Distinguished for its endurance, dense growth and weather tolerance, ivy adds a burst of colour to dull winter landscapes. Left unattended, ivy climbs trees and any structure its tiny roots can grip. Although ivy can aesthetically enhance structural walls, it rapidly spreads and completely dominates wall surfaces. Ivy's durable roots and tendrils also penetrate old mortar and bricks, causing brick walls to crack and disintegrate. Proper control of ivy prevents brick damage and keeps brick walls appearing well maintained. Get ivy off of brick using mechanical control methods.
Pull the ivy off the bricks, detaching as many vines as possible. Gently yank off the vines to prevent damaging weak bricks or mortar. Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands.
Scrape off lingering ivy roots and stems too strong to pull off with your hands. With a plastic scraper, loosen as many roots and stems from the bricks as possible.
Pull the loosened ivy roots and stems off the bricks, using your hands.
Examine the bricks for fuzzy tendrils left behind from the ivy roots. If you discover any hairy tendrils lingering on the bricks, scrub them with a synthetic household brush. Detach as many tendrils from the bricks as possible.
Inspect the bricks for tendrils too stubborn to scrub off with the dry brush. If you discover stubborn tendrils, prepare a solution of 15 ml (1 tbsp) washing-up liquid and 4.5 litres (1 gallon) fresh water. Mix the detergent solution in a bucket.
Scrub the remaining stubborn tendrils off the bricks using the brush and the detergent solution. Washing-up liquid softens ivy tendrils.
Rinse the bricks thoroughly with a garden hose. Flush off all ivy residue and detergent.
Substitute a wooden scraper for the plastic scraper.
Do not scrub with wire brushes; they damage old or weak bricks and mortar.