Climbing Vines on Brick: Much Ado About Nothing?

This year’s Montreal and area Shakespeare in the park series featured Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.

The meaning of the title to this play, often misinterpreted, is about making a big fuss when there is nothing to fuss about. They play attempts to show that deceit is not inherently evil, but can be used as a means to both good and bad ends and that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between good and bad deception.

Vines / Ivy on Brick: Something or Nothing?

Are negative comments about vines on a home much ado about nothing? When a house is covered in vines, on one hand, the deceit of the beauty may woo the onlooker. While the grower’s intention is good, it is also, on some level, an act of deception. When covered in vines, it is impossible to see the quality of a home’s brick. Is the mortar holding up? Are there cracks? Are the vines blocking drainage systems?

But other times, the vines are covering a perfectly secure brick wall, and the owner has been diligent, trimming away the growth that may block electrical cables, drainage systems and other essentials.

However, that is more often than not the exception. As inspectors, we observe vines being used to cover up a distasteful façade, and that is something.

Is your concern for your vines much ado about nothing? Or is there, in fact, much ado about something after all?

Inspectors like to whine about vines. We might joke that the house is a very nice “green house,” but the truth is, we don’t believe residential houses are meant to be green.

Virginia creeper ivy vines and other climbing plants send little gripping roots into brick and wood. “They’ve never managed to create a super glue as strong as the suckers on ivy,” Ivan Mose reports. “The potential for damage to your brick, if there is any small crack, nook or cranny, is highly likely. In the long-term, the damage and costs for repointing, or repairing water damage can be very costly.”

Climbing Plants on a House Hold Water

When ivy creeps into brick, it often requires repointing and resurfacing, and the little round stains left by the suckers, once you try to remove them, is unsightly. From the point of view of building science, climbing plants on residential brick buildings are a very bad idea.

Climbing plants hold water – the number one enemy to your home. When you allow the plant to climb up your wall and help keep the water in to help the building in its process of decay, rot, and warping, you’ll find yourself deep in repairs before long.

The worst part is that most vines cover surface of the brick so that nobody actually notices cracked mortar before it’s much too late.

There have been reports that say vines can actually insulate the home and protect it from water, but we assume those homes have a very tight maintenance schedule. How often do you want to climb a ladder to make sure your gutters are clear? How many weekends do you want to spend clipping the vine to ensure it doesn’t pull down the hydro lines?

What’s more, vermin experts will be the first to tell you: vines are an open highway for mice. Welcome in! They are easy to hide behind, and vines actually help open the cracks in the home that make it possible for mice, ants and other creatures to enter.

BENEDICK: And, I pray thee now, tell me for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?

BEATRICE For them all together; which maintained so politic a state of evil that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?

BENEDICK Suffer love! a good epithet! I do suffer love indeed, for I love thee against my will.

That too, is the story of vines. We fall in love with them and it is difficult to separate that love for logic – it may in fact be, a love against our will. Later in the play, William Shakespeare’s character, Benedick says, “For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.”

For the love of vines, we would agree with this assessment.

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Lay Chan Wee
Lay Chan Wee
01:19 31 Aug 21
I was impressed with the service provided by Rui Su. He was organized, explained in detail area that I am not familiar... with. He provided a good report. I will recommend him if you need home inspection.read more
Mary Jane Caro
Mary Jane Caro
14:25 27 Aug 21
I am always pleased to recommend Carol Mose from Mose Home Inspection Services to my clients who have had offers... accepted on residential real estate properties. She is knowledgeable, thorough, provides clear explanations, and delivers comprehensive reports.read more
Massimo Pannunzio
Massimo Pannunzio
22:05 25 Aug 21
Michael has got to be on of the best home inspectors in all of Quebec. It was amazing working with him and he had my... best interest at heart when making a life changing decision. He made sure I had all the answers and made it easy to work with him. I will be using Mose inspection for any moment that I need an inspection done that's for sure!read more
Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee
19:14 16 Jun 21
Amazing experience with Carol Mose who helped me with a pre-purchase inspection! She was very approachable and... observant, and informed me of all her first impressions on-site. This gave me greater understanding of any conditions as I was able to ask any quick questions on the spot. Her reports are the most thorough that I've seen and include diagrams to help explain what any physical signs mean and potential consequences. Could not have asked for a better inspector!read more
Maeghan Banks
Maeghan Banks
15:38 14 Jun 21
Carol was wonderful to work with for our pre-purchase inspection. She was professional, thorough and communicative,... taking the time to explain her findings as we went through the house. After the inspection, we felt we had clear knowledge of the condition of the house (both pros and cons), allowing us to move forward with the purchase with confidence. Highly recommend!read more
Ryan Chalupovitsch
Ryan Chalupovitsch
13:43 01 Jun 21
Carol Mose is the best home inspector in the business. Approachable and extremely knowledgeable. She did an... inspection for me and really took the time to explain her findings and help me understand the home I was looking to purchase. Cannot recommend her enough. Don’t hesitate.read more
Elisabeth Faure
Elisabeth Faure
21:16 29 Apr 21
This is the second time I have used MOSE, and they are always really amazing. Very nice, very professional. they came... to have a look at my roof and let me know if we were due for a repair - I was very satisfied with everything and would recommend them to anybody!read more
Hannah S
Hannah S
22:05 16 Apr 21
I had a great experience with Mose home inspection. My husband and I are first time homebuyers and so had a ton of... questions about the process. Everyone we talked with was really informative and helpful. Michael was our inspector and was phenomenal. The inspection was very thorough and he explained everything in detail with realistic next steps for us to take. We came out of the inspection feeling really informed. Plus, he is just an absolute delight! He had very contagious enthusiasm and made the inspection a really positive experience. Would highly recommend!read more
Gabriel Lukuc
Gabriel Lukuc
03:05 16 Apr 21
Michael was amazing. He took the time to explain to us what’s really important and the reasoning behind it. We’re not... very handy nor savvy when it comes to home construction so we really appreciate him taking the time to explain to us all aspects of the inspection. Also, Michael was friendly, professional and timely; he provided the report over a holiday and a weekend.read more
Stephanie Ballard
Stephanie Ballard
14:24 19 Mar 21
MOSE is the best in the business. Once again we were happy with their inspection services - they are professional,... friendly and knowledgeable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family (and have)!read more
Rodrigo Morales
Rodrigo Morales
18:27 10 Sep 20
Home inspection
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