First, how a heated walkway works?
The science behind the heated walkway is quite simple. A heating element is installed underneath the pavement to warm the surface above freezing to melt snow and ice. The heat is radiant so the pavement itself is heated by the heating element below. Heat placement is very accurate so energy usage is very efficient.
Can heat be added to your walkway?
Yes. In fact it's easier than most people will believe. In most cases where the walkway is paved with paver bricks or stone, the walkway can be pulled up temporarily to install the heating element. Once the element is installed and tested the brick or stone can be relaid. With an average 30' walkway this process can be done in as quickly as two days. When the pavement is asphalt or concrete the existing pavement cannot be reused.
Now to the real facts. Why every walkway should be heated.
1. No More Shoveling
When the surface temperature is kept above freezing, falling snow doesn't have a chance to accumulate. It melts right away.
2. No More Slip n' Falls
If you've ever slipped on black ice and fallen, you know that you can't be too careful when it comes to ice.
3. No More Salt/Mess
Ice melt products like rock salt and calcium chloride are harmful to your pets, landscape, drinking water and your home. Using less of these harsh elements will greatly benefit your family, home and our environment. Plus, you can forget racing to the hardware store to pay a premium for the last bag of rock salt ever again!
4. No More Snow Banks
Melting snow is so much more effective than piling the snow. As piles settle, melt and refreeze they last well into spring and a lot of times they're on the gardens we've waited all winter to see bloom.
5. No More Damage
We all hate shoveling that first snowfall when the ground hasn't yet frozen. It never fails that the first scoop or two is more bark mulch than snow, which will need to be raked up in the spring.
6. No More Wasting Time with Clean Up
This goes without saying but it helps the list - if your driveway is plowed or snowblowed (or also heated), that process is pretty well mechanized/automated but shoveling the walkway is a "time suck." Just think about getting home from work to see that the walkways took care of themselves, essentially inviting you into your home. What a time savings!
7. No More Worries for the Handicapped or Elderly
We dread thinking about it but in the event of an emergency timing can be the difference between life and death. Emergency response personnel can plow through a snowy driveway but may struggle with the walkway if it hasn't been maintained. A clear walkway provides quick access for the EMT or assisted living scenarios.
8. No More Down Time or Chiro Appts.
Have you ever overdone it shoveling? What about shoveled all afternoon because the weather man just said another foot is expected to fall in the next 24 hours? You know how you feel for the next few days, slow and sore, right? You put off the gym in exchange for a visit to the chiropractor. How about, instead of days of rest you continue about your days as usual, completely unaffected by the snow piling up everywhere but your warm walkway.
9. No More Waste
A heated walkway draws electricity at a rate required to melt snow. If the walkway is set to maintain 35 degrees and during a snowstorm the ground temperature is 30 degrees, the walkway will only draw the electricity that it needs to bring the surface up the five degree difference. Then if the following day is sunny and the walkway surface temperature maintains a temperature above the set temp of 35 on it's own it won't draw any electricity. As an additional level of control, heated walkways are wired to a master switch that can override any automation.
10. No More Excuses
Commercial applications have been in operation for many years with great success. The technology for residential applications has only improved as well as become more cost effective. Now is the time to add this safe, intelligent improvement to your home. It is sure to add value to your home and regulate some of the unexpected costs winter weather brings with it.
Add the same radiant heat to your driveway and/or other paved surfaces...
Don't let a lack of preparation ruin your winter, you probably enjoyed it at one time.