It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. This year while you’re decking the halls, make sure you aren’t causing permanent damage to your home. Twinkling lights hung from the roof are a holiday décor staple, but doing so incorrectly can cause some serious damage.
Here are a few simple things to keep in mind to ensure a festive holiday season that won’t end in roof damage.
3 Ways to Prevent Roof Damage when Hanging Christmas Lights
Never Put Holes in Your Roof
When hanging Christmas lights from your roof, don’t go all Clark Griswold and pull out the staple gun. You never want to put holes in your roof for any reason. Holes – even tiny ones created by staple guns – can let in moisture can cause major problems.
If you must, stapling lights to the wooden eaves around the perimeter around your roof is okay, but it still isn’t really recommended. In general, it’s best to avoid staples, nails and screws in any part of your roof.
So how should you hang your lights? Well, that brings us to our next piece of advice:
Pick Up Some Plastic Clips
Plastic clips are a handy solution for hanging Christmas lights from your roof without causing any damage. These clips come in a few different styles, but they all serve the same purpose – allowing you to attach lights to your gutters, shingles or eaves without causing damage to your home.
Depending on your needs, you can purchase all-in-one clips for gutters and shingles, roof clips for clay tile, eave clips or clips for stringing lights along the peak of your roof. For stucco homes with flat roofs and no eaves, look for Parrot Clips or a similar product.
Exercise Caution When Walking on Your Roof
To preserve the integrity of your roof and help it last as long as possible, avoid walking on it as much as possible. When you can, it’s best to stay off the roof and hang your lights from your ladder.
If you do need to access your roof to hang your lights, doing so carefully should cause minimal damage. Wear soft-soled shoes, like sneakers, and tread gentle. If you have a tile roof, place your foot on two peaks (the bumps) and not in between the tiles in the valleys. Avoid walking on shingles mid-day when the roof is in direct sunlight, especially on warm days. Instead, choose a time when the roof will be cool.
A Final Note About Taking Your Lights Down
At the end of the holiday season, you’ll likely be exhausted, and the idea of carefully taking down your Christmas lights will seem less than appealing. Lots of folks get lazy when it comes to light removal and opt to remove Christmas lights by pulling the cord. While this is definitely faster than removing clips one by one, it’s not a “bright” idea, to say the least.
Yanking the cord is a good way to cause significant damage to your gutters or roof. If, for some reason, you opted to attach your lights to the shingles using staples, nails, etc., pulling the cord could cause major shingle damage, and you might find yourself in need of a new roof.
This holiday season, don’t let your festive spirit cause lasting damage to your home. Whether you decorate like Clark Griswold or you’re a bit more conservative, following these simple tips and using a bit of common sense will help you avoid costly roof repairs.