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The ivy anchors by means of special anchoring roots on his climbing aid. The short rootlets form directly on the branches and serve only for attachment, not for water absorption. The removal of an older ivy is so difficult, especially because these stick roots understand their craft: There are always left residues on the masonry, if you remove the shoots of the climbing bushes by tearing - sometimes even with bark remains of the Efeutriebe.
Because the evergreen wall decoration is so difficult to remove, a facade greening with ivy wants to be thoughtful. Prior to planting, check that the masonry is intact: older, plastered walls, in particular, sometimes have cracks where the moisture collects. When the sticky roots of the ivy "discover" such cracks, they quickly turn into real roots and grow into the cracks. As the real roots grow longer and thicker over time, they often blow up the plaster and detach it from the wall in places or even over a large area. It even happens that the entire ivy growth along with the plaster layer simply tilts backwards.
How to remove ivy from your house facade
Such a danger usually does not threaten with relatively new buildings. Nevertheless, there may be other reasons why you want to remove the ivy: Maybe you have the house with the green ivy façade recently acquired and the wall greenery just does not like one. Or one suffers, which occurs not infrequently, under a spider phobia and therefore hardly dares to open the windows in the greened wall.
To remove an ivy, just start from the top and tear off all shoots piece by piece from the wall. The thicker branches often have so many anchoring roots that you have to cut them down. This works best with an old bread knife. If the façade is free of all impulses, the root should also be dug out, so that it does not drift again. This can be a very sweaty job, because the ivy forms a proper trunk with the years. Uncover the root system and systematically cut the main roots one at a time with a sharp spade or an ax until you can remove the ivy stump from the ground.
If one tears off Efeutriebe from the house wall, always unattractive remainders remain
Now follows the most tedious part of the work, because it is necessary to remove the many small adherent roots and bark residues. Before you start, you should first soak the facade thoroughly with water, so that the rootlets swell and soften. To do this, you can rinse the wall over and over with the garden hose over several hours, or set up a lawn sprinkler that keeps it constantly moist. Then remove the roots piece by piece with a scrubber or a hand brush. It is important in both cases that the bristles are as hard as possible. The already brushed off places roar again to see if there are any leftover remnants left.
With plastered walls or from the joints of clinker walls, the roots are easier to remove, if you brush the wall after soaking briefly with dilute hydrochloric acid and leave it for a few minutes. The acid dissolves lime plaster and calcareous wall paints and ensures that the ivy roots no longer adhere to it. After acidifying and soaking, the acid must first be rinsed with tap water before re-applying the brush. For very smooth concrete walls or facades, even a spatula with a straight, sharp metal edge is a good tool to scrape off the roots. Even a high-pressure cleaner with a sharp flat jet sometimes performs well.
Ivy roots burn up
Flaming is also a proven method for removing ivy without residue. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the facade is absolutely solid and fireproof. Beware of hidden insulating layers of polystyrene, wood wool or other combustible materials: they can start to smolder by the heat only and forms in the worst case, a non-visible source of fire behind the facade cladding. The same applies to old half-timbered buildings, which were later plastered flat.
With a scraper, which is also used for weed control, you can carbonize the adhesive roots piece by piece. Then they can be brushed off relatively easily. Although small black spots are still visible on bright facades, they disappear at the latest with the new coat, which is due anyway.
Sandblast the facade
No matter which method you choose: The residue-free removal of an ivy from the house wall remains tedious.Anyone who shies away from the effort should have the façade cleaned by a specialist company using a sandblaster after the shoots have been torn off. This method is basically suitable for all wall types except wood facades. Care should also be taken with some shiny brickwork walls as they often lose their natural appearance and become dull as a result of sandblasting. If in doubt, you should simply ask directly from the specialist company if their own house wall is suitable for this method.
Remove ivy from trees
A healthy and strong tree has no problems with ivy: In contrast to the tree worms or blue rain, the evergreen climbing bush anchors itself only in the bark and does not form any creeping sprouts that would in due course pinch off the branches of the tree.
Efeutriebe can anchor themselves with their tadpoles in the bark of larger trees
There is also no light competition, because the ivy loves the shade and therefore spreads mainly in the crown interior. Nevertheless, some hobby gardeners have a problem with it when their tree is "infested" by an ivy. To remove older climbing plants, simply cut the stem of the ivy with a saw. The plant then dies and begins to wither. Although the yellow, dead Efeutriebe and leaves in the treetop are not a nice sight, but you should still refrain from tearing them out of the tree, because this often the bark of the tree is damaged. Only when the dead skin roots have rotted after a few years, you can safely remove the ivy from the tree.