How much damage did ivy do to your house?

The back of our house has a good covering of ivy, up to the roof, which I think looks great - suits the age and colour of the house, I like it. Problem is, I have no roof access through a skylight or similar, and my house is quite tall - the roof eaves must be the best part of thirty feet up. Even if I had a ladder that big I wouldn’t fancy getting up there with the secateurs.

So how much damage does unchecked ivy do to roofs, brick pointing etc? I’m OK in principle paying a professional to get up there and keep it in trim, but experience tells me that getting roofers out for small jobs is a right ballache in my area, plus the job might need scaffolding to do right, plus the ivy grows fast etc etc.

Is the lack of easy roof access going to cause more trouble than the ivy is worth, or am I overplaying it and it will just gently lie over the roof and brickwork without causing real damage?

What type of roofing and how old is it?

Can you inspect the attic for water damage with a nice bright flashlight? If you have attic access and an attic floor, buy a bright flashlight and check this way. If no damage then you shouldn’t have to worry.

Ivy can get under standard roofing shingle and I understand sometimes slate though I have zero experience with slate roofs. If it does get under, it will loosen it and make it more prone to falling off or allowing moisture to get under it at least.

Ivy is awful, awful stuff. Kill it now.

I’ve worked at universities where “ivy covered walls” is for some reason a thing. Every 4 years or so they have to repoint the bricks on the buildings that have it.

An ex-neighbor years ago planted it next to their house. The people who bought they house just let it go for while until the destruction got too bad. By then it got into the woods nearby. It’s killing off tree after tree after tree.

We just paid a neighbor to remove ivy off the side of our garage. It had managed to pry its way in under the eave and by the time we noticed, it was hanging off the rafters inside as long as four feet. It’s a detached garage at the back of the property and since we don’t own a car, we don’t go in there much. The point is, yeah, ivy can do damage and probably should be removed sooner rather than later.

Consider this, too. Ivy provides a nice, easy way for rats and other critters to get onto your roof and possibly inside. If you do as What Exit? suggested and inspect your attic, you might want to bring a black light urine detector along, too. The critter’s urine will glow under black light, even if it’s dried up. They’re cheap and handy devices to have.

When I got tired of the ivy covering one of my trees, I set about to gt rid of it. First step is to kill it. I just cut through all the vines where they come out of the ground. Just let it die and shrivel up over the winter before trying to remove it. This weakens the hold on the tree and they come off a lot easier. Even then you can see how deeply it grabs the bark.