The decorating season has arrived. Whether you prefer Thanksgiving, Christmas, or go all out for both, it’s important to make sure you are taking care of your roof while you are decorating this holiday. Whether you are using lights, inflatables, or other decorations, these are the best ways to protect your roof – while also keeping yourself safe.
Preparing for the Install
Before you begin the install process, it is important to take certain steps to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. First, it is essential you don’t decorate alone. Have a buddy! While it is great for saving time, it’s a huge part of decorating safely. They can hold the ladder for you, hand you items to minimize trips up and down the latter, and are there in case there is an emergency.
Once you have a buddy, check all the decorations are in good working order. Make sure no cords are frayed or torn and that the bulbs are all lighting up. This way, you can make changes in a safe way while still on the ground. It’s also important to make sure you have all the tools and decorations you need before starting the job.
As you begin to start decorating, always keep safety in mind. It’s important to ask yourself, “Do I feel 100% comfortable walking on a roof?” If the answer is no, consider hiring a professional. If you decide to move forward, choose a pair of shoes that are strong and have soles with grip. Make sure your ladder is firmly placed on solid, level ground and extends three feet higher than the point where it is resting against your house. Tying it off by mounting it to the fascia is also highly recommended.
It is important to choose the right fasteners for your project – and even more important to avoid the wrong ones. Do not use, nails, screws, or staples to secure your holiday decorations to your roof. These will allow unwanted moisture and other elements into your roof’s decking. Clips can be attached to gutters for a set-up that is safe for your roof. Clips also allow for easy removal.
If you choose a fastener other than clips, you risk:
- Causing damage to your roof and siding thus increasing the chance of leaks.
- Having to re-nail the decorations each year (thus causing more damage).
- An increased chance of injury as other fastener choices (i.e. staples) can provide dangerously.
While clips are a roof safe alternative to other types of fasteners, it is important that you take care not to add too much weight to them. When you hang large objects from your gutters, you risk damaging them. One strand of lights is usually ideal. Similarly, adding statues, figurines, or cutouts on your roof can add unnecessary weight that may damage it. Placing these on your lawn would be ideal.
What About Inflatables?
While other items such as statues and figurines can be too weighty, what about inflatables? While they are certainly more lightweight compared to other decorations, they still need to be placed correctly to protect your roof from damage.
- If you have a roof with a steep slope (anything more than 45 degrees), avoid placing any decorations on your roof- including inflatables. Decorations on a steep-pitched roof are considered a safety hazard.
- Avoid using sandbags to weigh down your inflatables. These are heavy, cumbersome, and awkward to haul up a ladder (thus making them dangerous). More so, their weight can easily damage your roofing. You can secure them using clips and twine. However, if you don’t feel these will stand up to winter weather, opt for keeping your roof clear instead.
- Do not put your holiday inflatables or other products near other items on your roof. For instance, you want to avoid chimneys to protect against fire, electrical lines to protect against electrocution (while installing) and fire, tree branches that can puncture and damage your decoration, and vents to prevent blockages.
Don’t Forget to Inspect!
When you are on your roof, take the time to inspect for loose or broken shingles or tiles. While it is not advisable to start lifting materials, if you just happen to notice any issues, you should contact a roofing contractor to perform a more thorough inspection- especially before proceeding with the installation of any decorations.
Remove with Caution
Eventually, the time will come to take the decorations down and pack them away till next year. While this process isn’t as exciting as putting them up, and can seemingly take forever, it is essential that just as much care goes into the removing as you put into installing them. Pulling at them, ripping them down, or hastily grabbing the clips can result in damage to your shingles, tiles, and gutters. Take the extra time to remove each clip individually. Your roof will thank you!
Enjoy the Holidays Safely
Roof Commander understands the excitement and the beauty of the holidays. Decorations are a big part of the season. However, more importantly, we value your safety and the well-being of your roof. We hope you have a safe and happy season (without sacrificing your roof’s wellness).