Planning on heating your driveway? Here’s a look at the options.
New Concrete – YES
For new concrete surfaces, the heating cables are fixed to a wire mesh prior to being embedded in the poured cement. To protect the cables from shifting concrete, jumpers are used where the cables cross crack control joints.
New Asphalt – YES
Heating asphalt driveways and surfaces requires the cable be laid out with stakes and buried in sand. The asphalt is then poured over this sand bed.
Existing Asphalt or Concrete – YES
Installing radiant snow melting products in an existing driveway is accomplished by inserting the cable into saw cuts, which are then covered with backer rod and sealed.
Stone and Brick Pavers – YES
Pavers can be a challenge to plow. Luckily they are perfectly suited for radiant heat. The heating cables are either placed in a sand bed or embedded in concrete. This allows the system to conduct heat and protects the cables, the paving stones are then installed over the sand bed or concrete.
Gravel and Dirt – NO
Heating gravel or dirt driveways or walks is substantially less effective as the heating element is not embedded in any material to conduct the heat. Sand beds, concrete, and asphalt all assist the cables in distributing heat for an effective melt.
Additionally, with no solid material between the cables and the surface, the heating element would be subject to wear as the gravel shifts and is displaced from weather and use. This could cause damage to the cable, or if the cable moves or shifts, result in a less effective melt.