Skip to Content

Should I Repair or Replace My Driveway?

Driveway Being Installed at a Portland RentalHaving a paved driveway is one of the ideal ways to boost a Portland rental property’s curb appeal. However, if your rental’s paved driveway shows signs of wear, you may be questioning if it’s time for a repair or a full replacement. Although every scenario 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 is right.

Determine Wear and Tear vs. Damage

First, it’s vital to establish 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 on how damaged your driveway is, you may be able to resurface it, or, in more severe cases, it may be time to replace the entire thing.

Options for Replacement

One of the most budget-friendly driveway materials is asphalt. Yet, asphalt also doesn’t last as long as concrete and can start to indicate significant wear after just a few years. If you catch the damage early, it will primarily be on the surface. For that reason, you may be able to add another layer to your existing driveway to reestablish its functionality and appearance. But if the problems run deeper or affect the soil beneath the driveway, you may have to re-do the whole thing.

Summer or early fall is the ideal season to fix or reconstruct an asphalt pavement. Outside temperatures play a big influence in the quality of the asphalt as it is laid down, so it is vital to select a day when extreme temperatures won’t be a hindrance. Furthermore, remember to choose a professional paving company with quality guarantees. A poor asphalt job might degrade your property values instead of enhancing them!

The up-front expenses are normally higher, but concrete driveways usually last longer. Concrete will still show indications of wear and tear over time, and you’ll need to decide when the time is right to address problems that have happened. One of the biggest problems with concrete is cracking and flaking. When visible cracks form, it’s an indication that the surface integrity is failing. Repairing the surface may be a viable (although temporary) option for small cracks. You can even refinish the entire surface to restore a concrete driveway’s solid appearance.

On the other hand, if you have drainage difficulties or cracks wider than a quarter-inch, a patch job is not advisable. Water will continue to seep under the concrete, freezing, thawing, and wreaking havoc on your driveway’s foundation. If you see wide cracks, uneven surfaces, pooling water, or other difficulties, it’s probably necessary to replace all or part of the driveway.

Obligation for Landlords

At last, 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 pose safety hazards for your tenants, while potholes can damage their vehicles (and yours!).

Along with the rest of the property, it’s critical to constantly monitor the condition of your rental property’s driveway, listen to tenant concerns, and address the issues. 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 challenging. But the good news is that you don’t have to make important decisions like these on your own. Instead, consider giving our Portland 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.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details