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Snow Melt Design

Wayco Wayne_2
Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
I have done 3 snow melt jobs here in MD. All have been easy peezy in Concrete. I've insulated in under. The first one with insul tarp. Ack! At least it was at my house. The others were with 2 in extruded styrofoam in under neath. I was asked to design and price a job for a 40 sq ft side walk and a 600 sq ft driveway. The sidewalk is 3/4 slate on top of rock dust. The driveway will be done with pavers. In other words, outside of my experience. What do you guys with experience think is the best way to approach this project? Thanks for your opiions.


  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    edited September 2010
    You have one chance to do it right....

    or end up doing it again.

    The stone dust idea sounds terrible. Too much air between the melting surface and the tubes, and too many things to go wrong.

    If they absolutely MUST do it that way, I wouldn't guarantee performance, and I would get their signature acknowledging that fact. For the sidewalk, if they want a guarantee, have them pour a 3" slab first, then shoot down 6 X 6 flat sheet welded steel mesh to the top of the concrete. Then tie your 9" O.C. tubes to the flat steel on 1' tie centers, and have them place their slate in a mortar bed placed on top of the slab and your tube. You still must insulate.

    Regards the driveway, I have done numerous paver jobs laid in sand, and it works, but not as well as concrete. The sand has to get wet before the slab really picks up and does a good job of melting. The town of Vail Colorado did a major downtown project using that method, and it failed within two years. Pavers squishing and squashing out of place under vehicle traffic and soon, tubing coming up through the sand and pavers.

    Again, it can be done, but if they want to do it right the first time, place a slab with the tube firmly planted in the slab, then place their pavers directly on top of that, with filler sand between the pavers. Otherwise, get signatures indemnifying you for expectations.

    It is 3 times as expensive to do it twice :-)


    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
    same experience here

    that must be a common resort area detail, brick or paver in a sand bed.

    Problem is the tube is a long way from the load. Ideally the tube would be centered in the pour, 2" from the surface.

    They all work but the response time is really slow, they ended up ideling them in critical foot traffic areas due to the long start up after a snowfall. An expensive hobby to say the least.

    I too agree with tubing in a slab, then the pavers above. I'd suggest a 6" OC spacing.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
    Thanks for your input

    I had the same feeling but am limited on experience. I had suggested stamped concrete in the driveway instead of pavers. I had no odea for the slate sidewalk.
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