Should I Remove Ivy from my Roof?

Green ivy is a divisive plant among all homeowners; a boundless climber with no regard for fellow flora – or indeed the fences and buildings on which they grow. Some encourage its progress, while others hack at it as soon as it appears.

If left to its own devices, ivy climbing up the walls of your house will invariably reach your roof, and a decision will have to be made whether to leave it be or deal with it.

While a covering of lush green ivy can add a certain idyllic charm to your property, it’s not always a welcome visitor, and there is evidence that it can actually have a detrimental effect on structural elements of your home.

So should you remove ivy from your roof?


Common opinion on the ivy debate suggests that getting rid of it is generally more beneficial than allowing it to take over, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, there is always a worry with climbing plants that the ferns will find their way in and under the shingles and tiling on your roof, often pulling them free or making them unstable. Not only does this affect the structural integrity of your roof, more importantly it creates gaps through which rain and other precipitation can enter your home.

Obviously, this creates issues when it comes to damp within your loft or roof space, leading to mould and rot setting in. However, damp can also become an issue on the surface of the roof. Ivy holds onto a lot of water, which can potentially cause damage to any timber elements of your roof structure and even brickwork.

If the clambering plant begins to cover skylights or any other windows, you could find yourself suffering from a lack of natural light entering your home – not to mention a reduction in the ventilation properties of your windows.

Finally, you could even face legal issues if your home begins to look unkempt due to excess ivy. Some local councils have been known to hand out fines of up to £1,000 for ignoring requests to tidy up homes excessively covered in the plant.


While much of the evidence suggests that overgrown ivy should be dealt with, there is an argument for leaving it well alone. Researchers from Oxford University have recently suggested that the leaves from sprawling ivy can act as a ‘thermal shield’, protecting otherwise-exposed brickwork from high temperatures, moisture and strong weather conditions, as well as damage from pollution.

The same findings suggest that, although ivy does appear to exasperate problems with cracks and holes in brickwork, it will not seriously damage the solid masonry used in construction today.

So think twice when opting to hack away all of that ivy – consider just sprucing it up a bit for that rustic look!

Morgan Asphalte are London’s leading providers of roofing and related services, carrying out installation, maintenance and repairs on all roofing types. Our experienced and fully qualified team work with all asphalt, felt, slate, tiled, lead, liquid, aluminium and single ply roofing, delivering the highest quality results every time.

If your roof has been damaged by ivy growth, contact our team today – we can provide advice and assistance, performing any repairs and maintenance necessary at competitive prices.

Posted on 30 July 2014 in Roof Cleaning.

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