Some Things To Remember When Hanging Your Holiday Lights!

Christmas lights are one of the great Christmas traditions in the midlands of South Carolina. I remember riding around as a kid marveling at the lights. It was a mission to find the house with the most lights! Simple decorations like Santa Clause and some reindeer, to a full blown light extravaganza of lights where you turn on the radio and watch the lights dance to the music, can be found atop local homes. To be honest, I still find myself taking the long way home to explore the delight of Christmas creations.

The roofer in me sometimes cringes when I think about how folks have attached some of those amazing lights. Winter time brings cold weather, and that makes your roof more vulnerable to damage. Shingles will become 60% more brittle when the temperature drops below 40. Brittle shingles have a tendency to crack and split when lifted.  Many of today’s light clips require shingles to be lifted for the clip to slide onto the shingle tab.  The temperature outside is a key factor when deciding when to install holiday lights.

Shingles do not have a lifetime warranty to damage.  Lifting brittle shingles can cause the shingles to crack and split if the shingles are old and brittle.  It is not a good idea to install holiday lights on a roof that really needs to be replaced.  You can cause the shingles to crack and split when lifting them to install light clips.  You can also cause the shingles to break and chip due to the added weight of lights and clips.  Even though holiday lights are not necessarily heavy, the added weight to the edge of an older shingle can cause it to break off and chip.  This can cause roof leaks and problem areas in the near future.  If lights are a mandatory part of your holiday decor and your roof is 15+ years old (and you are not ready for a roof replacement), you may want to consider finding an alternative install location than your roof.

Every year we get calls from our clients when it is time for those lights to come down.   Roof repairs are common place when the Christmas lights come down, but most of this can be avoided.  One option is to find an alternative place to install lights, such as the fascia of your home, windows,  and the porch.  Another way to avoid roof repairs is to keep in mind the age and condition of your roof and the temperature outside when installing roof lights.

Some ways to avoid damaging your shingles when hanging your lights:

  • Hire a professional
  • Wait for a day when the temperature is over 65
  • If you must lift a shingle to add a clip, you can use a hair dyer to heat the shingle tab. That will help prevent cracking at the base of the shingle tab.
  • Avoid walking on your roof as much as possible. Try to stay in the valleys and ridges if possible.

Homes in our Lexington community covered in Christmas lights means the season is here! As we cart our kids around our community searching for the most fantastic light display and the biggest Santa Clause in town, I hope that these few tips help reduce the number of repair calls needed after the first of the year.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!