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Can You Drill & Screw into Vinyl Siding? (Quick Answers)

Since our homes are the places of our utmost comfort – we build, modify and organize it in such a way to make it comfortable for our living. Alongside that, it is also important to manage the energy losses and air quality of our interior. 

Wall sheathing sidings are excellent components installed on our houses’ exteriors that determine the condition of our interior. This article discusses how you can put up vinyl siding on your house.

Drilling & screwing into vinyl siding:

You can drill and screw into vinyl siding without damaging it if you follow the correct steps and take proper precautionary measures. If you live in a cold place or have cold weather – avoid drilling into the vinyl since it becomes brittle and using vinyl siding clips would be a wiser option.

Among many other siding options, vinyl siding provides a durable as well as good looking exterior to your house. 

However, oftentimes you may need to mount or hang items onto the vinyl siding such as security cameras – in those cases, you will have to find ways to attach them to the siding. 

Drilling is a challenging but viable solution but if done wrong – you could severely damage the vinyl siding.

While drilling a hole into the vinyl siding, you should be aware of the surrounding temperature since vinyls tend to be brittle in cold weather or if the temperature is low. Therefore, you can get the best outcome while drilling if done in warm weather. 

Drilling a hole into vinyl siding during low temperatures could put the siding at a risk of cracking and shattering.

Still if you need to drill in cold weather, it is okay to do so with a little trick – with the use of a hairdryer, you can warm up the area you are planning to drill. After you have warmed up the area well enough, you can drill into it without the risk of cracking it. 

A temperature of minimum 60°F is required to safely drill into the vinyl siding.

Tips to know before drilling vinyl siding:

There are a few tips and tricks that you should keep in mind before drilling into vinyl siding, those are:

Choosing the right screw:

One of the biggest problems faced with screws in the long run is rust – which is noticeable when a streak of rust is seen to flow down from where the screw has been drilled. 

Since you cannot do anything about the moisture, the best option is to choose the correct type of screws. 

There are several options such as stainless steel screws but are on the expensive end, another option is vinyl coated screws which serve the same purpose. There could be other good options to choose from as well which you can find in the hardware section. 

Most manufacturers mention in the screw labels where they are most appropriate for use.

Finding the ideal drilling spot:

Although you should have no difficulty in drilling into vinyl siding, there are some sections of the siding that you should not penetrate into. The shiplap is the two sections of the siding and there is a rib joint in the middle, going horizontally. 

And if you try to run your screw through into that rib joint in the middle, you might find some strange behavior of the screw such as wobbling and instability.

Since this portion is a bit thicker compared to the rest of the segment, it might be an awkward experience while trying to penetrate into this rib – thus it is better to either move up or down from the rib and drill elsewhere.

Use screw bit for convenience: 

Drilling can be a risky procedure if you are not experienced enough and you could injure your fingers while installing the screws if not careful enough. 

To make it convenient, there is a cheap additional tool called the screw bit that you can use to hold the screw without risking your fingers. They are magnetized bits and can make the installation process much easier and convenient.

What kind of drill bit is used for vinyl siding?

The size of the drill bit used for the vinyl siding depends on the application – you can either choose to drill small holes or large holes based on your needs. 

Drill bits for drilling small holes less than ½ inch wide, use a drill bit that is 1/16 to ⅛ inch smaller than the diameter of the screw. It is best not to drill deeper than ½ inches, otherwise you may drill into an object on the other side.

On the other hand, if you are drilling a bigger hole with diameter larger than ½ inch, then you need to use a different drill bit such as Forstner bit or Hole bits. For holes with larger diameter, you need to use a bit that is a bit wider than the desired hole size.

How to drill and screw into vinyl siding?

You can drill both small and large holes into the vinyl siding. Procedure to drill in the both size have been given below –

For Smaller Holes:

Mark the drill points:

Take a sharpie and mark the points you want to drill into, this will be useful later on when you are drilling since you need to drill all the holes in one go – having a guide can be very helpful.

Determine the drill bit:

If your vinyl siding has a brick base then you need to use a masonry bit, otherwise in case of wood base – use a wood bit. Smaller holes require their drill bit to be at least 1/16 to ⅛ inch smaller than the desired size of the hole.

Penetrate into the siding:

After finding the correct drill bit, press the drill firmly against the mark you made and turn the drill on to start drilling and penetrating into the material. Keep pushing the drill into the siding until you have penetrated deep enough into the siding – don’t go all the way through.

Repeat on all the marked points:

Once done with the first marked point, go through all the marks in one go and drill holes into all of them one by one.

Attach the siding to your house:

After all the marks have been drilled, put washers and screws into each hole to attach each panel to the exterior of your house.

For Larger Holes:

Mark the drill points:

Take a sharpie and mark the points you want to drill into, this will be useful later on when you are drilling since you need to drill all the holes in one go – having a guide can be very helpful.

Use a large drill bit:

The drill bit for a large hole needs to be at least ¼ inch larger than your desired hole size that makes it easier to work with later on. 

If the vinyl base is composite or cement, make sure you have spare drill bits to use since they tend to go dull when drilling into rigid material.

Attach the siding to your house:

Start drilling with a marked point and then go through all the other marks in one go and drill holes into all of them one by one.

Caulk to seal the hole:

After you are done inserting your desired object into the newly drilled, make sure it is tightly sealed by using a caulking machine and fill the additional gap around the object and the hole.

Can you hang things on vinyl siding?

You can hang things on vinyl sidings as long as they are not heavier than 12 pounds. You can use siding hooks to hang objects upto 12 pounds without bending or breaking the vinyl siding. If you’re planning to get siding hooks, you should get stainless steel hooks for better durability.

On the other hand, wire hooks can be used to hang items that are on the 12 pound boundary and unlike siding hooks, wire hooks don’t damage your vinyl and are non-intrusive.

Alternatives of drilling into vinyl siding:

Drilling into vinyl siding can be risky if not done right and if you don’t want to put the siding at risk – you can use other alternatives. No-Hole clips are an excellent alternative to vinyl siding that you can roll under the vinyl siding tip.

These no-hole clips let you hang items on the vinyl siding without leaving holes on the panels. Huxor siding clips are popular since they are affordable and provide a durable alternative to drilling.

Final thoughts

If you take the right precautions and follow the right procedures, it is possible to drill and screw into vinyl siding without damaging it. Use vinyl siding clips instead of drilling into the vinyl if you live somewhere with cold temperatures or during cold weather since vinyl gets brittle.