How to Avoid Roof Damage from Hanging Christmas Lights

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many people are getting ready to put up their Christmas lights. While getting in the holiday spirit, don’t let your decorating cause expensive damage to your home. We’ve seen serious damage caused to roofs by putting up Christmas decorations with nails and staples, so we have some tips for how to decorate without harming your home.

Don’t Put Holes in Your Roof

If you’ve seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you know that Clark Griswold attaches his Christmas lights with a staple gun. That’s a bad idea. Staples, nails, screws, and anything else that causes a hole in your shingles can cause serious damage. Putting holes in your roof will void a roof warranty. When you take your Christmas lights down, those holes allow water to penetrate the shingles and cause your roof decking to rot. You do not want to put holes in the fascia (wood around the perimeter of your roof) either. The water will also get into those holes and cause your fascia to rot. Making holes in your gutters will cause your gutters to leak as well. If you put holes in your house it causes expensive problems down the road, so don’t do it!

Use Plastic Clips

You can get plastic Christmas light clips almost anywhere you buy Christmas lights this time of year. There are a lot of different types of clips depending on the type of lights you are using and where you are trying to attach the lights. They make clips that attach to the edge of your shingles or gutters as well as clips that work to attach lights to the ridges of your roof. Whenever it is possible, it is better to attach the clips to your gutters or drip edge instead of your shingles. If you must attach the clips to your shingles, make sure that you are not lifting the shingles. Lifting the shingles can break their bond to the roof and can sometimes cause the shingles to break depending on the age of the shingles. When you take down your lights, it may be tempting to just pull on the cord to save time, but that can also cause damage to your roof. You need to make sure you take them down the same way you put them up, carefully one clip at a time.

Avoid Walking on Your Roof

Walking on your roof can be very dangerous, so it is important to have someone with the proper safety equipment and knowledge of roofs on the roof. Walking on the roof too often can cause damage to shingles, so it is best to only have a professional walk on your roof. The best way to hang your lights is from a ladder instead of on the roof.

If you think a Christmas decoration might cause damage to your roof, don’t risk it. There are lots of fun exterior holiday decorations that will not damage your home. Enjoy your decorating and Merry Christmas from all of us at Harbeck Roofing & Remodeling!