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Drilling for Climbing Aids

After purchasing a climbing aid from FassadenGrün -- for plants such as wisteria, rose, clematis, or other, and their adherence to a facade-- please always follow the instructions for drilling. Here you will find tips and rules, but the list does not claim to be exhaustive. It is only a complement to the respective product data sheets and is a reference for lay and handymen who rarely do such mounting. For some types of walls there are some specific instructions; such as for concrete and plastered walls.

  • Each drilled hole for climbing aids represents a risky interference into an existing structure. Inform yourself about the type and nature of your wall.

  • Make sure that the area of ​​your drilling has NO electric cables, pipelines and such, which are often inside the masonry. Be extra careful with the 'flush' lines which are also laid inside the outer house walls sometimes.

  • Even drilling in areas of lintels, ceilings/floor slabs, ring beams and the like, can be problematic, depending on the wall type; it may be best to stay away from there.

  • If possible, do not drill holes in border regions of free-standing walls made of brick or natural stone (that is: not less than about 25 cm from the wall edge), as cracks and spalling may occur under later loads. Fortifications/fastenings near the wall coping or the wall edges should be done without 'expansion pressure', i.e. without drilling and dowels, but by bonding with composite mortar.

  • Due to the sealant/weatherstripping, only run horizontal fastenings (for wire rope bases in concrete boards, etc..) with composite mortar. 

  • Draw/mark each drill point in the form of a crosshair (photo).

  • In low light and glare, use a second, differently colored pen for sure identification of the points marked (photo).

  • Use pencils, crayons, oil pastels, etc.. for marking, the traces of which can be completely removed with an eraser. You can mark an inconspicuous spot as a sample.

  • Draw ALL points before you start drilling. This allows you to make corrections if necessary.

  • Use a mason cord or a laser for calibrating the drilling points vertically and horizontally, especially for long and high distances and where there are several drill points in succession (photos).

  • If the harmonious arrangement of the climbing aid on representative walls plays a particularly important role for you, it is best to do the following: select all drill points on the wall and firmly mark them with your pencil; then take some pictures. Print these out, plot/sketch all rope lines according to the visible drilling points; compare the result with your plan, and discuss it with the client/contractor, if necessary, before you start drilling. A direct visualisation of the climbing aid by small, hammered nails and mason's cord (photo) is possible. 

  • Holes > 8 mm must be pre-drilled with a smaller drill bit (8 mm); only then will the 'right' drill be positioned.

  • For large bore diameters and on hard surfaces (see above), a hammer drill is needed instead of a percussion drill.

  • Make sure that the shafts of your drill bit and the chuck of the drill match, so that the drill is secure in the chuck.

  • Use new, sharp drill bits from our inventory/product line. Old bits are often worn out, slip and vibrate during drilling and do not produce the exact required hole diameter.

  • Secure the perimeter against falling objects when working at heights.

  • Work with protective goggles and hair protection (helmet, cap or headscarf). Hair caught in a drill bit hurts!

  • Determine the required hole depth specified by the anchor (usually anchor length plus approx. 1 cm) and adjust the depth, if possible, via a drill stop.

  • Work best in pairs, so that one person drills and the other controls the correct posture of the machine from the top and from the side, possibly using a spirit level and a square (an angle tool) (photos); this avoids crooked holes.

  • Long wall mounts/brackets with freestanding shafts are subject to elastic deformation due to loads in the direction of the rope force, approximately in the range of 0 to 2 mm. Therefore, drill holes for end mounts/brackets of ropes at a slight angle, inclined opposite to the tensile stress-- so up to approx 2-5 degrees by way of deviation from the normal line-- so that the element can better 'brace' (press against) the load, and the visual impression remains correct. If set too obliquely, the function of the support discs/plates cannot be guaranteed; for intermediate brackets/mounts, skewing (setting an oblique line) is not required. 

  • By making pre-drilled holes of a smaller diameter, you may, when needed, first 'explore' the subsurface; sealing a rogue (misplaced) hole is also then easier, due to its smaller diameter. The closure of 'rogue'/false holes is done with a suitable putty/filler or compound for outdoor use. 

  • To prevent spalling, drilling (approx. 1 cm) should always be done without without the percussion/hammering mechanism, but can be switched on if necessary after that distance.

  • Follow the course of your drilling, especially the uniform penetration of the drill. If there are any irregularities, stop the work and investigate the cause (you can use a torch/flashlight to look into the hole). In a negative case, you'll encounter a joint hole, which sometimes does not work with dowels. Also, a drilled stone edge or a stone corner-- recognizable by agitated drilling noises, the  'running away' of the drill, and the color of the drill (stone) dust-- is ruled out. Here one should fasten/secure with composite mortar. Likewise, cavities, old wooden dowels, or plaster spots are to be treated/covered. 

  • Catch the dust while you are drilling or brush/vacuum it off afterwards to avoid ugly dust clouds, which can be difficult to quickly remove. One possibility is: place a small cup/box under the drill hole, using sculpting clay/plasticine to secure it. It will catch your dust! Called a 'Naumann shear box' by painters, it can be removed again after drilling.

  • Prior to insertion of dowels, drill holes are brushed, blown out, and when possible, vacuumed out. You should have such equipment for cleaning boreholes, or you can purchase them in our online shop.

  • For wall brackets/mounts with retaining washers, a sufficiently large, flat supporting surface must be ensured. This can be achieved on any surface by chiseling or grinding/sanding with coarse sandpaper.

  • Bad holes are sealed with conventional sealants and putty for exterior use. The appearance of the sealed hole becomes unnoticeable by sprinkling some of the (collected) drill dust over the putty. 

Stainless steel rope climbing aid for a climbing rose
Climbing aid made of stainless steel wire rope
Working with string (mason's lacing cord); here, installation of trellis anchors.
Working with String (Mason's Lacing Cord)
Visualization of future climbing aids with cord or string (mason's lacing cord).
Visualising the future climbing aid
Marking the drill points
Horizontal drilling
Cutting out insulation
Blowing out bore holes
For longer distances, the horizontal marking often causes problems and leads to poorly aligned holders. Use taut string or cord, or even laser devices when marking in such cases.
Aligned wire rope holders
Drill holes for heavily loaded climbing aid end holders/brackets (meaning the outer most bracket) can be arranged at a slight angle, about 3 - 5 degrees, leaning outwards. This way, the holders can 'brace' against the tensile forces.
Stainless steel climbing aid