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  • Writer's pictureShannon George

Preventing Home Damage While Christmas Decorating

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

The days are shorter and the Christmas season has begun. Families across the state are untangling light strands, deciphering which bulb is out, and steadying their ladders to decorate their homes for the holidays. Here we help to keep your home damage free all through the holidays.

a narrow street full of christmas decorations

Before You Deck, The Halls, Map Out A Plan Of Action For Your Christmas Decoration Vision

You may have a vision of where you want decorations and lights displayed, but consider the location and number of available outlets.

Inspect lights from last season for frayed wiring, damaged sockets, or weak spots in the cording.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to keep safety in mind as they decorate for the holidays.

  • Each year, during the 60 days surrounding the winter holiday season, about 11,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms due to decoration-related injuries with falls, cuts, shocks, and burns to top the list.

  • The National Fire Protection Association estimates that each year an average of 240 fires involving dried-out Christmas trees result in 16 deaths and $13 million in property damage. An average of 13,000 candle-related fires are estimated by CPSC staff to occur annually, resulting in 170 deaths and $390 million in property damage.

this image is related to christmas decorating

Oh Christmas Tree: the staple centerpiece for Christmas inside the home.

The site of the tree lit and sparkling with ornaments and beautifully wrapped gifts is truly the mark that Christmas is close. While the tree signals Christmas, it can also leave damage when all signs of the holiday are packed away until the next season.

  • Protect your floors. Heavy trees and their stands can leave divots and marks on a carpeted floor. You can save your carpet by dispersing the weight with a piece of plywood. Cover with a pretty tree skirt to hide the wood.

  • Wood floors are prone to scratches from tree stands. This can be resolved with a non-skid mat placed under the stand.

  • Protect your walls. Christmas decor often fills our homes and walls. Avoid unnecessary holes in walls or peeled paint and wallpaper by using products that are meant to be removable like command hooks.

  • Try securing loose boughs of garland with a clear fishing line.

A Sure Sign Of The Holly Jolly Christmas Season.

When the sun sets and the lights flicker on the outdoor decorations, it signals a Holly Jolly Christmas. Families build traditions by driving through festively lit neighborhoods to explore the many themed and bold outdoor Christmas decorations.

According to the experts at Travelers Insurance, a few guidelines can keep your home safe and free from damage when decorating outside.

  • When mapping out your decorations and putting them up, stay at least 10 feet away from powerlines that are near your home.

  • Decorations used outside should be specifically manufactured for outdoor use and a moderate distance from anything flammable.

  • Avoid using metal ladders during installation since they can conduct electricity and increase the risk of injury. Instead, use wood or fiberglass ladders.

  • Make sure lights and other decorations that require electricity are unplugged when replacing bulbs that are burnt out or trying any repairs.

  • All holiday decorations should be plugged into ground-fault interrupters (GFCIs). Portable GFCIs are sold at nationwide home improvement stores. Additionally don’t overload the breakers that you are plugging into. This can lead to electrical fires.

  • Winter weather can bring mighty winds. Ensure that lights and decorations are securely anchored. Use caution when anchoring and never staple or nail these down in any way that can interfere or connect with the wiring or insulation of the lights and decorations.

  • As tempting as it is, don’t use nails to hang wreaths on the outside of your windows. A nail hole in the window frame creates a space for winter air to enter the home and decreases the efficiency of your home. Instead, try using suction cup hooks that can be purchased at craft stores like Michaels or other types of hooks that will adhere to the window and hang the decoration from the hook using a fishing line.

When In Doubt, Outsource It Out

If you have a vision, but not the ability or time to bring it to fruition reach out to a local professional. They will have the knowledge and expertise to install lights and decor without damaging the structure of your home.

At Herring Residential and Commercial, we want your home to be a sanctuary and joyous place to make memories, which means keeping it safe and damage-free through the holidays. That means that you will need to keep the integrity of your roof sound. As roofing experts, we always advise you to not use your roof when it comes to holiday decor. Instead, consider making your lawn your decoration palette instead.

Stage your inflatables and other holiday scenes on the lawn. This is safer in terms of installation and keeping your home damage free.

If rooftop holiday decor is a must, then be sure to not keep the jingle and jiggle out of your shingles.

  • A simple nail to secure lights may seem insignificant, but that nail hole will allow moisture to seem under the shingles and can lead to costly repairs as the winter progresses.

  • Christmas lights should never be hung from the shingles. The best way to put up rooftop lights is with plastic clips that attach to the gutters or eaves of the roof. Additionally, by avoiding nails or staples, the plastic clips will not conduct electricity.

  • Pay attention to the weight of any decorations you place on the roof. An inflatable Santa by the chimney will not cause damage due to weight, but too many pieces with added weight will add stress to the shingles and supports of the roof.

  • Always tread carefully when walking the roof for the installation of your decorations and lighting. A misstep can damage the shingles and underlayment that keeps your attic free of moisture.

Deck The Halls And Keep Dreaming Of a Lighted Christmas

Find the balance between Scrooge's decor and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation electrical overload. Celebrate your season with lights and all the pomp and circumstance associated with the holiday. There is after all no reason to be a Grinch. Follow the guidelines and suggestions provided here and your home roof included will fare well. However, if you are worried the damage is already done, the experts at Herring are here to help. Contact us for a roof inspection and we will assess any prior damage from holiday decor or seasonal elements. From there, we will provide you with an estimate because at Herring we provide quality service at a fair price all year.


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