people are seeking to find better ways to keep heavy snowfall from disrupting their daily responsibilities. Beyond the interruption of having to shovel snow, property owners are seeing the need to find snowmelt alternatives to avoid the damage caused by corrosive salts and snowplows. Radiant heat for heating driveways and walkways is proving to be one of the best solutions to winter’s surprises.
Where snow is more frequent, many home and business owners have already turned to heated driveways and snow melting systems for some very good reasons. These systems turn on only as needed, meaning that no energy is wasted when there is no snow to melt. The automated systems eliminate the cost, hassle, and interruption of physical snow removal. The best heated driveway systems feature a rugged, high-tech snow sensor that detects temperature and precipitation. When the temperature is below a set point and snow is detected, the sensor signals the system’s control unit / contactor panel, which then sends power to the embedded heat cable to warm the driveway. The heated driveway system remains on for a short period after the storm to ensure that it is clear of ice and snow before shutting off.
Along with the energy efficiency of radiant snow and ice melting systems, home and business owners have come to rely on the automated, maintenance-free advantage found in heated driveways and walkways. Imagine if you are away during a big snowfall. A snow-free driveway is more than a convenience upon arriving home; it makes your home look occupied and less of a target for criminals. You also enjoy the added advantage of the safety it provides. For a home or business, a heated driveway also provides safer access for visitors, delivery people, or anyone coming and going from the building.
Those living in cold climates know that keeping snow and ice away from buildings can help prevent structural damage. Ice can damage concrete both on the surface and by repeatedly building up in cracks. With a driveway heating system, snow and ice are never piled up against a building where ice can melt and refreeze, potentially damaging concrete walls and cracking foundations. Radiant heat systems also help prevent damage to driveway surfaces and the surrounding landscape by eliminating the need for corrosive salt or abrasive snow plows.
In commercial applications, automated snow melting systems become more than a convenience; they become a way to maintain the speed of business. Stopping work to shovel a driveway or loading dock reduces productivity. If you hire out for such tasks, you’re cutting into overhead every time a snowstorm blows through. Radiant heat systems can be installed in everything from small, custom driveways to commercial parking structures, ramps, loading docks, and of course walkways. Anywhere you have surfaces where snow can accumulate, you can likely add a driveway heating system.
In years past, many have considered heated driveways to be a convenient luxury afforded only to the rich, but times are changing. New advances are making heated driveways easier to install and to own. In addition to providing complete system design and engineering services, a top provider can assist you in finding a contractor who has experience installing heated driveways.
ClearZone heating cable is one of the most reputable snowmelt solutions available. The heat cable is designed to withstand the stress of fresh concrete pours as well as the extreme temperatures of hot asphalt applications. ClearZone snow melting systems distribute heat evenly to keep the heated driveway free of ice and snow throughout the winter. The system is designed to meet the specific demands of your snow melting needs.
This isn’t the last winter to deliver surprises from Mother Nature. Turning to the best automated, dependable solution, like a radiant heated driveway, will go a long way toward making a winter snowstorm less about extra work and more about extra skiing.
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