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Ivy removal: 100 year old house and painted brick

862 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  wunderlichen
Alright. So I'm a do-it-yourselfer with a lot of projects under my belt (including some fairly involved remodels), but none of my previous experience has prepared me for this demon plant from the pit of hell.

So, it's a really old farmhouse. Well north of 100 years. The brick has been painted and then ivy was allowed to crawl all over it. Now I need to remove and repaint. Started by yanking off the ivy in a section and then hitting it with a stiff scrub brush and soap as a test. LOL is what the ivy did in my direction.

Tried a small torch followed by scrubbing and that did seem to work, but given the amount I have to remove on 3 sides of the house (see pics below) that will take an amount of time I'm not prepared to commit.

Has anyone had to deal with something similar? I've thought about a larger torch (but that scares me a little bit given that this is basically a dried out tinderbox I'm working on) and I've wondered about using a souped up power washer (but then I'm afraid of hurting this ancient brick).

Definitely not going for perfection here...just something that can look passable a few feet back would do the trick. Any thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated. Everything I've seen so far seems to be ivy removal over non-painted brick.

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I hate when people allow ivy to grow up the sides of the house. I had to remove ivy that grew into a window opening. It started to split the frame and allowed water to enter. Maybe try a wire brush attached to an angle grinder. My grandfather's last name was Wunderlich.

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Maybe you're related to my favorite light lyric tenor! :) You can see Fritz Wunderlich all over YouTube. Gorgeous voice.
I've not personally dealt with ivy but about 50 years ago i saw a old down town 2 story brick department store get the paint removed by sandblasting to restore back to its natural beauty. It's still beautiful today.

Your part of this endeavor may only be to kill the ivy, roots and all, then deciding if sandblasting is for you as a DIY'er. I've done some small scale blasting and i can say with certainty, it's not pleasant so that's a job for commercial equipment in my estimation..

Thanks for the ideas. Reading about sandblasting old brick (specifically an article talking about some of the dangers) lead me to what I think might be the answer:

Looks like you put it on...cover it with a paper...then peel after allowing to dry. Could do the trick.
You are on the right track using paint remover.
Look at this product: Back to Nature Tough to Strip it is high dollor but a very good product.

Thanks for the tip. I'll check that one out as well.
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