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Uponor (formerly Wirsbo)

Concrete driveways offer many advantages over asphalt, including greater durability, longer service life, and less maintenance. But in the winter, when temperatures plummet and the snow flies, concrete and asphalt surfaces have equal maintenance needs: Both require frequent shoveling and de-icing.

Or do they? Some homeowners and businesses are keeping their concrete driveways and other exterior flatwork surfaces maintenance-free and safe year-round by installing ice and snow melting systems. Not only do these in-slab snow melt systems eliminate plowing, backbreaking shoveling, and icy spills, they prevent potential damage to the concrete caused by snow-removal equipment and corrosive de-icers.

Though contractors usually install these systems in new slabs before placing the concrete, the heating elements also can be retrofitted into existing slabs.

Snow Melting Systems Information

The Four Key Components of Snow Melting Systems

Generally, two types of snow melting systems are available for use in exterior slabs on grade: hydronic snow melt and electric snow melt systems. Both rely on four key components to turn the entire slab surface into a radiant heat source.

  1. A heating element, which is embedded in the slab.
  2. Sensors to detect outdoor air temperatures and moisture.
  3. A power source.
  4. A controller to tie the heating element, sensors, and power source together.

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