With winter weather comes shovelling snow, the necessary evil if you want to keep your property safe and ice-free. One way to reduce shovelling is to use heated mats on your driveway or walkway.
Table of Contents
How A Heated Mat Works
Heated mats use electricity to generate heat, which melts the snow on contact, making them very effective at clearing and quickly melting snow and ice without harsh chemicals. However, they use a lot of electricity, so your power bill will increase if you use them regularly, or you can connect the mats to solar energy. Nevertheless, utilizing solar energy with heated mats is environmentally friendly and can be a cost-effective way to remove snow and ice.
Most heated mats come with a built-in power cord, but if yours does not and you use an extension cord, ensure it is rated for outdoor use, as this will help prevent any accidents or damage to your property. As most heated mats also have a built-in thermostat, you can set it to the desired temperature. This way, you won’t have to worry about the mat overheating and damaging your property.
You must place heated mats on a firm, level surface for them to work correctly and when you use the mat to remove snow and ice from a walkway, make sure it’s placed right against the edge of the walkway so that it can effectively melt the snow and ice.
As with all electric devices, you need to monitor the mat. Heated mats can get very hot, so watching them closely while on and in use is essential. Check the electrical connection and if any wear in the cord, smoke or sparks are visible, turn the mat off immediately and unplug it.
Heated mats come in various sizes, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. For example, some mats are designed to be used on steps or other difficult-to-reach areas.
The Pros and Cons of Using Heated Mats for Snow Removal
Heated mats for snow removal can be a great addition to your winter weather preparations, but they also have some potential drawbacks. The pros and cons of using heated mats include the following:
- They are easy to use and can be plugged into any standard outlet
- Saves you the back-breaking task of lifting and moving snow.
- Available in a variety of sizes so that you can find the perfect one for your needs
- Some come with a remote control, so you can easily adjust the temperature
- Easy to install and requires little maintenance.
- Heated mats are practical when used on concrete or asphalt
- Can be expensive to purchase and operate.
- Care is a consideration when using heated mats to avoid damaging walkways and driveways.
- Heated mats can create a trip hazard.
- Snow and ice removal is not immediate, although no labour is involved; melting the white stuff can be time-consuming when it does snow.
- Not suitable for large or gravel areas
- Most heated mats are powered by electricity, so you will need a power source nearby. However, there are also some battery-operated models available.
- Heated mats can be dangerous if not set up or used correctly, causing shorts, damaged lines in the mats, and danger to people and property. Read the instructions carefully, and never leave a heated mat unattended.
Which Is Better: A Snow Blower, Shovel Or Heated Mat?
Three of the most popular methods to deal with the white stuff are a blower, snow shovel or heated mat. So, which is better?
A heated mat may be the better option if you have a small area to clear. Heated mats are much less work than shovelling and can be used on porches, sidewalks, driveways, and other small spaces. However, a blower or snow shovel is better if you have a large area to clear. Check out our article Snowblowers 101 Mystery Revealed for information on the types and styles of snowblowers.
If you live in a city or town that receives a lot of snow, you may wonder if a heated mat can prevent the need for a snow removal service. The short answer is no, but heated mats can help. Heated mats can help prevent dangerous ice buildup on your property, so a heated mat may be the better option to assist with removal if you live in an area with heavy snowfall. Then, on the flip side are the locations where there is only light snowfall. In this instance, a blower or shovel will be the better option.
Heated mats are great because they prevent snow and ice from forming in the first place, so you won’t have to worry about shovelling or using a snow blower as often. On the other hand, a snow blower is a very powerful tool that can quickly and easily remove large amounts of snow.
Therefore, blowers and shovels are the perfect complements to heated mats, as they can clear away any snow or ice that the mats don’t prevent from forming. However, heated mats are not always 100% effective, so it is best to have a combination of tools, heated mats for smaller areas, a shovel to clear a midsize or light snow area and a snowblower for deep snow. With this combination, you can be sure that your sidewalks and driveway will be completely clear.
The 11 Questions To Ask When Choosing The Best Heated Mat
Heated mats for snow removal are becoming increasingly popular to clear snow from driveways and walkways. Below are nine questions to ask yourself before choosing a heated mat for snow removal:
1. How big is the area that you need to cover?
Heated mats come in all different sizes, so it’s important to consider the size of the area you need to cover. If covering a large area, then you’ll need a heated mat that’s big enough to cover the entire area.
2. What is the intensity and type of snowfall?
Heated mats have specific designs for different types of snow and ice. For example, areas with heavy, wet snow will require a heated mat designed for that type of snow and ice.
3. How easy is the heated mat to install?
Heated mats come with different features, so choose a heated mat with features that suit you. For example, some heated mats have an automatic shut-off feature, which is very helpful if you forget to turn off the mat. Other heated mats have a built-in timer, which is also very helpful in ensuring that the mat doesn’t stay on for too long.
4. What can I afford?
Heated mats can range in price, so budget is a consideration when choosing a heated mat. You can select multiple mats with all the bells and whistles with a larger budget to provide better coverage. If you have a smaller budget, consider mats for specific areas only, such as stairs into the house.
5. Does the heated mat come with a warranty?
Heated mats come with different warranties, so consider the warranty when choosing a heated mat. Some heated mats have a one-year warranty, while others have a two-year warranty.
6. Is there customer service?
Heated mats come from different manufacturers, and some have better customer service than others. Therefore, if you have any questions or concerns about a heated mat, choose a manufacturer with good customer service.
7. What are others saying about the product?
Consider the reviews. Though not consistently accurate, reading reviews will help you purchase a quality heated mat.
8. Is there a return policy?
Heated mats come with different return policies. Some can be returned, while you can not return others, so consider the return policy.
Choosing the right heated mat for snow removal can be challenging, but if you know what to look for, it doesn’t have to be, so keep these questions in mind.
Maintenance Of Heated Mats For Snow Removal
Heated mats for snow removal require little maintenance. The most valuable maintenance aspect is to keep the power cord or solar cords from getting tangled or damaged.
If your heated mat gets wet, dry it with a towel. Don’t worry about the mat rusting, as most models are made from rust-resistant materials.
Lastly, it would help to store the mat in a dry place when not in use. With just a little care, your heated mat will last for years.
Best Heated Mats For Snow Removal
There are many heated mats on the market designed for different purposes. For example, some heated mats are designed for snow removal, while others are for starting plant seedlings or covering concrete to assist with curing the concrete. Here’s a look at some of the best-heated mats for snow removal:
1. The Vevor snow melting mat is one of the most popular models on the market. It’s designed specifically for entryways, walkways, and steps and offers a variety of sizes.
2. The AMM snow mat is another great option for snow removal. It comes in a variety of sizes that will fit stairs or you can purchase larger mats as well as daisy chain multiples mats to cover a standard driveway or walkway.
3. Snowmeltz is a good choice for larger areas such as driveway but this product requires planning. Much like installing a heated floor in your home this systems requires you to install the mat when creating your driveway, which is an expensive but effective choice.
If you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, you know how important it is to have a good snow removal plan. Its best to clear your sidewalks and driveway quickly and efficiently so you can get on with your day. Heated mats are an effective and convenient way to remove snow from your property.