Surface functionalization of inorganic semiconductor substrates, particularly silicon, has focused attention toward many technologically important applications, involving photovoltaic energy, biosensing and catalysis. For such modification processes, oxide-free (H-terminated) silicon surfaces are highly required, and different chemical approaches have been described in the past decades. However, their reactivity is often poor, requiring long reaction times (2–18 h) or the use of UV light (10–30 min). Here, we report a simple and rapid surface functionalization for H-terminated Si(111) surfaces using alkyl silanols. This catalyst-free surface reaction is fast (15 min at room temperature) and can be accelerated with UV light irradiation, reducing the reaction time to 1–2 min. This grafting procedure leads to densely packed organic monolayers that are hydrolytically stable (even up to 30 days at pH 3 or 11) and can display excellent antifouling behavior against a range of organic polymers.