Christmas is practically here, and that means it’s time to deck the halls and light the lights. However, when it comes to decorating your roof, it’s important to take proper safety precautions. Follow these tips when putting lights on your roof this Christmas, and remember, Lyons Roofing is available year-round for all the residential roofing services you need.
5 Steps to Follow When Putting Christmas Lights On Your Roof
- Use a Ladder: You may have been up on your roof once or twice before, but in general, it is safer to only let professionals climb onto your roofing system. That’s why when putting up lights, you should always use a ladder rather than positioning yourself directly on top of your house. For one thing, the angle will be easier to manage when standing on a ladder, as opposed to looking down at the tip of your roof (make sure you have a spotter there too, as you should anytime you are using a ladder.) Furthermore, while it is easy for a trained roofer to walk on top of a roofing system without causing damage, the average homeowner is more likely to chip away at shingles/tiles/shake, and may even cause the roof to cave in if they are not careful.
- Make Sure You Have the Right Lights: Outdoor Christmas lights and indoor Christmas lights are not usually interchangeable. There are specific lights that are manufactured to withstand the elements outdoors, whereas your indoor lights may not be up to the task. When outdoor lights get damaged and overheated, your roof can get damaged too. The good news is that most modern LED Christmas lights are safe and energy-efficient, and contain the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) seal of approval for hanging out on your roof.
- Put Away the Nails: In the past, it was not uncommon for homeowners to use nails to attach lights to their roof. But this is not only dangerous for you, it’s extremely harmful to your roofing, too. In addition to the fact that using nails is always somewhat risky (especially when you are up on a ladder,) hammering a nail into old wiring can trigger sparks, or even an electrical fire. Meanwhile, even the smallest hole in your shingles can lead to extensive leaking and water damage. Fortunately, almost all Christmas lights now come with clips, so it is easy to safely put lights on your roof without causing any damage to your person or your home.
- Turn Lights Off Before Going to Bed at Night: We know that once you have finished putting those Christmas lights up, you’re going to relish looking at them and letting them brighten up your house and your neighborhood. However, no matter how beautiful your lights display is, you should still always unplug them before going to bed at night. Even with the top-notch safety of modern Christmas lights, strange things can still happen in your electrical system. For instance, if a power surge occurs, your roof and larger household could experience a fire (this is also why you should avoid using too many lights in the first place.)
- Don’t Pull Lights Off Quickly: This one is kind of a cheat, as it relates more to taking your lights down than putting them up. Still, it is extremely important to remember when the season is over and it’s time to put those decorations away for another year. Basically, while it might seem easy to just yank those lights so the clips come off in one fell swoop, this is harmful to your roof, and may cause damage to your shingles and other roofing materials. Instead, take the time to remove each light individually, undoing the clips one by one. We know it may be tedious, but it’s better than having to pay for unnecessary roof damage later.