HANG UP YOUR SHOVEL
Eco Snow Removal Options
After a couple of years of heavy snowfall paired with freezing rain and ice, homeowners are finally getting past the idea of shoveling and are moving towards heated driveway systems. The technology has been around for a while, but it’s been slow to catch on, probably because many Canadians think a heated driveway is only for the rich or lazy. I can happily say that more and more Canadians are turning to heated systems because of the number of ice related injuries and fatalities from shoveling.
Most homes built today have a grade change to allow for drainage after a heavy rain. For these homes, the driveway slopes downward to the street to prevent the rain from flooding into the house. But, what do you do when the opposite is true and your driveway slopes downward, from the street to the house? In many urban areas this has become the norm, allowing buyers to maximize the amount of useable space. Sometimes these driveways are steep! Get a little ice on them and you’ll have trouble getting your car in and out of the garage. Even worse, consider having to shovel uphill after a big snowfall. With a heated driveway, these problems literally melt away.
I love heated driveways because they’re environmentally friendly —they reduce the use of salt and chemicals to melt snow. Too often, homeowners overdo it with the “melters” and the “de-icers.” We have a habit of thinking that more is better and spread harmful products on every single paved or stone surface. Even ‘eco-safe’ de-icing options are now showing negative side effects. Not needing to use these chemicals at all seems like the best answer.
Still not convinced? What if I told you that technology has reduced the costs of operating these systems. Instead of just setting your driveway at one temperature (like an indoor radiant floor) and letting it heat the great outdoors, you can now get smart systems that detect when the snow is falling or when ice is developing and turn on only when needed. This goes a long way to helping with your hydro bill and conserving resources at the same time.
Recently I put in a heated drive for a local on-camera meteorologist and she summed it up perfectly, saying she works with weather every single day and in her experience, no two winters are ever alike. That said, we can never predict how bad the weather will get with the changes in our climate. Being prepared just makes sense, and looking after the safety of our loved ones doesn’t have a price tag.
If you are replacing your driveway, pathway or even stone steps, consider going with a heated system. Not only will they make winter a little easier to get through, they also go a long way to preventing unnecessary injuries or damage to the environment, your home, and most importantly, your friends and family.