Ivy Free Living!

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Ivy might seem like a picturesque way to decorate your home, but the truth is that it can have detrimental and damaging long-term effects. Taking the time to safely and effectively remove ivy from the outside of your home can prevent you from having to tackle structural damage, erosion and moisture retention in the future. This simply isn’t a project you would want to dive into without the proper planning, but it is a task that you can certainly handle on your own! Take some time to review the steps and ideas that we have in this article to make your ivy removal process as smooth as possible! 


Wear Protective Gear:

This may seem like a no-brainer, but before you begin, put on sturdy gloves and long-sleeved clothing. This will help to protect your skin from potential irritation caused by the ivy’s leaves and vines.


Identify the Type of Ivy:

There are various types of ivy, and some can be more aggressive and challenging to remove than others. Common ivy species include English Ivy, Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper. Understanding the type of ivy you’re dealing with will help you plan the removal process better and make the process as a whole go smoother.


Cut the Ivy at the Base:

Start by using pruning shears to cut the ivy vines at the base near the ground. This will sever the connection between the vines and the root system, making it easier to pull the ivy off of the surface that it is attached to from the bottom up.  


Remove Ivy from Walls:

Gently peel the ivy vines away from the walls of your home, working from the bottom up. Take care not to pull too hard, as this might cause damage to the wall surface! You should be able to use your hands to pull the ivy off of your home, however if you have some more stubborn vines, you may want to look into using a plastic scraper. Avoid using any scrapers that might be too hard like metal, as they could potentially scrape and damage the outside of your home. 


Dispose of the Ivy Responsibly:

If your plan was to compost the leaves of your ivy, you would want to look for another option. Ivy is more than happy to plant itself in the ground surrounding your compost and begin growing again. Look to your community for locations that allow you to get rid of your yard waste so that the ivy doesn’t continue to bring you issues! This also goes for mulching your ivy, as similar issues can arise. 


Check for Ivy Regrowth:

Monitor the area for any regrowth of ivy. New shoots may appear from previously missed roots, or any small pieces that remain. As soon as you notice any new growth, promptly remove it to prevent re-establishment of ivy on your walls.

Removing ivy, while a rewarding process, is an incredibly huge undertaking and will require continued monitoring as long as you live on your property. If you ever notice that new ivy plants are popping up around your home, you will want to take care of them as soon as possible! If you aren’t dealing with the issues caused by ivy on homes, not only will your home be able to sell more easily in the future, but it will save you the headache of major renovations as well!

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Categories: DIY, Home Improvement, Homeowner, How to, Shorewest Tips

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