Everyone knows about ways to melt or remove snow and ice on steps and walkways after they have become slippery and require attention.  Salt and sand are the usual methods, and then of course there is the traditional shoveling adventure.

  • Salt damages concrete and kills plants around it

  • Shovels will ruin stonework

At Warmup, we have snow melting products that will prevent snow & ice build-up so they do not become an issue for you.  To quote Benjamin Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Our snow and ice melting cables and mats can be used under asphalt, concrete, and pavers. Automatic controllers activate the cables by readings from the temperature and moisture sensors. The systems stay on until the surface(s) are clear. Below is an example where Crain Development is installing the mats beneath stone pavers to prevent snow build-up at this residential entryway in Chicago.

  • The mats/cables are installed over a gravel and/or sand base.

  • When transitioning on the concrete base for the steps, the cable is angled along the risers.

In high-traffic areas, complete coverage is being provided, on the steps and through the walkway. But along the façade, a single strip of 2ft-wide mat was enough to provide a passage-way to get around the house.

After the cables had been tested thoroughly, the masons applied a 2” layer of mortar on the steps to lay the stonework. Landscapers followed and stamped between 1” and 2” of sand on the gravel base, over the heating cable, before laying down the stones. Until covered, protect the cables with cardboard or ½” ply.

The mats and cables come in standard sizes, and are quite easy to lay out. Key steps to a smooth job involve:

  • identify the location of the controller. In this case, on the side of the house, about 3ft off the ground.

  • Install a 9” x 9” outdoor junction box below the controller to make all the necessary connections

  • Route a ¾” to 1” conduit to the start of the heating mat or cable. When using more than one cable, use larger conduit, or better, route two conduits.

  • Finally, plan for and mark any future drilling for fencing or railings. Spray painting approximate locations on the gravel or concrete before laying the mats is a good way to prevent drilling through the wire.

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The above installation is priced at about $2,900. It includes $1,550 for cables and controls, about $750 in electrical rough in and connection work, and $600 for mat installation, testing and control set-up.  For more information, www.craindevelopment.com.

 

September 10, 2013 at 9:25 am by Dave Mckiever
Category: Uncategorized