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Should I Repair or Replace My Driveway?

Driveway Being Installed at a Merced RentalA paved driveway is one of the features that enhance a Merced 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. 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 determine why your driveway looks worn out. Have cracks, stains, or potholes developed on the surface? Or has natural erosion damaged your rental’s driveway surface? Something as small as a water pipe leak in the yard could weaken the soil under a driveway, then lead to breaks, holes – and a major eyesore. Depending on the damage on your driveway, you may be able to resurface it, or, if the damage is too bad, 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. In that case, you may be able to add an extra layer to your existing driveway and 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 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 if the up-front costs are typically higher, concrete driveways usually last longer. Concrete will still deteriorate over time and you will have to decide when the right time is to address the developing issues. Cracking and flaking are some of the main problems with concrete. When visible cracks start to form, it is an indication that the surface integrity is failing. The small cracks on the surface may be good, but temporary repairs can only for so long. You can bring back the concrete driveway’s solid appearance by refinishing the surface.

However, a patch job won’t work if you have drainage issues or cracks wider than a quarter-inch. The water that seeps under the concrete will freeze and thaw, further destroying your driveway’s foundation. It’s probably time to replace all or part of your driveway if you start to notice issues like wide cracks, uneven surfaces, or pooling water.

Obligation for Landlords

Finally, landlord-tenant laws in most places state that it is the 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!

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 Merced 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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