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Ivy and Other Vegetation


Brian G
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I feel silly asking this, but is ivy any threat to a painted cement block wall (outbuilding)? I always recommend people keep that sort of thing off of most other siding / exteriors, but the ladies sometimes think it's simply charming and leave it anyway. [-crzwom]

Brian G.

Maybe I Should Drape Myself in Ivy.... [:-dev3]

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I've always been told those little roots can penetrate into the concrete and mortar. The damage is done as the roots grow larger and penetrate the mortar. Plus it gives critters of all kinds a home and access to your home.

Now hush up and eat your Kudzu, it's good for ya!

Donald

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If looking @ several thousand masonry buildings draped in decades old ivy is any indication, my observation is that ivy doesn't do anything to masonry.

One should keep it away from eaves, woodwork, doors, chimneys, or other building components; I've seen it grow into attics (it goes white from lack of sun, but doesn't die/albino ivy), it can block chimneys, etc. It does not push it's little tendrils into masonry joints.

If you see damaged masonry w/ivy on it, it is likely there is a cause other than the ivy.

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Now that's interesting. I see one single type of ivy on masonry here; we call it "english" ivy, though I have no idea what it really is.

I would also am curious about the situations you were talking about. I've seen this sort of problem, but it wasn't the fault of the ivy; it was the fault of crappy masonry in the first place. The ivy took advantage of the preexisting nooks, crannies, & nasty mortar work.

That's one thing in Chicago; they put together some good brick buildings. I see older lime putty mortar brickwork in excess of 80 years old all the time; original mortar, never been pointed, still intact & in superb condition. Those are the buildings where you can "read" the brick, & see that the mason chose his chicago commons wisely as he worked; softer poorly fired brick @ the least exposed locations, & the harder high fire brick placed up on the parapets, cornices, & sills. Ivy never has a chance w/ these buildings.

Once you let the ivy go, though, you can never get the brick clean again; the adhesive that the suckers use to stick to the brick is, without doubt, the most intense adhesive I have ever encountered.

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We have several vines (no Kudzu though) that will climb brick, stone or any other siding around here. Vines do no good for anything. I addition to all the comments above, they hold moisture against the wall, hide rot and other problems and are conducive conditions for termites, carpenter ants, etc. No good can come from vines on the house...tell'em to remove the growies. Oops, "growies" is left over from architecture classes in the 60s.

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I wish I still had the picture of a Wisteria vine pulling an arbor away from the house that it was attached on. This vine had to be around 6" at the base, no telling how much it weighed.

Paul, if you want some Kudzu, just let me know I can bring some over in January when I come over for InspectionWorld!

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Looks like a Bougainvillea gone wild. We only have them in pots as they don't like the cold.

Thats not wild. Here in the valley of the sun that is a every day occurrence.

I have two of those in my front yard and one in my back yard. 6 months ago I cut them down to about 3 feet high. Two of them are back over 10 feet.

those same two are up against a block Wall and there is no damage from them.

My neighbor has a Ivy (Sorry I don't know what kind)in his yard that is playing hell with his block wall, it has grown through the wall and out the other side.

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Originally posted by Scottpat

Paul, if you want some Kudzu, just let me know I can bring some over in January when I come over for InspectionWorld!

Well thanks Scott![:(!] That's all we need in Austin is another fur-in-ner invasion. We have imported carp to eat the duck weed in the lakes, hunters to kill the deer in the garden and fireants to help keep the fur-in-ners out. All to no avail. Now you want to send us Kudzu...geez.

Truthfully, I spent about ten months in Jackson, Yazoo City and the rest of Mississippi in 1988. Until then I had never heard of Kudzu. Now I know it on sight.

I preferred the Natchez Trace.

Y'all come to Austin! It's a great place to visit, spend a few dollars and then go home...[:-bigeyes]...what am I saying. I make my living off all those folks moving to Central Texas.

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I often work in Cambridge, MA, home to the little college known as Harvard (locally pronounced "Hah-vid"). They are enthusiastically removing the ivy from the exterior of all but a few ceremonial brick buildings because it causes so much damage. I tell my clients that if the Ivy league has abandoned the concept, it's something to think about. To date, I can't confirm that a single client has followed my advice in that regard, but if I could gather them all in a room and address them at once, I'd say: "Hey, if a wall collapses on your head and kills you, don't come crying to me..."

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Originally posted by Brian G.

That stuff is incredible. It grows at a rate you would think only existed in horror movies, covering and eventually killing everything else. I hate it. [:-gnasher]

Brian G.

Isn't There a Kudzu Beetle Out There Somewhere? Please? [:-irked]

It was bio-engineered and planted[:-dev3] by Yankees to ensure that the South never rose again.

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