Vinyl Siding is a popular choice for enhancing and protecting the exterior of a home or other building. Although most brands of siding are strong and durable they do have their limitations. If you’re planning to hang heavy items from the siding there is a potential to cause damage. There are right and wrong ways to do it. If you own or rent buildings with vinyl siding and you need to hang or suspend heavy objects from the siding, here is everything you need to know about doing it safely.
How to hang heavy things from vinyl siding
The best approach to hanging anything heavy from your vinyl siding depends on what you’re planning to suspend and how heavy it is. You’ll need to make plans to provide ample support to keep the object in place and avoid placing undue stress on the siding as it can fracture or tear. Replacing vinyl siding can be expensive and it can be hard to match the style and color if it’s been up for a while. There are a few ways to approach the job to get the best possible long-lasting results.
Siding Hooks for 12 pounds and under
Hunker recommends using siding hooks as an easy method for safely hanging heavy items on vinyl siding. Siding hooks slip into the grooves found between adjoining slats of the siding. They click into place and can accommodate items that weigh up to 12 pounds. It’s best to use hooks that are made of stainless steel because the material is resistant to rust and corrosion. The hooks are also easy to remove without damaging the siding if you decide to remove the object. While this approach works well for some objects, those that are more than 12 pounds require a different method for safety.
Typical items hung from vinyl siding
Most items hung from vinyl siding are decorative such as holiday decorations, seasonal wreaths, light strings, wind chimes, and such. Other common items include security and surveillance systems such as cameras, lighting systems, or other electronic devices. These items are typically not more than twelve pounds and can safely be hung with the siding hooks method.
Hanging objects over 12 pounds
Heavier objects require more support than a siding hook is capable of providing. Air conditioning units are a good example and can weigh up to 60 pounds or more depending on the size and model. You may need to move to a new strategy to protect the integrity of the siding and keep the object held firmly in place. Survival Freedom provides an alternative that includes drilling into the siding to install braces that can bear the weight of the object while anchoring to the structures behind the siding.
How to safely drill into vinyl siding
It’s possible to cause irreparable damage to vinyl siding if drilling isn’t done the right way. Here are the steps that must be followed to do the job correctly.
1. Locate the studs behind the siding
The structure behind vinyl siding has studs placed equal distances apart. Since you can’t see what’s underneath the siding, you can use an electronic stud-finder to pinpoint the location of the studs. Once you find them, use a marker to mark their location. These are the spots you will drill. Make sure that you get all of the measurements right and place your marks accurately. It’s good to double and even triple-check to make sure that every hole is perfectly aligned.
2. Drill in warm weather
When vinyl siding is cold it is more likely to crack or fracture. It’s best to do any necessary drilling when the weather is warm to lessen the chance of damage. If you must drill in frigid weather, first, use a hair dryer or portable heater to warm the area you plan to drill. Just warm the surface for safer drilling. If it’s at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll be ready.
3. Determine the appropriate bit type
It’s best to know what kind of material lies behind the vinyl siding. If the structure is made of wood you can use a wood bit. If it’s made of brick or similar material you will need to use a masonry bit to avoid damage to the structure behind the siding.
4. Push down firmly during the drilling process.
Drill until the material is penetrated but don’t take it all the way through. Drill all the holes needed at one time
5. Hang the object
Once you’ve completed the drilling process, fit the hardware you plan to use for bracing or holding the item. Use the drill or electric screwdriver to ensure that all of the fittings are tightly secured. Attach the product to the siding. It’s best to use screws with washers for each hole you drilled. Choose braces or hangers that feature durable materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion.
If you need to hang a heavy object from your vinyl siding, there are a few ways to do it safely. Items under 12 pounds are easier to mount using siding hooks. The hooks are easy to install. They will hold the object safely and securely in place without damaging the siding. If you need to hang heavier things such as an air conditioning unit, a water hose rack, or another item, it’s best to use a method that provides more stability and support. It’s not difficult to drill into the siding to find studs for the support required to hold heavier objects. Caution is necessary to avoid damaging the siding or having an unstable object hanging from your walls. You can safely suspend heavy things from vinyl siding by following a few steps you’ll need to take to make sure that the results are perfect. Use the tips and methods recommended above for the successful mounting of heavy things on vinyl siding.