You can say a lot of things about roofs, and most of them might be true. But one thing that nobody can argue with is that roofs are tops. This statement can be taken in several ways. A roof does for the top of your home. It can also act like a "top" or lid for your home, keeping the rain out. Then, there's the third meaning, which is the one we happen to like the most: roofs are the best. (People say things are "tops" when they really like them.) Since we like roofs so much, we've decided to write about them, and you've discovered the blog where we do that.
Although holiday decorations on the exterior of the home are beautiful and festive, you may be inadvertently damaging the roof when you put up the decor. Often, damages may not even be noticeable until after the holiday season, after you put the decorations away.
1. Weight Issues
Weight is a major concern. If you are using multiple strings of light clipped to the edges of shingles, then the weight can cause the shingles to crack. Attaching to the gutter may not help in heavy situations either, as the excess weight can tear out gutter anchors and damage the roof eaves. Stick to single strands of light to minimize weight, otherwise, your roofer will need to replace cracked shingles and fix anchor holes in the eaves.
2. Shingle Compression
Walking around on the roof to put up lights and lighted decor items isn't great for the shingles. Shingles aren't made to be walked on. Each step you take can compress the shingle and knock off the protective gravel coating, making it more prone to developing a leak later. It's best to hang decor only on the eaves so you don't have to walk on the roof at all. Otherwise, you may need to replace compressed shingles come spring.
3. Fastener Punctures
Nails and staples should never be used to hang holiday decor. Piercing shingles with nails and staples is a quick way to create a leak on the roof, which will require patching by your roofer later. It's also a bad idea to use nails and staples on wooden eaves as the hole makes the wood more susceptible to rot. This can make it spread to other roof support components and lead to the need for a major roof repair in the future.
4. Broken Shingles
If you like lighted displays on the roof, such as lighted sculptures of sleighs and reindeer, be very careful about the placement and anchoring or you could crack a few shingles. Your roofer can install wood strips safely on the roof that you can use to anchor these sculptures. This is a small expense when compared to what it would cost to repair and replace a bunch of broken shingles.
5. Fire Hazards
Lights can be a fire hazard. Even the small amount of heat they produce can cause roof damage. Make sure there are no leaves or other debris in your gutters or on the roof as you don't want any tinder to be present. Only use outdoor-rated lights, and keep the actual plugs dry. Upgrade to LED lights if possible, as these put out less heat than incandescent varieties.
Contact a residential roofing repair service if you are concerned that holiday decorating has caused damage to your roof.