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Getting ready for the holidays: Here’s how to safely decorate your roof for Christmas

Christmas lights

It’s no secret that Nevadans love Christmas, and they celebrate it by going all out with their holiday decorations. In cities like Reno, you’ll find giant Christmas trees festooned with countless garlands and baubles. And in the suburbs, homes are decked from walkways to roofs with dazzling Christmas lights.

Lights and decorations on your roof are spectacular to behold and complete the festive look of your house. If you’re wondering how roof embellishments are done, it’s actually a simple process, but only after safety concerns have been addressed. Primarily, you don’t want to:

  • Hurt yourself while installing roof decorations
  • Introduce fire and wind hazards
  • Damage your roof during the installation process

To decorate your roof safely, here are tips for you to follow:

Prepare so that you don’t hurt yourself

Here are action items you’ll want to include in your pre-installation checklist:

  1. Before anything else, plan ahead. Sketch out the design you like and measure everything to determine how many lights you’ll need and where to place your electrical outlets. You’ll also need to purchase, rent, or borrow the proper tools for your installation.
  2. Once you have what you need, clear your roof of debris, slimy moss, and slippery ice formations.
  3. Inspect your roof for damage that may be a slip hazard, such as loose tiles and shingles. You’ll want to finish repairs before starting any decoration work.
  4. Wear proper clothing, work boots, and safety gear.
  5. Have someone assist you. Have them keep your ladder steady while you climb up to the roof and help bring items up to you. Never attempt to carry decorations while climbing up the ladder as you may fall and seriously hurt yourself.

Adorning roofs with Christmas decorations is actually a simple process, but only after safety concerns have been addressed.

Ensure against fire and wind hazards

Since adding electrical components on your roof introduces the risk of electrical fires, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Use Christmas lights that are designed for outdoor use.
  • Check the lights for frayed wiring and busted or flickering bulbs.
  • Use grounded power sources.

Stand-up decorations like Santa’s sled on your rooftop can become wind hazards. To prevent this from happening, follow these tips:

  • Use guy wires to secure the decorations and keep them upright.
  • Do not nail or screw decorations into your roof. This will introduce holes that will compromise the watertightness of your roof. Not only that, but shingles may also be pried off should strong winds topple the decor over.
  • If you like remounting the same stand-up embellishments every season, have a professional roofer install permanent mounts on your roof. This way, you’ll keep your roof leak-free and be able to just easily bolt your decorations onto the mounts.

Secure your decorations without damaging your roof

Use plastic clips and/or zip ties to attach your Christmas lights along your roof line or gutters. Do not use staplers or a hammer and nails, as you don’t want to puncture your gutters or ruin your fascia.

Furthermore, when installing your lights, it’s best to safely position yourself on top of your roof and use a rope to hoist up the lights near their installation location. This way, the rope supports the weight of the lights as you install them across the length of your roof line. If instead, you bring the lights up a ladder and let the gutters and fascia hold the lights as you move along the roof line, you risk damaging your roof. One, the attachment points might not yet be able to bear the weight of both the attached and the still unattached lights. Two, you might accidentally pull the wires or lose your balance and fall off the ladder. Both scenarios can make the lights and their attachment points — along with yourself — come crashing down.

Let our specialists at D&D Roofing help you prepare for Christmas roof decorating by conducting repairs and installing the necessary mounts for you. Tell us about your project today.