How to Remove Ivy Roots from a Brick Wall
We were recently asked by a home owner to remove the residual ivy marks and roots from their brick home. While ivy can be a welcome addition to the look of a home, there are downsides to consider. Ivy is extremely invasive and hard to keep under control. It can also dig into the mortar or other surface and cause long term damage to the structure.
Vine removal in itself is a difficult process that requires a lot of time and labor. Even when you have removed the ivy itself, there will be roots and tendrils left on the wall. You can see in the picture below that although the ivy is gone, the shape of the plant is still visible.
The ivy has left it's imprint on the brick, even after all the work of removing and killing the plant
Why is this a problem?
After many years these roots, or tendrils, may start to fade and fall away on their own. This is not an ideal timeline- or even a guarantee. If you are hoping to sell your home, buyers will notice the growth. If you want to paint, you can't paint over the tendrils with any success. Or you may just be sick of dealing with the ivy and want it gone once and for all. Finally, there is always a chance that the plant can grow back from a root that was not adequately killed.
On the right you can see a close up of the tendrils that have embedded themselves into the brick and mortar.
So how can you remove the roots?
Read all the DIY blogs you can find. In our research, the main solution was a wire brush and elbow grease. If you are a weekend warrior ready to dedicate a lot of time and energy into this project, have at it! We only caution that the brush does not do more damage to the surface than it does to the ivy.
As a power washer we have a much simpler solution. Referring back to our blog about the benefits of a soft wash, you will know that we generally avoid the use of pressure in cleaning a house. However, in a case like this pressure comes in handy and is even necessary. We have a specialized nozzle that allows highly pressured water to be dispersed in a rotating circle 4-8 inches in diameter. This nozzle provides enough pressure combined with a wide surface area so that we can take care of those pesky roots in no time.
Check out the before and after below!
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