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Slipping and Sliding Preempted Heated Pavement Melts Snow on Contact

With the arrival of the snowfall season in New England, most community associations are hurriedly pulling out their snow blowers and double checking their plowing contracts. At a few condominiums, however, the arrival of winter is being greeted with a little less urgency.

These condominiums are part of a growing number using heated pavement, where electrical wires or hot piping underneath the sidewalks or driveways turn falling snowflakes into harmless water.

Heated pavement is expensive to install and operate, but it has a number of advantages over plowing, especially for communities with special circumstances.

Properties with a small footprint and little open space to dump snow -- typically mid- or high-rises in downtown areas – don’t have to struggle to find places to store excess snow.

Growing numbers of condominiums are in municipalities that restrict salt or salt-substitutes, out of concern over ground water contamination. Condos with heated pavements contribute nothing but pure melted snow (water) to the local aquifer.

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2 Comments

  • Michele Pondi Salik on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 8:49 PM
    The radiant heated system by DaVinci has a sophisticated sensor that can read the temperature and humidity in the air and will automatically turn on. There system does NOT have to turn on several hours before hand to work, thats incorrect! It starts to melt the first flurries within minutes.
  • According to a conversation with the radiant heat snow- melting system manufacturer, in a typical snow storm the weather station’s moisture sensor will, in fact, start heating when it first detects snow and the heated pavement will be warm within 15- 20 minutes – enough to keep up with regular snow fall in average temperatures. If a large snowfall is expected and the outdoor temperature is quite low to begin with, however, more pre-heating may necessary to keep up with snow.