Tired of shoveling? No need to hire the neighbor kid. Walkways stay clear of snow and ice without shovels, plows, blowers or salt all winter long when you install an outdoor electric radiant heating system from Warm Your Floor. Protect landscaping from harsh de-icing chemicals, and help keep asphalt and pavers pristine from snowplow damage. Heat a whole walkway or just a few stairs, and make the outdoors safer for you and your family or customers. And when you add a sensor and thermostat to automate your system, staying snow-free at your home or business is easier than pushing a button – snow and ice disappear, even when you’re not there to turn the system on.
What types of surfaces are compatible with outdoor snow melting?
Permanent snow melting solutions for the outdoors are suitable underneath pavers, bricks, tile and stone, or embedded in concrete or asphalt. They cannot be installed underneath wood or composite surfaces.
Temporary mats are safe for most outdoor surfaces.
Temporary vs. Permanent Snow Melting
There are two methods for heating walkways, depending on the type of surface, the application, and whether you need a permanent or temporary solution.
Permanent snow melting is best for larger surfaces such as long walkways and multiple stairs. For permanent snow melting, work with your contractor to plan the layout to embed electric radiant heating cable or permanent mats inside newly poured concrete or asphalt, or under pavers. Permanent mats are available in lengths from 5 to 56 feet, and in 2- and 3-foot widths. Loose cable is the most versatile option, as it can be more easily configured on-site for a custom fit and optimal spacing. Loose cable is sold in lengths that will melt snow on surface areas between 8 and 115 square feet. Like mats, the heating cable cannot be cut.
Temporary snow melting is best for smaller surfaces such as a few steps, a small slab, or for convenience and portability. Portable snow melting mats are an all-in-one, temporary solution to keep walkways clear of accumulating ice and snow all winter long. Mats can be used individually or in combination via waterproof cable connectors, and can be plugged into a standard outlet. Residential mats for stairs measure 30 inches wide, and walkway mats measure up to 60 inches long. Heavier-duty industrial stair mats come in widths between 3 and 8 feet, and walkway mats are available in lengths between 5 and 20 feet. While the residential mats are rated for foot traffic only, industrial mats can withstand the weight of motorized vehicle traffic.
What will I need to install a heated walkway?
Permanent snow melting installations in a new walkway will require some planning with your contractor to design the system and determine where and how to best heat the surface. Once you’ve chosen the right layout and ordered cable and/or permanent mats to fit your project, plan the install for when temps are at least 40°F. The system’s included power lead requires ground fault protection. For best snow melting performance, add an optional a control with an automatic sensor, and the system will activate automatically at the first sign of snowfall, even while you’re away.
Both permanent mats and cables are available in 120 or 240 volt systems, and come in either 38 or 50 watt options. But more power equals more efficient snow melting, so for best results, we recommend 50 watts. If your application requires, 208 and 277 volt options can be made to order.
To install temporary snow melting mats at home, build a system from a selection of residential stair and walkway mats. You’ll need a power cord and at least one power unit, which can connect up to 5 residential walkway mats or 15 residential stair mats. For larger snow melting areas, simply connect additional mats to a second power unit. Power units connect directly to a standard 120 or 240 v outlet with ground fault protection.
Whether you’re heating just a few stairs, an entire walkway or anything in between, Warm Your Floor has a solution to save you from salting or shoveling this winter – and for years to come. Call us today for a fast and free consultation with a Warm Your Floor expert and get started on a safer winter tomorrow.