protecting Ivy damaged garden wall for winter?

30 Dec 2010
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United Kingdom
ok...wall at bottom of our garden (maybe 5/6m long, 2m high) has pretty well-established ivy all over a good half of it, and razor wire on top.

In removing the razor wire, the ivy on the top of the wall is coming with it. I've also started hacking (carefully, not pulling too hard and ignoring - for the moment - bits that don't separate from the wall with moderate force) at the ivy, although I've only removed maybe 1/4 of it (I've also separated the roots from the rest of the plant) and don't want to intentionally remove any more, for the following reason:

In doing all this it's become obvious that the ivy has been protecting the wall (which presumably was built with the house, making it 80 years old), and that the wall is not in the best state of repair. The bricks themselves aren't looking too bad, and aren't spalling excessively. I'm more worried about gaps in the mortar (there are several large deep cracks, although these are mainly between the bricks where the mortar has worn away.

So...I'm wondering what, if anything I need to do to protect the bits of the wall which are now exposed. I'm sure it's not likely to fall down in the next month (though I do have a tendancy to assume the worst), but I'd like to minimise any damage over winter if I can.

Any thoughts?
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The ivy is doing the damage to the wall as the ivy 'digs' into the mortar to hold on. Thus pulling the wall apart.

Remove the ivy and have the wall repointed.

If you've cut the Ivy at the stem, therefore it's dying, I'd leave it for a year or so for the roots that dig into the mortar, etc to die/decay a little. Then it'll become more brittle and it'll be easier to remove.

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