Tips for Installing Christmas Lights on a Pitched Roof

Roof Safety 101

Most homeowners do not spend much time on their roofs. Furthermore, if you are going up on your roof, it’s usually because of one of two reasons: there is a problem, or you are setting up your Christmas lights. Regardless, safety should be a priority any time you go on your roof.

Our top three roof safety tips, no matter what you are doing:

  • Never go on your roof when it is raining, or the weather is bad
  • Get someone to help you; avoid working on your roof alone
  • Always take your time and use the proper equipment

We also recommend working on your roof when the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold. Extreme temperatures not only affect you and your health but can also exacerbate dangerous conditions on your roof and make repairs or whatever else you are working on difficult.

Common Hazards when Hanging Holiday Lights

One of the greatest hazards when hanging lights on your roof is falling. Whether from a ladder or your roof, the fall risk is significant. This is why we stress that you should have an assistant helping and spotting you whenever you climb a ladder or onto your roof. We also recommend you invest in some sturdy boots with good tread and wear appropriate clothing. Additionally, always install your lights during the day and when the weather is good. Bad weather or dark conditions are a recipe for disaster.

Safety checklist for hanging Christmas lights on your roof:

  • Plan out where you want your lights to go, and identify what parts of the roof you will be working on and what you will need to hang the lights in those areas successfully
  • Make sure your lights are in good working condition and are rated for outdoor use
  • Make sure you have all the correct equipment for what you are doing, including outdoor-rated extension cords
  • If you are using a ladder, check that it is in good condition and that you know how to use it safely
  • Identify where all your power outlets are and have a plan for accessing them
  • Make sure you have enough plastic clips for hanging Christmas lights before going up on your roof (avoid using nails, screws, or a staple gun as these can seriously damage your roof and can make removal difficult)

Another hazard you should be aware of is your roof itself. Broken or loose shingles can make walking on your roof incredibly unsafe. In addition to risking a fall, you risk falling objects, including your newly installed holiday lights. If you notice any problems with your roof, stop working and call out the professional roof repair experts from Lyons Roofing for guidance.

Beware These Issues with Pitched Roofs

If you are installing holiday decorations on your pitched roof, you face unique challenges. In particular, you need to make sure your decorations are securely mounted to ensure that they not only stay up on your roof for the duration of the holiday season but do not fall and hurt someone or create a hazard.

Unique difficulties faced when installing decorations on pitched roofs:

  • Decorations can disrupt the flow of roof drainage systems and allow debris to build up
  • The mounting equipment needed to secure decorations can damage your shingles
  • The weight of decorations can compress roofing materials or otherwise compromise their integrity

When installing extensive decorations on your pitched roof, it may be best to consult professionals. This is because holiday decorations are notoriously hard on roofing materials. If you go overboard in trying to secure large displays, such as Santa’s sleigh and reindeer, you may significantly damage your roof. This can end up costing you hundreds of dollars to repair.

What to Do If You Damage Your Roof While Hanging Christmas Lights

Accidents happen. If you are installing lights or other holiday decorations on your roof and damage your roof, you should call us immediately to schedule repairs. In the Phoenix and Tucson areas, we see most of our rain in January and February. This is not the time of year to let roof repairs wait. Even a single damaged shingle can allow water into your roof, creating a leak and other damage.

Problems you should call a professional roof repair specialist to fix:

  • Cracked or broken shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Granule loss
  • Damaged flashing
  • Holes or pitting in roofing materials

After you’ve taken down your decorations in January, check to ensure no damage is left behind. If you see any, call Lyons Roofing. We can help you make effective, reliable repairs quickly.