A warning has been issued over a common but charming plant - ivy - that can do a surprising amount of property damage to our homes.

Ivy cascading down a house, fence or wall is a pretty sight for any onlooker but it's something more of a nightmare for a homeowner. 

To raise awareness of ivy's potential dangers, property and construction expert, Thomas Goodman at MyJobQuote.co.uk has created this guide.

The guidance not only highlights the potential dangers of ivy including how it could damage your property but also what you can do to safeguard your property and live in harmony with it.

Unchecked ivy is so destructive to homes because of its tenacious root system, the property pro explained.

Thomas added: "These roots are like tiny, persistent explorers, relentlessly seeking any weakness in your brickwork or mortar. Over time, this relentless pressure can wreak havoc on your property":

Does ivy damage brickwork?

The MyJobQuote.co.uk expert has explained loose bricks become a vulnerability when Ivy is involved since they allow moisture to seep in which potentially leads to damp and structural issues.

Neglected ivy can worsen existing cracks, turning minor cosmetic flaws into costly repairs, Thomas elaborated.

And in extreme cases, extensive ivy growth can even destabilise chimneys and walls.

Is it ok to have ivy on fences?

When it comes to wood, Ivy brings yet more issues for homeowners.

Working its way between fence panels, decking boards, and even bargeboards, ivy's persistent moisture creates the perfect environment for wood rot.

On top of this, the weight of overgrown ivy can put an extra strain on wooden structures.

This can cause them to sag, and warp which means you'll need to replace them before you might expect to.

Can ivy clog drains and gutters?

Yes, Thomas has noted that a thick blanket of ivy leaves when it accumulates with other debris can easily clog gutters and drains.

Once clogged with ivy, our gutters and drains start to overflow with rainwater, which can stain walls, damage pointing and even cause flooding.

The expert added that the constant dampness can also attract unwelcome guests like mosquitos, creating a nuisance and potential health hazard.

Does ivy attract rats and other pests?

The construction expert says that the dense foliage of overgrown ivy can act as a natural ladder for unwelcome visitors like rodents and insects.

He added that they use the ivy to access your roof or exploit gaps around windows to enter your home, creating a potential pest problem.

Does ivy devalue a house?

Thomas warned that potential buyers might be wary of a property engulfed in ivy.

Buyers may be concerned about the hidden damage the ivy might conceal.

A house covered in overgrown ivy can create a negative first impression and deter potential buyers.

Could ivy affect my home insurance?

Some insurance companies may view extensive ivy growth as a risk factor and raise your premiums accordingly, according to the property expert.

The potential for damage to your property's structure and increased risk of water ingress can make your home seem riskier to insure.

How do you keep ivy under control?

The property expert has shared three tips that will help homeowners live in harmony with the plant.

  • Regular trimming: Maintain a neat and manageable size by regularly trimming the ivy. Aim to cut back any growth that ventures close to windows, doors, gutters, and rooflines. This will help to prevent it from causing damage and maintain the overall appearance of your property.
  • Strategic planting: Plant ivy away from the house, allowing it to climb on pergolas or fences positioned at a safe distance from the walls. This way, you can still enjoy its greenery without risking damage to your property. Consider creating a dedicated area for your ivy to flourish, perhaps a trellis or dedicated wall section.
  • Complete removal: For particularly aggressive ivy or if you plan to sell your house, consider complete removal. This is a job best left to a professional as it requires careful handling to avoid damaging the brickwork beneath. They will have the expertise and tools to remove the ivy safely and effectively.

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He pointed out that ivy doesn't have to be a foe and with a little vigilance, you can enjoy its aesthetic benefits while safeguarding your property

Thomas concluded: " Don't let ivy become a silent threat to your property. By understanding the potential damage and taking preventative measures, you can ensure your charming climber enhances, rather than endangers, your home.

"Remember, a well-maintained ivy can be a beautiful addition to your property, but vigilance is key to ensuring it remains a friend and not a foe".