Stucco is an exterior finish made out of cement, lime and sand. The finish is durable, accepts paint and easily washed with soap and water. The finish, however, is not immune to dust, dirt and even ivy growing on and into the finish. When removing ivy from painted stucco, you must remove not only the ivy from the finish, but also any ivy roots in the ground below the stucco to keep it from growing and spreading up and onto your home again.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Work gloves
- Garden clippers
- Dustbin or trash bags
- Water hose with sprayer
- Washing powder
- Warm water
- Stiff-bristled brush
Spray a commercial herbicide onto the ivy's leaves, vines and roots entering the ground. Wear work gloves to keep the herbicide off of your hands. Repeat step until the ivy is dead --- usually one to two weeks. The ivy's leaves will turn brown once the plant is dead.
Use garden clippers to clip the roots from the bottom of the stucco.
Use a shovel to dig up the ivy's roots. Start at one end of the ivy and push your shovel into the soil at a 45-degree angle. You want to dig a foot down into the soil.
Pull the ivy root from the ground, but do not shake off soil; there may be ivy seeds in the soil and you don't want the seeds to fall back into the ground and cause regrowth. Place the root in a dustbin or bag. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each ivy root.
Applying Herbicide and Removing the Roots
Clip the ivy into sections using your garden clippers, one cut above an ivy leaf and one cut below the leaf. Cutting the ivy into pieces will help free the ivy from the stucco.
Pull the ivy slowly and carefully from the stucco to keep from pulling off the paint. If you feel any resistance when pulling the ivy, clip the ivy into smaller sections and then pull.
Place the ivy in a dustbin or bag. You may notice pieces of ivy still attached to the stucco. These are rootlets, also known as shoots, that will come off during the washing process. Do not attempt to remove these rootlets at this point --- this will damage the painted stucco.
Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each ivy vine.
Removing the Ivy
Spray the stucco thoroughly with water from a water hose to remove any loose dust and dirt.
Mix 1/2 cup of washing powder and 2 gallons of warm water in a bucket. Stir the mixture with a stiff-bristled brush.
Apply the mixture to the stucco and scrub the finish thoroughly with the stiff-bristled brush to remove any ivy rootlets, debris and caked-on dirt present on the stucco.
Spray the stucco again with water to remove the soap mixture, rootlets, dust and dirt. If any rootlets remain, they will dry up and eventually fall off.
Re-wash your stucco finish after one week with the soap mixture to remove any remaining rootlets.
Cleaning the Stucco
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