One of our favorite Christmas shows premiered Monday, The Great Christmas Light Fight. It highlights the best and most energy-sucking decorated homes around the country. Our family loves to vote for who we think should win. And, although I try to focus on the fun and excitement of the show, occasionally my mind slips into work mode as I wonder what damage putting thousands of lights on a roofing system does to it. Here’s a few things to keep in mind to protect your roof when putting up Christmas lights.
Protect roofing shingles
Some roofing materials are better than others when it comes to withstanding foot traffic. For instance, cement tiles (that we regularly install in Frisco and McKinney) bare weight exponentially better than low-end asphalt shingles. Regardless, it is wise to only walk on your roof sparingly to avoid potential damage.
Numerous internet articles foolishly instruct you to nail or staple lights to your asphalt shingle roof. Never do anything to create holes in your shingles, or anywhere else on your roof! Even tiny holes create openings for moisture to enter and compromise the structure of the shingle. Not familiar with the components of your roof? It’s a good time to learn roofing structure basics before you put up your Christmas lights.
Always use fasteners designed for safely hanging lights like pressure fitting types that slide in between shingles in lieu of punching holes in them. If you hire a DFW-area professional to hang your lights, ask in advance what method they use.
Caring for gutters
Similar to installing on a roof, avoid any method resulting in gutter holes. Even small holes in gutters allow water to leak. Prevent damage to fascia boards as well. Even a small amount of water infiltration can lead to future rotting. If possible, avoid leaning a ladder against the face of the gutter. This can damage the gutter edge when climbing on the roof. Ideally, use a ladder with standoffs or wrap the ladder with a blanket to help disperse the load on the gutter.
Hanging lights correctly
The best (and only correct) approach involves using non-invasive, specialized clips on your gutters. For areas without gutters, use the clips on the shingles or drip edge. When working close to shingles, avoid breaking the sealant in between the layers of asphalt shingles. This commonly occurs when you lift the edge of the shingle.
In January, when removing the lights, avoid pulling on the string. In the past, Peak Roofing & Construction received calls for gutter repairs and replacements because sections of gutters came down or loosened as a result. Take the extra time to do it correctly and protect your roofing investment.
Do not attempt to hang Christmas lights when it’s wet or damp. This sounds like common sense, but I know when people are on a mission, they often put safety aside. The other often ignored safety precaution is having someone nearby anytime you are on a roof or ladder.
Thank you to everyone that takes the time to show their Holiday spirit by decorating. It’s a wonderful gift to all of us that love exploring and seeing the amazing lights!
About Peak Roofing & Construction
Peak Roofing & Construction is family-owned, with 30-years of experience. Bonded, insured and accredited, we provide roofing, gutter, fence, window and exterior facelift services. Guaranteed. Call (972) 335-7325 in Dallas-Fort Worth (residential & commercial) or (281) 290-7325 in Houston (commercial roofing).