Heating Coils for Outdoor Stairs

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Old 12-16-17, 04:18 AM
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Heating Coils for Outdoor Stairs

I have stairs comprised of approximately 10 wood treads that lead from my deck to the ground. As my four-legged friend ages, he is having increased difficulty navigating the stairs when we get a heavy frost and/or snow. I looked into the heated mats availabie on line designed for this, but it would be quite expensive to place a mat on each stair. Furthermore, the mats tend to be wider and and deeper than my treads. Can the members of the forum’s collective brain trust suggest a DYI approach that is both cost effective and flexible to accommodate stair treads that are about 12” deep and 30” wide. Perhaps a heat coil type system with conductive traction treads?

The pricing of interconnected mats are in the $60 average range per mats.

BTW, I have a GFCI outlet nearby to the stairs.

Thanks in advance for suggestions.
 
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Old 12-16-17, 04:46 AM
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Being that the treads are wood, I can't think of an option that would not create a tripping hazard. Placing deicing cables on the treads would be a hazard and would not work very well on wood, on top or below. Plus it will still be quite expensive.

I would suggest attaching some outdoor carpet, or something similar for grip, and/or using chemicals to keep it free from ice and snow. Being diligent keeping it clean will also help.
 
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Old 12-16-17, 05:49 AM
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I was envioning heating coils placed under those adhesive non slip strips found in the home center or preferably a more durable rubber liner to both protect the coils and add traction.
 
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Old 12-16-17, 06:35 AM
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I think you would wear through the insulation or break t the coils while walking on the mats, similar to why you do not run electrical codes under carpet. I think a ramp is a better solution.
 
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Old 12-16-17, 07:18 AM
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PCboss, thanks and understood. I suppose I could router shallow grooves into the treads to protect the heat cable, but Iprobably not worth that level of effort. Back to plan B - get up 10 minutes earlier and shovel / sweep.
 
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