Everything You Should Know About Artificial Grass and Your HOA
Having a lush green lawn is every homeowner's dream- but it isn't always achievable. The climate may be too dry and water too scarce to keep your lawn watered enough so it stays green, or you might not want to use harsh pesticides to keep your lawn weed-free because of pets or young kids. Many homeowners have started looking towards artificial grass as an option to maintain the aesthetic appeal of a well-maintained lawn without all the fuss, but not all HOAs allow members to install it on their property. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know regarding artificial turf and your HOA.
What is Artificial Grass?
Typically made out of synthetic fibers and plastic derivatives, artificial grass originally became popular for sports fields and arenas- it could withstand heavy impact with little to no maintenance. In recent years, spurred on by droughts around the country, it has emerged as an in-demand alternative for real grass on private properties like houses and apartment complexes.
There are several benefits to having artificial grass in your yard, most of them centering around lowered maintenance costs.
- No watering. If you live in a dry climate or are considered about water conservation, artificial turf could be the way to go.
- No mowing. Not only will this save you time and money, it also helps the environment. Data shows that lawn mowers emit the same pollution in an hour as eleven cars do, and riding mowers are three times as bad. Furthermore, grass clippings make up the third largest component of landfill waste.
- It is often made from recycled materials, like tires or plastic bottles.
- It stays green all year. No more worries about yellowing or dry grass. You can enjoy the well-manicured look of your property without any additional work.
- Modern artificial grass is hardly distinguishable from the real thing. Blades come in a variety of shades of green and different lengths, so your yard will still look natural.
- It can last up to 25 years.
While an AstroTurf yard may have the look and feel of the real thing, at the end of the day it's still plastic. This can cause several problems.
- Even if it might prevent pollution from mowing, artificial grass still produces pollution and waste in the manufacturing process.
- It isn't biodegradable. Even after lasting for 25 years, it will still ultimately end up in a landfill.
- It gets hot. Artificial grass absorbs a lot more heat than real grass does, and can feel warm to the touch when exposed to direct sunlight.
Does My HOA Care if I Use Artificial Grass?
The short answer: yes. Homeowners Associations have control over pets, backyard structures, noises, mailboxes, and landscaping. An HOA may impose standards for appearance and quality of artificial grass, or may not allow it at all. If you aren't sure what your HOA's policy is on artificial grass, reach out and ask. See if your neighbors are interested in getting it installed as well. Approaching your HOA with power in numbers could help your request get through.
How Should HOAs Approach Artificial Grass?
Modern artificial grass is a lot better than it used to be, both in appearance and in safety. It doesn't release toxic chemicals, and it can look completely authentic. Instead of denying outright, determine guidelines for homeowner requests to install artificial grass. Require that the grass has a high-quality appearance and follows local ordinances for drainage, permeability, and other aspects. Have homeowners submit a sample for your inspection. The benefits of artificial grass may have a positive impact on your community, and it is worth considering as a viable option for lawns.
If you are considering transitioning to artificial grass, keep in mind that not all landscapers can handle the change. Be sure to landscapers who are equipped to properly install your artificial turf. For more insight into HOA guidelines and management, contact us today.