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Best ways to attach lights & outdoor decor to brick?

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Since this will be our first Christmas using LOR, I plan on putting more outdoor lighted decor on the front & sides of our house, which is made of brick.  I don't like having to brush snow off our lighted lawn decor whenever it snows and would rather have more of the lighted decor on the house itself instead of the lawn from now on.  This is easy to do on wooden window frames, as I have hooks & clips screwed into the frames for the lights that go around each window.  But I've never put anything on our brick exterior yet.

For those of you with brick homes, what do you use to attach your decor to the brick?  The bricks on our home don't have a smooth even surface, so Command clips aren't an option (I've used the "outdoors" version on our windows, and several would fall off each year, so I don't trust using them outdoors anymore).  The only thing I can think of doing is drilling holes in the mortar and using a plastic anchor that gets pounded into the hole, then a hook that screws into the plastic anchor.  I think that would be strong enough to support light strings and other decor, and the weight of the extension cord, and won't pop out if it's windy.  But are there better ways to firmly secure the lights & decor that don't involve drilling holes?  

 

 

 

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Last year was the first year that we hung big stars on the front of our house and we used these:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Holiday-Living-Pack/1000272453?cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-SeasonalOutdoorLiving-_-TrimATree-_-1000272453:Holiday_Living&CAWELAID=&kpid=1000272453&CAGPSPN=pla&store_code=2348&k_clickID=49e1bb06-4db6-4ab8-a1bc-510daff86466&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2qaczf7W1gIVhSaGCh01IgjvEAQYAiABEgI1jPD_BwE

It took a while to get a good grip on the brick, but once on, those stars didn't budge the entire time our display was up - even when we had VERY high winds.

 

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5 hours ago, Jaynee said:

Last year was the first year that we hung big stars on the front of our house and we used these:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Holiday-Living-Pack/1000272453?cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-SeasonalOutdoorLiving-_-TrimATree-_-1000272453:Holiday_Living&CAWELAID=&kpid=1000272453&CAGPSPN=pla&store_code=2348&k_clickID=49e1bb06-4db6-4ab8-a1bc-510daff86466&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2qaczf7W1gIVhSaGCh01IgjvEAQYAiABEgI1jPD_BwE

It took a while to get a good grip on the brick, but once on, those stars didn't budge the entire time our display was up - even when we had VERY high winds.

 

Thanks Jaynee!  Good to know they held up even in very high winds.  I'm planning to hang stars on one part of our house and snowflakes on another part.  I found these brick clips at Home Depot recently and I wasn't sure if they'd stay in place, plus I think the stars & snowflakes would get blown off by strong winds because the part of the clip where they'd rest on doesn't look deep enough to hold them in place.  I'll probably get those clips from Lowes like you suggested.  Thanks!

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Do what the pro's do..... Hot melt glue. I thought this was ridicules. I went to youtube and searched for hanging Christmas décor on brick. I found several videos that showed professional installers using hot melt glue.

I went to home depot and bought a commercial grade glue gun and several bags of 10" glue sticks. (don't use the hobby glue guns they wont work) climbed on my ladder with a string of lights and started gluing every light to the brick around my windows. it took only seconds for the glue to hold the light to the brick (don't use to much glue, there is a just right amount and after a few tries you will have it down). I ran a few test on how hard it would be to remove. I was surprised that it held very well. When it was time to remove the lights, they popped off reasonably well (anything that stuck was easily remove with a pair of needle nose pliers, no effort at all). It was easy to remove the excess glue and there was no sign the glue was ever there. In Texas we still get fall storms with high winds. I had a few lights come loose in a few places, but the light strings stayed in place. I got on my ladder and re-glued the lose lights and that was that. I now add 3' and 4' snow flake lights and many other lights to the house with hot melt glue. I have never had anything come off.   

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Ditto previous post. I use hot melt for most hanging on brick, cord management, etc. I have never had anything fall off.

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Thanks everyone.  To hang the eight 18-inch led snowflakes, I'm going to drill holes in the mortar, pound plastic anchors into the holes, then screw hooks into the anchors.  The curve of the hook and the weight of the extension cord hanging down will keep the snowflakes in place.  The 8 hooks will remain there permanently after Christmas and nobody will really see them (and if they do, they won't care lol).

I'll look into using hot melt glue for the light strings, but I might use the same anchor & hook method.  But instead of using open hooks, I'd use hooks that have a clip that will hold the light strings in place better (I've used those hooks for the lights around our window frames).

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Don't drill holes in the mortar.  Drill your holes in the face of the brick away from the edges.  Mortar is not as strong as the brick.  When you start to drill, it is possible to crack or dislodge the mortar and now you have a bigger issue.  The same can happen when you insert the anchor and start to tighten the screw - the anchor expands and POP.

Use a small anchor and screw, and no one will notice.  If you like, buy some craft paint that matches EXACTLY and paint the face of the anchor & screw with a small artists brush.  You will never see it then.

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4 hours ago, DevMike said:

Don't drill holes in the mortar.  Drill your holes in the face of the brick away from the edges.  Mortar is not as strong as the brick.  When you start to drill, it is possible to crack or dislodge the mortar and now you have a bigger issue.  The same can happen when you insert the anchor and start to tighten the screw - the anchor expands and POP.

Interesting.  I was actually told NOT to drill into brick, in case the brick cracks/splits.  It can happen to mortar too, but at least that's easily fixed with masonry caulk.  Before poking holes in the front of our house,  I guess I'll experiment first and try both methods on an obscure area on the back of our house to see what might work better.

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I suggested hot glue for most hanging on brick, and I back that, because I hang my twenty-two 14 inch LED snowflakes that way. I also have RGB wreaths and snowflakes that are much heavier. I did similar to what you are thinking. I drilled a pilot hole into the face of the brick (per instructions) and used masonry screws (the blue ones, Tapcon brand) and hung nylon cable clamps (you need a hammer drill tho). Every year I just zip tie the RGB wreaths and Snowflags the exact same spot as the previous year. Use hot melt for cord management. Easy hang and easy takedown. Hope this helps.

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32 minutes ago, wt1924 said:

I suggested hot glue for most hanging on brick, and I back that, because I hang my twenty-two 14 inch LED snowflakes that way. I also have RGB wreaths and snowflakes that are much heavier. I did similar to what you are thinking. I drilled a pilot hole into the face of the brick (per instructions) and used masonry screws (the blue ones, Tapcon brand) and hung nylon cable clamps (you need a hammer drill tho). Every year I just zip tie the RGB wreaths and Snowflags the exact same spot as the previous year. Use hot melt for cord management. Easy hang and easy takedown. Hope this helps.

Since I already have the plastic mortar anchors and hooks to screw into them, I'll try that method this year since I only have 8 snowflakes to hang.  But I really like your idea of using zip ties, so I'll also zip-tie the snowflakes to the hook. 

I used to work for Milwaukee Tool, so luckily I have about 6 hammer drills, 2 Sawzalls, 2 circular saws, and a bunch of other tools & accessories. 

I walked around our house and saw several bricks that were badly chipped because someone had drilled a hole and screwed in Tapcons or other fasteners for some purpose.  But the Tapcons and other fasteners that were screwed into the mortar did not appear to damage the mortar at all (no chips or chunks missing).  So for these 8 snowflakes I'll probably drill into the mortar to install the anchors & hooks instead of risking damaging the bricks.  If I decide to string more lights next year, I'll definitely consider the hot glue method.

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