Putting up the Christmas lights and decorations is a tradition for many. Roofs and gutters are some of the most common locations to hang lights. While you’re decking the halls, it’s easy to damage your roof or gutters. Here are a few things to consider when decorating for the holidays to keep your roof and gutters damage free.

Secure hanging points

It’s tempting to hang lights on your shingles or gutters without securing them. Do not hang lights on loose shingles, tiles, or wood. These materials are not meant to hold weight and cannot withstand a hammer without damage. When hanging lights, install roof clips. Made from non-damaging, lightweight plastic, these clip onto your house and hold individual bulbs. These are an easy way to hang lights safely and securely.

Along with roof clips, you can also buy metal clips for gutters for hanging lights.

Try not to walk on your roof

It’s difficult to judge if your roof is safe to walk on. If you have recently had your roof repaired or inspected, walking on a roof is dangerous. Wood and shingles can rot from moisture and cause the structure to collapse. Although it is not recommended to walk on a pitched roof. These roofs do not have a flat landing to stand on and it can be easy to fall.

Do not use a staple gun

Staple guns are a cheap option and can be used for many household projects. Staple guns have been the go-to for hanging up lights for years, but these convenient tools can damage your roof over time. The small holes created by the staples can cause water to seep into your roofing, slowly weakening it. The staples themselves and the repeated force from the gun causes asphalt shingles to lose granules.

Staple guns can also damage the chords on the lights. Frayed lights increase the risk of electrical shock and fires. Instead of a staple gun, try light clips instead or hang lights on a tree or shrubbery and avoid any problems for your roof or shingles all together.

Be careful when taking the lights down

When it’s time to put the lights back up until next year, it’s tempting to yank them down off your house. The force can cause damage and you might take a gutter or some shingles with you. Carefully remove the lights strand by strand. If you used clips, unhook the lights from the clips first and do not pull on the strand.

If you find damage while hanging or taking down your lights, call the experts at Peterson Roofing.

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