With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s time to deck the halls – and for many, it’s time to deck the roof, too. But while our team at Elite Roofing loves seeing all the spectacular and creative things folks do with roof decorations, we also know decorating your roof can be dangerous. In emergency rooms across the United States, thousands of people are treated every year for decoration-related injuries – yes, really! So today, we’re sharing a handful of decoration safety-related roofing tips to make sure your holiday season is both decked out and safe.
Get everything ready on the ground
Safe holiday decorating starts on the ground. It’s always a bummer when you find out that lights aren’t working properly, but it’s even worse if you’ve gotten all the way up to your roof before making this discovery. Untangling strings of lights and replacing faulty bulbs is also much easier – and safer – with your feet placed firmly on ground. Make sure you check all cords, outlets, and power sources before getting started.
You should also prepare yourself before heading up to the roof. Get a solid pair of rubber-soled shoes for more traction and wear a tool belt to store all your decorating essentials. Nix the nails, too – clips and magnetic hangers are a much better (and less permanent) way to hang up holiday lights and other decor.
Pick a clear day and start early
Climbing ladders and walking around on your roof is risky even in the best weather conditions, and you definitely don’t want to be up there when it’s windy, rainy, snowing or worse. Wait for a clear day to put up decorations and start when the sun is shining bright. Sure, you’ll want to see what all the lights look like at night, but it’s important to have as much light as possible while decorating so you can see what you’re doing.
Practice good ladder safety
One of the first roofing tips we give anyone is to know how to use a ladder properly. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a solid guide to ladder safety that’s a must-read for everyone. A few of the most important tips include:
- Pick the right ladder. Make sure yours can support your weight and extends at least three feet above your roof line.
- Set your ladder up in the right spot. Put it on flat ground, away from electrical lines or equipment and clear of doors that may be opened while you’re scaling your ladder.
- Check the locks and braces of your ladder before climbing on it.
- Consider having a spotter hold the ladder – but never allow more than one person to climb the ladder at once.
Clean up first
Keeping your roof and gutters clean is among the most important roofing tips at any time of the year, but it’s an especially good idea before you decorate your roof. For one thing, a cluttered roof can detract from your holiday decorations. More importantly, though, a roof covered in wet leaves and debris makes for a dangerous surface to be working with – or walking on. It’s also important to clear your gutters before winter in general, as clogged gutters are a recipe for hazardous ice dams forming on your roof.
Don’t take decorating risks
Finally, as with any DIY-related activity, it’s important to know your limits when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Only walk on your roof if you’ve done it before. When in doubt, move your ladder rather than leaning over to reach a spot on your roof. In short: Don’t try to do too much. Your home will still look great, and you’ll enjoy a safe, injury-free holiday.
Elite Roofing: Wishing You and Yours a Happy, Safe Holiday Season!
Our family at Elite Roofing loves the holidays, especially when it’s time to deck out our rooflines with colorful lights and holiday figures. But we also want our readers to know that safety is paramount when it comes to having a joyous holiday, and that starts with how you decorate. If you need help with a roof repair or cleaning, or if you’re simply looking for some roofing safety tips, give our team at Elite Roofing a call – we’re here to help! And for more roofing tips and advice, follow us on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!