Last year’s big storm resulted in a barren wasteland of hip-high snow separating my house from the garage. I waded across, struggled for ten minutes with a frozen padlock, and then, followed by an avalanche of powdery snow, stumbled into the building. I don’t know why I bothered; the tiny, battery-powered snowblower, stored inside the garage, didn’t have a hope of clearing this mess!
Relocating to Florida is the only realistic answer to the snow problem. I, however, love Nova Scotia. In an attempt to lessen the time spent shoveling the stuff, I picked up the largest snow-melting mat I could find. Sure, I’d still need to shovel the driveway, but a heated mat would clear up the snow pile outside my front door.
Last month, my new 60 x 40-inch VEVOR snow melting mat arrived. I expected to be putting it to use immediately, but this winter has been unusually mild. Happily, about three inches of the white stuff fell last night, floating lazily down and settling onto my mat.
The 60 by 40-inch mat arrived well packaged and secured by a pair of Velcro straps. The back is composed of black colored rubber. The upper section is also rubber but coated with a non-skid texture reminiscent of the upper decking on board a ship. A reflective edging completely circles this mat.
This device is fitted with a short lead that connects to its six-foot power cable. In my case, the distance to an electrical outlet required using an extension cord capable of handling the power drawn by this mat. A series of embedded wires provide the heat needed to melt the snow.
The kit includes a timing device connecting the cable’s plug and a power outlet. This timer allows the user to schedule when and how long the mat will operate.
Various sizes are available, including small mats that can be electrically connected and placed atop a set of doorsteps.
- Brand: VEVOR
- Name: Snow melting mat
- Composition: Rubber
- Dimensions: 1.5 x 1 meters (60 x 40 inches)
- Color: Black with reflective edging
- Electrical requirements: 120AC
- Rated power: 1380 watts
- Capability: About three inches per hour
- Power cord length: Six feet
- Timer included: Yes
- Accessories: four ground stakes, timer, power cord, and user guide
The Preliminary Setup
I unrolled the mat, laid it in front of my porch steps, and secured it to the ground using the four provided stakes.
As my electrical outlet is located inside the front porch, I drilled a hole through its floor with a round saw fitted to my drill.
The next step was feeding an aircraft wire through the hole, aiming it toward the space beneath my front steps. I then grabbed the end of the wire, pulled it through, and attached it to the post supporting the steps’ handrail.
I secured the other end of the aircraft wire to my extension cord. This procedure allows me to drag the extension cord beneath the porch and outside simply by tugging on the wire. Then the mat’s power cord can be connected to the extension and pulled back under the porch, where it would be protected from ice and snow. I will drag the power cord back outside and disconnect it from my extension cord in the spring.
Of course, I wouldn’t have bothered with this complicated setup if I were lazy. I would have just opened the front door, run out the extension cord, and connected it to the mat whenever I wanted to melt the snow.
The Primary Test
Overnight, enough snow fell to cover my mat with 2.5 to 3 inches of soft and glittery flakes. I snapped a couple of photographs and connected the device to power.
Fifteen minutes later, I took another pair of photographs. The only difference I could find was a graying area where someone had stepped the night before.
At the 30-minute mark, two separate footprints had darkened, and a light gray color highlighted the entire surface area above the mat.
After 45 minutes, the mat was over 90 percent clear of snow.
The Secondary Test
I used a shovel to scrape the accumulated snow from my steps, dumping it onto the mat. At this point, much of the mat’s surface area was clear, allowing air to suck away some of the heat produced by my new device. Because of this, an additional 45 minutes were required to melt the added snow. Next time I will clear the steps before connecting the device to power.
This mat is ideal for concrete, asphalt, stone, and wood placement. I installed it outside my front door, where the surface is composed of dirt and gravel. It worked fine, but gravel will exert comparably more wear and tear than a smooth wooden deck.
If an outside electrical outlet is available, this mat can be set up and put to work within five minutes. It is durable, boasts a textured surface to help prevent slipping, and incorporates a reflective edging. As my tests verified, this device can melt about three inches of snow within an hour. The VEVOR Snow Melting Mat is recommended.
VEVOR has provided the ten percent discount code: 10B0BL6KRBJJ
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2023 Walter Shillington