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Avoid common mistakes when hanging your Christmas lights

christmas-lights-and-beautiful-white-house

Don’t damage your roof while hanging your lights

With the holidays upon us, many of us will take to the roof to brighten the season with a Christmas light display. But installing Christmas light properly takes some skill and experience. Trust us, over the year’s we have seen serious damage done to roofs by folks trying to install their Christmas lights.

Here are some pointers on how to keep you – and your roof – safe this Christmas season.

Planning: Make a list and check it twice

Everything turns out better with a plan. Think like a professional installer, choosing lights for your house that are right for your design. Don’t forget to measure the roofline to learn how many lights you need. Trees and shrubs are harder to estimate. A good rule of thumb is 100 lights for every 1 and 1/2-ft of tree.

Then check out your gutters, shingles and surfaces. Take notes of good places to fasten lights, inspect how thick your gutter is, and check if you have any lose gutters or shingles. Then, let the fun begin and create a design that will bring joy to the entire neighborhood.

Electricity: Make it shine and sparkle safely

Before you ever get on the roof make sure your decorations are in good shape and have no cracked casings around the wires, defective or worn plugs or any other damage that could potentially cause a fire. Plan where you will plug in your lights and make sure you don’t overload the breaker, which could also be a potential fire risk. When in doubt, ask somebody. It’s not worth the damage.

Keep your hooves off the roof

So your roof can handle Santa and an entire herd of magical reindeer, but the average human can do some major damage to a roof. The best thing to do is to stay off the roof altogether and use a ladder instead.
If you have a tile roof, wear soft shoes and put your foot on two peaks. Don’t step into the valleys in between. You may crack a tile. If you have a wooden roof, be very careful walking on it. They can get very slippery especially in rainy conditions. Also weatherworn or rotten wood shingles or shakes can crack easily.
If you must step on the roof be careful, take necessary safety measures and wear soft-soled shoes.

The staple gun is NOT your best friend

A common mistake is using a staple gun or nails to secure your lights. Never staple into your shingles or shakes. Any holes can become a point of entry for rainwater and water damage can create rotten roof decking or other problems.
You can likely staple to your eaves as long as you don’t have any concerns that it may damage your paint or wood aesthetically. However, there are better ways to secure your lights.

Plastic clips, zip ties are the way to go

Keep Christmas lights straight and hang them from any surface with plastic clips that are easy to install and remove. There are a variety of clips that allow you to hang your lights without causing damage to your roof or sides of your home. Not only are cheap, but also they can be found at most home improvement stores. You can clip them onto shingles, gutters or eaves, but we recommend focusing on your gutters or eaves.
Santa figures, angels or giant snowmen can be secured with zip ties, and knowing the unpredictable Oklahoma weather, you can use sand bags or weights to weigh them down. Anything that could catch wind or could be a place to accumulate snow or ice should be secured tightly. You don’t want your decorations to come shooting off the roof and injure somebody.

After the holidays

After a marathon of Christmas parties, celebrations and merriment, January will roll around and it is time to break it all down again. Be cautious when doing so. It may be cold, you may be tired, but you should put as much care into removing your decorations as you did putting them up. Yanking on a cord may cause significant damage to your gutters or roof. If you attached your lights to the shingles using staples, nails (obviously you put up your lights before reading this handy guide), not only avoid pulling on your cords, but also make a point of pulling out all nails carefully and inspecting your roof for damage. If you find anything that just doesn’t look right, call us or an independent roof inspector to have your roof checked – no matter if you caused the damage or if snow or ice pulled a number on your roof. Putting off necessary repairs could turn into costly damage down the road.

Be careful, up there! And post photos of your creations to our Facebook page.
Merry Christmas from your friends at Majestic… building Santa’s runway one roof at a time.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 at 12:29 am and is filed under Roofing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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