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Does ivy really damage brickwork?

John Conlin / 20 February 2018

A reader has heard that ivy can damage property and writes to chartered surveyor John Conlin to find out whether he should remove it.

Ivy growing on brick house
A reader has heard that ivy could be damaging the brickwork of his house


The side wall of my house has been covered in ivy ever since I moved here 12 years ago. I like it, but I’ve been told that I should remove it to prevent damage to the brickwork.


Ivy adheres strongly to brick and stone walls, and removing it is likely to result in some of the mortar pointing being disturbed.

Ivy keeps the walls dry, preventing frost damage. Providing it is trimmed to prevent it clogging gutters and creeping beneath tiles, I always recommend it should be allowed to remain.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.