You recently invested in a security camera. Now you need to mount it on the wall on the exterior of your home. However, there’s a nice vinyl siding finish. Can you drill into it? If yes, how to drill into vinyl siding?
Drilling into vinyl siding isn’t very difficult itself. However, some precautions need to be attended to first. This type of siding is durable and practical, and it has several benefits. But one error with drilling can result in many expensive repairs. You must exercise caution and prevent damage. Nobody wants to mangle the siding!
If drilling can potentially ruin the siding, then why should someone drill into it all? Anything that might need to be attached to the outside of the house might require drilling.
There are alternatives to drilling that do not involve leaving holes, but these affixes are often unable to handle a heavier load. So they might be a good idea mounting an expensive security camera, for example. All in all, for durability and dependability, drilling is the way to go.
Read on to learn the proper procedure and some tips for drilling into your vinyl siding.
Is It Okay to Drill Into Vinyl Siding?
Absolutely! You can drill through siding, and it’s often completed for various jobs by people like the internet service guy or TV service provider.
Using the correct steps and tools necessary, this project should be a breeze. Don’t take any risks to damage the siding! Prepare thoroughly beforehand, plan properly, and take care while completing the job. Once completed successfully, you’ll find it was much easier than expected!
How to Drill Into Vinyl Siding
Pre-drilling Safety Measures
As with any home improvement project involving power tools, the first steps are to clear the workspace. Since this involves working outside, it’s a good idea to shuffle any children and pets into your home and keep them under a watchful eye.
Let your family members know that you’ll be occupied, so they are aware not to disrupt you. It’s best to be able to keep your focus while you’re drilling to prevent any accidents.
Additionally, don’t neglect using the necessary safety equipment: goggles, mask, earplugs, and gloves. Bits and pieces of the vinyl will fly out during drilling, let’s not take any risks!
Finally, it is highly advisable to find someone to help. A second pair of hands can go a long way when holding the ladder or passing the next screw.
The supplies you need are:
- Helping Hands
- Safety goggles
- Drill bits
Measure & Mark Where to Drill Hole
Now you’ve made your decision to drill, and you’ve prepared your work area. The next step is to take all the required measurements for each hole that you need. Determine where each hole should be.
For instance, if you’re going to screw in the mounting bracket for the security camera, then you could hold the apparatus on the vinyl where you’re planning to place it. Align the bracket on the siding and confirm where the holes will be. Ensure the mount is positioned the way you want and held properly, so you don’t later realize that it’s crooked.
Clearly mark the holes with a dark pen or pencil. Mark all required holes now instead of coming back to this step again later. It’s best to have everything ready to go, so it’ll be a quick sequence of drills when you begin drilling.
Determine the Sheathing
Before piercing the siding, we need to examine the sheathing— the material beneath the siding. Siding is the final covering over your home. Usually, there is insulation immediately behind the siding, then some form of a framing structure beyond that.
The framing structures can be brick, concrete, but most often, it is wood. Verify what is behind the area you are planning to drill into. Confirm there are no pipes, electrical wiring, cables, or anything else in the way. Drilling blindly could damage any of these items.
Choose a Proper Drill Bit
When the sheathing is identified, we can choose the right drill bit type to attach to your drill. Using the wrong type, size, or shape can damage the bit and the siding. We’ll need a wood drill bit for a wooden structure, and for brick or concrete, we’ll use a masonry drill bit or something similar.
You’ll also need to use a drill bit that is long enough to reach the framing structure. If it’s too short, you’ll only be drilling up to the insulation, and that won’t provide the vital support necessary to hang a mounting bracket. Without drilling into the framing structure, the screw will have nothing to grip onto.
This results in a wobbly and loose screw, which will eventually enlarge the hole and fall out, causing the attached object to fall with it. Choose the right drill bit to prevent this unfortunate scenario.
Attach Drill Bit and Begin Drilling
Securely affix the drill bit to your power tool. Place it on the designated mark for the hole, and push firmly and steadily. Drill steadily with pressure, but don’t apply force.
Remember to keep your hand steady and drill bit by bit, slowly and steadily. Keep a firm pressure without forcing the drill bit against the surface. The drill should remain directly perpendicular; any angles will result in incorrect drilling.
If this means you must stand higher up, make sure you have a long enough ladder to do so safely. Your assistant needs to hold the ladder securely. Wobbling will not only risk that you fall, but the drilling won’t align properly. It might be at the wrong angle, or it might not be as clean as necessary.
Keep drilling until you’ve punctured the siding, passed through the insulation, and hit the material underneath. Then pulse the drill a bit to help you pierce that material. Drill into less than ½ of an inch into the wood. This will allow your screw to have something to grip onto.
Stop drilling at this point! Do not go through the framing structure. You only want to drill enough for some grip for your screw.
There is no need to go through it. Otherwise, it will be loose and shaky. You don’t want an unstable screw for the item you’re trying to mount or hang. It may fall out and risk causing the entire attachment to fall with it.
Reverse, Clean & Check
Reverse the directions of the drill as you pull it outward. It will cut faster in reverse because the teeth of the grill won’t grab onto the plastic. So it “melts” rather than “cuts” the vinyl.
Remove any debris from the drilling, and check closely for damages or cracks.
Continue drilling the subsequent holes. Repeat these steps with the all. It’s best to drill together. In between holes, make sure to check to see if the drill bit hasn’t loosened from work. Retighten it if necessary.
Tips & Tricks About Drilling Into Sidings
Do Not Drill Into Vinyl in Cold Temperatures
Vinyl siding can be prone to breaking. Especially if the temperature is cold, it will crack! Experts recommend waiting until the weather is 60 degrees F or more to prevent this brittle material from shattering.
Also, older vinyl is even more likely to crack under cooler temperatures. It’s a good idea to wait for the weather to become warmer before beginning a drilling project for vinyl siding.
Nonetheless, if waiting is not an option, then you can use a hairdryer to heat the vinyl siding at the location where you’ll be drilling. This is more time-consuming, and you’ll have to heat each new site before drilling each new hole.
It’s best first to consider alternatives than resort to drilling. You can use heavy-duty tape, glue, or epoxy depending on if the attachment will be permanent or not. Most decorations are seasonal and lightweight, so this temporary option is a good alternative.
Other possibilities are to use siding hooks or clips. These can be used for mounting, but you might need to play with them to sit the way you want.
These inexpensive alternatives won’t leave any ugly holes in your vinyl siding, but they might not be able to endure the weight of what you’re mounting either.
Drilling can be a dangerous job. For this project specifically, there is more than one occasion to recommend having someone to assist you.
But the most prominent situation is ladder safety. Drilling into siding can often be to hang decorations or cameras or even flag poles. Any of these will require a ladder. Having helping hands is essential to make sure your ladder is sturdy.