Snow Melt: Don’t Shovel Again

Whether you loathe or adore winter, most people can agree that their least favorite part is having to shovel or snow blow your driveway after every snowfall. This is especially true for those of us living in northern Wisconsin, since our winters can easily run half the year. And what about the ice that builds up on your walkways or roofs? This product will take care of all of it!

What is snow melt?

An outdoor heating system that melts ice and snow where you install it. It is either a mat or cable system that can melt between 1 and 3 inches of snow per hour. This works on driveways, walkways, sidewalks, patios, steps and roofs. This is a great solution for both residential and commercial needs.

Where can it be installed?

The snow melting mats or cables are embedded directly in concrete, asphalt or in mortar under pavers. Because of this, it is easiest to install the system when you are first installing or replacing the areas you want covered. However, there are retrofit options available also. You can choose to cover the entire area (i.e. driveway, sidewalk, steps) or you can select certain areas. One popular example, if you have a large driveway and are concerned about operating costs, is choosing to only heat the tire tracks. This means the heating element is installed in two 2-foot sections so you can get your vehicle in and out without having to do any shoveling. You can also place a similar product on your roof to eliminate the buildup of snow and ice dams.

How is it controlled?

There are a variety of controls available but they break down into two main categories. The first is a manual control that you push on/off as needed. The second is an automated control where sensors are either placed in the air or embedded in the ground and these will automatically detect snow and turn on/off without you having to do anything.

What about cost and electrical usage?

The cost of installing the product is usually determined based on whether you are having the cables or mats installed and then it is a per square foot basis plus the cost of the control.

Once you determine how large of an area you are covering, the electrical usage can be determined. To determine that you need to know the square footage, type of product installed, energy rates for your area and average snowfall duration. A common misconception about this product is that the operating cost will be too high to maintain. However, this product doesn’t run constantly and therefore is only in use long enough to melt the snow and evaporate the water left behind. Once the above formula is calculated (which can be done before the product is installed) the cost per snowfall usually comes out pretty low. Oftentimes, it is significantly cheaper than having someone come plow or buying salt or other products to melt the ice. Not to mention all the time it will save you. And if you are a business, it ensures that your customers always have a clear pathway. For more information on the Snow Melt heating systems, please call 715-432-1227 or email

If you have any questions or comments, contact Sasha at As always, we hope we’ve made your day brighter!

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