House decorated with Christmas lights

3 Tips for Hanging Christmas Lights on Your Roof Without Damaging It

Don't let decking the halls damage your home.

Seriously, we've seen real damage done to homes because someone hung Christmas lights on their roof using nails or staples.

Tips for Hanging Christmas Lights to Avoid Roof Damage

1. Don't Put Holes in Your Roof

Fans of the movie Christmas Vacation will recall Clark Griswold putting up his lights with his trusty staple gun. Don't do that.

Stapling to your eaves (the wood part around the perimeter of your roof) is probably okay. But avoid putting staples or nails or screws or any type of hole into your shingles. Once you take those suckers out, the holes will become water intrusion points to create rotten roof decking.

That's bad news bears.

2. Plastic Clips are Your Friend

Christmas lights attached to roof with clipsInstead, use plastic clips. There are a variety of clips that let you hang Christmas lights without causing damage to your roof or sides of your home. They work by clipping onto the gutters, shingles or eaves of your home.

There are different types of clips for different types of roofs and different types of lights. Here are a few that might be helpful:

  • All-in-One Clips for shingles and gutters (here's a video on how to use the clips)
  • Clay tile roof clips
  • Eave clips
  • Clips for putting lights on the ridge (peak) of your roof

Note: Whenever possible, we recommend not attaching your lights to the actual shingles. Better to attach them to your gutters or eaves.

What about stucco homes with flat roofs with no eaves? How do you hang Christmas lights without gutters?

Problem: Your house has a stucco exterior, tile roof, and absolutely no eaves. How are you supposed to hang Christmas lights when there's nothing to hang them on?

Some suggest hot gluing the lights on the stucco to keep the lights in place. But this can damage the stucco-especially when you're trying to scrape the glue off. (No thanks.)

For stucco, flat-roofed homes, we suggest using Parrot Clips or something similar. These clips go over the wall that juts up over your flat roof. And they have small holes for placing the Christmas lights.

3. Be Careful Walking on Your Roof

To increase the lifespan of your roof, you should minimize how much you walk over it. So the best thing to do is to stay off the roof and put up lights from a ladder.

However, if you want to actually put up lights on your roof, walking on it gently once a year won't hurt too much, as long as you're careful.

Here are a few tips to minimize damage while walking on your roof:

  • Walk gently and wear soft shoes like sneakers
  • Don't walk on shingles in the heat of the day, when the roof is in direct sunlight
  • If you have a tile roof, wear soft shoes and put your foot on 2 peaks (the bump), not in between the tiles on the valleys.

Damaged roof tile

Wondering if a certain Christmas decoration will damage your roof?

When in doubt, don't. It's not worth the damage. Or you can just call us and we'll give you our advice.

Either way, MERRY CHRISTMAS from Lyons Roofing!

If you have any more questions about how to safely hang Christmas lights without damaging your roof, call Lyons Roofing at (520) 447-2522 or contact us online!