Snow Melting System Costs: Typical Driveway With Tire Tracks

Driveway Heating

Also known as heated driveways, snow melting systems are a cost-effective alternative to salting, shoveling, snow blowing, snow plowing, and other common snow removal methods. The idea behind such a system is to have a warm surface ready for the snowflakes and melt them away. Here is a comprehensive guide to help handle your snow melting project (in an asphalt driveway).

Why Install A Snow Melting System?

While snow can be beautiful, it’s associated with inconveniences and a higher level of danger. For instance, if you need to be somewhere like your workplace or have an important meeting to attend, snow-filled driveways or walkways can be a huge inconvenience. A functional snow melting systems can keep driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, stairs, and other surfaces free from snow.


Planning is an important step when it comes to the installation of a heated driveway. It helps to estimate the snow melting system cost and the required timeline for effective projection completion. A good plan will also help you determine all the necessary resources, compare them with your estimated budget, and make the right choices.

System Installation: Full Overage Vs. Tire Tracks

One common alternative to a snow melting system that covers an entire drive is to heat the tire tracks only. It’s a cost-effective way of reducing the installation and operating costs associated with heated driveways.

Snow Melting In Asphalt

The construction of an excellent asphalt driveway requires several layers. For the purpose of illustrating the estimated cost of driveway heating, assume that one layer includes 5/16″ thick snow melting mats. Here are the steps to follow.

  • Excavate and ensure the ground is compact: For residential applications, the layer of compacted gravel should be 4″ to 8″ deep or even 12″ for surfaces associated with high traffic.
  • Prepare the junction box: A junction box acts as an intermediary between the snow melting relay panel and the heating element. Establish the junction box before you start the installation of the heating system. This ensures all other steps follow your set plan.
  • Create an asphalt base coat layer which is 1.5″ to 2″ deep.
  • Lay out the snow melting mats
  • Use an ohmmeter to test your system at each stage of installation to be sure that the heating element is functional.
  • Spread asphalt over the finished melting mats, creating a 2″ to 3″ deep layer. Avoid mechanized asphalt pavers as they can interfere with the heating element.

Note that the junction box, temperature sensor, and controls for your snow melting system must be installed carefully. If you’re not sure of how to install a heated driveway, it’s advisable to get it done by a licensed electrician.

The Estimated Cost Of A Melting Snow System (Tire Tracks)

For a 10’x20’ driveway, the estimated cost of heating a driveway’s tire tracks only is $2,346.  You will need at least two snow melting mats ($860), an advanced snow melting control ($670), an aerial snowmelt sensor ($580), a relay panel small ($360), and a snowmelt plaque ($38).