Advise for ivy covered house

stheis004

Participating member
Location
WI
Hey all, I’ve never dealt with this before but have a potential customer asking to have it removed. Anyone have experience with this, looks like it might just pull off easy enough or maybe it will be a huge pain…? As always, thanks for any and all advise in advance!

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Dan Cobb

Branched out member
Location
Hoover
A friend of mine constantly battles English ivy. It leaves tendrils stuck on his decorative metal fence when the vines are pulled off. The vine residue will come off with pressure washing. I suspect the smaller vines will tend to break when trying to pull them off stone and mortar. I think removal will require a lot of pulling, scraping and pressure washing.

At least it's not creeper, which is worse in my experience.
 

ATH

Been here a while
Location
Ohio
HUGE pain.

My advice: lower their initial expectations. It won't be paint ready anytime soon. (Not that I think they should be painting brick...).

I'd cut it acrot the bottom. And ideally treat the roots - unless they want to keep it in the beds.

Remove what you can, but I wouldn't try to get it all at once. Plan to come back in 2-3 months after it has died to get more off. Then come back next year to clean up the rest... probably power washer.
 
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Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
I’ll second what ATH said. We used to have a maintenance contract on a property with a lot of English Ivy in beds bordered with brick and stone walls. We picked it off the walls by hand once a month, at a cost of hours of hand labor each time. The vines usually came off in 1-3” long pieces, and there were always little “tendrils” left behind.
 

stheis004

Participating member
Location
WI
Awesome feedback, thanks guys. Now I have another question...does anyone know if these actually cause problems? This was a recent purchase and I'd bet their home inspector gave them this idea. To me, it looks really cool and I would go out of my way to get that look.
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
Wisteria can pull bricks loose, but I don’t believe English Ivy unless there is a lot of it. I probably wouldn’t worry about damage as long as the Ivy is contained to the masonry areas only.
 

oldoakman

Been here a while
Location
Alorgia
I e bo ATH's advice. It will be a pain. How old is the stonework? Those textured faces will make it even harder to get off.
 

ATH

Been here a while
Location
Ohio
We had a friend who let it grow up their painted house. Then it found a tiny gap in a window and started to grow on the wall inside. They said, "its kinda cool, so we are going to let it go"!

Yea, it looks kinda cool. But what happens when the vine wants to get bigger in diameter (hint...look at the sidewalk that was poorly built and now has roots increasing in diameter under it). Or, what do you think the chances are that water may run down the vine and find its way in too (very high).

Point being...keep it away from any openings!

I don't know if it is a problem or not for masonry. I'm sure it doesn't do it any good. Probably kinda like what I tell people with trees: not causing harm, but might be hiding other problems.
 

evo

Been here a while
Location
My Island, WA
Wisteria can pull bricks loose, but I don’t believe English Ivy unless there is a lot of it. I probably wouldn’t worry about damage as long as the Ivy is contained to the masonry areas only.
I’ve seen English Ivy degrade grout and mortar, loosing bricks and stone. When removing it, it will root those little hairs into the mortar and if weak pull out small chunks
 

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
We have English Ivy on our house. We let it grow too much once (too busy to deal with it at the time) and it was awful to remove. The stonework is fine, but when it got up to the cedar plywood soffit we had to restain the soffit after we got all the tendrils scraped off. Power washing the stone wasn't too bad. We cut/pulled it off the stone in the Fall, and power washed the stone the next Spring. The stuff grows amazingly fast. It will go from a couple of stems in the Spring to covering 150 square feet by late Summer. It looks cool, but what a pain to take care of.
 

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