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Use care in removing ivy from painted walls

Q How can I remove Virginia creeper ivy from a painted building wall? The vines stick to the paint which in turn comes off when we cut the ivy and pull it away.

R. Johnston Victoria, British Columbia

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A If the ivy covers a nonmasonry painted wall surface, it will be difficult to remove it without hurting the paint. The ivy tentacles cling for life to the paint, inserting themselves into and through the finish. Naturally, during creeper removal, off comes paint, here and there. Repainting is then required but only on a sanded surface free of ivy tendril, whether the walls are nonmasonry or masonry.

If the ivy-covered painted wall is masonry, remove the ivy very carefully to minimize damage to brick and especially the mortar between. Competing with aesthetics and sentiment concerning ivy-covered masonry walls are that they harbor insects and other animal life and sometimes trap moisture in the brick, promoting efflorescence. Some say that the life of a brick wall is shortened 10 percent when covered with ivy. New roof in snow country can be well insulated

Q I have old buildings with steeply pitched roofs, this being heavy snow country. The roof wood shakes are wearing out and leaking after 20-plus years of service. I prefer the look of steel roofs to sawn shakes; besides, snow more readily slides off metal. Is it advisable to lay the steel panels right over the shakes, or better, install 2x4s first and then fasten the new steel panels to that assured level surface? Can insulation be installed between the 2x4s? If so, what kind and how rated?

Pacific Gas & Electric Company offers an insulation loan, interest free, in this part of California.

Elizabeth Seward Mill Creek, Calif.

A Do install two-inch or more wood furring strips first over the old shake roof. The thickness and pattern of the stripping is related to the sizes of the metal roof panels and insulation boards. Rigid insulation is placed between the furring strips and under the metal sheets.

PG&E may have a preferred specification concerning the rigid insulation which qualifies for their loan. Check with them for recommended materal, thickness, and rating.

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Celotex Corporation and Homasote Company are two nationally known manufacturers of rigid insulation of various thicknesses and ratings.

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