Channeling Your Inner Clark Griswold

It's that time of year when Chattanooga homeowners begin to channel their inner Clark Griswold and plan their exterior holiday illuminations. Before you go any further in your plans to deck the halls and beyond, here are a few things you need to consider.

Hanging Christmas lights on your Chattanooga home is best done when it's not too wet, too windy or too cold. During mild weather, it's most comfortable (and safer) to install outdoor Christmas lights. Climbing a slippery ladder onto your roof or attempting to climb a ladder in windy conditions can be extremely dangerous. Ensure it's not a Blue Christmas for yourself due to injury!

Before you even put up the first strand of lights, ensure electrical safety is in place. 

Quality matters, especially when it comes to the electrical cords you use in your holiday lighting. To ensure a season of safety, make sure you are only using UL cord and lighting devices that are made for outdoor use. Avoid frayed cords and light strings. The holiday memories you want to take away from this season do not include a house fire due to dangerous lights or extension cords.

Now that we've covered some primary personal safety issues, let's look at property safety issues: your roof.

It's a classic scene from Christmas Vacation when Clark staples the lights (and himself) to the roof, but using a staple gun to attach lights to your roof is never a good idea. Why? It's simple. Every staple you put into your shingle is creating a small hole in your Chattanooga home's roof. Those holes, no matter how small they are, can cause a leak under your shingles and eventually allow water into your home.

Even if you think using the smallest staple possible would not cause any issue, the truth is otherwise. A small staple can weaken the shingles on your Chattanooga home, making them prone to damage from the seasonal elements. Most asphalt shingles will typically last you anywhere from 15-25 years, but if you start compromising the shingle integrity by putting holes in it, you will find your roof not lasting anywhere near its projected life.

Santa doesn’t typically bring new roofs in his sleigh, so play it safe this Christmas season and ensure your roof continues to keep your Chattanooga home safe and dry from the elements for years to come. Make a plan for your outdoor Christmas lights and give yourself plenty of time to get the job done. With proper planning and execution, you can count on the holidays being merry and bright!