Tag Archives: Installing heated driveway

Timing is Everything

Don’t get Caught Holding the Shovel next Winter — Install a Radiant Snow Melting System and Beat the Rush!

With summer just around the corner, it’s a good time to spring for a new radiant heated driveway or walkway. Buying and installing your radiant heated snow melting system early in the summer puts you at a distinct advantage. In the fall, contractors generally rush to get their projects done before winter, and their availability is limited. Hiring someone now could save you the heartache of putting off that heated driveway or walkway project for another season. Shopping contractors before the fall rush also allows you to take your time interviewing and selecting a professional.

Whether you’re pouring a new concrete or repairing existing pavement, radiant heat installation is an excellent way to enhance, preserve and protect your driveway or walkway from harsh snow melting chemicals or damage from snow removal equipment. It’s a smart home investment that not only preserves and protects your property, but can also prevent slip and fall accidents, as well as injury from shoveling. Snow melting systems can also save you the time, and over time, the added expense of hiring a contractor to plow your driveway. With radiant heated driveways and walkways, you get “on-demand” snow removal, and the opportunity to experience dry pavement all year round. And the systems operate silently on renewable energy and are fully automated.

Heated paver driveway

As you shop, be leery of the contractor who offers limited solutions that come with a high price tag. Radiant heat applications are extremely flexible and adaptable, offering homeowners many options to achieve their goals. You don’t have to tear up your entire driveway to enjoy the benefits of radiant heat. Rolling out pre-configured mats on top of an asphalt driveway and applying a new layer of asphalt over the cable, or cutting grooves in concrete for the heat cable (which are then filled with an epoxy) are just some of the ways to get around a new heated driveway installation.

To help you sort out your options you may also want to consider contacting Warmzone for a free snow melting system estimate. They have the knowledge and the know-how to put together a snow melting solution that will meet or even beat your performance and budgetary requirements.  Partnering with professional installers across the country, Warmzone works diligently to come up with solutions for the most discriminating customers. As they say, knowledge is power, and getting initial estimates from Warmzone before you shop can help you identify all of your options, and the right person for the job, to avoid the “sticker shock” that comes with choosing the wrong one. And remember, a radiant heat system is only as good as its installation, and Warmzone can recommend experienced, reputable installers in your area.

Among the many home improvement projects on your to-do list, a radiant heated snow melting system is the gift that just keeps on giving from the moment you see that first snowflake fall. Winter may seem a long way off, but the window for hiring a contractor to install your snow melting system is small. Whether you lack the motivation or need more information, it’s always a good idea to give Warmzone a call at 888.488.9276 for free professional advice and support.

Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part I)

Radiant Heated Driveways can be Installed in a Variety of Applications

Radiant heat snow melting systems can be designed, engineered and installed in any size, shape and type of driveway. From large parking lots to small driveways, steps or sidewalks, radiant snow melting systems can accommodate virtually all your snow melting needs. But the custom options don’t just stop there. You have a variety of options to choose from to fit your budget. You can heat your entire driveway area or just a strip down the middle, or perhaps just two 2-foot wide tire tracks. When you work with a trusted leader like Warmzone, your system will be designed and engineered so that it is the best customized radiant heat solution for your needs.

The ClearZone radiant heat system is one of the most proven snow melting systems on the market, which is why it’s not only a favorite among homeowners, but construction professionals as well. The heat cable can be installed in a variety of applications, including concrete, asphalt, and under pavers.

Concrete Heated Driveways and Sidewalks – New Pour

Heated driveway in Denver

For years the ClearZone snow melting system has proven itself to be one of the most versatile and reliable radiant snow melting systems on the market. It is installed in numerous mediums, but concrete is the most common application for ClearZone heated driveways. The rugged heat cable is designed to withstand the stress of heavy concrete pours. During the installation, the ClearZone cable is laid out and then zip tied to the wire remesh. The concrete is then poured over the cable.

New Asphalt Construction Heated Driveways

Asphalt driveway with heated tire tracks

Hot asphalt can damage some lower quality heat cables, but ClearZone cable is designed to withstand both the extreme temperatures and stress (from the compression) of newly poured asphalt. The radiant heating cable is laid out on the base surface (usually compacted sand), and the asphalt is then hand shoveled on top of the cable and then compacted.

For asphalt applications, it is recommended (but not required) to install 1-inch rigid insulation underneath the base surface. The insulation can be installed underneath the base surface or it can be laid on top of the base surface and the snow melting cable can then be secured on top of the insulation.

Brick Paver Driveways – Installation

Large heated paver driveway

ClearZone radiant snow melting systems are the most effective systems for heating under pavers. Installing a radiant snow melting system under brick pavers is also one of the easiest radiant heat installation methods. The heating cable is laid out on the base surface and the pavers are installed as normal, directly over the cables. Because the ClearZone cable has been tested and approved for wet conditions, the cable can come in contact with moisture without its performance being affected.

Continued – Go to Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part II).

Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part II)

Repaving and Retrofitting Asphalt Driveway with Radiant Heat

Continued from Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part I).

The ClearZone snow melting system is unique because it isn’t limited to new construction applications and can withstand the rigors of concrete pours and hot asphalt. If you have an existing asphalt driveway and intend to re-pave it, you can retrofit your driveway with a ClearZone snow melting system. The heat cable is secured to the existing asphalt with clips and nails and only needs to be embedded under just ½-inch of asphalt. The new asphalt is hand shoveled onto the cable and then compacted. ClearZone cable is simple to install and provides the best performance for heating asphalt driveways.

Fully Automated

The heat cable is wired to the master controller, which is usually mounted on a wall in the garage. An aerial or pavement mounted snow sensor is wired to the controller. When the sensor detects precipitation and the temperature is below a set point (usually 39°F.), it signals the controller, which then sends power to the heat cable to warm the driveway. While the system is fully automated, the controller also features manual override capability for times when you may need to melt a snow drift or ice that formed in a shady spot.

Heated concrete driveway for mountain lodge

In addition to the many different types of surfaces that the ClearZone snow melting system can be installed under, you have many custom configurations that you can choose from. Warmzone will work closely with you to keep within your budget while providing the optimum snow melting system for your needs. As a leading provider of radiant heat solutions, Warmzone will provide a detailed design of your snow melting system so that you know all the electrical and layout requirements prior to any installation. Warmzone also provides you with technical support during the installation.

Once installed, radiant snowmelt systems are virtually maintenance free, and in addition to helping preserve the quality of your concrete/asphalt driveway or sidewalks, it also eliminates the damage caused to surrounding grass and vegetation from salt and corrosive snow melting chemicals. With your radiant heat snow melting system, there’s no need to apply salt or harsh snow melting chemicals to your driveway. So enjoy those snowy mornings from the warmth of your living room and admire your clear driveway as you sip your hot coffee. The days of shoveling and salting are over.

When it comes to installing a snow melting system, it pays to work with the best. In addition to Warmzone’s competitive pricing, you’ll receive top-notch customer service. Call and talk to a radiant heat expert today (888.488.9276) to learn more about heated driveways and snow melting systems. You can also send Warmzone your project information and receive a free radiant heat quote. There’s no obligation.

Go back to Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System (Part I).

A Tale of Two Driveways

The story of two men who decided to install a radiant heated driveway.  (Based on true events.)

Digging out from the heavy snow in Aurora, Colorado each winter was a labor-intensive task that had worn Bob down over the years. Despite the rigors of this annual chore, Bob shoveled and salted his walks and driveway faithfully to keep them clear of snow throughout the cold season. But the repeated shoveling had left its mark on his aching back, and the salt had left its mark on the grass that bordered his driveway and sidewalks.

Manually shoveling snow

After Bob broke his shovel during a late season storm last year, he started to rethink his winter ritual. He finished clearing the walks as best he could with the hapless shovel and headed to the warmth of his home. He kicked the snow off his boots, stepped into the entryway and hung his coat on a hook.

“I’m so tired of shoveling snow,” he muttered to himself. “I gotta see about installing a heated driveway.” Bob and his wife were in the process of building a home in Golden, just west of Denver, and planned on moving within a year. Now was an ideal time to learn more about radiant heated snow melting systems.

He pulled the cap off his head and expelled a heavy breath from his exhausted body and collapsed into the chair by his computer. “It doesn’t make sense,” he thought, “to build a dream home without having a snow melting system installed.” He leaned forward and grabbed the mouse to begin his search for a radiant heat provider.

Meanwhile, over 800 miles away in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, Fred was experiencing the same frustrations, and drawing the same conclusion. As a homeowner he was tired of spending time and money shoveling snow and buying salt every year. Something needed to change.

Tossing the final scoop of snow aside, Fred rested the shovel on his shoulder and conceded, “I’m getting too old for this.” He’d already cleared the driveway once earlier in the day and was feeling the effects of the workout. He flung the shovel into a corner of the garage and burst into the house with a frustrated groan.

“What’s wrong?” his startled wife asked as he threw the door closed behind him.

“I’m so sick of shoveling snow,” he declared. “I’m checkin’ out what one of those fancy radiant heated driveways would cost us.”

He removed his coat as he stormed into his study where the computer was. “Alright,” he grumbled, as if to challenge the computer, “let’s see what you’ve got.”

A Tale of Two Driveways – Part II (Continued)

Fred typed “driveway heating” into the search box and clicked on one of the results. The website promised top-of-the-line snow melting systems, so Fred immediately began punching the numbers on his cell phone. The salesperson promised Fred the best system his money could buy, and that installing it in his asphalt driveway wouldn’t be a problem. This was music to Fred’s ears.

After sending the company the dimensions of his driveway, Fred received an estimate and agreed to move forward. He was assured by the salesman that the heat cable was “top-notch” and the system would be easy to install.

“Next winter,” the salesman assured, “you’ll be looking out over your clear, snow-free driveway as you’re sippin’ hot coffee in the morning.” And with that being said, Fred made the purchase.

Back in Colorado, Bob had called several radiant heat providers before narrowing his choice down to two companies. After speaking to representatives at each business, it was clear to Bob that Warmzone would be the best choice.

Warmzone carefully considered all the aspects of Bob’s snow melting needs (including his location, medium, altitude, available power, etc.) to ensure that his heated driveway would perform as expected. Having learned that a heated driveway is only as good as its installation, Bob was focused on working with experienced professionals who would stay with him throughout the entire installation process. Warmzone listened to Bob and then evaluated all his snowmelt needs to ensure that the right products and design were determined. Bob also learned that Warmzone offered online installation training for installers and personal installation support. Knowing that Warmzone was truly committed to providing unmatched customer service helped to put Bob’s mind at ease. It was apparent that Warmzone had the expertise, resources and commitment to do the job right.

With Warmzone, Bob received a free quote, and upon his request, a free design / layout of his custom system. The layout contained all the power requirements, proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and technical specs up front, making the job for the installer much easier. All of Bob’s concerns were resolved prior to any installation taking place. The system was delivered on time and Warmzone’s installation support team provided training for Bob’s installer. And when the electrician called Warmzone with a question, just to be certain during the install, an expert was immediately available and stayed on the line for as long as needed.

Installing heating cable in mats for heated driveway and sidewalk

Because snow melting systems are relatively easy to install, most providers don’t offer installation training or house a dedicated support staff for installers. But Warmzone’s professional training services and installation support staff – in addition to its vast selection of proven products – differentiate Warmzone from other radiant heat providers. Understanding that a snowmelt system is only as good as its installation is why Warmzone is committed to providing the best installation support in the business.

Bob and Fred share tales of two drastically different experiences with radiant heat. With a heated driveway, Bob could enjoy the best of times during the worst of times. Now he’s even working with Warmzone to install heated floors in his new home. But poor Fred; his original investment has almost doubled, and his system is still not working the way it should. “Oh, if I could do things over,” he grumbled.

A Tale of Two Driveways: Comparing the Experiences of Two Homeowners 

Bob consulted freely with Warmzone and learned a great deal by talking with the experienced rep and reading the wealth of information on Warmzone’s website – prior to receiving a free quote.

Fred only learned the basics of the system he purchased, but learned nothing about the specifics of radiant heating systems.

Bob had a wide selection of custom options (including electric and hydronic) to choose from.

Fred was “sold” a “one-size-fits-all” snowmelt system.

Bob requested and received a professional AutoCAD design of his heated driveway at no extra charge. Installation manuals and product documentation were also provided.

Fred received general instructions on how to install his system.

Bob’s installer received professional installation training from Warmzone.

Fred was told that most contractors could install the system.

Bob’s electrician received personal installation support from a radiant heat expert at Warmzone.

Fred’s installer was left on his own to figure out the layout and installation. He discovered that Fred didn’t have enough power and that the heat cable was not ideally rated for the driveway.

Call Warmzone at 888.488.9276 for more information and project consulting, all free of charge, of course!