In old and new buildings alike – time and again, when you try to fix something to the wall or ceiling with pegs and screws, you will encounter problems when drilling. In old buildings it is often not clear what material to expect when drilling, while in new buildings you have to struggle with plasterboard walls or deal with special means of repairing cavities. The result is always the same : the grip does not hold. We will first explain what kind of wall material you have in mind, so that you have the right tools and fasteners at hand from the start.
The peg won’t hold, what are the causes ?
- The wall material is what counts
For a peg to hold well, it is important to choose the right peg for the wall or ceiling material. The substrate and the anchor must match. Of course, you can use a simple universal plug, but this does not have the same load-bearing capacity on special surfaces as plugs specially designed for these materials. The drilling dust will tell you which material it is. You will at least hear whether it is a cavity wall or a solid wall made of brick or concrete. But that’s not enough. Professionals advise you to drill a test hole to be sure and to be able to choose the right anchor.
If the dust is light grey and really fine, the underground material is concrete. Aerated concrete dust is also white to light grey, but much coarser and slightly greasy. Bricks and perforated bricks, as often found in old buildings, produce red or yellowish drilling dust. Gypsum board dust is also white, but unlike concrete, it can be said to stick to the drill bit. The drilling dust of gypsum fiberboard is light gray.
- The right peg for the right material
Once you have found the material you are going to drill in and have placed your pegs, it is now important to choose the right peg. The range of special plugs for various uses is enormous. We have already written several blog posts about pegs, including one that gives you a first overview of the types of pegs. In our online store you will find a wide range of different pegs – from simple wooden pegs to heavy-duty pegs and chemical pegs if you want it to be really stable and withstand extremely heavy loads.
- The peg doesn’t hold – badly drilled ?
If you want to anchor it correctly, you have to drill it correctly. Of course, this is only necessary if you don’t use pegs for driving or screwing. The drilled hole must fit the peg exactly, otherwise the oscillation or loosening of the peg is pre-programmed. The diameter of the hole must correspond to the diameter of the anchor. Place the drill at an exact 90-degree angle for best results. If you correct while drilling, the holes will fray and you will know the result : the anchor will not hold. After drilling, clean the drill hole. A vacuum cleaner is usually sufficient. Be careful not to drill too deep, because even then you have no chance of achieving a secure and durable fixing.
- The peg does not hold – too much load ?
The load it will have to support later on is extremely important when choosing your peg. Universal plugs are fine, but they cannot support heavy loads. Even a towel rail should not be fixed with universal plugs, but should be used with a long axis plug. Because it is located much deeper in the masonry, it can withstand strong traction. You can also fix wall cabinets well with these long-handled plugs. On the packaging instructions you will always find information about the load capacity of this peg. Pay attention to this and do not experiment. If there is no other way, you can try to distribute the load over several pegs and work with five instead of two holes and fasteners. But this is not always possible.
- The peg doesn’t hold – bad screw ?
For most pegs you can use wood screws or universal screws. However, make sure that they do not have a drill point, as this can destroy the plug and its function. The diameter of the screw should be slightly smaller than the plug diameter. The screw must be able to penetrate completely into the plug. Therefore, it should be as long as the plug plus the thickness of the object to be mounted plus the diameter of the screw. The safest way is to buy the plugs in kit with the right screw. Some plugs require very specific screws. This is for example necessary for plugs that have a thread that is inserted into the substrate. This usually requires metric screws, i.e. machine screws or carriage bolts. There are also nail plugs that require a special screw nail. They are also available in our set, so that everything runs smoothly.
Sockets don’t hold – typical scenarios and quick help
After receiving some tips and tricks on the correct setting of holds and their selection, we would like to conclude by looking at three typical scenarios that usually happen to you in connection with holds during DIY. The peg goes crazy, breaks or simply disappears into the wall. What to do now ?
- The peg breaks in the wall
If the peg has broken in the wall, you should not give up immediately out of desperation. You can of course drill the hole somewhere else, but this is usually not the solution. Then you can fill the hole with plaster or another repair compound. There is no need to wait for the plaster to dry and then drill the hole again, just insert the peg into the wet plaster. Let everything dry well and then you can load the plug.
To prevent the holes from fraying or the plug from coming out of the hole, you can work with acrylic on sandy materials. Paint the walls with it and only then drill the holes. If you wish to fix very heavy loads on or in such sandy surfaces, we recommend using chemical plugs or threaded rods with composite mortar. You can then be sure that everything will hold.
- Peg rotates
The stud does not hold and goes crazy if you have drilled a hole too big or if the subsoil is too sandy. Nowadays, good advice is expensive, because sometimes you can’t even get the peg, which turns funny in the hole, out of the hole. A quick remedy is to use matches or toothpicks. Place them between the plug and the wall or insert them together with the screw. You can also remove the peg and work with a larger peg. Of course, the chosen screw must then be larger accordingly.
- The socket disappears into the wall
It happened faster than you think. The peg disappears into a cavity in the wall, something we hadn’t anticipated. Brick walls, for example, are often made of hollow bricks, in which unsuspected cavities are hidden, even if the bricks have been checked for drilling dust (in the right or wrong place). Composite mortar or plaster can also be useful here, but you can also try another method. Wrap a plaster dressing around the stud and insert it into the borehole. You can usually use a corkscrew or pliers to fish it out of the wall. If it gets stuck and has tilted, the only thing that helps is to enlarge the borehole and drill the cork like this. Then you take some putty again, fill the hole and press the cork into the still wet mass. So check the substrate and make sure that the anchor you choose can support the load and does not break. Then nothing can go wrong and you can do without the quick help.