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How To Hang Your Holiday Lights Safely And Without Damaging Your Roof

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hang christmas lights on gutters

Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us, and that means it’s time to put up decorations! Whether you’re the type to go all out with ornate holiday light displays or take a more modest approach with simple decorations, you want to make sure that your installation process is safe and won’t cause any damage to your home or permanent fixtures.

Specifically, hanging holiday lights can be a fun holiday tradition, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Moreover, taking the wrong approach when you go to hang holiday lights could damage your roof system and potentially create issues from snow, ice and water.

With a little planning and some best practices, you’ll get your holiday lights up without any issue. Here’s how to hang holiday lights outside safely and without damaging your roof.

Plan Your Design

You don’t need to over-engineer the process, but having a plan for how to hang holiday lights can save you a lot of stress and prevent costly mistakes. Most of all, make sure you do everything safely—no one wants to recreate any scenes from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!

To that point, create a plan that doesn’t involve getting on top of your roof for a basic precaution.

Measure Twice

To avoid running out of lights you’ll need to complete your planned design (and prevent mixing and matching lights that aren’t the same color), make sure you take correct measurements. Factor in your power source and whether or not you’ll need extension cords. And don’t forget about connection limits! To avoid fire hazard, be aware of how many strings you can safely connect to the same power source.

Here’s a helpful resource on the different Christmas lights available and their related power consumption.

Determine How to Attach Your Lights

There’s more than one way to decorate a Christmas tree, and there’s more than one way to hang holiday lights. One of the most important tips you can remember is to avoid using nails, staples, or drilling into your roof or gutters—doing so might create holes and other damage to your gutters and shingles. And with winter storms rolling into Colorado any day, maintaining your roof for winter is more important than ever!

Hanging Lights on Gutters & Shingles

If you want to hang Christmas lights on gutters or shingles, one of the most common methods is to use universal plastic fasteners and clips, which are inexpensive and easy to use. You can even attach them to the lights before climbing your ladder and clipping them onto your house. In order to protect your roof, be sure any fasteners you are using don’t puncture your roof or shingles in any way.

Pay attention to how your plastic clips are arranged, and keep them all going the same direction for the most effective strategy and the best results. Most clips are designed to either clip over your gutters or slide below your shingles. Either way, do your best to protect your gutters and shingles to prevent damage to your roof.

You might be tempted to drill into your fascia board to hang hooks or other hardware, but this is not recommended. Your fascia board is the long wooden board that closes up your attic from the outside and holds your gutters in place. Any holes in the fascia board may cause damage and eventual rot.  Any damage to it could lead to leaks and other roofing problems.

Keep Safety Top of Mind

Hanging your outdoor holiday lights should be a fun, creative holiday tradition. We recommend that you work with another person to make the process fun and safe. Make sure you follow best practices for using a ladder, keeping your hands free by using a toolbelt or bag to hold additional clips and tools, and overall, be mindful of your plan for hanging holiday lights. Do not attempt to hang lights when snow or ice is visible on the ground or on the roof, or during wet weather conditions. It’s recommended that only a professional should stand or walk on a roof and only sparingly to avoid the risk of damage to the shingles.

Never do anything that feels unsafe and always have someone with you while you are hanging lights.

J&K Roofing Will Help Protect Your Roof

To make sure your roof is in the best possible shape before winter storms arrive, get your roof inspected. J&K Roofing offers free roof inspections in the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Northern Colorado areas, and we’ll help make sure your roof is in top shape for winter. Contact us today to schedule your inspection!

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