Glare from Windows Burns Grass
What Is Damaging the Landscape Design of Your Property?
Great landscaping is a source of pride for most homeowners, who spend a good deal of time, effort, and money to keep their property looking its best. According to a recent American Time Use Survey, most adults in the United States spend an average of 70 hours a year on lawn and property care. As for how much money people spend, it ranges from the hundreds into the tens of thousands, depending on the size of the property and the intensity of the planting. (Climate also plays a huge role in lawn and garden expenses, as in some regions water bills can be exorbitant, while in others water is quite cheap.)
So the last thing anyone who cares about his or her property wants to experience is grass, a garden, hedges, bushes, or a lawn made of synthetic turf damaged or even ruined right before their very eyes. If you have spots or strips of dried out grass or plants that are suddenly and inexplicably wilting, failing in large patches, or even outright dying, the cause could be a fungus, an insect infestation, or simple lack of hydration. A burnt or melted artificial lawn, however, can't be a result of under watering, disease, or pests. But in fact the same thing could be ruining natural landscaping elements and/or artificial turf grass: super heated light bouncing off energy efficient windows.
Is Window Glare Burning the Grass at Your Home?
If you have eliminated other possible causes of dying grass or plants by checking your property for fungus or insect issues and by ensuring your plants are getting enough water, or if the primary issue facing your property is damaged artificial grass, then it's time to find out if window reflections are the cause of the damage you have observed.
You may have lived at the same property for many years and never have experienced dried out or burned plants or melted artificial grass before, but if you or a neighbor has recently installed low-e energy efficient windows, the problem may now be a serious one. These highly reflective windows reject a large amount of the sun's thermal energy, or in other words, heat. This excess of light energy is often channeled into a beam in a magnifying glass effect, and wherever these rays of concentrated light fall, they can cause excessive damage.
Energy efficient window glare temperatures have been recorded at temperatures in excess of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than hot enough to scorch living plants and grass and to distort or outright melt fake grass. And it is quite common for window glare to reach at least 160 degrees, which can harm plants and can damage some types of artificial grass, not to mention other common exterior elements of a property, such as vinyl siding, patio furniture, and more.
How to Tell if Window Reflection Damages Grass
The single best way to tell if the issue at your home is window glare damaging plants and melting grass is to physically get out there and inspect things for yourself. Concentrated light reflections can cause damage even early in the morning and late in the evening, so plan to make your first inspection as soon as sunlight is falling on the low-e windows you suspect might be the issue. Find areas of your property where the sunlight bounces off the windows and onto the plants, the ground, vinyl siding, and so forth, and if you can feel excessive warmth in the glare, you have probably found the issue.
Make sure to inspect the areas where you have found damage on your lawn, in the garden, on hedges, and so forth several times during the course of the day. As the sun's position in the sky changes, hotspots that can cause burn and melting may rather suddenly appear. And what's worse, as the earth revolves, these hotspots can slowly travel along a yard or planted bed, causing damage and destruction in a drawn-out line.
And keep in mind that even a window that is not causing any damaging window glare one day, one week, or even one month may later be an issue. As the earth moves around the sun over the course of the year, the angle at which sunlight reflects off your windows and hits your property can change dramatically.
How to Stop Window Glare Burning Grass
If you care enough about your landscaping to spend time and effort finding out exactly what is damaging it, then you probably care about your home itself, too. In fact, you probably installed the energy efficient windows that have turned out to be the cause of the issue in order to keep your home cooler and more energy efficient. Chances are you don't want to rip those windows back out and revert to inefficient single pane, non-reflective glass windows. (In many places recent property codes in fact require low-e windows, anyway, so that drastic step would not even be a legal option.) You probably also don't want to close the shutters every time the sun shines.
So instead of replacing or covering windows causing grass to burn or melt, just apply window film for turf and plant protection. This specialty anti glare window film was designed expressly to mitigate the problem of window glare damaging plants, grass, and vinyl siding. It consists of a thin layer of material that is largely translucent and transparent. Anti glare window film let's you see through the windows minimal clarity limitations; in fact the view is on the same level of clarity as when you look through a standard insect screen.
And all the natural light you love about your home can still pass through anti reflective window film. The only difference is in the way rejected solar energy bounces off this coating. The countless miniature perforations in anti glare window film send bounced light scattering in all directions instead of letting it concentrate into a damaging beam. Your energy efficient windows will still block an abundance of solar heat, keeping your home cooler, more cost effective, and with a smaller carbon footprint, and with the added benefit of no risk posed to your lawn, landscaping, or any property features that might be damaged by sun glare.
It's worth noting that often the lawn or vinyl siding melted by window reflection is not your own, but is in fact that of a neighboring property; anti reflective window film, therefore, might not only protect your property, but might prevent an awkward argument or even a lawsuit between you and the neighbors.