December is an exciting time marked by a number of holidays, family and friend gatherings, and hope for a new year. Unfortunately, when it comes to decorations, many roofing projects attempted by homeowners are done without the proper safety prep or information. Getting ready for the season can be fun and highly rewarding, but lighting and decor up on the roof has to be done with care and a lot of prep work.
A Christmas Vacation from Unsafe Roofing
Before attempting any “hard hat” job, you need to make sure that you have the tools to get it done. Check guides online to see what kind of products you might need and then double-check with a professional before taking a trip to the hardware store. Employees there will be able to help point you in the right direction and make recommendations based on your unique situation. In this case, telling them about your roofing type and shape can help them suggest lights, ladders, and other items to help with the holiday decorating experience. Don’t forget to check within your own home (and basement, garage, and/or crawlspace) before going out to make a purchase; you may have some of the needed objects already!
A big detail to keep in mind while at the store are the kind of bulbs you’ll need for holiday lighting. LED are your best bet, but also ensure that they are outdoor lights, since the indoor variety can’t safety be left out in the elements.
Ensure that you have enough length to run whatever holiday lighting you have prepared up there on the roof by gathering extension cords and power strips as needed. “Also, make sure you plug them into a GFCI outlet. These types of outlets shut off when they detect a short circuit. You can even buy a GFCI to plug into a regular outlet. Either way, there should be weather protection around the outlet.”
One of the biggest dangers during this process is an improperly-placed ladder. Too often they are positioned in a way that is not only wrong for the roof height, but that is downright unsafe. Make sure you know exactly the height and angle that the ladder should be before you climb it (it needs to extend higher than the edge of the roof for a number of feet).
Once you get up on the roof with your secure ladder and proper lights, what’s next? How do you keep your holiday lighting display safely in place? Previously, many homeowners used appliances such as staple guns or nails in order to to do. However, this can cause damage to your roof over time; you want to keep the wear and tear from your roofing surface as much as you can. In place of those old applications, consider “light clips and gutter hooks” to do the job. Make sure that you know how to install whatever it is that you decide on and, mostly importantly, take your time when you undertake all this holiday lighting up on the rooftop.
Cox Roofing is a full-service, certified roofing contractor providing residential and commercial roofing services to the state of Maryland, with particular focus on Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford County and Howard County. We pride ourselves on our personalized service which transforms your property into the residence or business of your dreams. Get in touch for your free estimate today.