With snow in the forecast, many are groaning at the thought of shoveling their walkways, patios and driveways. Under paver snowmelt systems have come a long way and could be the ideal solution to your shoveling woes.
There are two primary system types: electric and hydronic. Electric systems cost less to install and maintain, but cost more to run since current is drawn continuously when the system is on. Hydronic systems circulate a mix of glycol and water to melt the snow, which costs more to install and requires a plumber, but is less expensive to operate. (Although if you are doing a project, you will have a plumber there anyway). Hydronic can cost about $600 per month in gas during the height of snow season with an efficient moisture/temperature sensor.
Another alternative is to have the snowmelt installed only in select strips on your driveway to prevent ice where build-up typically occurs. You can also have a remote activation so that the system is only turned on during extreme conditions or when snow removal is unavailable.
Whether you choose electric or hydronic, both systems provide many long-term benefits. With a snowmelt system, fears of slipping on icy walkways is eliminated, as is the need for salt and other topical snowmelts which are bad for the environment and your garden. These systems also prolong the life and beauty of your paver system. The one negative is that using these systems within the Tahoe basin prevents homeowners from utilizing the potential 25% coverage reduction offered by the TRPA when using qualified permeable pavers.
If you are interested in learning more about these systems, please give us a call and we’d be happy to assist you.
Elise Fett & Associates