It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The spirit of the holidays sweeps us away and sometimes we find ourselves tangled in a mess of Christmas lights, fighting with plastic Santas, and standing frozen on wobbly ladders in an attempt to climb the roof, not unlike Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Being safe this season means following these Christmas roof decorations do’s and don’ts:
Speaking of Clark Griswold don’t go stapling your outdoor Christmas lights to your roof. Be good to your shingles and they’ll be good to you, and that means not puncturing them with staples. The same goes for your soffit, fascia, and your gutters.
All are components that work together to keep your house functional, keeping moisture away, protecting your structure from the elements, and working to reflect UV light. Small holes from staples can let moisture in and let the entire system fail. Not only that, you could also staple through the light cord and electrocute yourself…that’s not a Merry Christmas.
With staples out, what should you use to hang your outdoor lights on your roof? Fortunately, manufacturers have already found a solution that protects your shingles and your roof: plastic clips. There’s the All-In-One plastic clip that won’t damage your shingles, gutters, or roof in any way and it allows you to hang
Be smart and safe when putting up your roof decorations for Christmas. It’s the time of year where everything is snowy, wet, icy, and slippery. You’ll likely be using a ladder to access your roof, so be sure to follow the safety procedures when doing so.
According to the National Safety Council, follow the three-points rule. That means keeping three points of contact with a ladder at all times (two hands and a foot or two feet and one hand). Keep your ladder on stable ground. Wear slip-resistant boots and proper gloves while climbing your ladder to help prevent falls.
Winter can make surfaces icy and slippery, and the last thing you’ll want is to spend Christmas in the hospital with a broken leg. Have a friend or family member spot you while you climb your ladder and work on your roof to hang decorations. Never work alone.
Sure, your work is easier to see at night because you’re using lights, but don’t install them at night. Work during the day to install your roof decorations. You need to see where you’re stepping, where you’re reaching, and what you’re doing.
While the winter season limits the daylight hours, consider it a matter of safety. Choose a morning on the weekend and get to work before the sun begins to set.
While lights are okay to place on steeply sloped roofs (as long as you follow the proper safety procedures), skip placing objects on it. Bulky decorations should be saved for roofs that less than a 45-degree slope. It’s dangerous to try to install Christmas decorations with such a dramatic slope and your decorations are also more likely to detach.
Taking the easing way out is tempting, like plugging all of your cords into one convenient outdoor outlet. Is it safe? Definitely not. That’s how a fire happens. When in doubt, follow the installation guidelines provided with your lights when you go to hang them, and most importantly, use common sense.
Don’t overload your outlets and ensure the lights and extension cords are working before you begin the process of hanging them. Avoid stringing together multiple extension cords and be sure to keep your electrical connections dry.
Some manufacturers will assure you that their Christmas figurines, board cutouts, and statues are designed to go onto the roof and won’t damage the structure, but any weight on your shingles can damage them.
Inflatables, on the other hand, can usually be clipped onto the roof with the same plastic clips you’d use for your Christmas lights. For your larger Christmas decorations, save these for your lawn instead of your roof. Your shingles will thank you.
Recently, more and more people have made the switch to LED outdoor lighting. They’re brighter, last longer, but they are more expensive. Keep in mind that if you still have conventional Christmas lights, they’ll clash with your new LED lighting.
LEDs are brighter and placing them next to traditional, older lights will be noticeable and jarring. Either commit to upgrading to LED lights and ditch the conventional ones or wait until you’ve purchased enough LEDs and only put up your conventional lights.
Stay safe, be mindful, and keep your holiday spirit out of the ER this season by sticking to these Christmas do’s and don’ts.
The best time of the year is coming up. There’s nothing better like spending time with family and friends during the holidays. Before you hang your Christmas lights up, have you checked the conditions of your roof? The Midwest is known for catastrophic weather conditions and the next snow storm could collapse your roof.
At Feldco Roofing, we work all year long to ensure that your safety is not taken lightly. We have outstanding asphalt shingles that will withstand winds of up to 130-MPH and catastrophic snow storms. Speak to a product specialist about roof replacement before the holidays and get a free quote online today.