Vinyl sidings offer great protection against harsh weather and also enhance the look of your home. But, on several occasions, you might need to drill into it. So, you could be thinking “Can I drill into Vinyl Siding?”
Yes, you can. Drilling into Vinyl is the same as drilling into other surfaces as long as the outside temperature is optimal. It takes little effort and this won’t take more than 30 minutes with the proper set of tools. You could also use detachable clips instead of drilling.
Today we’ll discuss whether you should drill into Vinyl or not and also provide a guide on how you can achieve this task.
Of course, it’s possible to drill into vinyl siding as long as you’re following the proper set of rules. Vinyl tiles or siding is extremely brittle and any sudden temperature changes could crack the tiles.
Older models of vinyl tiles tend to shatter under low temperatures. The tiles start shrinking in colder climates, and at this stage, putting excessive stress such as drilling can break them. That’s why we suggest you do this in the summer.
That said, you can drill in cold weather by following a genius hack. Simply, heat the area where you’ll be drilling with a heating gun.
If you don’t have one in hand, then don’t worry. A hair drier will also do the trick.
However, we recommend performing this task when the temperature outside is around 60°F.
Before you start drilling, it is important to choose the proper drill bit. Using the wrong drill bit could damage the machine in addition to ruining your sidings. Depending on the situation, you will either need a masonry drill bit or a wood brick.
If the wall behind the vinyl siding is wood, then you’ll need a wood brick. And if it’s a brick wall, then we recommend using a quartz masonry drill bit. The size of the drill bit may vary depending on your needs.
A quarter-inch drill bit should be enough for a small hole, but if you want to hole larger than this, then consider using a hole saw or a Forstner bit.
How to Drill a Small Holes on Vinyl Siding
Following the proper procedure is important to get a satisfactory result. So, here’s a walk-through to help you with the drilling process –
Step 1 – Measure and Mark the Drill Spot
Firstly, take a tape and take measurements of the spot you want to drill. Depending on your needs, mark one or several spots. Try to be as precise as possible for a beautiful finish.
Step 2 – Put Firm Pressure and Start Drilling
Attach the proper drill bit and place the power drill in the right spot.
Start the drill at low-speed while firmly pushing inwards. Hold the drill straight, and continue drilling till you reach the end.
Repeat this process for the number of holes required.
Finally, attach the washers followed by the screws, and install the product you desire.
As previously mentioned, take the right drill bit and make sure the sidings are at the proper temperature. Then follow the steps accordingly –
Step 1 – Choose the Right Drill
Frostner bit is the perfect tool for this job. Try to use a drill bit size that is at least ¼ inch wider than the diameter required.
Making a slightly bigger hole ensures the Vinyl won’t warp, and also the pipe or any other object will fit inside perfectly.
Step 2 – Slowly Start Drilling
Now, center the pilot bit and firmly push the power drill. Start the drill at a lower speed and gradually increase the force. Keep drilling till you reach the end.
An expert suggestion is to operate the power drill in reverse. This way, the drill bit teeth won’t cut into the Vinyl and prevent chipping. This method might take more time, but it leaves an even finish with zero damage.
See this detailed tutorial to understand the process better.
Proper sealing of the gaps preserves the moisture-resistant properties of the siding. That’s why, no matter the size of the drilled hole, it’s crucial to properly fill up any nooks and crannies.
For smaller cavities, filling the drilled hole before putting in the screw is the best idea.
But if the hole is larger than ½ inch in radius, then you should use a caulk gun. Run a continuous bead of caulk around the hole using the caulk gun.
To double-check, wait for the caulk to dry and apply a second thin layer. Use silicone or polyurethane-based caulk for the best results.
The grid-like design of the siding makes it easier for you to replace a damaged piece.
If you followed the instructions above, then the likelihood of damaging the vinyl is unlikely. However, it is really simple to change a piece in case it got damaged.
Simply take off the damaged part from the wall and replace it with a fresh one. The sidings are held together by a nailing strip, so a replacement can be done with minimal effort. And remember to keep enough gap between them for expansion.
Here are some tips for completing the task as safely as possible –
- Choose a sturdy steel screw. The best choice is to buy a Vinyl coated screw.
- Wear safety glasses and gloves when operating the drill machine.
- Before drilling onto the siding, practice on a separate piece of wood first.
- Make a pilot hole before drilling and keep the drill in a straight position.
Alright, now you know the ins and outs of drilling into Vinyl siding. But, in case you change your mind, there are some alternative methods you can try. The most popular ones are – clip hooks and wire hooks. Let’s have a look at them –
● “No-Hole” Clip Hooks Installation
“No hole clips” commonly known as clip hooks are a common alternative to drilling. These metal clips slide under the seam of the siding and are kept in place using a screw.
The main advantage of using a clip hook is that you can take it off any time you want.
Generally, these clips can hold up to 12 lbs of weight without breaking. Be sure to buy high-quality stainless steel hooks as they are thicker and rust-resistant. You can find Clip hooks at any decor shop.
● Wire Hooks Installation
This method is more effective in holding heavier weights, and just like the siding hooks, this also doesn’t require drilling into Vinyl. A set of wire hooks cost $25-30 depending on the size.
To install a wire hook, you must first unhook the vinyl slat. Next, use a stud finder to locate a nearby stud. If you have trouble using the stud finder, then watch this short clip.
After you have located the stud, lift the upper slat slightly and drill a long screw into the stud. Finally, reassemble the siding. The installation process is complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases, it is safe to screw on vinyl siding. I always recommend using vinyl-coated aluminum screws as it is durable and safe to use on vinyl. Also, try using a Philip head screw for easier operation.
The stud can be found using a stud finder. You could also look for the power outlet in the wall, as they are most likely attached to the stud. However, from my experience, the fastest way to do this is just by tapping on the wall and listening for the echo.
Usually, you’ll find a layer of an insulator or house wrap under the siding. Vinyl is highly water resistant and sturdy. However, moisture can still get through the gaps and damage your building.
A house wrap is effective in keeping the moisture out. That’s why most contractors use some form of insulator between the siding and the sheathing.
The safest and easiest way to hang something on the siding is by using a slip hook or commonly referred to as the siding hook.
This goes between the grooves of the wall and stays in place using a screw. Siding hooks can take up to a maximum of 12 lbs.
Of course, they are. Good quality siding hooks can hold up to 12 lbs without breaking, and as a bonus, they are corrosion resistant.
I always recommend stainless steel hooks for their rust-resistant properties. A pack of 50 costs around $20 depending on the manufacturer.
Vinyl siding can surely make your home more beautiful as well as protect it from weather elements. However, while decorating your precious Vinyl siding, it’s important to follow some basic rules.
So, “Can I drill into Vinyl siding?”, the answer is quite simple. Yes, you can drill as long as the outside temperature is optimal, and if you have the proper tools to perform the task.
But, this is a permanent process, and you should look into other options such as – using clips or wire hooks before drilling.
Remember to take proper safety precautions, and seek professional help if you get stuck. We hope you found this article helpful and good luck!