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Should I Repair or Replace My Driveway?

Driveway Being Installed at a Benton City RentalWhen you have a paved driveway, you can enhance your Benton City rental property’s curb appeal. But if your rental’s paved driveway is deteriorating, you could be wondering if it is time to repair or fully replace it. While every situation is different, knowing the pros and cons of the different driveway options can give you more confidence when the time to decide comes.

Determine Wear and Tear vs. Damage

First, it’s necessary to determine why your driveway looks a little worse for wear. Has the surface started to develop cracks, stains, or potholes? Or has natural erosion done damage to your rental’s driveway surface? Something as small as a water pipe leak in the yard may erode the soil under a driveway, leading to breaks and holes. You may be able to resurface your driveway depending on how damaged it is, or, in severe cases, totally replace the whole thing.

Options for Replacement

One of the more budget-friendly driveway materials is asphalt. Compared to concrete, asphalt doesn’t last that long and can start to show signs of wear and tear in just a few years. Suppose you catch the damage early, and most of it is 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. Since outside temperatures greatly affect the quality of the asphalt as it is laid down, it is important to do it at a time when extreme temperatures won’t be an issue. 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!

Although up-front costs are usually higher, concrete driveways generally last longer. Concrete will still show signs of wear and tear over time, and you will have to decide on the best time to address the issues that have developed. One of the main issues with concrete is cracking and flaking. When you start seeing visible cracks form, that is a sign that the surface integrity is failing. Although temporary, it may be a good option to repair small cracks on the surface. You can also refinish the entire surface to bring back a concrete driveway’s solid appearance.

However, if there are drainage issues or cracks wider than a quarter-inch, a patch job won’t be enough. Water will keep on seeping under the concrete, freezing, thawing, and further damaging your driveway’s foundation. 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

Lastly, in most areas, landlord-tenant laws state that it’s a property owner’s responsibility to maintain the property in a habitable condition. If your rental’s driveway is too damaged that it’s dangerous to walk or drive on, it is finally time to replace it. Ice can fill in holes and cracks and can become safety hazards for your tenants. Their vehicles can be damaged by potholes as well!

As you do with the rest of your property, you should also monitor the condition of your rental property’s driveway and listen to your tenant’s concerns so you can take appropriate action. Letting unsafe conditions go unattended is not going to be worth the legal and financial risks.

Knowing when to repair or replace a rental’s driveway can be challenging. But you can always find expert help in making these important decisions. Instead, consider giving our Benton City 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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