Christmas Lights and Gutter Guards: Roofing Safety

MasterShield knows a roll when we’re on one: we’ve had such a lot of interest in our Christmas Lights series that we’re continuing it. And for Part 3, I want to mention some roofing issues that might not occur to the new homeowner or the person who hasn’t had a lot of experience putting up Christmas lights and needs some tips on hanging without causing any structural problems.

  • A good time for roof inspection: If you’ve installed a micro mesh gutter guard or heated gutter guard such as MasterShield, which eliminates the need for gutter cleaning, you probably have not been up on the roof of your home for some time. But while you’re up there, now you have a chance to do a quick visual inspection of your roof’s integrity. Are there shingles that seem to be damaged? Are the seams visibly compromised? Are there tree branches that (now you’re up on a ladder) you can now see are coming into contact with your roof? they may need to be trimmed back.
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  • Don’t compromise your roof’s integrity: Speaking of shingles, some roofers caution that you may be in danger of damaging your roof by walking on the shingles. And the risk may be increased if it’s extremely cold at the time. Not to mention the risk to your personal safety! Use common sense: keep your lighting designs to the more accessible parts of the roof that you can easily reach with a ladder.
  • Christmas lights and gutter guards: As we mentioned earlier in the series, if you have a MasterShield gutter guard you can have the installer hand create a special lip that goes underneath the drip lip and is a perfect place to hang your lights from. If you plan to hang lights from the eaves, on the other hand, there are clips that will hook onto your fascia and allow you to hang Christmas lights without impacting your roof.
  • You’ve nailed it: It’s really not a good idea to hammer nails or staples through the roof. I read an interesting blog post last month from a roofing company in Florida that has often seen “homes where homeowners have placed small nails into the edge of the roof, through the roofing material as a place to hang the strand of lights. Those nails or staples are now holes once the holidays are over and will become water intrusion points to create rotten roof decking.”
  • Bad Santa: And in the same blog these experienced roofers advise that if you put decorations like wooden sleighs or plastic reindeer on the roof, tie them down securely. That way, if there’s a high wind, Grandma won’t get run over by Rudolf falling off your house. But again, don’t nail these decorations to your roof. Holes penetrating the membrane of your roof can lead to structural damage and expensive repairs down the road. If you can’t figure out a way to secure that giant plastic Santa Claus to your roof without using nails or staples, put him in the garden.

And a string-testing tip from our friends at the Parker Bros Roofers blog: “Always test the lighting equipment prior to hanging them up. Any light strand that does not seem to working properly should not be used. That one strand of lights with the electrical short is a potential fire hazard. Along those same lines, avoid overloading electrical plugs and electrical circuits in the home.” The last thing you want is for those pretty Christmas lights to become a fire hazard.

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Stay safe people, and happy holidays!

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MasterShield manufactures gutter guards and gutter heaters for your exterior home improvement needs.
Our innovative microfiltration technology saves homeowners time, effort and money from cleaning out, repairing and replacing unprotected gutters.
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