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Should I Repair or Replace My Driveway?

Driveway Being Installed at a Steel Creek RentalOne of the best ways to enhance a Steel Creek rental property’s curb appeal is by having a paved driveway. However, if your rental’s paved driveway is showing signs of deterioration, you may wonder whether it is time for a repair or if it should be fully replaced. Even if every situation is different, by learning about your driveway’s options you can be more confident in deciding what to do next when the time comes.

Determine Wear and Tear vs. Damage

First, you have to determine why your driveway looks worn out. Do you see surface cracks and stains? Has the surface developed potholes? Or has natural erosion compromised your rental’s driveway surface? Even something like a minor water pipe leak in the yard could erode the soil under a driveway, leading to breaks and holes. Depending on the severity of damage on your driveway, you may be able to resurface it, or, if the damage is too great, then replace the entire thing.

Options for Replacement

One of the more budget-friendly driveway materials is asphalt. However, asphalt starts to show significant wear after a few years and doesn’t really last as long as concrete. You might be able to catch the damage early, and it’s mostly on the surface. If that’s the case, then you may be able to add another layer to restore your existing driveway’s functionality and appearance. But if the problems affect the soil beneath the driveway, you may need to re-do everything.

The best time to repair or replace an asphalt driveway is spring or early fall. Outside temperatures have a big role in the quality of the asphalt as it is being laid down, so choosing a time when extreme temperatures won’t be a problem is important. Also, be sure to select a professional paving company with quality guarantees. A botched asphalt job can damage your property values instead of increasing them!

Even though the up-front costs are usually higher, concrete driveways usually last longer. Over time, concrete will still show signs of wear and tear so decide when the time is right to address those issues that have developed over time. One of the major problems with concrete is cracking and flaking. When you start seeing visible cracks form, that is a sign that the surface integrity is failing. Repairing the small cracks on the surface may be a good idea, but it is temporary at best. You can also restore the driveway’s solid appearance by refinishing the entire surface.

However, if there are drainage issues or cracks wider than a quarter-inch, a patch job won’t be enough. Water will continue to seep under the concrete and wreak havoc on your driveway’s foundation with the constant freezing and thawing. If you start to see wide cracks, uneven surfaces, pooling water, or other problems, it may be time to replace all or part of the driveway.

Obligation for Landlords

Finally, according to landlord-tenant laws in most places, it is the property owner’s responsibility to look after the property’s habitable condition. If your rental’s driveway is very damaged that it becomes unsafe to walk or drive on, it’s time to replace it. Holes and cracks can be filled with ice and may be a safety hazard for your tenants, while potholes can ruin their vehicles, and yours too!

Along with the rest of the property, it is crucial to carefully monitor the condition of your rental property’s driveway, listen to your tenant’s concerns, and take action properly. The legal and financial risks of unattended unsafe conditions are not worth it.

Knowing when to repair or replace a rental’s driveway can be challenging. The good news is that you don’t need to make these important decisions by yourself. Instead, consider giving our Steel Creek property managers a call. We can help you budget for larger repairs and renovations your property needs and even handle the project itself. To learn more, contact us online.

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