Why clips have clipped the amount of roof damage from holiday decorations
Over the years we see the kind of calls we get on homes and commercial properties change as roofing technology and practices evolve to improve maintenance and decrease wear and tear. One definite trend we've noticed here at Precision Roof Crafters has been a decrease in the amount of calls for problems related to holiday decorations and the damage that an ambitious display could cause to a roofing system.
The biggest reason for that hasn't been that people are more careful, though that would be welcome, but because of the increase availability of holiday lights that clip into place instead of needing staples, screws or nails to be secured on a roof. Before clip-on lights became widely used we used to get quite a few calls every year to look at and fix damage caused by a hole in the roof's exterior from a nail or something used on a Christmas display. Those calls would usually come after the holidays were over because the damage caused would take a while to present itself. Usually that nail or staple would be secure and plug the hole it makes, but as weather changes and goes through a few freeze/thaw cycles things would shift and gradually water would start leaking in and you wouldn't notice it until the water had worked itself through several layers. In a way it's funny how a small innovation in a simple product like holiday lights can have such a big positive impact on your home's structural integrity, but the decrease in calls related to decorations proves the difference it can make.
We still advise owners who decorate to be practical and avoid creating hot spots with wires or extension cords, especially since any debris on the roof near a hot spot could act as tinder and cause a fire. When celebrating and being festive it still pays to think about what you can do to prevent a worst-case scenario from happening to your home or commercial building.