Maybe you’re not aiming to be the next Clark Griswold, but you still want your house to look nice for the holidays. There’s a right way and a wrong way to hang Christmas lights on your roof. Don’t let your festive spirit wreak havoc on your home!

Your friends at Accent Roofing Services have seen far too many leaks caused by errant staples and misplaced nails. Here are our tips and tricks for hanging Christmas lights without ruining your roof.

Nix the Holes
Why on earth would anyone add holes to their roof? Your roofing materials are meant to be watertight, so don’t render them leak-prone by puncturing through them with nails, staples, or tacks. Even the smallest fasteners can puncture your shingles, and once punctured, water begins to infiltrate at the first rain. Holes and your roof go together like…eggnog and pickles. That is to say, don’t do it.

Look for Clips
There are a wide variety of plastic (never metal!) clips on the market specially designed for safely clipping Christmas lights to your roof. They generally work by attaching to your gutters or to the sides of your home, but be sure to read the directions carefully. Even if you’re attaching clips to your gutters rather than your roof, be careful not to pull the gutters away from the house at all while you’re working. This can change the flow of water and weaken the entire system if you aren’t careful.

Before You Walk
We do NOT recommend walking on your own roof; it’s a job best left to professionals with the right safety equipment at hand. If you do need to walk on your roof to hang your holiday lights, take care wear soft, gripping shoes and always have a spotter on the ground. Prepare the lights before you get on the roof to minimize the time you spend up there, and always remember to walk on the “peaks,” not the “valleys” of the structure.

Miscellaneous Décor
Yes, the plywood cutout off Santa and his eight tiny reindeer looks cute on your roof, but is it good for your house? Probably not. Minimize the time you spend walking on your roof and also the weight load you ask it to bear. Since it’s difficult to attach large décor items safely without puncturing your roof, you’re looking at a physics problem anyway. Skip the big stuff and settle for the brightest lights you can find.

And when the season is over? Don’t just yank the lights down! Take as much care to remove the lights as you did to hang them up; removing the clips or fasteners is actually when most people incur roof damage. If you do suspect you’ve damaged your roof, even just slightly, contact your local roofing pros at Accent Roofing for a comprehensive inspection.

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