The number of calls we receive early in the New Year for roof repairs due to roof damage from Christmas lighting is staggering. We thought we’d try to give everyone a few tips this year to help prevent damage to your roof and a few tips along the way to help you stay safe as you hang the lights.
Prepare Your Space and Supplies
If you’re using lights from previous years, get them out and get them untangled before you head up on the ladder. You may also want to test them to make sure that the entire strand is working. Double check that the strands you’re planning on using outside are outdoor rated. While you’re making sure they are outdoor rated, know how many strands of lights you’re going to need and how many can be strung together. Few light manufacturers recommend more than three strands end to end. That means you’ll need to make sure you have outdoor extension cords ready as well.
Have plastic clips on hand made to work with your roofing system. If you have gutters, there are many options that clip onto the front of the gutter. If you are going to be attaching directly to the trim along your windows or other parts of your home, nail on options are available. Of course, the reason we see roof damage is most often from people using improper attachments to their shingles. Lighting manufacturers make clips that slide under the shingle bed. These not only are safe to use on shingles but also elevate the light off the shingle itself so that the heat doesn’t cause warping or other damage to the surface of the shingle.
Once you have all your hanging supplies out, make sure your ladder has safe places to sit as you move around your home installing your lights. If you have an asphalt roof, chances are good that walking on the surface won’t harm the shingles but do so gently. Some of the repairs we make year after year come from sliding decorations across the roofing surface or from people sliding on the shingles. If you have tile or metal roofing, speak with your roofing contractor before walking on the roof surface. They may advise against it for the safety and integrity of your roof.
When you’re ready to head up on the ladder, make sure someone else is at home. The number of injuries from falls this time of year also increases dramatically. Never stand on the top rung of the ladder and don’t wear loose fitting clothing that could catch on the clips or anything else causing you to lose your balance and fall.
Is it too early to wish our Russ Noyes Roofing family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year? We hope not. No matter what you’re celebrating this season, we wish you the best. If you’re not a Russ Noyes Roofing customer, we invite you to learn more about why so many of your friends and neighbors trust us with all their roof repairs and replacement needs.