Decorating the home for the holidays is a time-honored tradition. Unfortunately, doing it the wrong way can do damage to your roof. These tips will help you protect the structural integrity of your roof while lighting up your home.
Avoid Walking on the Roof
Walking on the roof can do unnecessary damage, so the best way you can protect your roof from your holiday decorations is to only decorate what you can reach from a ladder on the ground. Attach holiday lights to the sides of the roof, at the eaves and fascia by using a sturdy full-sized ladder.
If you must go on your roof, wear soft-bottomed tennis shoes, and do so when the shingles are totally dry and free of ice. Remember that older shingles can become brittle and easy to break, and walking on them can do damage. Before mounting your roof, check for signs of age and deterioration. Shingles may curl or break under weight when they're older. If you see curling or breaking shingles, this is an indication that walking on your roof is just not a good idea.
Never Poke Holes in Shingles, the Eaves or the Fascia
If you're an experienced Christmas movie watcher, you probably remember the scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when Chevy Chase's character attaches two-hundred-fifty strands of imported Italian twinkling lights to the roof of his house with a staple gun. You probably don't need a roofing expert to tell you why it's a bad idea to poke hundreds of tiny holes in your roof's asphalt shingles.
However, you may find it tempting to put a few nails in your roof or the eaves of your home. This is also a bad idea. Putting extra nails through your shingles only creates opportunity for future roof leaks, while attaching nails to your wooden eaves and fascia can eventually result in peeling paint and wood rot. To play it safe, purchase plastic clips designed to attach holiday lights to your house. These clips are sold at hardware stores and home improvement centers and are designed to do no damage to your home's structure.
Pay for a Professional Decorating Service
Professional decorators know how to install lights on the exterior of your home without doing damage. If you want to decorate your rooftop and you're not sure how to do so without doing damage, pay for a professional service that's bonded and insured. This way you'll know that your roof is protected and the lights are being installed by experts with the proper tools.
If you do happen to do damage to your roof while decorating this winter, contact a roofing contractor as soon as possible to discuss your concerns and learn more about your options. The longer you wait to get a professional opinion and quote for repair, the more expensive the damage is likely to become.