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Should I Repair or Replace My Driveway?

Driveway Being Installed at a Lacey RentalOne of the best ways to enhance a Lacey 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 to even fully replace it. Learning about your driveway options and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each will help you be more confident when the time comes to decide what to do.

Determine Wear and Tear vs. Damage

First, you have to find out why your driveway looks a bit worse for wear. Have cracks, stains, or potholes developed on the surface? 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. But unlike concrete, asphalt doesn’t last that long and in a few years, it will start to show signs of wear. You might be able to catch the damage early, and it’s mostly on the surface. If this is the case, you could just add another layer to your existing driveway to restore its functionality and appearance. But if the problem is worse or affects the soil underneath the driveway, you may need to replace the entire thing. Spring or early fall is the best time for replacing or repairing an asphalt driveway. Outside temperature is important since it plays a huge role in the quality of the asphalt as it’s laid down, so choose a time when extreme temperatures won’t be a problem. 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 if the up-front costs are typically 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. For small cracks, repairing the surface may be a good temporary option. You can also restore the driveway’s solid appearance by refinishing the entire surface.

Although, if there are drainage issues or cracks wider than a quarter-inch, a patch-up job won’t work. Water will continue to seep under the concrete and wreak havoc on your driveway’s foundation with the constant freezing and thawing. Wide cracks, uneven surfaces, pooling water, and similar issues are signs that it might 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 the damage on your rental’s driveway is so severe that it is unsafe to walk or drive on, it is best 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’s best to monitor the condition of your rental property’s driveway, listen to your tenant’s concerns, and take proper action. Not attending to unsafe conditions is not worth the legal and financial risks.

Knowing when to repair or replace a rental’s driveway can be challenging. Though the good news is that you don’t need to make important decisions like these by yourself. Instead, consider giving our Lacey 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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