Can You Drill Into Stucco?

Drill Into Stucco

Stucco is a popular exterior material used on many homes. It’s highly customizable in terms of colours and textures. It also lasts a long time with very little maintenance required, but what if you need to drill into it? Many people are hesitant to try because they think stucco might be too hard to drill through, or they worry about leaking and exposing their homes to the elements. In this article, we’ll explain why you can definitely drill into the stucco and how to do it properly. Let’s drill down the basics!

Can I Drill Through Stucco?

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The answer is yes, but you need a few essential items. Let’s start with the drill bit. To drill through stucco, you need a masonry bit. These bits have diamond or carbide tips. For larger holes, you may need something called a hammer drill, but for smaller holes, your standard DIY drill will work just fine. More on that in the next section!

What Kind Of Drill Can I Use?

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Like we said, for smaller bits and hole sizes up to about ⅜”, a standard drill will do just fine, especially if you only need to make one or two holes. For example, this is perfect if you are trying to hang a hose reel on the exterior of your home.

If you are making bigger holes and a lot more of them, you should strongly consider investing in or renting a hammer drill. While not completely necessary, it will help you get the job done a lot faster.

If your holes are larger than ⅜”, this is where the hammer drill or what’s sometimes called a rotary hammer drill comes in handy. A standard drill will work, but you might not have the power needed to penetrate a hard and durable stucco surface.

What Are The Different Drill Bits I Can Use?

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You have a lot of options in terms of drill bits that are great for drilling into stucco, but the one golden rule you want to follow in selecting a masonry bit is to look for ones that are coated in carbide or diamond. It should say right on the package or website where you buy your drill bits from.

  • Small Bits: These are categorized as any bit that’s ⅜” or smaller. They are the most commonly used and easiest bits to find in any hardware store or website.
  • Larger Bits: Usually referring to any drill bits which are ½” or larger. Keep in mind, that these bits require an SDS connection. They are made for rotary hammer drills, but you can also buy adapters that will make the SDS bits work with your standard drill if necessary.
  • Hole Saw Bits: Again, look for the bits where it’s stated on the package that they’re diamond or carbide-coated.

To get better performance and longer life from any of your masonry drill bits, try using a rotary hammer drill and even pouring some water on the bit as you drill. This will help keep it cool and functioning properly, especially if you are planning on drilling a lot of holes in a short time.

What Precautions Do I Need To Take After Drilling?

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Once you have the right tools, drilling into stucco is easy for any DIY homeowner, but there are some essential steps you should follow before and after drilling:

  • Location, location, location! Make sure you know what’s behind the stucco that you’re drilling into. Make sure there are no electrical wires that are behind the stucco.
  • Take it slow. Don’t try to puncture the stucco too quickly or you could wreck the area you’re trying to drill into.
  • Don’t forget to use caulk or sealant around the hole after you drill into the stucco.

How to Mount Screws to Stucco (step-by-step process)

Step 1:
Use a pencil to make a mark on the stucco where you want your screw to go.
Step 2:
To ensure that the hole will be straight, place your masonry drill bit on the mark and make sure that your bit is perpendicular to the outside wall. You don’t want this to be crooked and you only get one shot at it.
Step 3:
Start drilling and go very slowly. If you drill too quickly, you could chip the stucco. Once you’ve reached your desired depth, carefully reverse the drill bit out of the stucco and blow in the hole to remove any debris or dust.
Step 4:
Inject a small amount of caulking inside the hole. This will prevent leaks and other elements from entering your home.
Step 5:
Get a screw anchor and fit it gently into the pre-drilled hole. Then, take a hammer and tap the end of the anchor until it goes all the way into the hole.
Step 6:
Finally, take your screw and using a screwdriver or a screwdriver bit on a drill, start tightening the screw. Don’t forget to leave enough of the screw sticking out so you can still hang something from it.