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How to Remove Ivy From My Home

Updated April 17, 2017

Ivy on walls represents one of the most prolifically growing elements of your home's landscape. Ivy-covered walls convey a certain beauty and can make your home cooler. But for all of its benefits, ivy can be problematic. Its vines can creep into window wells or gutters and cause leaks. Ivy can allow animals a way into your house, and it can damage bricks and mortar if allowed to grow unchecked on walls. Completely removing ivy may take a couple of weeks and require tuck-pointing, but doing so will add years to the life of your home's brick walls.

Put work gloves on because you'll be handling large amounts of vines that could rough up your hands. Gently remove ivy from a small area of your wall to gauge how deeply attached ivy tendrils have become.

Expand the vine pulling to the full wall if the ivy comes off without causing noticeable damage to brick and mortar. Cut the vines as close to the ground as possible with a long-handled lopper. Use an extension ladder to gain access to vines beyond easy reach.

Peel away the cut vines from your wall. Avoid pulling off the ivy's "suckers," which represent the stem material that burrows into brick and mortar. Neatly stack the discarded vines. Place them in yard waste bags unless you want to start ivy in another location of your yard by placing one end of the vine in the soil and watering it.

Wait two to three weeks for the ivy's "suckers" to dry out. Remove them from the brick by using a stiff fibre brush covered in 2 tbsp of washing powder. Avoid leaving them on your wall beyond that time frame because they can oxidise and become exceptionally difficult to remove.

Tip

Avoid using chemicals or acid to remove vines because that can permanently stain or weaken your walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Extension ladder
  • Work gloves
  • Lopper with long handle
  • Stiff fibre brush
  • Washing powder
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About the Author

David McKinney is a newspaper reporter. He was born in Mattoon, Ill., and graduated Eastern Illinois University with a journalism degree. Since 1995, he has covered Illinois state government, including the rise of Barack Obama and the rise and fall of Rod Blagojevich.