Holiday Roof Decorating: Dos and Don’ts

Holiday Roof Decorating: Dos and Don’ts

Whether you prefer Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, decorating is one of the best things about the holiday season. For most, that includes lights and maybe a few inflatables. Here's what you need to know about roof decorating safety!


Don't Staple Your Lights: Clip Them On

Avoid using staples, even for your most ambitious Christmas projects. Staples:

  • Can damage your roof and siding
  • Don't work well - especially on fiber cement
  • Require re-stapling every year
  • Increase the chance of injury

Instead of using old-fashioned staples, try a modern solution like Christmas light clips. There are a variety of light clips for different types of lighting: Most attach to your gutters and other places around your house, and can be easily removed at the end of the season. However, with light clips you need to be careful not to weigh down gutters so much that you damage them. An ordinary strand or line of icicle Christmas lights is fine. Don't hang large objects from your gutters.

Don't Nail Your Shingles, Protect Them

Your shingles already have a lot of work to do over the winter (putting up with cold temperatures, storms, etc.). Don't make matters worse by nailing anything into your shingles - all this does is create perfect little leaks in your roof.

Protect them instead.

Since weight can damage shingles, avoid putting any statues, figurines, or board cutouts on top of your roof. Save these for your lawn.


Tie or Weigh Down Inflatables

If you look at successful roof decorating projects, you'll notice they tend to use either lightweight frameworks of lights, or inflatable objects. Inflatables are usually light enough to place on your roof, need to be placed correctly to avoid damage. Here are a few important points to remember:

  • Don't put objects on a roof with a steep slope. You want a slope significantly less than 45 degrees.
  • You can tie inflatables down using clips, twine, and objects around the roof. If these aren't strong enough to resist winter storms in your area, then you need to keep your roof clear.
  • Some of the best inflatables use a wooden frame that can be placed on the roof to weigh down the decoration.
  • Some people advise using sandbags to weigh down roof decorating objects. However, sandbags are tough to haul up to your roof, and provide so much weight they can damage roofing materials very easily.

Keep All Decorations Away From Other Objects

Don't put your holiday inflatables or other products near any other objects. This includes chimneys (danger of burning), electrical lines (electrocution and fire), tree branches (puncture and damage), and vents (blockages).

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