August 17, 2020 at 11:23am | Lisa Crumby
Running through Denver I see many homes around the area that have beautiful ivy growing up the sides of the homes.  It got me to thinking about the benefits of having this lush greenery climbing up the side of your home.  That of course led me to what kind of damage it can cause as well.  

As we dive into the idea, there are a couple of things to think about. The first being what kind of Ivy is growing and the second being what kind of siding.

What kind of Ivy?
There are several types of ivy plants that you can run across. Some of them, like the Boston Ivy, grow by secreting a cement disc at the root that clings to the building to create its aerial climb. Others actually have roots that seek cracks that they can expand to create small pockets of water wells to drink from. The roots only seek holes that are available, they do not create holes.



What's the siding?  
Brick and Mortar can be compromised depending on the age of the mortar. Some of the older mortar was not as strong as today's cement material and may crumble with the invasion of the ivy roots. Stucco may crack and chip while wood can expand and crack with the roots growing into them.

Benefits?
There are some benefits from Ivy such as shielding the home and siding from extreme temperatures. The create a type of thermal blanket helping decrease the wall temperature in the summer and increase it in the winter. Another great benefit is the absorption of some of the environmental pollutants that can occur in metro areas.



While there are benefits and down falls of the look, it is important to keep in mind that if you are planting some to grow, avoid areas that are unsound. Ivy does get heavy as it grows and can pull down weak surfaces. Also avoid wood areas such as window sills, fences and soffits. The roots can work their way into the seams and cause them to pull apart.

In conclusion, Ivy can create great curb appeal and beauty to a home while creating some protection. Just be wise about where it is growing and what surface it is growing on.  

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