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Up On the Rooftop: Tips for Safe Holiday Decorating

The holidays have arrived! And this year, even more families are choosing to go all-out with their holiday decorations. Are you planning on getting out those twinkling lights and decorate the whole house for optimal cheer? If your holiday decorating includes exterior lights, we have a few safety measures to keep in mind before you climb that ladder. As the trusted roofer for the Twin Cities, we’ve been up on literally thousands of rooftops and know all there is to know about rooftop safety. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

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Test the Lights

Before you climb up that ladder, it is important to make sure each and every light is working as it should. If you hang the lights and they don’t work, you’ll have to get back up on the ladder, take them down and figure out what the issue is. Nothing is worse than hanging your lights then realizing they don’t work when you plug them in. So before you bring them up the ladder, plug them in on the ground and make sure they work.

Clean Gutters

Have your gutters cleaned by a professional roofer before you plan to hang up those lights. Many people hang lights near or on the gutters, so make sure there is nothing that could become a fire hazard. One of the most common causes of house fires is bulbs getting too close to dried out leaves. 

While cleaning the gutters, also check the surrounding areas as well. If there is snow or ice that wasn’t previously there, check for damage to shingles or gutters.

Ensure a Safe Surface

Make sure the weather is dry to avoid wet, slick and slippery surfaces both on the ground and on the roof. Do not climb wet roofs or roofs with a steep pitch! 

Use Proper Equipment

Make sure you’re using a safe, sturdy and correct length ladder or scaffolding. Test your ladder to make sure it is sturdy and tall enough for you to safely reach the areas you plan to hang decorations.

Also, avoid 7-volt light bulbs or higher and make sure to use lights specifically made for exterior use. Interior lights are not designed to withstand weather! And, set a timer so lights will turn off automatically after a certain period time or at a specific time.

Do not use nails, tacks, screws or staples as they can all permanently damage your gutters, roofing or siding. Instead, use insulated hooks which can reduce fire risks due to frayed wires.

Practice Safe Removal 

Do not pull lights down by the wire. To prevent damage to roofing, gutters or siding, you should climb the ladder and remove the strands from the hooks. Just as with hanging the lights, don’t climb on a wet roof or unsteady ladder.

To get more information about roof safety or anything else pertaining to the roof, contact our Twin Cities area roofer, JTR Roofing today at 612-419-6906 or Contact Us online.

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