The Pros and Cons of Having a Heated Driveway

Although the prospect of snow in southeastern states is less likely than in some other parts of the U.S., the southeast does experience a notable degree of winter weather.

In fact, in December a nor’easter dropped ice across at least four cities in North Carolina.

To spare your potential homeowner the hassle of having to sprinkle rock salt to melt ice and snow on their driveway, or having to scatter messy kitty litter for traction on slick surfaces, consider a radiant heating system for your driveway.

Before investing in a radiant heating system for your flip, though, it’s best to look at the pros and cons.

Pros

An ice-free driveway means increased homeowner safety.

Your homebuyer won’t have to worry about shoveling snow, scattering rock salt, ice melt, and kitty litter, or paying for a snow-removal service to clear their driveway.

Less erosion of asphalt and concrete driveway surfaces due to the use of rock salt and ice-melt chemicals.

A longer-lasting driveway surface. When water from melted snow is absorbed by porous concrete and freezes in sub-zero temperatures significant cracks can develop. A heated driveway can keep temps above freezing and protect the structure of the driveway.

A heated driveway can be a selling feature for your homeowner when they go to put their house on the market.

Cons

If the driveway of your flip only has cosmetic issues, like minor surface cracks or stains, it may not be cost-effective to install radiant heating since you would have to jackhammer and remove the driveway, install the heating system, then replace the driveway. Removal could cost as much as $10,000. You may be able to install a radiant heating system over your existing driveway by using a resurfacing technique, but doing so could void the warranty on your heating system.

Utility bills, electricity or gas, may increase with increased use of the heating system.

If the heating system malfunctions fixing it could mean removing a portion, or all, of the driveway. To lessen this risk hire a contractor who specializes in the installation of heated driveways, and be sure to get a warranty for your potential homeowner. A properly installed heated driveway can last from 15 to 20 years, according to bobvila.com.

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