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How to repair and fill drilled holes

repair and fill drilled holes

This also happens to professionals: Even with good preparatory work, the drill can run out of track when drilling into the wall. The result is too big a hole, which is also crooked. Then good advice is expensive. Bigger dowel? Filler? Try again? We’ll show you some options to repair and fill drilled holes.

Many do-it-yourselfers are familiar with the problem of drilling and dowels: the markings are set and cleanly aligned, the first holes are done and then, at the last borehole, suddenly everything is completely different. In a hurry, the drill disappears into the wall, the machine erupts to the side, brittle drilling flour pours onto the floor.

Congratulations! You now have a bored hole that is twice as large as planned. And it’s certainly still wrong. How can you repair and fill drilled holes? We’ll show you!

How does the misdrilling happen?

Even if the result is always the same, the reasons for a borehole that is too large are manifold: In most cases, you have just hit the edge of a stone in a plastered brick wall. The drill then goes the way of the least resistance and runs out into the joint.

Other situation: You have machined a hollow block stone with the impact boring or hammering mechanism of your machine. Consequence: Broken debris! Other breaking points: Old spatula points, moistened walls, cable ducts.

Repair and fill drilled holes: 4 options

  1. Insert a larger, matching dowel. Prediction: Bad! Rarely does the screw fit now. The optics are gone and in a muddy borehole often does not hold a large dowel.
  2. Drill again in another spot. Prediction: May work, but do your holes still fit the plan or fixture? And: The old hole still has to be filled!
  3. Fill the hole, drill again in the same place. Prediction: If you have the time to wait for the hardening of your filler mass – and then don’t get the same problem again because of material jump in the wall – a viable way.
  4. Use the existing hole and give hold to the intended dowel in the large hole.Prediction: The King’s Way! You can see how it works and what products you need below!

Repair and fill drilled holes without dowels

This practical helper replaces the (nylon) plug completely. There are many products on the market that can fill the hole. They are usually a solvent-free two-component compound based on polyurethane, and is automatically mixed when expressing from the syringe. The only drawback can be the price… they are not a cheap option if you just have one hole to repair.

Repair with filler

With a fast-curing filler, you can re-insert the plug without much touch in no time! Here’s how:

  • Filling the borehole with filler
  • Pushing dowels in
  • Remove the supernading filler
  • repel protruding plugs with the grooving

The curing time is about two hours, the masonry should not have any sand or dust before you use the filler. 

First aid for small dowel problems

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The quick help from the dowel rack: The repair fleece is a miniature plaster bandage, which is wrapped around the (original) dowel. Advantage: it hardens very quickly. The first binding is dry after three minutes, each additional one takes an additional one minute. Works in (almost) all building materials.

Repair and fill drilled holes with plaster bandage

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If you feel familiar with these ties, you’ve probably broken your arm or foot before. Gypsum or plaster bandages and bindings are available in hobbyist, stucco or medical supplies. In principle, they work like the specialist repair fleece, but the plaster bindings only need to be cut cleanly. Soaking and processing time according to the manufacturer’s specifications. And it costs only a little —about $1. Cut, wrap several times around the dowel, moisten, insert, ready.

Find more handy hints in our Repairs section

Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.