Is a heated driveway snow melt system is right for you?
In the North, snow is an accepted aspect of winter, but it doesn’t mean that homeowners relish in the chores it implies.
Shoveling off a driveway is often a dreaded task and a particularly dangerous one if your clients are older. If you have a homeowner who is wanting to have their driveways or walkways cleared of snow without having to pay for someone to come shovel or plow, you can talk to them about installing a snow melt system.
Heated driveways are nothing new, but they are rising in popularity as more people view the convenience as well worth the money. To help a customer decide if a heated driveway is right for them, discuss these topics with them.
Let there be no confusion here, heated driveways are a luxury and can be far more expensive depending on the scale and materials chosen for this installation. According to HomeAdvisor.com, the cost of a heated driveway ranges from $12-$21 per square foot, but this doesn’t include the costs of removing the old driveway. Aside from having to remove an asphalt or concrete driveway, homeowners also have the option of having a beautiful paver drive installed over the system that can drive up the cost.
Other factors that can affect the cost are whether the heated driveway can be connected to the house’s heating system or must stand on its own and whether the control scheme is manual or automated. While manual systems are cheaper, they do require the client to have the forethought to remember to activate the system before snow is on its way.
Automated controls run continuously at low levels and then begin operating at higher levels one the sensors detect snowfall. The more sophisticated the controls, the steeper the price tag.
Built-in system or portable mats
If your client isn’t prepared for an investment that could run anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000, there is the cheaper alternative of heated driveway mats. These mats focus on melting the bare minimum of pavement that is needed for a car’s tires, much like a ribbon driveway.
The product features slip-resistant rubber on the top and bottom with the heat element in between. The power cord is moisture resistant and can be plugged into a regular outlet. HeatTrak is one of the companies that manufacture this portable option and includes a calculator that allows users to determine how much it will cost to run the mats.
The amount of time it takes to clear the snow compared to a built-in system depends on how much snow has fallen as well as the heat setting used. The mats also come in smaller sizes and can be used for walkways or steps, and they can also be taken with the customer if they move to a new house.