Drilling a wall is one part of home maintenance that scares a lot of homeowners. It may not be too difficult, but the thought of handling and operating an electric drill can be a bit overwhelming.
If you need to do some decorations or mount some appliances on your wall, then you can use some guide to drill your wall like expert drillers do.
If you cannot handle operating a drill, the easiest way out is to call a tradesman who can do the job for you. But, that would be an added cost. This can be avoided as long as you overcome your fear of drilling and get ready to do some DIY work at home.
The good news is, you can drill your wall like experts do. It may not be as easy as hammering a nail, but it can be done. Take note of some of these guidelines and you can be confident enough to do some drilling the next time that there is a need for you to do so.
Know Your Surface
There are different types of wall surfaces, but these days, drywall’s are often used. This is because they are cheap, yet stable and easy to apply.
In essence, dry walls are the same as plasters because they are made of the same material, which is a common mineral called gypsum. The major difference is that drywall is manufactured, while plaster is mixed onsite and applied by trowel.
For houses built before 1950, their wall surfaces are probably made of lath and plaster. They are harder and thicker than drywall’s and can be distinguished as such if a pushpin does not go through it.
Practice Safety Measures
Before you start doing anything, you need to ensure that you are practicing safety measures. Having a pair of safety goggles is very important as you need to protect your eyes from small fragments and debris that will come from the drilling.
You should also have a dust mask ready to protect your lungs from the dust. Also, wear comfortable clothes. Avoid wearing jewelry and accessories because you can get injured if they get caught up in the drill.
Check the floor of the area where you will be drilling. Keep it free from cords, tools, and other things that you can trip over. The last thing that you would want to happen is to trip while holding a working drill.
Determine What Your Walls are Made of
It is not enough to know your wall surface. You also need to know what materials your walls are made of. This is important because different fixings are used for different kinds of walls.
Your wall can be a solid wall, a hollow wall, or a combination of the two. You can determine what they are made of with the help of a stud finder. You can also use the manual method by knocking on the walls in an effort to find the solid and hollow bits.
Check for Pipes, Wires, and Air Ducts
Before you go drilling into walls checking for wires, go the safer route first. Usually, professional stud sensors have settings which can detect energized wires as well as buried pipes. So, using one is your easiest option to check for pipes, wires, and air ducts.
If the stud sensor is detecting a lot of wires, make sure that you cut power first before drilling any hole. Do not do any disruptive work prior to checking the service panel.
Another way of checking is by looking in the attic or basement, if you have one. By doing that, you can have an idea where the pipes and wires are and also where they run by looking at the framing.
Secure the Stud
Always use screws when securing the stud. They are better and safer than nails because because they are easier to be backed out in case you hit something. If you use nails, they have a tendency to go straight through. They can also damage the wall further if you decide to pull them out.
Self-drilling screws with flat washer heads and coarse threads are more preferable because they are easier to drive. The flat head also ensures that force is evenly distributed as the screw is being driven. Just make sure that you do not use a screw longer than what is necessary.
When in doubt, do not hesitate to ask for help. You are not expected to get everything right the first time. Before you become an expert, you need to read instructions, ask questions, proceed cautiously, and work carefully. But that does not hide the fact that in time, you can drill your wall like the expert that you are.