The holidays are fast approaching, which for many of us means it’s time to decorate the exterior of our homes with sparkling lights by the hundreds! If you are planning on adorning your home with festive lights this year, we have some tips to help you prevent mistakes that could seriously damage your roofing system.
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
Protect yourself and your family from injury when decorating the exterior of your home. Make sure your ladders are firmly planted on level ground, leaning at an adequate angle, and secured to your roof to prevent shifting. It’s tempting, but try not to reach more than an arms length away when standing on any ladder. Do not hang lights in any tree that comes into contact with power lines, and make sure your lights, extension cords, and outlets are rated for outdoor use. And, to keep from overloading your circuits, never chain more than three strings of lights together. Read our blog post with 35 safety tips here.
Along The Eaves:
Hanging lights from the eaves of the roof is the easiest and most common way to decorate a home. When affixing lights here, never use nails or staples to hang or secure the strand to the roof or gutter system. This will create holes that will, without question, allow water to penetrate your roof and cause serious problems. There are clips and hangers available at any home improvement or hardware store that you can pick up for a relatively low price. You can use these to safely mount all types of bulbs to gutters, shingles, brick and more.
Some homeowners choose to put lights, inflatables, and other structural decorations on their roof for the holidays. If you are one such homeowner, these fixtures should be secured to your roof in a way that does not penetrate and subsequently jeopardize the roofing system. Properly securing your rooftop decorations will prevent them from coming loose during a storm and potentially landing on a vehicle or holiday guest..
DON’T FORGET TO TEST:
Plug in each strand of lights individually to verify that they are in working order before hanging them. This could save you a lot of time and a major headache if one light or an entire strand doesn’t work. Any strand that isn’t working properly should not be used as an electrical short is generally a fire hazard.
EXAMINE YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR WHILE YOU’RE AT IT:
While you work your way around your home hanging lights and decorations, it should be rather convenient to take a moment to inspect your roof, gutters, siding and windows. Look for possible air leaks and any signs of moisture, damage, deterioration, and/or pests. Spotting an issue that demands your attention now will save you from having to deal with a bigger problem at a less convenient time down the road.
The holidays are always a time to reflect on your blessings. So, remember to be safe and protect your biggest investment.
If you notice a problem with your roof or gutter system, contact Pacific West Roofing today.