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Heated Driveways – Are they worth the cost?

Old man winter has been particularly forgiving this year compared to the harsh conditions Canadians faced last winter. Instead of shoveling snow, you’re likely faced with the task of removing ice from your driveway. One solution can be upgrading to a heated driveway, but are they truly worth the cost?

The Function

There are two popular methods used in the heating systems. Both systems essentially work by generating radiant heat beneath the driveway, which keeps the pavement warm during the winter season.

The first heating system uses an electric current to generate heat through a wire or across a mat, similar to indoor floor-heating systems. The second method uses a series of tubes and pumps to move hot water directly underneath the driveway, thus warming it up.

The Benefits

The most obvious benefit of a heated driveway is no longer considering any future snow removal plans. Winter not only brings snow, but during wet and chilly evenings, it also brings freezing rain. A buildup of ice on the driveway makes for dangerous conditions when trying to get to your car. A heated driveway eliminates the risk of a serious injury in such scenarios. It can also reduce your need for using salt, saving you some money in the process.

The Cost

Many variables can impact the price of installing your heated driveway, from the cost of material in your region to the type of system you’d like installed. If you have an existing driveway, there is the added cost of demolition. This can be anywhere from $14 to $24 per square foot. Therefore, a driveway measuring 20 feet wide by 50 feet long will cost you approximately $15,000.

Along with the installation, there is also an operation cost. Water-based systems tend to be slightly more expensive, but will save you more money in the long run in comparison to their electrical counterparts.

Although the benefits of installing a heated driveway can make Canadian winters a little more bearable, the expensive price tag may not be worth the trouble. However, if you are still looking for a similar solution, we have an alternate, more affordable method – heating mats. Heating mats can be placed over your driveway or anywhere they are needed and vary in price based on the size of the mat. Larger mats can cost nearly $1,000.

If you are interested in getting a quote for a heated driveway, consult eieihome’s database of general contractors.

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