While a beautiful rustic vine covered home has an indescribable charm, there is a lot of work that goes into caring for these kinds of climbing plants. Not only that, but not every homeowner has the proper equipment or savoir faire that it takes to do the job themselves. However, there are a few things that you can do as a homeowner to make sure that your vines grow beautifully without causing damage to your home's structure. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to care for a vine covered house properly.
Understanding How Vines Grow
Before we start, it's important to understand how vines grow to know what kind of damage to expect. Most vines usually attach themselves to the structure via clinging roots, twining tendrils or sticky pads. Twining tendrils usually cause less damage, but they can also twine around windows or other fixtures around the house. Sticky pads and clinging roots are a lot more problematic and can insert themselves inside the brickwork of the house, which can lead to significant damage.
Choosing the Best Vines for Your Home
The best way to minimize damage is to choose types of vines that will cause the least damage possible to your home’s structure. Virginia creeper and Boston Ivy are two examples of vines that use twinkling roots to cling to structures. English ivy should be avoided at all costs as it is known for being intrusive and using deep clinging roots to attach itself to the structure. If you want a flowering look, go for Clematis; this looks stunning in the spring and is non intrusive.
How to Grow Vines Safely
The best way to safely grow vines is on a trellis. Vines will usually grow around the trellis which will prevent the vine from sticking directly to the home’s structure. However, remember that you'll probably need to use scaffolding to prune the top of your vine after it grows past a certain point. Make sure that you trim vines clear from doors, windows, drainpipes and gutters as soon as they come close. Failure to do so may result in significant leakage and rotting.
It’s very important that the support or trellis is at a far enough distance from the house to prevent the vines from sticking to it. Six inches is far enough to prevent vines from attaching themselves to the structure. Some trellis has a hinge at the lower part that allows it to be moved when comes the time to make renovations or repainting the house.
And if you want a fully covered look, there are some supports that are created especially for this reason.
A vine can add a romantic charm to any home, as long as you take care of it properly and take the steps necessary to make sure that it doesn’t damage the structure. Make sure to pick your vines wisely, use the proper safety precautions and use a trellis or support to prevent vines from growing directly on the house.