Christmas lights are a beautiful addition to your home during the holiday season, but they also cause damage to your roof if not installed properly. The weight of the lights and the clips used to attach them put extra stress on your shingles and gutters, leading to leaks and other problems.
Issues From Christmas Lights
Roof damage caused by Christmas lights occurs in several ways. Some of the most common causes include:
- Overloading: Christmas lights are heavy, especially when they are strung together in large numbers. If the lights are not distributed evenly across the roof, they put extra stress on certain areas, causing the shingles to warp or even tear.
- Improper installation: If the clips or hooks used to attach the lights are not properly secured, they come loose and allow water to seep through the shingles, causing leaks and other damage.
- Gutter damage: The weight of the lights cause gutters to sag or pull away from the house, which leads to leaks and water damage.
- Weather damage: If the lights are not rated for outdoor use or are weatherproof, they are damaged by wind, rain, and snow, leading to frayed wires and malfunctioning lights.
- Fire hazards: if the lights are not UL or CSA certified or if they are overloading an outlet or circuit, they cause electrical fires.
Avoiding These Issues
To avoid these issues, it is important to use lights that are rated for outdoor use and are weatherproof. You should also distribute the weight of the lights evenly across the roof and use the right type of clips or hooks to secure the lights in place.
Another important piece to avoid damaging your roof with your Christmas lights is to make sure you aren't putting holes in your roof to secure them. While this may seem like a good and secure option, it actually causes more harm. The holes in your roof leave space for water to get in and rot your roof decking.
Another way to avoid any potential damage would be to ensure you are installing the lights from a ladder and not by walking on the roof. Not only is this dangerous for you, but it could also be rough on your roof. To avoid this, either install from a ladder or hire a professional to install your lights for you.
Fixing the Issues
After removing your Christmas lights, it's a good idea to check your roof for damage. If you feel like there is damage, here are some steps to follow to fix the problem and get your roof back to normal:
- Step 1: Assess the Damage
Take a ladder and climb onto your roof to get a close-up look at the affected areas. Look for missing or damaged shingles, cracked tiles, or any other signs of damage. Make note of the size and location of the affected areas, as well as the type of roofing material.
- Step 2: Gather the Tools and Materials
Once you've assessed the damage, it's time to gather the tools and materials you need to fix the problem. You need a hammer, nails, roofing cement, a pry bar, and a utility knife. If you're dealing with missing or damaged shingles, you also need new shingles in the same color and style as your existing ones. If you're dealing with a tile roof, you need new tiles that match the existing ones.
- Step 3: Make Repairs
Once you have the tools and materials, it's time to start making repairs. If you're dealing with missing or damaged shingles, use the pry bar to remove any damaged shingles. Then, use the hammer and nails to attach new shingles in their place. If you're dealing with a tile roof, use the utility knife to cut the damaged tile. Then, use roofing cement to attach a new tile in its place.
- Step 4: Seal the Repairs
After making repairs, it's important to seal them to prevent water from leaking into your home. Use roofing cement to seal the edges of the new shingles or tiles, making sure to cover any gaps or openings. This helps to keep water out and prevent future damage.
- Step 5: Clean Up
Finally, once you've completed the repairs and sealed the affected areas, begin cleaning up. Use a broom to sweep away any debris from the roof, and make sure to dispose of the old shingles or tiles properly.
Fixing your roof after Christmas light damage is not a difficult task, but it's important to address it as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home. By following these simple steps, you make the necessary repairs and keep your home safe and dry. When in doubt, a professional company like Lewis Roofing is available to help you repair your roof!