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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Removing Climbing Plants And Creepers From Masonry

Procedure code:

0420004R

Source:

Hspg Prepared For Nps - Sero

Division:

Masonry

Section:

Unit Masonry

Last Modified:

02/24/2012

Details:

Removing Climbing Plants And Creepers From Masonry



REMOVING CLIMBING PLANTS & CREEPERS FROM MASONRY


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    A.   This procedure includes guidance on removing climbing
         plants from masonry.

    B.   It is important to remove heavy vegetative growth from
         masonry, as its presence can pose many problems, such as
         holding moisture against the masonry surface, blocking
         gutters and downspouts, scouring soft wall surfaces,
         eroding mortar and hindering or limiting access for
         maintenance inspections and repairs.

    C.   See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
         reviewed along with this procedure.  These guidelines
         cover the following sections:

         1.   Safety Precautions

         2.   Historic Structures Precautions

         3.   Submittals

         4.   Quality Assurance

         5.   Delivery, Storage and Handling

         6.   Project/Site Conditions

         7.   Sequencing and Scheduling

         8.   General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

         These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
         this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
         along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
         Preservation Officer (RHPO).


PART 2---PRODUCTS

2.01 MANUFACTURERS

    A.   Chevron Chemical Co.
         Ortho Consumer Products Division
         P.O. Box 5047
         San Romon, CA  94583-0947
         510/842-1000

    B.   Monsanto Co.
         Agricultural Products
         St. Louis, MO  63167
         800/225-2883 or 314/694-1000

2.02 MATERIALS

    A.   Ammonium  Sulfamate:  (crystals)

         CAUTION:  THE USE OF AMMONIUM SULFAMATE MAY BE DEPENDENT
         UPON REGIONAL, STATE OR LOCAL RESTRICTIONS.
         ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS AND APPROPRIATENESS SHOULD BE
         REVIEWED.

         1.   Past use was a base for weed killers; Not now
              readily available; Substitute any brand weed killer
              solution.

         2.   Available from chemical supply house, construction
              specialties distributor, garden and lawn supply
              center.

         -OR-

    B.   A commercial weed killer such as "Brush-B-Gon" (Chevron
         Chemical Co.), "Round-Up" (Monsanto Co.), or approved
         equal.

         NOTE:  CONSULT WITH RHPO ABOUT SELECTION OF WEED KILLER
         TO AVOID USING ONE WHICH MIGHT DAMAGE THE MASONRY.
         FOLLOW MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS.

2.03 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Lopping and/or pruning shears

    B.   Garden hose and nozzle

    C.   Stiff bristle brushes (non-metallic)

    D.   Wood scrapers, knife blades and spatulas


PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

    A.   Inspect building at the beginning of the growing season
         and monthly during the growing season for signs of change
         in drainage patterns and evidence of plant material
         damaging the building.

    B.   Examine the wall surface to determine the amount of
         damage being caused by the presence of the plant growth.

    C.   Check to see if the vine roots have penetrated the mortar
         joints.

    D.   Notify the RHPO if mortar joints, or the masonry units
         themselves, are found to be deteriorated due to the
         roots, or to the weight of the plant growth.

3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION

    A.   Using loping or pruning shears, cut vine trunk(s) about
         four inches (4") above grade and remove a section of stem
         above this cut.  Leave approximately a six inch (6") gap
         between the stump of the trunk and the stem.

    B.   Make vertical cuts through the bark of the stump and peel
         the bark back slightly to expose about one inch (1") of
         the inner wood.  

    C.   Apply a thick paste made from ammonium sulfamate
         crystals, or spray apply weed killer to the exposed
         surfaces of the stump.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET ANY ON THE
         MASONRY.

    D.   Allow the vines to die naturally, then remove the dried
         tendrils and roots, taking care not to remove bits of
         masonry and mortar.  

         NOTE:  DO NOT PULL THE VINES OFF OF THE WALL SURFACE.

         1.   Large, heavy, mature vines may be more easily
              removed by cutting the network of stems into
              smaller sections.  

              CAUTION:  MAKE SURE THAT FALLING PLANT MATERIAL
              DOES NOT DAMAGE THE BUILDING, THE SURROUNDING
              LANDSCAPING, OR INJURE THE WORKER.

         2.   If the root system of mature vines is extensive, it
              may be necessary to remove individual roots from
              each mortar joint.  

              a.   Perform repairs to the masonry (including and
                   resetting individual bricks or stones) as
                   removal proceeds to maintain the integrity of
                   the wall surface.

              b.   Do not leave any dead wood within joints of
                   the wall.  As the wood decays, voids may be
                   left with the wall that can lead to more
                   serious problems.

    E.   Gently scrub the wall with a stiff, non-metallic bristle
         brush and clean, clear water (sprayed at low pressure) to
         remove any remaining dried plant material.

    G.   For root pods that are more difficult to remove, try
         using low pressure steam while brushing with a stiff,
         non-metallic bristle brush.

                         END OF SECTION