Learning, Drilling,

Can You Drill through Vinyl Siding?

Although the trend of vinyl siding on house exteriors is visually appealing, you might wonder how safe it is to drill through it.

Drilling into vinyl siding raises the concern of whether it will get damaged. We will tell you if you can drill through vinyl siding safely or not, i.e., without damaging it, and if you can, how to go about it. We will also show you what to do if you come here looking for how to repair damaged vinyl siding before drilling again.

In general, yes, you can drill through vinyl siding, but you need to use the right drill bit and procedure –  If the wall behind the vinyl siding is a brick wall, you will have to attach a masonry drill bit. If it’s made of wood, you must attach an ordinary drill bit to drill into the wood. 

I will go into more detail as well as alternatives below.

Only Drill Through Vinyl Siding During Warm Days

If you decide to drill through vinyl siding, firstly, you must know that drilling into it is best done during the warm season (more on this later under ‘necessary precautions). The outside temperature must be at least 16°C (~61°F) to avoid cracking the vinyl siding.

There are times when you should avoid drilling into the vinyl siding. On cold days, the vinyl siding is more likely to be brittle than normal. If you try drilling during the cold season, you risk shattering it. You should, therefore, avoid drilling on a cold day and arrange to do the drilling work only on a warmer day.

Suppose you need to attach the object urgently on a cold day and cannot wait for a warmer occasion. In that case, you should either consider an alternative to drilling into vinyl siding or warm the surface before drilling.

Drilling Through Vinyl Siding by Warming It First

Because you cannot drill through vinyl siding during cold days, one way around this problem is first to warm the vinyl siding area where you want to drill a hole. You could use a hairdryer or heat gun for this purpose. Once the area is warm enough, you should be able to drill into it safely.

Drilling Through Vinyl Siding Safely

If you follow these steps carefully to drill through vinyl siding, you can do the job safely without damaging the siding and destroying the facade.

Step 1: Measure Carefully

You don’t want to mistakenly drill out of place in the vinyl siding and have to drill again. Therefore, measure carefully and precisely to mark the exact spot or spots where you will drill a hole.

Step 2: Mark the Points

The object will probably require more than one hole. In this case, mark all the points together. The points should be precise and visible so as not to cause any confusion.

Step 3: Attach the Right Drill Bit

Before drilling, make sure you attach the right type of drill bit. If the wall behind the vinyl siding is a brick wall, you will have to attach a masonry drill bit. If it’s made of wood, you must attach an ordinary drill bit to drill into the wood. Using the wrong drill bit can cause damage to the wall and your vinyl siding.

If you need to drill a large hole for an object, such as a pipe, you should drill approximately a quarter of an inch larger than the required diameter to make it easy to insert the object. After inserting it, fill the space around the object with caulk until the extra holing is blocked. (1)

Step 4: Start Drilling

You can now start drilling by attaching the right drill bit to the wall behind the vinyl siding.

Position the drill bit tip on each marked spot and drill safely into the vinyl siding and wall. Push firmly while drilling until the required depth is reached. Drill all the necessary holes in one go without delays at the exact spots you marked. This could be important in reducing the chances of damage occurring.

drilling into vinyl siding
Video | CertainTeed

Step 5: Attach the Object

Now that you have drilled into the vinyl siding and wall, you can insert the wall plugs, attach the external fixture, and screw it firmly.

a letterbox attached to vinyl siding
Video | CertainTeed


An Alternative to Drilling Into Vinyl Siding

An alternative to drilling into vinyl siding is to use clips made specifically for attaching things to vinyl siding. They are a good “no-drill” or “non-hole” solution. These clips attach to a vinyl siding lip by rolling under it.

An advantage of using these clips is that you can position the object you want to attach to the facade before deciding to drill a hole to fix it in position firmly. The good thing is they are cheap yet effective enough to be an alternative to drilling into the vinyl siding. (2)


Dealing with Damaged Vinyl Siding

If you damage your vinyl siding while making a hole in it, don’t worry. We have you covered. If you followed the above guide, this should not have happened. Maybe you found it only afterward?

Fortunately, the grid-based design of vinyl siding makes it easy if you ever need to replace a damaged portion. This is what you need to do to remedy the situation:

Remove the damaged portion by releasing it from the nailed strip used to hold it. Then, simply replace that portion with a new one. Remember to allow enough of a gap for possible expansion.

a house with a facade made from beaded seam vinyl siding


Alternatives and Necessary Precautions

An Alternative to Drilling Through Vinyl Siding

An alternative to drilling through vinyl siding is to use clips made specifically for attaching things to vinyl siding. They are a good “no-drill” or “non-hole” solution. These clips attach to a vinyl siding lip by rolling under it. [2]

An advantage of using these clips is that you can position the object you want to attach to the facade before deciding to drill a hole to fix it in position firmly. The good thing is they are cheap yet effective enough to be an alternative to drilling into the vinyl siding.

a no-drill vinyl siding clip
A no-drill vinyl siding clip
vinyl siding clips when attached
Vinyl siding clips, when attached

Take a look at some of our related articles below.




References
(1) pipe – https://www.dummies.com/article/home-auto-hobbies/home-improvement-appliances/plumbing/general-plumbing/how-to-recognize-different-types-of-pipes-201714/
(2) cheap – https://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-everyday-low-pricing-strategy-23379.html

Video Reference

Benjamin Sahlstrom

CertainTeed

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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