Can Ivy Roots Damage House Foundations? (Read this first)

Can Ivy Roots Damage House Foundations? (Read this first)

Can ivy roots damage house foundations if they spread along the walls?

Can Ivy Roots Damage House Foundations

This question has many possible answers. Ivy protects walls from pollution, heat, and humidity.

Ultimately, roots of ivy can expand cracks and open up caulked ones.

Damaged homes may need repointing or mortar replacement.

Hopefully, these tips will help you decide if ivy will damage your house.

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Ivy protects walls from heat, cold, humidity, and pollution

The ivy on the exterior of a building has the unique ability to moderate the temperature of its structure. A recent study found that ivy can reduce the frequency and duration of sub-zero temperatures by as much as 26%.

Additionally, ivy can reduce the occurrence and amplitude of thermal cycling, which is a common cause of damage to masonry.

Moreover, ivy’s protection from weathering influences reduces the risk of catastrophic breakdown of masonry.

Although ivy is a popular plant for landscaping, the protection it offers walls has been debated.

A 2010 study by the English Heritage organization showed that ivy is not only beautiful but also protects walls from heat, cold, humidity, and pollution. Its rootlets are so small that they cannot create new holes, yet they penetrate intact bricks. However, ivy cannot grow on gravestones or walls.

A recent study by Oxford University concluded that ivy acts as a thermal shield for buildings.

Because of its ability to absorb harmful pollutants from the air, it helps to protect walls from extreme temperatures.

In cold weather, ivy helps warm the walls, while in hot weather, it cools them. Furthermore, ivy prevents the buildup of cracks in the wall.

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It traps water next to the wall

When there is too much pressure on the foundation walls of a home, they may bow or rotate. This can result in structural damage.

In addition, seepage of water in the form of ice also damages the foundation of a home. When the temperature drops below 32 F, water trapped in cracks will turn into ice. As water freezes, it expands by 9%, which can significantly enlarge cracks already present.

It leaves a hard residue behind

Ivy grows on your house foundation. To remove the vines, graze them at the highest point where they attach to the foundation and pull them away.

You can leave them if they resist the effort and use a plastic paint scraper to remove them.

Make sure you angle the scraper at 45 degrees, and use a circular motion, working from one side of the foundation to the other.

Ivy tendrils can penetrate cracks and crevices in your house foundation. Its roots grow rapidly and can corrode concrete and mortar.

It also leaves a hard residue behind, and if not removed, the ivy may become entrenched in the foundation. It can also cause leaks and blockages in your house’s sewer system.

When installing ivy around the foundation of your house, be sure to carefully measure the spacing between the wires. Narrower gaps will produce a more dense growth of greenery.

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Using chicken wire is ideal for this purpose because it is easier to install than single wires. Ivy will climb effortlessly on it. If you don’t have chicken wire lying around your house, use one that is narrower than the other wires.

Ivy is a very common plant on brick houses. Sadly, there are many varieties of ivy. Not only does it damage the bricks and mortar, but it can also cause cracks in windows and doors.

If left untreated, ivy can actually damage your house’s foundation, and that can cost you a lot of money!

Fortunately, it is fairly easy to remove ivy from your home foundation and restore it to a beautiful state.

It thrives in hardiness zones 5 through 11

There are many ways to determine the hardiness zone of a plant. Many seed packets include hardiness zones. Hardiness zones are defined by the USDA, and the zones for each plant are based on the average temperature for that zone.

The USDA’s hardiness zones were first published in 1960 and have been updated twice since then. These updated maps take into account changes in climatic conditions and geographic factors.

While the root system of many trees is invasive, the roots of some plants aren’t. Several non-invasive tree roots, like the Adams crabapple, are easier to prevent and grow.

Look for them at your local tree nursery and you should have no trouble locating them. The Adams crabapple, also known as Malus ‘Adams’, has non-invasive roots that rarely damage house foundations and underground plumbing systems.

A good way to determine the hardiness zone for a plant is to check the USDA map. Hardiness zones are color-coded and indicate whether or not a plant is hardy in your area.

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In addition to USDA zones, the USDA website also lists the USDA plant hardiness zones for each state. For example, plants in Zone 4 are hardy in the South but will not survive in Zone 5 in New England.

It can self-cling to textured surfaces

Ivy has glossy, three to five-lobed leaves that self-cling to supports. When pulled from a wall, ivy leaves behind unsightly root ends.

If you want to remove ivy, use wire brushes, and pressure washing to get rid of the plant and its roots. But, if you can’t remove the entire plant, the roots can self-cling to textured surfaces.

Unlike other climbers, ivy can also damage house foundations, although ivy is not known to attack sound masonry. In fact, research from Oxford University suggests that ivy can provide a few benefits to old buildings, including thermal insulation.

It also attracts pests and intruders. Because of these risks, it’s crucial to manage ivy roots properly.

If allowed to spread unchecked, English ivy can cause significant damage to brickwork and wood. In addition to destroying brickwork, it can also wreak havoc on the render that holds the bricks together.

Eventually, ivy can lead to leaky interior walls, which can lead to structural damage. If it’s allowed to continue, it could lead to a waterlogged house.

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It can grow rapidly

Many homeowners want their buildings to look attractive. Ivy can grow on a building and add interest to a shady area. However, this plant can also cause problems in a building due to its ability to grow fast and self-cling.

There are a few different ways to deal with this problem. Listed below are the most common ways to remove ivy from a home.

To prevent the spread of ivy, consider removing it from your home and replanting it elsewhere. Make sure to avoid direct sunlight. Ivy roots can grow quickly and can damage the foundation of a house.

Getting rid of ivy is relatively easy, but it’s important to keep it out of direct sunlight. In addition to pruning, you may have to move it every few years to get the desired look.


Unravel the truth about ivy and its potential impact on house foundations in our comprehensive guide. We delve into the age-old debate: Can ivy roots cause damage? From understanding the growth patterns of ivy to assessing its effect on different types of foundations, we provide expert insights to help you make informed decisions about ivy cultivation near your home. Dive into our article to uncover the facts and myths surrounding ivy’s relationship with house foundations.


If your ivy grows quickly and has a tendency to spread, move it to a location with less direct sunlight. Cut the stem back and replace it with new growth.

If you have ivy on your house, you should cut the vines off at the base of the trees.

Digging out the roots can be difficult, especially if they’re thick and are on stony ground.

After cutting the ivy, treat the area with a glyphosate-based weed killer to kill the plant. Be sure to avoid spraying plants you want to keep.

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