Getting aerial ivy roots off brick

Does anyone know how to remove aerial ivy roots from (modern) brickwork.   We successfully killed roots of very overgrown ivy, then after a few months pulled the hefty growth off the house walls only to find we can't shift the remaining 'shredded wheat' type aerial roots.  We've tried scraping, scrubbing etc all to no avail.  This was three years ago, and they are still hanging on.  Help!!



  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    A wire brush should shift them.

    What you really need is hot sunshine to dry them off, which makes them easier to shift.

  • Ivy destroys the appearance of brickwork new and old. In my experience the scars left by ivy last for years if not forever. My home is surrounded by an old wall, I removed the ivy 26 years ago and the brickwork is still marked.

  • ps wire brushing brickwork might do more damage than the ivy - proceed with caution!! (retired bricklayer and builder)

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    I understand the best method is to rub the roots off with a lump of brick.  Try a small area first.

  • I took the roots off most of my brickwork with a wolf-garten knife.  I've got a long and short handle, I took it off the short handle where I'd been using it for weeding between patio slabs, put it on the long handle I use with the wire brush, and sliced the ivy off the walls using that.

    Otherwise I'd use a pressure washer on a very low setting.


  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    If it freezes hard this winter they may well dry and come off, but the reality is that the fine thready roots are inside the top layer of the bricks, and if you scrub or scrape hard enough to get them off you will probably damage the brick work - a greater problem I should imagine.   I'd be very anxious about using a pressure washer, even on a lower setting, as the mortar between the bricks might start to come away - does not sound ideal to me.  Probably you are stuck with it for now, over time they will deteriorate and come off - meantime, just learn to live with it and eventually you will stop noticing it. 

  • you made need to use ivy killer if its on your house walls as thou you can pull and remove it the mortar might come with it.

  • Ivy seems to suck the colour out of brickwork, staining it forever. Ivy and brickwork do not mix,

  • thanks for suggestions, will keep trying.  I do agree that ivy and brickwork don't mix, and am trying to resist the urge to grow the ivy back again to cover up the mess!  If anyone has any ideas of anything that will dissolve the root fragments chemically i'd be very interested indeed.

  • You do say that your brickwork is modern. So I wouldn't have thought that issues about flaky brickwork were relevant.

    A few years ago I had some ivy covering an old brick wall, which I removed. As everyone says, it leaves a heck of a mess.

    What I did was to paint the wall with masonry paint. You can get paint mixed to any concievable shade at many larger DIY stores, and I chose a shade to match the brickwork as best as I could.

    Today, several years on, you wouldn't notice that anything has been there.

    I wouldn't recommend doing that, but it's an option.

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