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Driveway heating - What to consider

8 September, 2016

There are a few questions we always ask before specifying driveway heating. Our technical project manager, Paul Brandon suggests considering the following when thinking about ramp or driveway heating.

How often will the driveway be used in winter?

Is the driveway in use every day for access or will heating it to clear ice and snow only be required on some days in extremely bad weather. Does snow need to be cleared each day?

What will the final driveway covering be?

Our driveway heating cables are suitable for use beneath almost any driveway finish including concrete, block paving and cold laid tarmac. If the final covering is to be hot tarmac, specialist cables capable of withstanding temperatures up to 240°C can also be supplied. When using hot tarmac above these cables, all end terminations, power cables and sensor cables must be protected from high temperatures to eliminate risk of damage. If it is tarmac, a special 50W hot asphalt cable can be used; if it is paving our standard driveway heating cable will be used.

Do you need to heat the whole drive or just tyre tracks to allow access?

Work out if you need to heat the whole drive or just two tyre tracks to provide sufficient access in winter, the latter is a cheaper alternative and suitable in rural areas where power might be limited or the driveway is very long.

What is the power consumption required?

A standard driveway heating system will generate between 250W and 300W per square metre and therefore a suitable power supply will be required. We can help you calculate the loading of the system and specify the correct cables required to provide the most suitable and cost effective solution to suit your individual needs.

Is there somewhere for the melt water to drain away to?

When installing a driveway or path system you must consider the melt water produced and if it is able to safely run away without refreezing. If a drainage channel is being installed we would recommend that this is heated using a suitable outdoor heating element, this would usually be of a self-regulating trace heating, which can be cut to length onsite.

And finally how much will it cost to run?

The running cost of any heating system will vary depending on a number of factors including the output per square metre, the covering you use and the depth that the heating cables are buried within the construction. When installing a system in a driveway or path, it is important that it is controlled using our specialist temperature and moisture sensors which will only switch power to the heating system when there is a genuine risk of ice or snow forming, eliminating energy wastage and unnecessary expense.

For more information on heated driveways or for examples of previous projects please call us on 01444 247020 or contact us here.