Let’s Kick Things Off with a Metaphor.
Chances are you’ve met a “truck guy” at some point in your life.
You know the kind. It’s a guy (or gal, for that matter) who always seems to have a truck as their preferred way to get around. The pickup bed is usually empty and pristine to the point where you wonder “does that person really need a truck?”
But there are other times where you see the pickup bed full of tools, or hauling an ATV or a deer carcass, or towing a big boat and then you think “Oh, so THAT’S why they have a truck.”
Why are we talking about trucks when we’re a concrete, asphalt and excavation contractor? Are we just trying to enhance our SEO with Google? (Grumpy Marketing Guy Voice: That’s not how it works)
No. We’re trying to make what they call a metaphor. What’s it a metaphor about? It’s about hydronic radiant heating systems.
It makes sense. Let’s talk about why.
A car is a means from getting from point A to point B. A truck, like a car, also serves that purpose. And if that’s the only thing you’d use it for, you might be inclined to wonder why someone would spend the extra dough on a truck. But a truck can serve more purposes than a car, and people who get trucks know that.
The problem we’re trying to solve with a hydronic heating system primarily is frost heaving. You’ve got a sidewalk in wintertime. Or a set of steps. Or an ADA compliant ramp.
Sometimes you might have all three at once that need work.
Being that your business is in the great state of Minnesota, you know (or at the very least, you contractor should know) that your concrete is going to be subject to the elements of winter.
Specifically, your concrete is likely going to go through periods of frost heaving. It’s also going to get snowed on. It’s going to collect ice. A whole host of issues.
The good news is that you’ve got options. You can reinforce your concrete, which can help in cases where frost heaving really isn’t so bad. But if you’ve got it bad, you need to at the very least consider insulation.
Goodmanson Construction has used and seen great results with insulation beneath our concrete. If you want to stop frost heaving, insulation is your best and most cost effective bet.
But sometimes, you want to go one step further. Sometimes there’s even more at stake and there are more complications involved where the simple solution just won’t do.
Let’s think about a particular case: Say you’re a facilities manager.
Now, snow and ice you probably have a plan for and you’ve had plans for how to deal with them for years. You factor a few hours every season into the staffing budget for snow removal of the sidewalk and steps.
Maybe you’re talking a few thousand dollars a year depending on the size of the project in labor costs to remove the snow. But as for frost heaving? There’s no amount of labor you can spend to solve that problem. That has to be taken care of at the source.
You might look at insulation, which will help with frost heaving, but what if you could take care of frost heaving, ice and snow with only one product. Imagine just flipping a switch and something that used to take hours of labor now melts and dries up with no labor involved at all.
That’s what Hydronic Heating does.
It does it all. It gives you the primary solution to frost heaving with the added benefits of taking care of snow and ice. It’s an all in one solution.
Hydronic heating in your sidewalk is a lot like radiant floor heating in a bathroom. Hydronic systems work by pumping heated water through small pipes in a floor. The heat transfer from the hot water radiates out into the concrete.
The insulated concrete preserves that heat. Now you’ve got warm concrete underneath the snow, which means if you turn it on before a snowstorm, the snow won’t stick. The ground will be too warm!
It’s more expensive. It’s the most expensive solution on the market. But if you’re a facilities manager with a budget every year to meet, you have to think of cutting labor costs over time to clear the snow and salt to prevent ice buildup. You don’t have to coordinate snow crews anymore.
You can just flip a switch on and keep any area free of snow and ice all winter long. Snow removal is expensive (we know. because we do snow removal). In ground heating is something you should consider in terms of up-front versus long-term costs.