Do Vines Damage Bricks

Do Plant Vines Damage Bricks

Terry's question: Opinions about vines on brick.

I'm a plant lover. Here in Philadelphia, I am part of the city group called Tree ****, that goes around in plants trees in front of folks' homes. I'm on a park board of a park here in the city. And if you come to my house, you're going to see a lot of vines. Or our deck, if you've ever looked at any of my videos, majority of them are actually filmed on our deck, which is absolutely covered completely with a cross vine, so I'm a big fan of vines.

To answer the question, vines are really no friends to brick. Vines are finding the nooks and crannies, anything they can latch purchase into, and if there's a slight hole in the grout or in the brick, they're actually going to find their way in to hold onto that. And the problem is, vines actually hold in moisture, and moisture is very detrimental for vines.

The other problem with bricks is they're actually very porous. A brick is actually baked and it gives it that protective surface. Once that protective surface gets compromised, even if you were to power wash brick, and I understand I'm not advocating against power washing as sometimes it's the right thing to do, but it does compromise the brick. And then if you were to use a detergent, it compromises it even further. So you really don't want to compromise that protective bake surface on the brick, because once you do, it's just an ability for water to get in. And vines actually do similar to that, just at a slower rate.

To answer your question, I love vines, but I don't know if it's going to be a fast track to destroying your property. Is it doing the brick any good? No. It absolutely is not doing the brick any good. And again, moisture being the key problem with that. And you certainly don't want any excessive cracks happening with the moisture getting in course in winter time it freezes and goes from there. Good luck!!!


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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