Clark Griswold did it all wrong. Don’t be Clark. Learn the dos and don’ts of putting holiday decorations on your roof.
Don’ts of Holiday Roof Decorations
Don’t Use Staples
Listen, your roof doesn’t enjoy being stabbed by nails or staples. Save those for putting up posters of your favorite ‘80s band in the garage.
Don’t Work in Bad Weather
Walking around on your roof in a snowstorm isn’t a sign of manliness—it’s a sign of stupidity. Don’t channel your inner Spider-Man in the rain or snow.
Don’t Decorate Near Chimneys, Vents, Branches, or Wires
Santa is the only one who can play with chimneys. Keep your decorations away from them, and also avoid tree branches and electric wires.
Don’t Overdo It
Griswold’s heart may have been in the right place, but his head sure wasn’t. It’s not about creating perfection or competing with that neighbor who goes all out every year, so know your limits.
Roof damage or a mammoth electric bill are not prizes you want to win.
Don’t Go Solo
Roof decorating isn’t an individual sport. There’s nothing fun about falling off your roof like Humpty Dumpty and ending up in the ER.
Friends don’t let friends decorate roofs alone.
Dos of Holiday Roof Decorations
Do Dress Appropriately
Put safety first. Wear sturdy, non-slip shoes or work boots, and lose the Santa suit.
Do Use a Proper Ladder
Make sure your ladder is tall enough. It should extend about three feet above the roofline.
Enlist a friend as a spotter, and remember, a large percentage of emergency department visits during November and December stem from falls that happen while decorating a roof. Ensure you stay safe and don’t add to that percentage.
Do Inspect the Roof and Test Lights First
Inspect your roof and holiday lights for damage before decking the halls.
If you find a lot of missing or damaged shingles or your roof is sagging, decorating may have to take a back seat. These are major signs that you need to replace your roof, so do this before grabbing your lights.
Do Keep It Light and Use Clips
Secure your lights with clips instead of damaging your roof with staples or nails, and don’t weigh down your gutters with multiple strands of heavy lights. Yes, a staple gun is pretty cool, but for the sake of your roof (and your fingers), just don’t.
Do Secure Your Inflatables
Keep inflatables from blowing away by using ropes or guy wires attached to other secure, permanent parts of the roof. This way, your blow-up Santa doesn’t end up in your neighbor’s pool.
Do Remove Decorations Carefully
When you wake up on April Fool’s Day and realize it’s probably time to replace the Christmas decorations with a giant inflatable bunny, do it gently. Treat your roof like an ancient Egyptian artifact and remove clips and decorations carefully to avoid damage and roof repairs.
So now that you know the dos and don’ts of putting holiday decorations on your roof, you can start planning which holidays to observe and what decorations to use. Or you could do something sensible, like keeping decorations in the yard, along fences, or on shrubs.
After all, Clark Griswold was a fictional character. You’re a real guy, so be a smart one and decorate safely this holiday season.