Get ready for the holidays with outdoor decorations and lights! Here are a few tips when hanging holiday decorations. A little advance planning will ensure you get the decorating done efficiently, lights hanging the way you want, and without damage to your roof.
• Have a design plan. On paper, sketch a diagram of the house with the lines and angles where you want lights to hang. Often, homeowners outline front of the home, following the roof line and gables. Incorporating lights around doors, posts or windows also adds to a high impact display.
• Avoid overloading circuits. Locate electrical outlets and get an idea of the circuit you are using and the max wattage. Most household circuits are 15 or 20 amps. Know what your circuit limits are ahead of time and plan accordingly to avoid any outbreaks of fire. You’ll also want to measure how many feet of power cord will be needed, connecting from the power source to the roof line. Use newer, high quality UL listed power cords and timer devices that are made for outdoor use. Avoid frayed or damaged wires, as well as bad bulbs. Always test light strings while on the ground to make sure they are working properly
• Use clips. Avoid roof damage by hanging lights with clips. For gutters, the clips usually attach over the lip and face down. For shingled roofs, clips tuck in under the shingle, opposite the way you would hang on a gutter. Never hang lights directly from shingles. If you have a metal roof, magnetic clips are an easy way to hang lights. We recommend attaching clips to the light strings while on the ground. Patiently take light strings up the ladder and attach to the roof line one at a time. Be consistent in placement of clips and pull the light strings slightly taut for the best presentation.
• Secure inflatables. If you are putting an inflatable on the roof, ensure stability with a 50lb. sand bag attached as an anchor. Larger inflatables can be installed with a wooden frame platform for the display to sit on. Tie a rope with a weighted anchor to the platform and drape down the other side of the roof. On windy days, always turn inflatables off or remove them to reduce risk of injury.
• Take your time. The less time you have to spend on the roof, the less risk for injury. Always have a helper on the ground when installing any kind of display on your roof. That includes installations for lights, inflatables or mounted decorations.
With a little advance planning, you can easily create a holiday display that will project warm wishes to everyone who passes by. Have fun with the creative possibilities!