Our house used to be covered in ivy. We know because it's still there, cut back to ground level, but bits of it still cling to the brickwork. I wish we could let it grow back, but even a minor amount of research proved it would be a bad idea. Ivy climbs by rooting into what it's climbing on. This, obviously, causes major damage over time, destroying bricks and masonry, and potentially letting pests in.
I've got it into my head to replace it with a less-obnoxious climber. There's something romantic and beautiful about a building swathed in greenery. That's probably why people let ivy have its destructive way in the first place. Seeing its evergreen leaves peeking out from the snow around the foundation, however, almost makes me want to reconsider.
I haven't done any research yet on other climbers, but I'm intrigued by Virginia Creeper (see the pretty colour it turns in autumn!) Luckily, there's still ample time to look into alternatives. I will not rest until these naked walls are suitably adorned :)