Far too many people make mistakes putting up their Christmas lights along the eve of their roof each year, along with other decorations, and end up inadvertently damaging their roof. If you need a roof repair, it's nice to know a professional contractor can come and quickly take of it for you - but far better to avoid unnecessary damage to begin with.
The main danger is to put holes in your roof that may later cause a leak or at least expose your roof decking to mold, mildew, and water damage. Another risk is that of fire, and of course, there is also the risk of a fall or of electrocution to the one installing the lights.
Here are some key safety tips to help you avoid needing a roof repair, or worse, this holiday season:
1. Avoid Staples & Nails
If you are just stapling or nailing to the fascia board wrapping around your eaves, and you're not going through aluminum fascia but just straight into wood, it's probably fine. But never, never, never hang lights by putting nails or staples through your shingles!
All those nails are going to damage the integrity of the shingles and allow water to seep in once you take them out. That's going to mean your roof decking will rot, plus water will get under the roofing material and flow - which can lead to a leak inside the building.
2. Invest In Plastic Clips
You can purchase specialized plastic clips that will attach to your roof without damaging it. There are a number of different types, but usually they clip onto your gutters or eaves. Sometimes they clip right onto the ends of your shingles.
Which type of clip you buy will depend on which sort of roof you have and what kind of Christmas lights you intend to hang. So read the packaging carefully to make sure it's a good match. Also, there are specialized clips for hanging lights along the peak of your roof.
In general, it's better to attach these clips to gutters and eaves rather than shingles, but if you must attach to shingles, buy the appropriate clip-type and carefully follow all manufacturer's instructions.
3. Parrot Clips For Stucco
If your home's exterior is done in stucco, and you don't even have any eaves to hang the lights off of, neither nails/staples nor ordinary light clips are going to work well. Don't use hot glue either, like some suggest, because it can damage the stucco later when it's time to scrape the glue off.
Parrot Clips, or something similar, will be the answer here. This clip hangs over the wall portion that rises up above the flat roof surface and has holes in it to attach the lights to.
4. Walk Gently On Shingles
For safety's sake, use a sturdy ladder, a grounded outdoor outlet, and lights you've already tested for shorts. And try not to walk on the roof unless you have to - and get someone else to do it for you if you're not comfortable doing it. However, also be sure to walk gently with soft shoes on your roof if you do walk on it - and avoid walking on shingles in the heat of the day.
For more timely advice on protecting your roof, or to get a roof repair done, contact Sheegog Contractors today!