Having a paved driveway is one of the best methods to enhance a Marietta rental property’s curb appeal. However, if your rental’s paved driveway is showing signs of wear, you may be wondering whether it’s time for a repair or even a full replacement. And at the same time, each situation is different, by learning about your driveway options and some of the pros and cons of each, you can more confidently decide what to do when the time comes.
Determine Wear and Tear vs. Damage
First, it’s important to determine why your driveway looks a bit worse for wear. Is the surface starting to crack, stain, or develop potholes? Or has natural erosion done a real number on your rental’s driveway surface? Something as minor as a water pipe leak in the yard could erode the soil under a driveway, leading to breaks, holes – and a major eyesore. Depending upon how damaged your driveway is, you might be able to resurface it, or, in more severe cases, it may be time to replace the whole thing.
Options for Replacement
One of the more budget-friendly driveway materials is asphalt. But asphalt also doesn’t last as long as concrete and can begin to show significant wear after just a few years. Suppose you catch the damage early, and it’s mostly on the surface. In that case, you may be able to add another layer to your existing driveway to restore its functionality and appearance. But if the problems go deeper or affect the soil beneath the driveway, you may need to re-do the entire thing.
Spring or early fall is the best time to restore or replace an asphalt driveway. Outside temperatures play a big role in the quality of the asphalt as it is laid down, so it is important to choose a time when extreme temperatures won’t be a factor. 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!
The up-front costs are more often than not higher, but concrete driveways often last longer. Concrete will still show signs of wear and tear over time, and you’ll need to decide when the time is right to address problems that have developed. One of the main problems with concrete is cracking and flaking. When visible cracks form, it’s a sign that the surface integrity is failing. Repairing the surface may be a good (although temporary) option for small cracks. You can even refinish the entire surface to restore a concrete driveway’s solid appearance.
However, if you have drainage issues or cracks wider than a quarter-inch, a patch job won’t work. Water will continue to seep under the concrete, freezing, thawing, and wreaking havoc on your driveway’s foundation. If you notice wide cracks, uneven surfaces, pooling water, or other concerns, it’s most likely 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 keep the property in a habitable condition. If your rental’s driveway is so damaged that it is unsafe to walk or drive on, it’s time to replace it. Holes and cracks can fill with ice and become safety hazards for your tenants, while potholes can damage their vehicles (and yours!).
Along with the rest of the property, it’s important to carefully monitor the condition of your rental property’s driveway, listen to tenant concerns, and take appropriate action. It’s not worth the legal and financial risks to let unsafe conditions go unattended.
Knowing when to repair or replace a rental’s driveway can be difficult. But the good news is that you don’t have to make important decisions like these on your own. On the other hand, consider giving our Marietta 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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