How to Safely Remove Your Christmas Lights

It’s the end of the holiday season and removing your Christmas lights and other holiday decorations can be tedious. It’s important that you take down your lights safely while avoiding damaging your roof. Here are some tips to help you safely remove your decorations (and protect your roof):

When Should You Remove Your Christmas Lights?

Christmas lights are a festive way to decorate your home for the holiday season. Deciding when to take down your Christmas lights can be a tough decision, so here are a few things to consider:

Traditionally, Christmas lights are removed on January 6th, also known as “Epiphany” or “Three Kings’ Day.” This marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and is a typical time for homeowners to take down their decorations. If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party or other holiday events, leave your Christmas lights up until the event is over. However, removing the lights as soon as possible is still a good idea to avoid any potential damage from cold weather.

Finally, consider your personal preferences. If you enjoy keeping your Christmas lights up for longer periods of time, there is no harm in doing so. If you love the festive atmosphere that the lights bring and want to keep them up for as long as possible, then go for it! Overall, the best time to remove Christmas lights depends on a variety of factors, including tradition, weather, and personal preference.

Steps to Safely Remove Your Christmas Lights:

  1. Wear Proper Equipment and Clothes: Non-slip boots, warm and comfortable work clothes, work gloves, and a helmet are all important to keep you safe while removing your decorations. If your roof is particularly slippery, you may also want to wear a harness. Wearing the proper gear can help prevent falls and other accidents, as well as protect you from the cold.
  2. Disconnect lights: Disconnect your lights and other electrical decorations before attempting to remove them. This will help protect you from the risk of electric shock.
  3. Place the Ladder: Putting your ladder directly against the shingles can tear them off, so use a ladder bracket to secure it to the gutters or the side of the house instead. Brackets will help protect you from injury and prevent the ladder from sliding or falling and causing damage to your roof.
  4. Get a Spotter: Having someone on the ground to hold the ladder steady can help prevent accidents, especially if the roof is slippery due to ice or storms. The spotter should also be able to alert you if there are any issues or potential hazards while you’re on the roof.
  5. Remove the Lights: Don’t pull your lights and decorations down. This can damage them and potentially harm your roof. Instead, take the time to open and remove each clip that holds them in place, and be gentle when removing any tape. If you have to cut through any tape or wires, use a pair of scissors or wire cutters to do so.
  6. Storing the Lights and Decorations: Once you’ve removed your lights and other decorations, be careful when storing them to avoid damaging them. If you have light strands with bulbs, unplug them and wrap them gently to avoid breaking them. Other decorations, such as inflatable figures, should be deflated and stored in a dry, protected location.

Take your time and be careful. It’s important to move slowly and carefully while removing your decorations to avoid any mishaps. If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable on the roof, don’t hesitate to come down and take a break. It’s better to take a little extra time to do the job safely than to rush and risk causing damage or getting injured. Taking care of your roof is an important part of maintaining the overall integrity and protection of your home. By following these tips and taking the time to remove your holiday decorations safely, you can help ensure that your roof stays in good condition for years to come.

Christmas Lights and Your Roof:

Ice damming can be a direct result of the decorations and lights on a home. Ice dams form after heavy snowfall on the roof, and then as the temperature warms, the lights or garland on the roof stop the melting water from running off, creating a dam of ice. This can cause the water to pool and build up under the shingles until it penetrates your roof.

Foot traffic is another major cause of roof damage for homeowners. Not wearing the proper footwear when walking on your roof causes damage called “footfall.” Footfall damage is easy to spot on asphalt shingle roofs and is identifiable by looking for wear on the edges of the shingles. More severe damage happens in the summertime and will cause the shingle to smear when foot pressure is applied. Footfall is not as significant on lower sloped roofs; however, those steeply sloped garage gables and front dormers on your home that many love to outline with lights get damaged very easily in winter or summer.

We love seeing how homeowners decorate for the Christmas season, but we also care about your home and getting the most from your investment.

If you do accidentally damage your roof while taking down your Christmas lights or have concerns about the condition of your roof, don’t hesitate to call us. We provide free home and roof evaluations because it’s our mission to help homeowners address any problems promptly to prevent further damage or the need for more extensive repairs in the future.