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Should I Repair or Replace My Driveway?

Driveway Being Installed at a Durham RentalA paved driveway is one of the features that enhance a Durham rental property’s curb appeal. 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. 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. Has the surface started to develop cracks, stains, or potholes? Or has natural erosion done damage to 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. 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. 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 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 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 though the up-front costs are usually 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. One of the main issues with concrete is cracking and flaking. A sign of surface integrity failure is when visible cracks start to form. Repairing the small cracks on the surface may be a good idea, but it is temporary at best. You can also refinish the entire surface to bring back a concrete driveway’s solid appearance.

However, a patch job won’t work if you have drainage issues or cracks wider than a quarter-inch. Water will keep on seeping under the concrete, freezing, thawing, and further damaging your driveway’s foundation. 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, 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. 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. But you can always find expert help in making these important decisions. Instead, consider giving our Durham 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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