It’s great when houses look festive at Christmas. Especially when people go overboard, with Santa’s sleigh and reindeer in a jolly freeze frame on the rooftop, and flashing icicle lights dripping from the roof fascia. Some of us take a subtler approach, with just a string or two of twinkling fairy lights making the house look magical. Whichever way you like to decorate your home for Christmas, it’s important to make sure your approach doesn’t cause damage to your roof. Last year, we posted a blog about safely hanging Christmas decorations from your guttering, and we’ve got some more safety tips for hanging lights from your roof here.
Don’t use nails or screws
A sure-fire way to damage your roof when hanging lights is to hammer a nail into the fascia or guttering. Doing this will split the material and mean you have to get it replaced. Ideally, you will attach the lights using gutter clips, which are easy to remove and do not require any force to be applied. The discreet plastic clips allow the string of bulbs to be threaded through them, resulting in a lovely uniform row of twinkling festive lights. With gutter clips, you will know if you’ve overloaded the roof, because the clips will simply come off – a much better way to find out than noticing that your fascia or gutter is bent, cracked or damaged.
Check for ice and snow
Your roof can get very slippery in the winter, as can your ladder if it’s been left outside. So, before you start climbing, check for ice, snow and anything else that could cause you to slip. If there’s ice around, perhaps wait until it thaws to decorate your house. Whatever you do, we don’t recommend that you walk on your roof (unless you are sure that it has been specially designed to withstand the pressure of being walked on). It is always better to set up a ladder than to attempt to hang your Christmas lights while kneeling on the roof.
Set up your ladder properly
When it comes to setting up your ladder, there are a few things to consider. It is safest to climb a ladder to your roof in full daylight, so if the sun’s going in then consider waiting until the next day. The ladder should be free from cracks or signs of wobbling. Your footwear should have good grip and be as dry as possible. Your ladder should be set up on level ground and positioned about a foot away from the wall. The safest approach is to set the ladder as close as possible to where you will be hanging the lights, and then move the ladder along as you go, rather than reaching away from it and causing it to go off-balance.
Here at South Thames Roofing, we can provide expert roofing repairs across Christmas and the New Year (and all year round) – whether the roof has been damaged by Christmas lights or needs updating to cope with the winter weather. Just contact us today to find out more.