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Driveway, walkway, and ramp de-icing

Heatcom’s driveway heating cables provide an automated solution to protect outside surfaces from frost, snow, and ice in even the harshest UK winters. Suitable for use beneath virtually any hard outdoor surface we believe these are the best heating cables on the market.

A safe driving surface whatever the weather

Walkways, steps, and access ramps

"A fantastic design of cable which has saved us time and money on site, as we could pour the asphalt strait on top of the heaters without having to cover them first. I have no reservations about recommending this cable for project use whatsoever."
Alan Law

Outdoor de-icing cables

Snow and ice melting systems are used throughout Scandinavia and are becoming increasingly common in the UK as their availability becomes better known. They are particularly relevant here as they eliminate the risk of black ice.

There are many different reasons for wanting to clear frost, ice and snow, but the most common ones we hear are:

• For steep driveways where it is unsafe to use them in freezing conditions, particularly when there is a steep drive that exits straight onto a main road.
• For ramps down into communal car parks, particularly when these are beneath apartment buildings or offices.
• At the edges of driveways or parking areas which have a steep drop or bank beside them.
• To allow safe access to buildings for pedestrians and wheelchair users, including pathways, access ramps and steps.
• In areas where salt and grit cannot be used for environmental reasons (for instance being near a watercourse) or where salt and grit are damaging to the road surface, particularly with concrete areas.

Typical driveway surfaces such as asphalt, concrete and block paving are the most common to use outdoor heating systems, but the heating cables are also suitable for resin bound, outdoor tile and stone surfaces in most circumstances.

Normally the heating cables are fitted when a new outdoor surface is being installed, although it is possible to install them beneath an existing block paving area in some circumstances.

If installing block paving the heating cables are laid onto a sand base before they are covered with more sand, and then the block paving is laid on top. Some stone surfaces are also laid in the same way.

For concrete areas the cables are secured to a reinforcement mesh with cable ties before the concrete is poured over them, fully encasing the cables and ensuring a very fast transfer of heat. If desired, exterior tiles can be installed on top of the concrete layer.

For asphalt surfaces the cables are usually attached to a mesh that is sitting on top of a base coat of asphalt. Once in place a fine base coat is laid on top of the cables before the topcoat is applied. The cables can resist over 200°C due to their sacrificial outer insulation layer so hot asphalt can be poured directly on top of them. Resin bound surfaces can be laid directly on top of the asphalt topcoat.

Heatcom usually recommend heating an exterior area at around 250W/sqm, although if you expect air temperatures to regularly go below -5°C you should raise this to 300W/sqm.

If you are heating a driveway then we would normally recommend only heating the 400mm wide tyre tracks up the drive as this saves on the cost of your heating cables and also the power required to operate them. If you are heating in this way you should aim for 300W/sqm.

As a rough guide, we suggest allowing around 250W/1.1A/sqm for a standard heating system, or 240W/1.0A/sqm per metre of driveway.

Although any system would undoubtedly be overwhelmed with world record levels of snowfall, a 300W/sqm heating system used in the appropriate way should be able to melt any snowfall you would expect in the UK.

There are many ways to control your heated driveway or walkway system, and what is right for you will depend on your individual circumstances.

If you are heating a large area or want your system to be fully automated, you should choose OJ’s 48A controller with its matched moisture and temperature sensors. This system automatically monitors the temperature and moisture levels and switches on your system where there is a risk of snow, ice or frost. The moisture sensor also ensures that the system operates with the greatest possible energy efficiency. You can set the parameters of your controller to operate the system as you wish.

If you have a smaller system, you can select a controller that simply monitors the temperature of your driveway or the air temperature and powers up your system in response to falling temperatures. This type of controller may power up your heating system even when there is no risk of precipitation, however many users only power up their controller when there is a known risk of frost, ice or snow.

The simplest form of control is a very basic controller that you switch on or off manually, and it simply checks to ensure that your driveway doesn’t go over a temperature of say 5°C. Many people with small systems choose this type of control option.

The heating cables are supplied with a 10 Year manufacturer’s warranty, and the controls and sensors are supplied with a 3 Year manufacturer’s warranty, both backed by an international insurance. Both ranges are manufactured in BEAB approved factories in Denmark by brands who have a reputation second to none.

When combined with controllers using temperature and moisture controllers the average driveway heating system will only power up for roughly 30 hours a winter, which would mean an electricity cost of roughly £1.50 per square metre of heating.

Although Heatcom’s cables are armoured against 200°C asphalt and from being crushed during installation there is always the possibility that someone, somehow, will end up damaging one.

If for instance someone has drilled down through one of the cables the system is reasonably straightforward to fix. At The Heating Partnership we have specialist engineers we can recommend who can locate the damaged area of heating cable and, while excavating the smallest possible areas of the surface, they can repair the system without the whole surface having to be taken up.

If repaired by a recommended engineer the system's warranty will be retained.

The most likely reason you haven’t heard of them is because when they are working properly you wouldn’t even notice they are there, you would just see a perfectly safe surface clear of ice and snow.

Heatcom’s driveway heating systems have been used throughout Scandinavia and the UK to protect thousands of square metres of drives, ramps, roads and walkways everywhere from private residences and apartment buildings to huge distribution centres and railway stations.

They have been specified for use in all seven Continents of the world (yes, really, a system has been specified for an island offshore of Antarctica) and Heatcom can manufacture units for 410V operation if required, as well as custom lengths when needed.

Heatcom driveway de-icing systems – quality that inspires confidence

Whatever your outdoor surface, Heatcom’s driveway heating cables can provide fully automated snow and ice melting to defeat the worst that UK winters can throw at it. Being manufactured in Denmark and backed by industry leading warranties you can be sure of the quality and know you have a system you can rely on for many years to come.