With the winter season in full swing, many homeowners are researching the best options for snow removal only to find that each of the usual options have drawbacks:

  • Shoveling snow is a strenuous activity that requires significant physical effort.
  • Come spring chemical de-icers can ruin plant beds and landscaping once the snow and ice melt.
  • Salt can corrode concrete, track indoors, and must be replenished after every storm. 

At HeatTrak, we offer a simple alternative to snow removal: Heated snow melting mats. We get a lot of excellent questions about where on their property home owners can use heated mats.

In this article we will tackle some of those most-commonly asked. Let’s jump right in.

What if it rains? Are mats safe outside if the temperature is not cold enough for snow?

HeatTrak mats are designed to be waterproof and are completely safe in the rain. However, they are not submersible. Their exclusive purpose is to melt snow and ice, so don’t let them sit in a puddle of water for any length of time. 

Are there risks involved in using the mats on wood surfaces? Will they dry out the wood?

Thousands of our customers use HeatTrak mats on a daily basis to keep their wooden decks and porches clear of snow and ice. With HeatTrak mats there is no concern that they will harm or dry out the wooden surfaces. Just remember never to place objects on the mats. Weight of any kind can potentially cause them to overheat. 

Can I use the mats on grass or turf?

There’s no problem in using the mats on grass or turf if the ground surface is flat. However, as a safety precaution, you should carefully inspect the surface area before you install your mats.

This is because any weight you apply by stepping on them could crease the internal electrical wires, which could lead to the mats overheating. Also, keep an eye out for rocks, sticks, or any other debris. 

Can heated mats be used on brick or rock walkways?

Brick walkways are safe for HeatTrak mat use, but we advise against placing them directly on rock walkways. The reason for this is that a rock could puncture the mat or pierce one of the wires. Also, we don’t want the unevenness of a rock walkway to cause the mat to bend, stretch or crease as this will affect the internal wires.

However, we do have a solution for those of you with rock, pebble, or gravel walkways. You can safely use heated mats if you add a layer between the ground and the mats. Laying down a piece of plywood or carpeting between them will reduce the potential for punctures to occur.    

If you prefer to use the mats alone, we recommend you try one from our commercial line of mats, which are made to withstand heavy foot traffic and thus are less prone to the possibility of punctures. 

We hope this helps clear up some of your questions about where you can use heated snow-melting mats at home.

Do you have a question we didn’t cover? Look for answers in our instruction manual included with every HeatTrak purchase. Remember: it's really important to follow our safety guidelines exactly.

Both our HeatTrak Mats and HeatTrak Pro (Commercial) Mats can be placed on many surfaces such as:

  • Concrete
  • Grass
  • Turf
  • Wood
  • Gravel*
  • Composite*
  • Stamped Concrete*

*Barrier required. A thin layer of insulation, or "a barrier", is required under the heat mats to prevent heat penetration. The following are suggestions for insulation:

Consider a pressure-treated plywood segment (Helpful Hint: Home Depot and Lowe's offer complimentary cutting services), with a thickness of just 1/4". Insulation options also include 1/4"-thick polyethylene or neoprene foam.