Vines look whimsical and quaint as they climb up the sides of the walls and chimney. They add a texture of natural wonder to the landscape, as they seem to magically weave onto the home. However, maintenance of these plants as they grow on your chimney is no fairy tale.
The fate of your chimney will be determined by the precautions you take regarding the plants growing around your home. Vines and plants on your chimney require you to devote more time to tend to trimming and pruning, and dealing with the possible damage of the pressure that the growth exerts on your structure. If you find a growth climbing up your chimney, do your research and take into account their kinds and research on their behaviors. The decision to keep or sweep that vine off can be determined by some warning signs.
How do you know when you should pry the vine off of the side of your chimney? There are a few signs to help you determine your course of action.
• Determine the species of the plant growing on your chimney. Some variants of vines which a lightweight and non-invasive can actually be chimney-friendly. On the other hand, vines that are known to overgrow or be invasive, and attach roots onto the brick and mortar should be removed as soon as possible.
• Check if the vines have tendrils that have actually entered through cracks in the chimney. Aggressive vines can also pierce through the weakened brick and mortar joints, exaggerating the effects of the seasonal freeze/thaw cycle. These seemingly harmless tendrils can make large entry points into the structure.
• Check if the vine or plant has traveled all the way to the chimney cover. This is dangerous as it can prevent the smoke from escaping out of your house. The vine is also flammable and can create a huge hazard when the fireplace is in use.
• Check if you notice some creepy crawlies or rodents around your house. They may have gained access indoors by going through the cracks created by the plants, or climbed up the vines themselves.
• Check if you have a leaky chimney. Rain, water within the plants itself, and other sources of moisture could leach through the weakened cracks and cause your chimney to leak.
Take Action for your Chimney Now
It’s important that homeowners should be on top of things when it comes to potential chimney-climbing plants. Vines that have already established their growth and already have a strong grip on your home can also potentially cause damage upon removal. When pruning and cutting off the offending vine, the vigorous process can cause your chimney to fall to pieces. Time is of the essence when it comes to prevention, as the vines and plants might also be racing up the side of your home – and that’s bad news for your chimney’s structural integrity.
Chimney maintenance is already a huge undertaking in itself. Vines and plants will only further the struggle if you don’t take the correct approach. Don’t wait for the inevitable damage if you see any of the warning signs on your chimney.
Find yourself in trouble because of a growth climbing up your chimney? Fear not – Northeastern Masonry and Chimney’s experts are just a call away.