One of the highlights of the season for many folks is driving around at night, scoping out the most extravagant, brilliant light displays. It adds a little extra wonder for the kiddos, and stirs up some warm nostalgia for us adults as well.
If you’re reading this, the chances are good that you’re planning your own display. Large or small, we have a few tips for keeping you and your roof safe and healthy.
Protecting Your Roof From Damage As You Hang Your Light Display
As fun and stunning as designing and hanging a light display can be, it’s important to remember that there are a lot of ways you can damage your roof in the process.
Keep this in mind as you work your magic:
- Clips, Not Nails - Puncturing shingles to tack down your lights just isn’t a good idea, especially since it opens the door to moisture intrusion. Invest in clips designed for the purpose instead!
- Minimize Walking On the Roof - A healthy roof system is durable, but you still don’t want to create unnecessary stress. Take as few trips up there as possible, and limit your time walking around on the shingles. We also suggest wearing shoes that provide good grip but have a softer sole.
- Don’t Pull Your Lights Down - Especially if you used clips, it can be tempting to just tug your lights down at the end of the season rather than manually unclip them. This can be a dangerous practice, especially if you hung your display from your gutter system. To avoid damage to your home, take the time to unclip them carefully - the risks involved in yanking just aren’t worth a few saved minutes.
Using a Ladder Safely While Hanging Christmas Lights
There’s nothing the Grinch loves more than watching a well-intentioned homeowner take a spectacular fall. And, sadly, emergency rooms see countless injuries every year from folks taking a dive while hanging Christmas decorations.
As a professional roofing company, we know how important ladder safety and continual training really is. While we can’t pack all the benefits of our professional development and certifications into this blog, we can share these few basic ladder safety tips:
- Extension Ladder, NOT a Step Ladder - This is an easy mistake to make! After all, most homeowners have a step ladder around for light home maintenance, but these are just not safe for reaching a roof line. Why? Well, step ladders are typically not tall enough to reach your roof, requiring homeowners to make up the difference by stepping to the very top of their ladder.
- Keep Your Center of Gravity - Unlike teetering on the top of a step ladder, an extension ladder allows you to keep a safe center of gravity by exceeding the height of your roof by at least three feet.
- Don’t Lean Too Far - To save time, you might be tempted to stretch further and further away from your ladder as you hang your display. This is asking for trouble.
- Be Especially Careful on Windy Days - Make sure the conditions are calm and favorable. It’s just not worth risking an injury!
- Keep a Firm Base - Make sure your ladder’s base is secure, not perched on a slope or a potentially slick surface. Having an extra set of hands keep you secure while you work is always a good idea!
At the end of the day, the goal behind Christmas light displays is to have fun, share some cheer, and stay safe during the process! All of this can be done by taking your time and working smart.
Enjoy, and may none of your lights be out!