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rc70scoupe
Jul 12th, 2010, 01:21 PM
Hello,
I am new to the Forum, and I need help and information.

I live in a 19 detached town-home private community, with a Association.

The Board has just put in writing that no car washing is allowed in front of your home!!

The reasons are
1)that with or without using soap, (such as a Meguiar's product) car washing HARMS the asphalt!!
2) that the dirt from the car and soap goes into the drains and harms the
oceans
3) the City of San Clemente does not allow car washing.

I know that all 3 are lies. I NEVER thought in my life I would have to appeal to 2 MEN on the Board that car washing is okay.

All info/feedback is appreciated. If I am wrong, I am wrong, but I have to be right on all 3 points.

Please tell me where to look up the info to show the Board

Thank You

Ray

bmrfan
Jul 12th, 2010, 01:58 PM
Ray,

#1 - (LOL) I really doubt washing your car (aka getting the asphalt wet) causes instantaneous damage to the asphalt.
#2 - Some truth to "dirt" from car washing polluting the ocean. Oil / Coolant from our cars (or drive-way) will get washed down into the storm drains and will most likely discharge into the ocean.
#3 - San Clemente allows "individual" car washing - here's a link:
http://ci.san-clemente.ca.us/sc/Org/Dept/Engineering/WaterQ/wq.htm#DISCHARGE

BTW - I used to live in Santa Monica where "individual" car washing is illegal so there are cities in California with such laws.

Turanga Leela
Jul 12th, 2010, 02:00 PM
It was my understanding that soap runoff from car washing wasn't good for the ocean either. Since it drains straight to the ocean, there's no water treatment plant in between.

roushstage2
Jul 12th, 2010, 02:01 PM
1. I don't know that water and biodegradable car soap will harm asphalt, at all. I'm not an expert in the area though.
2. Well, you are washing brake dust, dirt, and possibly grease and oil off of the car along with any chemicals you may use to help clean said cars, which will go into the drain.
3. Some cities have water restrictions (not that unusual), which prohibit car washing as it isn't a necessity in life, where as having water for drinking, bathing, plumbing and so on is. If there isn't a restriction, then it sounds like they are just trying to push their "law" even more.

Michael Stoops
Jul 12th, 2010, 02:04 PM
This can be a really tough one to fight, and HOA's in general can be really tough to fight!! Plus, if the City of San Clemente doesn't allow car washing at all (are you absolutely positive about that?) then battling the HOA is a waste of time as this won't be their rule, but a city ordinance that they may have to enforce.

For the record, however, all of our car wash soaps are biodegradable and washing with them shouldn't do any more damage to the asphalt than a typical rainfall. What you wash off the car is no different than what gets washed off the roads and into the storm drains every time it rains - but nobody ever seems to consider that.

We can certainly understand a HOA not wanting people to do heavy engine degreasing on the street, but a regular old wash shouldn't have any real impact at all. Besides, how dirty do cars really get here in SoCal? It doesn't rain all that much for them to get dirty in the first place.

But none of this matters if the City doesn't allow it.

What you can do, however, is roll the car in the garage and use a no rinse wash product. That should keep the HOA and the city happy.

rc70scoupe
Jul 12th, 2010, 02:35 PM
Thanks to all for the FAST replies!!

bmrfan, THANKS for the link.
The City of San Clemente does allow "individual residential car washing"
They ask that you use "bidegradeable, phosphate-free soap".

Mr Stoops., thank for letting us know in writing that the soaps are biodegradeable!! ashing will do no more harm than a rainfall.
Are they "phosphate free"?

I understand that washing a car does have drawbacks to the environment. I am responsible when I do this.

I really feel that the monthly, or 2X that month if it does rain, really has a VERY minimal impact on the oceans. After all, when it rains, the same dirt goes into the same drains.

I brought up that the washing of the car keeps the asphalt clean of all debris.
The front of the house looks better as a result.
I use a nozzle, never have unintended run-off. Never degrease my motor or suspension.

I will be bring these points up in writing to the Board. Keep you informed.

Thank you

SSMUFF
Jul 13th, 2010, 05:48 AM
I am sure eating beef has more of a impact on the earth then washing your car.

cnfowler
Jul 13th, 2010, 11:43 AM
Good luck with that, Ray. HOAs are ridiculously powerful and have some of the dumbest rules I've ever seen. I was a Trooper in South Florida. We were looking to purchase a home. Many of the associations wouldn't allow me to park my marked patrol car in the driveway of my own home. I said I'd follow their rules if they paid my mortgage. They didn't agree and we didn't buy.

Colin

FinalTouchDetail
Jul 13th, 2010, 12:04 PM
I suggest using Optimum No Rinse and Chemical Guys Go-Green Waterless Wash.

Use ONR when the car is exceptionally dirty, and use Go-Green when you are cleaning off waterspotting, dirty water splashes from rainfall, light dust/dirt, etc...

Go-Green works very well (I used it as a "maintenance wash" on a 911 Turbo without inducing any scratching), just use it quite liberally and have a ton of microfiber towels on hand for the "wash".

boiler7904
Jul 13th, 2010, 01:08 PM
First off, if the new rule is not legally incorporated into the covenants and bylaws of the association and they post it for public viewing of all members, they can't enforce it. Simple as that. There are a lot of HOA board members running around with Napoleon complexes and think they rule the land.

If laws in Cali are like Indiana, they have to put the item to a public vote of the members and have it pass (not sure if simple majority or another standard is used) before it can be incorporated. The board can't just create rules on a whim because it fits their mood that day.

If by chance you are allowed to wash / detail your car in your driveway, I'm willing to bet your HOA has a rule against operating a business from your home meaning detailing on the side is a huge no-no that will get you in trouble. Once they latch on to that, then they get your local / state business license and insurance authorities involved to make your life even more fun.

I had a similar run in with my HOA the first summer I lived there. Someone made a BS complaint to them about me so I used the rules in my favor. It simply said that the chemicals be biodegradable. Offered the HOA president and management company a set of the MSDS sheets and they said it wouldn't be necessary and the problem would go away. The next month's newsletter brought the topic up again so that the people with too much time on their hands would quit calling the management office.

Of the things that will harm asphalt, carwash solutions aren't one of them. Oil and gas - yes, transmission fluid - yes, antifreeze - yes, typical car detailing chemicals - no. The paint on your car is more susceptible to damage from chemicals than asphalt so why would you want to use anything harmful on your car?

They are right that the water will end up in the ocean and potentially cause harm to aquatic life. I bet the storm sewers on your streets do the same and there is a lot more hazardous material building up on the streets that gets washed down the drain than your driveway will ever see.

Sounds like you've double checked your local laws and that's in your favor.

You may be in a position where you need to take your car to the local coin op carwash to clean the heavy build up off and then bring it home to do an ONR wash in the garage. Out of sight - out of mind.

Asphalt_Pro
Jul 14th, 2010, 01:04 PM
OK,

Some quick research turned this information up at the San Clemente website here. http: //san-clemente.org/sc/standard.aspx?pageid=458

on this page it clearly states that car-wash runoff is allowed in the city of San Clemente.

Here is also a tip page from the city of Carson that states that cars washed on grass solve the problem with water runoff to the ocean. I am not sure if this is a reasonable option for you.

Lastly, and this is where my field of expertise comes in. Water runoff from car washes does not harm asphalt significantly. Especially in regards to residential areas. Water runoff from irrigation systems is a far greater example of water damaging the pavement. Solvents do very little to asphalt short of oil based products and coolants etc.

James

xantonin
Jul 14th, 2010, 02:35 PM
Good information here.

Thanks everyone. I hope the original poster updates us on his progress. I'd like to see the reaction of the HOA.

ClearlyCoated
Jul 14th, 2010, 03:17 PM
Most HOA's and CCR's are more focused on appearances than being environmentally responsible. And car washing is likely viewed by your HOA as a pedestrian or blue collar endeavor like oil changing, or parting out your car in the driveway. Your neighbors already hate having to pay their association fees and they will complain loudly if you do anything contrary to your HOA charter.

Emphasize to the HOA that you will minimize the visual impact to your neighbors by washing your car quickly and early in the morning. Offer to use environmentally friendly no rinse products like Optimum No Rinse (ONR) which significantly reduces your splash imprint and observable water waste to just a few gallons. And be sure to pour your no rinse waste water on the grass

Deaner5
Jul 14th, 2010, 05:31 PM
Certainly an interesting thread. I audit some housing cooperatives and can certainly understand that some people have nothing better to do than bug you.

Another option is to offer to wash your car on the grass if you have any. They will probably get worried about tearing that up and might let you keep your driveway instead. Just a thought. Hope everything works out.

davey g-force
Jul 14th, 2010, 06:53 PM
A few people have suggested using ONR in the garage.

It is also possible to do a traditional soap & water wash in the garage if your garage is large enough and has a drain.

That's how I do all my washes. Mainly to keep out of sight of the nosey neighbours lol...

rc70scoupe
Jul 28th, 2010, 02:38 PM
THANK YOU ALL for the info and knowledge.

I recieved a letter from Meguairs that the soaps do not harm the environment, will not harm the asphalt.

I printed the link from the San Clemente website stating that the city allows individual car washing.

I presented BOTH pieces of information to the President of the Board last week at a Board Meeting. He REFUSED to discuss or look at the letters.

I told him that his printed matter were lies and misinformation to the Community and he needed to retract in writing what was in the original newsletter. He refused to do that also.

Today he approached me and stated that the water from car washing WITHOUT any soaps/detergent is still bad for the asphalt.
Water on the asphalt from the sprinklers/car washing was bad and leads to the deterioration of the asphalt road.

He is convinced he is right, and he is going to save the Community and the road.

I pointed out that it is NOT in the Associations CC&R's, nor in the Rules and Regulations.

He then stated that he is going to spend hundreds of dollars of the Association's money (that we do not have) and put in a dedicated spot for car washing. The Assocaition will also lose one of the dedicated parking spots as a result, rip out vegetation and cut out a concrete curb to make that happen.

Common sense tells me that this is not the way to go.

I printed Asphalt_Pro's last paragraph and will hand it to him today.

IF anyone can show me where to find in writing that the water will not harm the asphalt, please help!!

bmrfan
Jul 28th, 2010, 02:49 PM
Ray,

I can't believe your Association Prez is so persistent in preventing car washing in your development! (Did he have a bad experience with a detailer or what??).

Here's a link to the website: Asphalt - the Sustainable Pavement: http://www.pavegreen.com/water_quality.asp
- There's a quote in the page stating "Drinking water reservoirs are often lined with asphalt. Asphalt cement is also used to line water pipes that supply potable water to humans."

BTW - I just noticed you belong to R Gruppe - do you ever go to Cars & Coffee?

Andrew C.
Jul 28th, 2010, 02:53 PM
Well that's San Clemente HOA's for you! :furious1

AeroCleanse
Jul 28th, 2010, 06:30 PM
Not being a member of a HOA, what can they do to you should you choose to ignore them and wash your car anyway?

boiler7904
Jul 28th, 2010, 07:49 PM
Not being a member of a HOA, what can they do to you should you choose to ignore them and wash your car anyway?

If the rule they're trying to enforce isn't legally adopted into their covenants or other charter the answer is simple - NOTHING.

They have a few options if they do have it in their legally recorded document ranging from a warning letter, fines each time you break the rule or daily depending on the violation to eventually liens against the property or a lawsuit.

The other part of this is that the documents have to be recorded (with the county clerk in Indiana not sure in Cali) and be made available to each property owner of the association. Owners typically then have to inform renting tenants.

Time for the OP to get to know the other members of the board of directors of the association and make his case. Get other neighbors involved too if they don't have a problem with your activity. The president can't act as a party of one and make unilateral decisions most likely - typically majority rules and may require a vote of all members to change the rules and covenants. Attend any open meeting that your association holds - probably have to have at least one general meeting a year and open board meetings to the members unless they are discussing financial or personal matters related to one resident.

Is there a management company that handles the day to day business of the association? If so, talk to the company's rep for your group and get his/her take on the situation and what you can do.

My guess is that the president has little man syndrome, is retired, likes to feel more important than he really is, and has a lot of spare time on his hands to find ways to screw up community peace and tranquility.

To the OP, good luck with this. Hope you're successful.

Underdawg736
Jul 29th, 2010, 03:48 AM
Wow your HOA president sounds alot like my boss in the sense that they are dead set in their rules and ways and won't bend for squat!

This is the reason I won't even think about considering joining an HOA once I start house hunting in a few years. I fought for my right to wash my car in my driveway that I pay for and no one else and dang if someone tells me I can't because it's an "eyesore" or "enviromentally" harmful!

Sorry to hear the perdicament that your in, best bet is what a few have already said, try hitting up a co-op touchless wash, bring her home and do an undercover detail (ONR, QD, UQD....whatever you need to do) in the garage

Mark Kleis
Jul 29th, 2010, 08:39 AM
I wonder what the HOA President thinks about rain? Does he have a massive umbrella to protect the asphalt from rain, too?

I say take it to the next level and demand PROOF that it will cause damage, otherwise consider ignoring the ruling and washing it anyway. If they attempt to take action, counter-sue and prove that you aren't harming anything.

roushstage2
Jul 29th, 2010, 11:05 AM
I wonder what the HOA President thinks about rain? Does he have a massive umbrella to protect the asphalt from rain, too?

I say take it to the next level and demand PROOF that it will cause damage, otherwise consider ignoring the ruling and washing it anyway. If they attempt to take action, counter-sue and prove that you aren't harming anything.
I was just going to ask this same question.

cnfowler
Jul 29th, 2010, 02:45 PM
HOA's are the devil.

rc70scoupe
Jul 29th, 2010, 06:09 PM
I say take it to the next level and demand PROOF that it will cause damage, otherwise consider ignoring the ruling and washing it anyway. If they attempt to take action, counter-sue and prove that you aren't harming anything.

They do not have any real proof. The asphalt was resealed approx. 5 years ago by a company with a F rating. He points to the lousy road, with lousy reseal job and says the water from washing and sprinklers is causing it.

I point out the lousy road in general is deteriorating on its own, multiplied by the lousy reseal job.

The thing is, DIRECTLY in front of my garage, the asphalt is better than anyone's in the complex.

I reread the CC&R's and the Rules and Regulations, NOWHERE does it state that car washing is not allowed.

theamcguy
Jul 30th, 2010, 04:38 PM
Do like I do I wash the car on my lawn, all the run off waters my grass.

xantonin
Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:10 AM
Today he approached me and stated that the water from car washing WITHOUT any soaps/detergent is still bad for the asphalt.
Water on the asphalt from the sprinklers/car washing was bad and leads to the deterioration of the asphalt road.

I don't believe that but hard water is very damaging.

You should point out to him, however, that car was soap contains water softening agents, which actually would make it better for the asphalt.

This would make ONR even more appealing. It's really good at improving hard water

bmrfan
Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:50 AM
I don't believe that but hard water is very damaging.

You should point out to him, however, that car was soap contains water softening agents, which actually would make it better for the asphalt.

This would make ONR even more appealing. It's really good at improving hard water

xantonin - I'm interested in learning about how hard water affects asphalt - please provide more info....

AeroCleanse
Aug 3rd, 2010, 10:00 AM
I'd ask the HOA for proof of such claims, and why it's only the asphalt there that's affects and not everywhere else on earth.

xantonin
Aug 4th, 2010, 03:18 PM
xantonin - I'm interested in learning about how hard water affects asphalt - please provide more info....
Sorry I really don't know if it damages asphalt. I just know it damages paint!

I left my car under some sprinklers for one night here in Arizona, and the next morning after I drove home I already had bad water etchings in my paint :(

bmrfan
Aug 4th, 2010, 03:50 PM
Thanks for the clarification on hard water and asphalt.

Sorry to hear about the water etching - its amazing how badly water spots from sprinklers can damage paint.

Flash Gordon
Jan 15th, 2011, 07:57 AM
The real lessons here boys and girls is the never purchase a condo/towhouse with a HOA. There's always some old kook kiljoy on the board that will try and make life difficult for you :burnout

Jossy92
Jan 15th, 2011, 08:34 AM
Rather than fight could you practice using ONR in your garage and then when you get to the point that you don't spill a drop on the ground..... Do all you washes in front of his unit. :laughing2

Might even take off one of your wheels, place one of those cheapo, Home Depot black plastic tubs used for mixing cement (3' by 5') under the wheel well and give the shocks, etc a good scrub with APC followed by an ONR spray down. As a demo, to save the city.

Just make sure when you dump out the tub in the grass in front of his house, you don't get any on the asphalt. This will give him the opportunity of seeing how to fix a perceived problem rather than be one.

:nono1 ....or NOT.