Climbing Vines on Your House

Having climbing vines on your house such as ivy or other climbing vines, while it looks awesome and can add distinction to the building, it can be very destructive. While vines growing on a brick or concrete building will not be as damaging, it can still reek havoc in many ways.

On wood or vinyl sided homes the vines can work their way under the siding and separate it from the building causing areas for water, insects and even rodents to enter.

The root system from the climbing plants can also find their way into your foundation causing to to be weakened and allow the elements to enter.

Though ivy’s will provide shade to help keep you house cooler in the warmer months it also helps hold moisture which is damaging to the siding.

Surfaces and materials to keep ivy away from include:

  • Weakened Brick: Crumbling mortar, cracks, and loose bricks can be invaded by ivy roots, which can widen existing cracks and allow moisture to penetrate.
  • Dry-Stacked Walls: Mortarless stone walls naturally have plenty of cracks and crevices for ivy to take hold, and if you pull off the ivy, you run the risk of pulling down stones or even destroying the wall.

  • Old Brick Homes: The quality of mortar has improved over the years, so the older the home, the greater the risk of weakened mortar. Homes built before 1930 need particular caution, as older, lime-based mortar is softer than modern, cement-based mortar.
  • Wooden Walls and Fences: Ivy can easily work its way between boards, opening the joints and damaging the structure. The roots can also penetrate small weaknesses and cracks in the wood grain, increasing the risk of rot. And, if that’s not enough, ivy can harbor wood destroying insects and other pests.
  • Siding: Any siding or shakes with seams are vulnerable to penetration by ivy roots, which can cause damage both as the ivy’s growing and when it’s pulled off.
  • Stucco: The main problem with stucco comes when the ivy is pulled off, because it can pull off paint or even chunks of stucco, and the tiny roots can permanently discolor the surface.
  • Painted Surfaces: As with stucco, the ivy roots may damage your paint when pulled off.
  • Unsound Structures: Ivy is very heavy, and it can pull down weakened or improperly-built structures.

Thanks to

If you have climbing vines on your home and you want to keep them, you need to keep a close eye on where the tendrils head to and keep them trimmed.





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