Stuck on you
December 27, 2013 8:46 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to clean and remove the remnants of vines that have been stuck to my garage wall for years in preperation for a paint job? The little nubs that remain after the vines have been pulled away.
posted by silsurf to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Try a power washer. If that doesn't work, you're going to have to bust out a brush of some sort. If it's a masonry wall or aluminum siding you can probably get away with a wire brush. Otherwise, something not quite so hard, but still stiff enough to get the job done. Hard plastic will probably do the trick. If you can get a brush that will attach to the end of a drill, all the better.
posted by valkyryn at 8:50 AM on December 27, 2013

I would go with a random orbital sander and experiment with different grit sandpapers to get the right one to knock of the nubs the quickest.
posted by txmon at 9:45 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

In addition to removal and sanding, you'll want to consider treating the area before painting with a fungicidal wash. You don't know what has decided your garage is great for a symbiotic relationship. Likewise, after you paint, you'll want to treat your garage with a fungicidal treatment to prevent future growth.

Bottom line, your garage is now like a moldy bath toy recently bleached: It will avoid growth for a while, but the conditions still exist which make it more susceptible for growth in the future.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:53 AM on December 27, 2013

It's not a fungus. Pretty sure the OP is referring to the little suckers that Boston ivy, etc., use to cling to walls. A paint scraper works.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:56 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think Nanukthedog is referring to biological creatures IN ADDITION to the afore-mentioned vine feet.

I was gonna suggest power washer. Pretty sure you can rent them at places like Lowes. They are POWERFUL though. They can strip flaky paint, etc. so careful where you aim.
posted by Brittanie at 11:03 AM on December 27, 2013

They are POWERFUL though. They can strip flaky paint, etc. so careful where you aim.

Hell, they can take your toes clean off. But there really is nothing better for what they do.

posted by valkyryn at 11:13 AM on December 27, 2013

You didn't say what kind of wall, but if it's not painted, and it's masonry, stucco, or stone, you can use a pencil torch or handheld propane torch, followed by a stiff (but not necessarily wire) brush and some soap and water to remove the soot. Aluminum siding over wood, I probably wouldn't risk it; wood siding or anything that can help or scorch is pretty obviously a no-go.

However, I would not dream of standing between you and the purchase of a power-washer. The catch is that this make leave you with streaks of clean on a comparatively dirty surface. Whatever people in your life who feel fit to make aesthetic judgments on your works will point out that you should've done the whole wall; so fit that project into your plans.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:06 PM on December 27, 2013

Response by poster: We started with the 110v power washer from home depot, returned it for the gas powered, then went out to get a metal bristled brush. Tomorrow morning should be able to get "most" of it off. Intensely stubborn, I was scrubbing with a plastic scrub brush and then using the power washer like six inches away and it still only removed some of the tentacles.

It is a painted stucco wall.

Thanks for all the ideas.

posted by silsurf at 7:39 PM on December 27, 2013

I've used a green scrubby on them and had it work fairly well.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:52 PM on December 27, 2013

« Older How do I build the Best Of July-December 2013...   |   iPhone 4 versus iPhone 4s: antennas, maps, and iOS... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.