How Vines Can Ruin a Home
Creeping plants are a favorite of some gardeners as they can provide a beautiful canopy over a pergola or trellis. However, creeping plants have to be maintained in order to not become destructive to a home. Creeping plants can work between roof shingles, flashing, siding, even mortar. The chimney in this picture has to be re-tuck-pointed (the mortar between the stone needs to be redone) because the ivy has grown between the stones severally weakening the chimney. This ivy is around 7 years old and was very difficult to remove. I used a reciprocating saw and a pry bar to remove the ivy. It took 12 hours to remove all of it from the chimney and siding below. What is really amazing is the amount of damage that this has caused. Here is a list of repairs that have to be made from the ivy crepping into unwanted areas:
Roof: Ruined shingles in a 4'x8' section. Cost to fix = $250
Siding: Ivy has cracked bat and board siding. Cost to fix = $400
Chimney: Ivy has pushed out significant amounts of mortar and completely ruined the chimney cap and flashing. Cost to fix = $1,130
This one plant has cost this homeowner $1,780 because of a lack of maintenance trimming this ivy back. This is yet another great example of how a lack of maintenance on a home can cost thousands if neglected, rather than a few hundred or some time to take care of the issues at hand.