Driveways, Walkways

Published on November 20th, 2012 | by Henri

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Making the driveway less slippery

Q.      My driveway has a very steep pitch. When it gets icy, it is very dangerous to walk on. Since the asphalt is breaking up, I plan to replace it. Is there anything I can do to make it less slippery, such as adding a rough surface or heating pipes?

A.      Concrete may be your best option, as it can be given a rough texture with a special finish you would have to request and insist upon. But even this type of finish is likely to be slippery if there is deep frost or ice on the concrete.

Installing heat pipes in the concrete is an option if you have a hydronic heating system, but this option is expensive to install and run. You will need to have rigid, extruded polystyrene insulation put down on the ground before the concrete is poured. You’ll also need a new circulator or zone valve installed on the boiler line to the driveway together with a control you would activate only when there is snow on the driveway, and the system will need to have antifreeze, which reduces its efficiency.

A less-expensive but more work-intensive solution (since it would require shoveling) is to have steps built next to the driveway. They can be built out of pressure-treated wood or made part of the concrete driveway. The latter would require special forming.

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