Critter eviction day…Removing vines from brick

My latest project is to restore a 1924 duplex and let me tell you, I have my work cut out for me!  But I’m looking forward to every minute of the challenge.

Cute, red brick all around that is unfortunately covered entirely by vines.    This is a popular option for people that want to soften the hard lines of brick or as in this case, to conceal flaws in the brick walls from foundation issues.  If you currently have or are considering planting ivy or vines along your brick, think again!

Over time, vines implant themselves in any crack or crevice they can find and you place your brick’s mortar integrity at risk. Not to mention, you can’t even imagine what lies beneath this cozy maze of vines!

Day 1 of my removal wasn’t met with too many issues:

I have read before that sometimes, if the vines have had enough time to implant themselves, a removal might take chunks of mortar with it.   So before I committed to a full removal, I tested a few small spots to ensure my old mortar would stay intact which it did with the exception of some small spider web looking detachments of mortar.

Then, I started pulling the vines off manually, cutting the bases as I worked my way down.  For the most part, the vines peel off in big chunks but there’s a lot of little twigs and such leftover on the surface.   Some of the runner vine thicknesses are measuring an 1 1/2″ thick and they have many tiny fingers that have implanted themselves on the brick.

Critter Eviction:

For each area I expose, 100’s of bugs, lizards and spiders have gone scrambling.  Not to mention the layers of dead leaves , dirt and dust that have accumulated within the vines.  If that’ s not enough to make you reconsider planting vines along your brick, I don’t know what would be!  Major yuck!!

I plan to pressure wash the entire wall area once the vines are removed.   I will also need to dig out the massive trunks these vines have created once I am done so that they do not grow back.

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