Expecting holiday guests? Snow shovels and brushes are no match for the thin layer of ice that can greet them, with perilous results, when they walk up your steps on a wintry evening. Imagine a heated door mat that would keep them 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 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: 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 Fahrenheit 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; $49.95 each at Amazon. It requires the 6-Foot HeatTrak Power Unit which is sold separately ($34.95).
Above: Step out onto the HeatTrak Carpeted Snow-Melting Doormat, which measures 24 by 36 inches; $126.14 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.
N.B. This is a rerun of a post that originally published on February 7, 2013.