The Pros and Cons of a Heated Driveway
As winter nears its end, many homeowners begin thinking about their driveway. Paving and resurfacing companies like Excel Fencing & Decking begin getting calls from eager individuals hoping to be the first to schedule appointments for driveway sealing and patching. But with months of back-breaking snow shoveling fresh in their minds, many of our friends and customers ask us about heated driveways. They are the ultimate in comfort and convenience for some, but nothing more than an unneeded expense for others. Here are some of the positives and negatives of heated driveways.
Heated Driveway Pros
Heated driveways work by having electric coils or hydronic tubes placed beneath the asphalt. The heating systems warm the ground from below, keeping snow and ice off the driveway. That means you’ll be doing little to no shoveling, depending upon how much of the driveway is heated. Some homeowners opt to save some money by having just a tire lane or two heated, which is very helpful for making your way in and out of the garage on snowy days, but won’t keep the precipitation off other parts of the driveway. In addition to the improved traction, you also won’t need to worry about having to park in the street when coming home from work to an impassable driveway after a major snowstorm.
The heating elements also make the driveway safer for walking. It’s too warm for ice to form, so there’s less risk of falls – a major benefit in households with elderly family members or when there’s a long walk down the driveway to reach a roadside mailbox. As a bonus, safety features like heated driveways often provide a reduction in homeowners’ insurance premiums. Finally, you’ll be able to save on ice melt and rock salt, as well as the potential harm it does to pets, pavement, and nearby plants.
The Cons of a Heated Driveway
There’s a lot to like about heated driveways, but the cost isn’t one of them. Installation amounts vary, but prices average slightly under $4,000. Those of us in the greater Baltimore region typically don’t see enough snow to make it a worthwhile investment, but our neighbors in western Maryland may beg to differ. With annual snowfall totals approaching ten feet, heated driveways make a lot more sense.
We’d never recommend ripping up a perfectly good driveway just to install a heating system, but it’s worth considering if you’re having a driveway paved for the first time or if years of cracking, chipping, and other damage have you in need of a driveway replacement. You should also be aware that the expense doesn’t end with installation. Heated driveways require a lot of energy, so you can expect to see a significant increase on your electric bill.
If you’re in need of driveway paving in Maryland, look no further than Excel Fencing & Decking. It’s one of the many high-quality services we offer, and our more-than-two-decades of experience has given us the knowledge and expertise to install a driveway that will last for years. Call us at (410) 803-9499 for a free estimate!