There is an ongoing dispute bout whether or not vines growing on buildings can cause damage. The vines in question are most likely those that support themselves by means of aerial roots or holdfasts that attach to the structure.
Generally, vines have not been known to cause damage to good, sound masonry, brick, or stone. However, if there are loose joints or loose mortar, vines can get into such areas and cause damage. Another issue is that vines can and will find openings around windows, roof tiles, frames, fascia, gutters, ventilation louvers, and shutters. They will work their way behind and into such places and push them away from the structure. This type of damage is easy to prevent by developing timely pruning your vines. Remove stems that are around such features before they can cause damage.
Vines growing on wood siding or stucco structures may cause damage.
- The damage they cause can be that of getting under the clapboards and pulling them away.
- Also, because the vines grow directly on the surface of these structures they reduce airflow resulting in moisture retention that can harm stucco surfaces and cause wood decay.
- They can also leave unsightly marks on the clapboards left behind by the aerial roots or holdfasts if the vines are removed.
- They also make repainting impossible unless the vines are removed totally.
If vines are desired on such a surface it is suggested that some type of trellis or support be positioned 4-6 inches away from the building surface for the vines to attach to. The resulting space between the trellis and building allows for air circulation and reduces moisture retention. Some gardeners go so far as to hinge the trellis at the bottom so if painting is required the trellis can be folded down away from the building with the vine still attached.