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Question DetailsAsked on 3/21/2012

WE WOULD LIKE TO INSTALL A CONCRETE DRIVEWAY WITH HEATING ELEMENTS TO REMOVE SNOW BY HEATING THE CONCRETE, any ideas?

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Don't know how this question ended up under pharmacies - I am flagging this response so Angie's List can correct the category to Driveways.

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$$$$ - if you google the subject of heated driveways, you will find the operating cost is pretty high.

In the Home > Driveway link (Browse Projects, at lower left) there was one discussion I can remember regarding driveway heating. As I recall I provided (or linked to) info on costs you can expect. Generally, embedding the heating elements or tubing in the concrete is FAR more efficient in removing ice and snow rather than just heating the concrete and ground and the air above it, BUT the life tends to be quite low, as concrete cracks and moves a fair amount, so the wiring or tubing gets broken in just a few years in many cases, which makes for a very high annual maintenance cost. Also, heating for snow removal (then cooling when not melting snow or ice) greatly accelerates the freeze-thaw degradation of the driveway surfacing, shortening you drive life by probably on the order of 25-50% I would guess, as much as 75% in areas with frequent snowfalls or freezing rain.

Heated sidewalks close to buildings or for handcapped accessibility I can certainly see, heating just the square closest to the house or a walk to the front door maybe (especially for handicapped or elderly people), heating an entire drive seems to me like a waste of money - just sand or ice melt it and spend the hundreds to well over a thousand on annual heating cost on something more functional and of longer satisfaction duration.

If you do decide to go ahead with it, I would strongly suggest NOT tying it into your baseboard furnace system, because a leak in the drive system can drain the furnace and not only damage your furnace, but also cause heating failure and pipe freezing (and possible bursting) in your house.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD




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