If you live in a region with a cold climate and hate having to shovel snow every morning, you might consider adding a heated driveway. These driveways include a full system with heated elements placed below the surface, keeping the driveway and walkways always clear of snow and ice, saving you time and preventing headaches.
As you look at driveway heating systems, make sure that you give some thought to the pros and cons. The simple list below will help you make an informed decision before you talk to a contractor!
“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best." – Tom Allen
When thinking about heated driveway cost, remember how much you’ll save every year on snow removal. It can cost up to $75 an hour for someone to come out and shovel your driveway and walkways. Even if you sign a contract, you might spend hundreds on snow removal each season. While a heated system can be an expensive project, it will save you a lot in the long run.
Make Your Driveway Last Longer
One of the biggest benefits of a concrete heated driveway is that it makes the material last much longer. The chemicals and remedies that you use to melt snow and ice can cause some serious damage. Even rock salt can break down the surface of the concrete and develop cracks. Other products designed to melt the ice can change the freeze-thaw cycle. This allows the porous surface of the concrete to expand and contract, which may eventually cause it to crack and chip.
When you add heating elements, you don't need to use those products. The heating elements keep the concrete at a higher temperature to reduce other types of damage, too.
Use As Needed
With a heated concrete driveway, you have the option of using it only when you need it. Most of these systems come with a switch installed inside your home or garage. You can flip the switch when you wake up in the morning and find the snow melted by the time you leave for work. If the forecast calls for snow, you can also turn the system on the night before to keep the snow from building up as you sleep.
Tip: Investing in a fully automated heated driveway system is a good choice for those who don’t want to be bothered to remember to turn it on and off. You can set it up to work automatically during certain times of the day or depending on the temperature outside.
One benefit of heated driveways is that they help you stay safe in winter. Have you ever lived through a blizzard that required you to spend hours outside with a shovel to dig your car out from under the snow?
The repetitive action of removing the snow can cause back pain and other injuries, not mentioning that it keeps you from leaving the house in a hurry in an emergency. With a heated driveway, you don't need to worry about hurting yourself this winter or next.
Another benefit of adding a heated driveway is that it adds value to your home, especially if your area often receives snow and ice. Buyers will like all of the same features that you do and are often willing to pay more for a house with this type of driveway. The value that you get depends on factors such as the type of system that you choose and its age.
One of the pros of a heated driveway is the limited range that it has. While you won't notice snow around your car, snow and ice will still appear on the walkway leading outside if you don’t install it there. Most heating elements are not strong enough to melt the ice found anywhere else outside.
Added Heating Costs
In the same way that changing your furnace will affect your indoor heating costs, adding heat to your driveway will increase your outdoor heating costs. The cost of supplying heat to the driveway can add hundreds to your annual heating bills. If you already have high heating bills, the cost of using a heated driveway might not appeal to you.
You should also consider all of the maintenance costs associated with this type of heating. If anything goes wrong with the system, you need to hire a pro to work on it. This often requires ripping up a section of the concrete to fix the system. Not only do you need to pay for the repair job, but you're also responsible for paying the costs of laying new concrete.
Consider all of these pros and cons as you decide whether to install a heated driveway on your property.
Convinced yet? Make winter easier on your routine by investing on a heated driveway. Get free quotes from experts in your area to know more!