Roof Damage Due to Holiday Decor?

How to Decorate for the Holidays without Damaging Your Roof

If the phrase “holiday decorating” conjures images of Clark Griswold climbing on roofs and hanging hundreds of strings of lights in the movie “Christmas Vacation,” consider taking a different approach. What the movie doesn’t show is the part where Clark has to spend his bonus pool money replacing his roof.

We all want our homes to be the envy of our neighbors during the holiday season, but it shouldn’t have to come at the expense of our roofs. There are several easy ways to avoid damaging roofs and still have the most festive house on the block.

When hanging lights and other decorations, safety should be your number one concern. It would be pretty hard to enjoy holiday cheer hobbling around on crutches with a broken leg. So avoid installing decorations at all if it is windy or wet. These weather conditions spell trouble, and significantly increase the chance of falling. Use a sturdy ladder to reach high areas, and make sure that someone is holding it for you. If using an aluminum ladder, make sure to wear gloves and rubber-soled shoes to protect against electrical shock.

Roofs are not made for walking. Every time you step on a shingle, it loses more of its gritty outer layer of protection. Lose enough of it, and you’ll have a leak in your roof. Skip walking on roofs whenever possible. Asphalt shingles are made to handle high winds and pounding rain, but the feet of eager holiday decorators? Not so much.

When decorating roofs, it’s important to minimize the amount of time spent actually walking around on your roof. Do not move or lift shingles when installing lights or decorations. This can break the seal on your shingles and make them virtually useless for anything but hanging lights on. Instead, consider buying plastic or rubber hooks with adhesive backing. They’re cheap compared to repairing damaged shingles down the road.

We get it. People want the prettiest house on the block during the holidays. Decorations are a great way to show off for neighbors and friends, and it can be very rewarding to admire your hard work. But while it might be nice to hear neighbors ooh and ahh over your spectacular display, that pride shrinks when you have to replace your roof in front of those very same people.

Traipsing around on roofs and pounding in a few nails here and there may seem harmless, but in the long run it could cause roof damage and greatly reduce the life of your roof. This holiday season remember to take precautions to ensure that both you AND your roof stay intact.

Avoid roof damage when hanging holiday lights


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