The most wonderful time of the year has passed, New Year’s has come and gone, and even though holiday decorations add a little sparkle, shine, and a warm and fuzzy feeling to any home, they do have an expiration date.
Putting up decorations may not always be easy, but taking them down is much more difficult. Doing it carelessly or quickly can lead to exterior damage, especially for your roof, and that’s something Santa can’t fix. To ensure you remove your holiday decor with care, follow these five simple tips.
1: Take your time
It’s understandable that you don’t want to drag out removing holiday decorations from your home—it’s not at the top of most people’s fun lists. However, removing decor with haste can lead to rips, tears, holes, and even damage to your siding, lawn, and especially your roof.
No matter if you’ve used staples to hang lights, plastic clips, or sticky hangers, ripping these from your roof to save time can end up costing you money. Quickly removing anything implanted or stuck onto your roof can pull off shingle particles, create cracks, or leave small holes in your shingles that will extend over time.
To ensure you’re removing decorations and protecting your roof, make the process a day by day endeavour. Plan to remove lights one day, garland another, and anything else remaining over the weekend. This will help you keep a steady pace and avoid frustrations with removal so you can take your time and keep your roof and home intact.
Pro tip: Before putting up decorations, it’s advisable to not attach anything to your actual shingles. This can cause small holes and lead to leaks. Stop damage before it starts by attaching lights or other decor to gutters to protect your roof. We understand that sometimes this just doesn’t happen, so again, be sure to very carefully remove any decor from your shingles if you did happen to attach your decor in that manner.
2: Be prompt
If you’re a fan of having Santa and his eight jolly reindeer atop your roof for the holidays to delight the neighborhood kids, we applaud you. However, the longer you keep the crew on your roof, the more potential damage can occur.
Many decorations placed on roofs are somewhat heavy or weighed down to prevent them from blowing off and wreaking havoc on the neighborhood. But that weight, if left on too long, can begin to break down your roof. It may not seem likely, but think of it this way: with winter comes snow, and as snow piles up on your roof, it creates a weighted blanket covering your shingles. Add more weight to this in the form of faux Santa and you’re increasing the strain on your roof. It’s like weight lifting, adding five pounds may not seem like a big difference, but that can make all the difference.
The sooner you remove your decor, the sooner your roof can feel some relief.
3: Gear up properly
Believe it or not, the type of shoes you wear can help you protect your roof when taking lights or garland down. If you have a lot of ground to cover up there, consider wearing lighter shoes and do your best to walk the move as little as possible. Foot traffic can actually weaken your roof, and the more you’re clamoring around, the more you are loosening granules on your shingles and stepping over spots that aren’t meant to have weight on them, like the area near your chimney or skylights.
4: Protect your gutters
When removing attachments from your gutters, be sure not to pull, yank, or rip down any decorations. Your gutters are tough, but they can easily become detached from your roof or break in the middle, which is no way to end the holiday season.
To protect gutters for a safe and simple removal, grab your ladder, and carefully unsnap the secures you used to attach lights or other decorations, or pull off any tape or staples slowly so you can ensure there is no damage being done upon removal.
5: Be patient
Weather in January can be unpredictable, so if you see heavy snow accumulating, ice, hail, or freezing rain, wait until conditions improve. The more severe the weather, the more likely you are to injure yourself when trying to remove decorations. Make sure icy conditions have passed, and check your roof for ice dams before climbing abroad.
Holiday decorations may take a little time and preparation to take down, but it’s worth it to fill your home with a cheerful, merry spirit to warm up the cold months.