ISSUE 58  |  On the Mountain

The Ultimate Snow and Ice Melting Device

February 07, 2013 4:00 PM

BY Janet Hall

Snow shovels and brushes are no match for the thin layer of ice that can greet you, with perilous results, when you walk out the door on a winter's morning. Imagine a heated door mat that would keep your first steps sure-footed.

Above: Designed for commercial safety, HeatTrak offers a residential line of snow and ice melting door, walkway, and stair mats that are less costly and slightly less muscular than their commercial models (but no less effective for home use). The mats are portable and designed to lie on top of existing surfaces. Made of an electrically operated heating element that's sandwiched between two protective, waterproof surfaces, HeatTrak mats can endure harsh wear and are designed to be left outside all winter long. They plug directly into any standard 120-volt outlet.

Above: The HeatTrak Commercial 5-Foot Snow and Ice Heated Walkway Mat is built with reinforced SBR rubber, measures 24-inches wide, and includes a six-foot power cord; $350 at Amazon. The residential model, the HeatTrak Residential 50Foot Snow and Ice Heated Walkway Mat is 20-inches wide. Made of thermoplastic material, it can be used independently or interconnected to other stair or walkway mats; $123.28 at Amazon. The 6-Foot HeatTrak Power Unit is sold separately ($29.95).

Above: It is recommended that you turn on your HeatTrak mat at least 30 minutes before snowfall so that it melts snow on contact (turning on the mats after snowfall will take longer to melt). Then, keep the mats on a few hours after snow has stopped as you may have water runoff. The mats work effectively down to -5 degrees F and melt snow at a rate of approximately 2 inches per hour.

Above: The HeatTrak Residential Snow-Melting Stair Mat measures 10-by-30 inches and can be used independently or interconnected to other stair or walkway mats; $47.45 each at Amazon. The HeatTrak Commercial Snow-Melting Stair Mat measures 11 by 36 inches (larger sizes also available) and can be connected to other mats to form a set; $165 each at Amazon. Both models require the 6-Foot HeatTrak Power Unit which is sold separately ($29.95).

Above: Step out onto the HeatTrak Carpeted Snow-Melting Doormat, which measures 24 by 36 inches; $109.95 including power cord at Amazon.

Above: To help secure the mats and keep corners from curling (and becoming tripping traps), Grommets are strategically placed at the corners.

Battling winter snow? See our favorite weapons: "A Snow Shovel Built to Last" and "The World's Best Snow Brush."