Category Archives: Snow Melting

Snow Melting Solutions: Good, Better, Best

When discussing the various solutions for snow melting, heated driveways, and sidewalks our experts often use the terms “Good, Better, or Best” to describe the options. With Tuff Cable, Hott-Wire, and SnowMeltz each having their own strengths, join us for a look at what makes them good, better, or best.

Good – SnowMeltz

Our line of preconfigured SnowMeltz mats offer a DIY friendly solution to heated driveways and sidewalks. These mats are designed to heat specific sized areas and roll out for a simple installation. They offer a 10 year warranty. 

Due to the cut and turn installation of SnowMeltz mats, they can be utilized in a variety of applications. Jumpers are provided for protecting the mats when they cross crack control joints in new pour concrete. The mats are especially convenient for installing beneath pavers or asphalt where planning for and working around concrete joints is not necessary.

Better – Hott-Wire

Mineral Insulated Hott-Wire provides a robust, free flowing heating cable with the ability to generate high heat outputs for effective performance in any climate. Hott-Wire comes in a variety of preconfigured lengths, varying the spacing allows for cables to be customized to heat various areas at desired heating outputs. Custom cables can be manufactured to meet projects needs. Hott-Wire includes a 10 year warranty.

As a free flowing cable, Hott-Wire offers additional flexibility in installations, allowing for heating tricky areas or working around concrete joints. This allows for Hott-Wire to be more customized than mat systems. Additionally, the free flowing cable can be installed in a retrofit application via sawcuts made in existing surfaces.

Hott-Wire can be installed in a variety of surfaces. It’s unique construction makes it well suited to installation in new pour asphalt, where it handles the heat well and requires less accommodations.

Best – Tuff Cable

Tuff Cable is a unique low voltage heating system used in a variety of applications. Tuff Cable’s greatest strength is it’s versatility, allowing for unique, customized solutions to even the trickiest of snow melting challenges. The low voltage heating element demonstrates great longevity and has a 25 year warranty, in addition it is easily repaired if the worst happens.

Tuff Cable uses a unique jumper system to protect the cable when it crosses concrete joints. Different from the jumpers used in Hott-Wire and SnowMeltz installations, the Tuff Cable jumpers are splice into the cable, meaning the heating element never crosses a joint.

Low voltage Tuff Cable is cut to length in the field, making it very installer friendly. There is no need to worry about coming up short on a presized cable or trying to find room for extra heating mat.

Like Hott-Wire, Tuff Cable can be retrofit into existing surfaces. This allows for heating existing areas without demolition.

To learn more about how Hott-Wire and Tuff Cable compare, check out this detailed article.

Portable Snow Melting Mats: A Versatile Solution for Unique Projects

Sometimes embedding heating elements into a surface just isn’t an option. The construction of a deck or stairs may limit the use of permanent embedded solutions. Or a temporary need may not require an invasive solution. For these cases, we recommend our RadiantTrak heated walkway and stair mats.

RadiantTrak products are available in a number of size configurations and are designed for installation on stairs or walkways. They are commonly used on wood or composite decks, where open air layouts do not allow for any embedded cables. Platforms and ramps can also be heated with these roll out mats to keep access areas clear during the winter.

Each mat is designed to plug into a 120V or 240V outlet for activation. Automating RadiantTrak products can be accomplished with a simple plug in temperature sensor. The mats can be anchored to the surface via grommets in each corner.

These portable mats offer home and business owners a flexible option for controlling snow and ice in areas that may not be suitable for a traditional heating cable installation. To see an example of these mats installed and in action, visit our sample projects section.

For more information on RadiantTrak or our other snow melting solutions, contact our specialists at 877-877-4724.

Pedestal Paver Heating Solutions

Pedestal pavers are growing in popularity. These systems allow for drainage in hardscape areas on rooftops and are growing in use for deck, patio, and other paving applications across the country.Pedestal Paver Snow Melting

In areas with harsh winters and heavy snowfall keeping ice and snow off of pedestal pavers presents a challenge. Shovels and chemicals can damage pavers and the raised pedestal structure makes it impossible to heat the pavers using traditional methods. This is where our Pedestal Paver Snow Melting System comes into play. With a unique, patented pan system that installs seamlessly between the pedestals and the pavers, we are able to utilize our Hott-Wire mineral insulated cable to melt snow and ice, while maintaining the drainage benefits offered by pedestal paver systems.

Hott-Wire is the heating element of choice for projects large and small nationwide, having been used in government, commercial, industrial, and residential projects. Hott-Wire operates on 208/240/277 or 480 volt power, making it a versatile solution for a variety of projects. Cables are custom made to fit the needs of each project.

Heated Pedestal PaversPedestal Paver Snow Melting pans are also customized for each project. Our design team can help you evaluate the needs of your project and design a complete snow melting solution including Pedestal Paver Snow Melting pans, Hott-Wire cable, relay panels, and your choice from a variety of activation options. Warmquest continues to support each project after an order is placed, providing installation and technical support to stakeholders.

Heated Driveway Options: Solution Focused Design

Considering adding a snow melting system to your home or business? At Warmquest we specialize in assisting customers with tailor-made heated driveway solutions. Part of this is thinking outside of the box. Heated driveways come in all shapes and sizes. What works for one home or business may not work for another. Warmquest can help you look at your goals and usage, and design a heating system perfect for your project.

When installing a snow melting system the first thing to remember is you do not have to heat the whole area. Many times heating the entire area will be the goal and this is fine, but often entire areas go unused during the winter. Many project owners make the choice to add snow melting with a specific goal in mind. This could be providing access up and down a steep incline, ensuring safe access to foot traffic at a home or business, or clearing parking areas for visitors. Warmquest can help stakeholders identify the goals of a project and design a system to meet them most effectively and efficiently.

A pair of heated tire tracks was sufficient to provide access to this home up the steep driveway.

 

This homeowner needed traction up a steep slope and access to multiple car port stalls.

 

For this home, pedestrian access to the front door was the chief concern.

 

Similarly, this homeowner wanted year round access to their hot tub. Note that the entire sidewalk and patio are not heated. Just the path.

 

This homeowner heated only the more commonly used section of their driveway. They paired this with a heated front walk and steps to provide themselves and their guests with easy access to the home.

 

Businesses too can benefit from a carefully planned snow melting system. Many offices heat critical access areas. Commercial buildings can benefit from heated loading docks, ADA ramps and other areas. This project wanted to provide employees access to the building from their vehicles. Paths were heated between parking stalls leading to a heated path to the entrance.

 

The important thing to remember with any snow melting system is that it can be as unique as your home or business. Each project has different goals and requirements and Warmquest specializes in these tailor made solutions. One size fits all may sound convenient, but customized solutions will be more effective and efficient in the long run.

Switches, Sensors, and Timers- Activation Options for Snow Melting and Roof Deicing Systems

When installing Snow Melting or Roof Deicing systems, there are a number of options for activation available. Do you need an automated sensor or will a manual timer work? Do you want the system activated when it snows or just when it is cold? Should you use a pavement mounted or an aerial sensor? With all the options available, let’s take a look at which options Warmquest recommends for various solutions.

Manual Timers
Timers and other manual switches are recommended with most of our systems. These options are great for pairing with an automated sensor to provide the option to manually activate the system if needed.

A manual switch may be sufficient on its own for activating a system in a less critical area. If you would be alright with waking up in the morning to a snow covered driveway or arriving at the office and finding snow built up from an unexpected storm then a manual timer will likely suffice. It is important to note that accumulated snow acts as an insulator and is harder to melt than falling snow.

Temperature Sensors
Temperature sensors are most commonly used in conjunction with our roof deicing systems. Particularly for commercial and other critical areas, a temperature sensor will operate the system whenever the temperature is below a configurable temperature point. This is useful for roof deicing as ice dams are frequently caused by snow melting and refreezing on the cold roof.

Some sensor models also have a temperature floor which turns the system off when it is below a set point, or too cold for melt to occur. This allows our systems to be more efficient.

Snow Sensors
Combination temperature and moisture sensors are our recommendation for most snow melting applications. These sensors activate a system when the temperature falls below a set point and moisture is detected on the sensor head. This ensures the snow melting system will run during a storm and for a configurable amount of time after.

When selecting a snow sensor, you have several options. The most common distinction is whether the sensor is aerial mounted or embedded in the pavement. Our pavement mounted sensors offer the most flexibility, with the controls for configuring the sensor mounted separately from the sensor head. This allows the controls to be configured from indoors.

Aerial mounted snow sensors typically mount along the roof eave, in a clear area where they will catch falling snow. This means to avoid trees, overhangs, and any other obstacle that could prevent the sensor from activating.

We advise you discuss your project goals and needs with a Warmquest expert to decide on the best activation option for your system. With more options available all the time, including wi-fi and other smart home technologies, Warmquest can provide a solution tailored to your project.

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