Ivy on external walls

21 Apr 2007
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United Kingdom
We're in the process of buying a house and it has a lot of ivy on the walls.
I'm not scared of pulling it off, pouring diesel into the roots, blow-torching the remnants, etc but I am intrigued by one point. Most of the googlesphere starts to freak out at the thought that pulling ivy from the brickwork will also pull apart the rendering / pointing.

Surely (gulp...) the solution is no more extreme than re-pointing or rendering?

I guess I must be missing something but, if re-pointing or rendering is ok, am I missing something more fundamental?
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the way i look at it is that ivy roots into the surface pores of brick, when you strip the ivy roots can be left in the pores, these decay away and the face of the brick is POSSIBLY more prone to frost damage (water enters the voids, freezes, expands and blows the brick).

bricks behave differently (hardness, porosity etc) so th above is just my own rule of thumb.

plus what's left looks 'orrible.
I'd suggest leaving it for a year or so after you've killed it, to allow it to decay a bit before you attempt to remove it from the wall.
It can be quite tenacious when it's alive and takes a while for it to lose that tenacity.

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