Installing Radiant Snowmelting

The piping for the snowmelt loops originates at a manifold in the basement or boiler room.

Sleeves of PVC conduit protect the tubing where it passes through the foundation wall and up into the driveway slab. The conduit on the far right carries low-voltage wiring for the heat sensor embedded in the drive.

After the crushed stone base is spread and compacted, 1-inch extruded polystyrene board is laid over the entire snowmelt area.

Next, sheets of wire mesh are laid out and the tubing is strapped to the grid.

Finally, before the pour, the temperature and humidity sensor is positioned in a bed of mortar so that it ends up dead level with the final surface of the concrete (left) — a critical detail.

To avoid damage to the tubing, control joints should never be cut after the concrete sets. Instead, use plastic strips or a similar technique to form control joints when the concrete is placed. Sections of black closed-cell-foam pipe insulation protect the tubing against slight movement at control joints.

The author recommends against lifting the mesh and tubing up into the concrete during the pour.

On an asphalt job, the PEX is protected with a layer of stone dust (foreground).

The hot asphalt is placed.

The asphalt is rolled.

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