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Driveways & Resin Surfacing

How Do Heated Driveways Work In Practice?

how do heated driveways work in practice

When snow is falling and the ground is frosty, knowing that your driveway will be clear and safe is a huge bonus and with the heavy winters we get in the UK, a heated driveway may be the perfect solution.

As a relatively new concept in the UK, a heated driveway may seem like a leap too far. But perhaps, once you understand how they work, you will be thinking about installing one yourself.

A great looking driveway is the perfect way to showcase your home. In fact real estate agents say that a practical and beautiful garden can add as much as 20% to the value of your home.

This means that you will soon make your investment back and your home will be set apart from the rest. But when you decide to improve your driveway, you might want to consider the idea of a heated driveway. No more snow, ice or frost. Just a smooth beautiful looking driveway every day of the year.

What Is A Heated Driveway?

A heated driveway works in a similar way to underfloor heating inside your home. A system of tubes are run underneath your driveway surface, and antifreeze and warm water are pumped through them to keep your driveway at a temperature that prevents the build up of snow and ice.

This tubing can be passed underneath your current driveway in some cases, but usually, it is laid as your new driveway is constructed.

These radiant floor heating systems are generally attached to your central boiler system, and can be controlled in the same way as your radiator. However, the driveway will simply need to be kept at a temperature just above freezing.

There is no need for a 60 degree hot driveway! The system will also only need to be used in the winter and only when snow or frost is predicted.

Another type of under driveway heating is a system that runs on electricity. This uses cables that are heated to provide ambient heat to specific areas. You could choose to heat the tyre tracks only and leave the rest of the driveway, or simply heat pathways and steps to prevent slipping.

how do heated driveways work in practice

The use of grit and salt can be damaging to the surface of your driveway, and can be hard to clear up. It can also get into nearby waterways, causing damage to plants and wildlife

Why Should I Install A Heated Driveway?

● Your driveway will be safer for pedestrians and driving onto, due to the lack of ice and snow.
● You can meet all of the snow clearance expectations in your area – some councils insist that paths and drives are kept free of snow.
● The use of grit and salt can be damaging to the surface of your driveway, and can be hard to clear up. It can also get into nearby waterways, causing damage to plants and wildlife.
● The surface of your driveway is protected from the freeze and thaw cycle, and is therefore less likely to suffer with cracks and crumbling.
● If your driveway is on a significant slope, you won’t need to worry about slipping or sliding during the Winter.

how do heated driveways work in practice

It is important that the cables are close enough together to get an even temperature across the entire driveway. The top layer of the driveway is then added over the cables. Clearly it is essential to check the system is working before covering it up

Installing A Heated Driveway: Things To Remember

When you heat your driveway, you are also causing the snow, frost and ice on the surface to turn to water. This water needs to flow somewhere. You should ensure you have extra drainage available to prevent that water from pooling elsewhere and freezing.

These drainage channels should also be heated to ensure that the water can easily run away.

It is possible to use heating mats and cables underneath almost any driveway surface, but if you are using hot asphalt, your contractor will need to choose a specialist tubing system that can withstand the heat.

Some surfaces may not react as well to the system, as they are too thick for the heat to be effective. Some paving stones have this issue.

The preparation of the base is highly important when it comes to a heated driveway. The usual way is to add a layer of crushed stone and then sand. A wire mesh is placed over this, and the tubing or cables are attached to this mesh.

How Much Will A Heated Driveway Cost?

You can expect the cost of your new driveway to increase by one to two thousand and for the ongoing costs to vary depending on how often you need to use the system, and how large your driveway is.

The water system is likely to be cheaper as it will be gas fed, and in the UK, gas is generally cheaper than electricity.

how do heated driveways work in practice

Heating your driveway may seem like an extravagance, but if you are living in a very cold part of the country, or you need to ensure your driveway and paths are safe, you do have this option. Of course, choosing a driveway surface that is less prone to ice could be a middle ground that will save you some money

Does Resin Bound Surfacing Offer A Viable Alternative?

A resin bound driveway uses resin mixed with stone aggregate to develop a mixture that can be pressed into your driveway, to achieve a smooth and durable surface.

It can be used over a driveway heating system, but you may find that the properties of resin bound driveways mean that you might not need to heat your driveway at all.

● A resin bound driveway is entirely permeable, meaning that water will pass through it without having the chance to freeze in patches on the surface. You will find that there are fewer places where ice can form.
● Your resin bound driveway is also a smooth surface that is not slippery. The stones that are mixed into the resin provide enough grip to make your driveway less prone to icy patches.
● A resin bound driveway is the perfect surface to have over your heated cable system as it is durable and hardwearing. You won’t need to worry about cracks forming that could damage the heating cables, and your driveway and its heating unit can last as long as 30 years.
● The surface of a resin bound driveway is easy to clear of snow. It is smooth enough to allow you to shovel snow with ease; in many cases, a simple brush will be enough to get rid of a layer of snow.

Heating your driveway may seem like an extravagance, but if you are living in a very cold part of the country, or you need to ensure your driveway and paths are safe, you do have this option. Of course, choosing a driveway surface that is less prone to ice could be a middle ground that will save you some money.

Seeking a resilient surfacing solution that performs in all types of weather? Resin bound material offers exactly that-at a highly affordable price. Take the first step to upgrading your existing driveway today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or simply clicking the button below!