Cheer Without Fear: How to Hang Christmas Lights without Damaging Your Roof

It wouldn’t be Christmas without lights on the roof and around the house, would it?

There’s nothing wrong with hanging Christmas lights. But, if you don’t hang them properly, you could end up dealing with some costly problems — leaks, shingle damage, etc. — later on.

If you’ve been wondering how to hang Christmas lights without damaging your roof, keep reading.

Listed below are some great tips that will help you decorate your home and keep it in good condition.

How Christmas Lights Can Damage Your Roof

Did you even know that Christmas lights could damage your roof? If this is news to you, you’re not alone.

There are lots of ways that hanging Christmas lights can cause damage to your roof, including:

  • Walking along your roof can damage the shingles and other materials
  • Using screws, nails, and/or a staple gun can puncture the roof surface and lead to leaks
  • The weight of extra decorations can wear down your roofing material and shorten the lifespan of your roof
  • Forceful removal can damage the shingles, tiles, or pieces of wood
  • Using too many lights can be a fire hazard

Clearly, there’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re hanging your Christmas lights. But, with the right strategy, you can prevent the need for roof repairs while still lighting up your home for the holiday season.

How to Hang Christmas Lights Without Damaging Your Roof

If you’re getting ready to hang your Christmas lights, keep these tips in mind to avoid damaging the roof:

Don’t Walk on the Roof

Thousands of people experience fall-related injuries during the holidays.

Walking on the roof while putting up Christmas lights is one of the most common causes of these injuries.

Walking on the roof also increases the likelihood that you could damage it. The extra weight and movement can break down the roof and shorten its overall lifespan.

Buy Light Clips

Instead of nailing, screwing, or stapling your lights to the roof, use light clips. These attach to the eaves of your roof and allow you to light up your home without permanently attaching the lights to the roof’s surface.

Keep the Rooftop Clear

Resist the urge to place large, heavy decorations on the rooftop. Limit yourself to lights along the edges instead. These decorations might be fun and festive, but they can also put a lot of pressure on your rooftop. Also remember to clean your home‘s roof from time to time so nothing hits the lights.

Use Care When Removing Them

Nobody wants to spend more time outside than is necessary once January rolls around. But, it’s still important to take your time and use care when you’re removing lights from your roof.

If you yank them out too forcefully, you could end up ripping shingles or tiles or pulling them off altogether.

Need Help Repairing Your Roof?

You now know how to hang Christmas lights without damaging your roof. But, you didn’t always have this information at your fingertips.

If your roof has sustained damage in the past a result of your haphazard light-hanging skills, we can help you fix it.

Contact us at Z Roofing & Waterproofing today for a free estimate.

The Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Roof Shingles

The roof is one of the most important aspects of your home. Without it, you and your stuff would be exposed to the elements and you’d lose a lot of electronics and other important items when it rains.

If your current roof is showing signs of needing to be replaced, don’t delay. A leaky roof in the middle of a winter snowstorm is not your idea of a good time.

However, investing in a new roof is a big deal. Roofs are expensive. The price varies greatly depending on location, the size of the home, and the materials used. However, you can typically plan to spend between $5,000 and $10,000. Although the price can go up to $30,000 or more on the high end.

The types of roof shingles you decide to use factor a lot into the price of your roof. But beyond budget, some materials are better for your home than others. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Climate, timeframe, and the aesthetic you want all play a role in which type is right for your roof.

Let’s take a look at the different types of roof shingles to help you decide which one is right for you.

Asphalt Roof Shingles

Asphalt roof shingles are hands down one of the most common types of roofing materials. And for good reason. These shingles are an affordable, yet effective and extremely functional roofing material.

There are three types of asphalt shingles and each has their own advantages. Let’s break it down.

3-Tab Shingles

The 3-Tab asphalt shingles are the most economical option. However, just because they are economical doesn’t mean that they aren’t a great roofing material.

The base is made of fiberglass that is covered with a coat of mineral granules. This varies the color tones, which is helpful in keeping the roof from looking drab. Each shingle is notched into three sections, hence the name.

The shingles are lightweight, which is great because you don’t have to pay for extra structural engineering to sustain the weight of the roof. However, if you live in a windy area, they may not be the best choice.

Their light weight means that they are prone to being blown off the roof by the wind. This is particularly true if the installer did a poor job or if the roof is getting old.

For being such an economical option, you still get your money’s worth. You can expect these shingles to last around 20 years particularly if you keep up a good maintenance routine.

Architectural Shingles

If you want to take your asphalt shingles to the next level, opt for architectural shingles. You may also hear them referred to as dimensional or laminated shingles.

These shingles have a couple advantages over the basic 3-tab ones.

First, because they are made by layering shingles they are stronger and longer-lasting. You can expect to get around 30 years of solid life out of this roof under the right conditions.

Plus, the layering gives them a multi-dimensional look, hence the name, and makes them a more handsome alternative to 3-tab. They also come in a wide variety of colors, making it easy to match your home and create the aesthetic you want.

For these reasons, this type of shingle is the most popular of the asphalt shingle options. Of course, you’ll pay more for these than the 3-tabs. But for many people, the advantages are worth the extra cost.

Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Top of the line asphalt shingles come in the form of luxury asphalt shingles. These shingles are designed to replicate the appearance of slate or cedar shakes.

Though more expensive than the other asphalt options, they are much more affordable than actual slate or cedar. This is what gives them their appeal.

Because of their structure, these shingles can be nearly twice as heavy as regular 3-tab shingles. This means that some homes may need extra structure to be able to support the weight of this roof.

The upside is that you don’t have to worry about these shingles blowing off in the next big storm. They’re also a great choice if you live in an area prone to hail as they hold up well to the abuse.

Clay Tile Shingles

If you want a roof that will last a long time, clay tile is a great choice. You can expect a well-built and correctly installed tile roof to last for 80 years or more.

Roofing companies are so confident in these roofs that you can find warranties for 75 years on a clay tile roof. If you never want to replace your roof again, this is a great choice.

The natural material is also excellent for energy efficiency. For this reason, you see them more commonly in the Southwestern portion of the US.

The most common image that comes to mind for most people is the wavy Spanish tile style. The basic tiles are the typical red-brown. However, clay tiles are extremely versatile and you can get them in a variety of styles and colors to suit your taste.

Slate Shingles

Slate tile shingles became popular in the Northeastern United States back in the 1800’s. Several large deposits of slate were found in the area, sparking its popularity.

Each deposit of slate comes in a different color. Plus, you can mix and match slate from different deposits to create a wide variety of beautiful, 100% natural styles.

Slate is desirable for several reasons. The material itself is very eco-friendly. Plus, like clay tiles, it is extremely energy efficient. As you can imagine from a roof made of rock, it is fireproof. You don’t have to worry about any stray fireworks landing on your roof and catching it on fire at the 4th of July.

Slate is also extremely durable. Some of the oldest buildings in the US still boast their original slate roofs.

Of course, for all its benefits you’ll pay a pretty penny. But you can rest easy knowing you’ll never have to buy another roof again. (Unless you move, of course).

Wood Shingles

For a particularly sophisticated-looking roof, you can opt for wood shingles. This handsome option is also for the homeowner who is not on a budget as it is an expensive option. But the aesthetic that wood shingles add to a home makes the price well worth it for many homeowners.

But looks aren’t the only reason that wood shingles are a great roofing option. Depending on the type of wood you choose, they can last for a long time. For example, good quality cedar or redwood shingles can last from 30 to 50 years.

The higher upfront cost can pay off in the long run if you plan to live in the house for more than 20 years. However, even if you plan to sell your home wood shingles can give you an advantage. They’re more desirable for their beauty and durability and thus can help fetch a higher sale price for your home.

Wood Shakes

Wood shakes are very similar to wood shingles. The benefits and advantages are basically the same. Some people even use the terms interchangeably.

However, they’re not exactly the same thing.

The difference between shakes and shingles is how they’re made. Shingles are typically sawn on both sides. This creates a smooth, tapered shape that gives a sleek look to the shingles.

Wood shakes, on the other hand, are split rather than sawn. This gives the shakes a rougher texture which makes for a great, rustic appearance. Another way you can tell the difference is that shakes are thicker than shingles.

Metal Shingles

When you think of a metal roof, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a flat panel or corrugated seam roof. You probably don’t think about metal as being shingles.

However, now there are some fantastic options for metal shingles. You can choose from a variety of colors and textures. You can get metal shingles that simulate wood shakes or shingles or even terracotta tiles.

What’s the advantage?

Metal shingles are strong and durable. This is important when you live in an area that is prone to hail. Plus, they won’t blow off during a windstorm. Another advantage is that they are energy efficient and fireproof.

But the main advantage that metal has is the price. Clay and slate offer some of the same benefits, but you have to be willing to pay for it. Metal is a great option for simulating these materials. Of course, it won’t be quite the same but the savings can definitely be worth it.

The Best Types of Roof Shingles

Ultimately, there isn’t one catch-all option that is the best roofing material. Your climate, the style of your home, and your budget have a lot to do with what make the best types of roof shingles for your home. Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide which option would be best for you.

Do you have more questions about roofing styles? Or perhaps you’re ready to start getting quotes. Either way, feel free to contact us today. Our experts can answer all your questions and help you pick out the perfect type of roof shingles for your home.

How Much Does a Roof Replacement Cost? Your Budgeting Guide

As the DIY market climbs toward the $14 billion mark, many homeowners are taking on the hardest tasks in home ownership to help cut costs.

Given that roof replacement runs from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on your material and the size of your home, some homeowners opt to go DIY. Rather than taking on this difficult and challenging task yourself, calculate your roof replacement cost based on what you need and what you can get.

Here are five tips for budgeting your roof replacement.

1. Be Sure It’s Time For a Replacement

Before you open up your checkbook or pull out your credit card, it’s vital to do a little bit of homework. If you don’t know the state of your current roof, you might pay a huge replacement bill where a small repair would suffice.

Do a little research about some of the materials and the terminology to determine whether the prices you’re getting are competitive.

While talking to contractors, get to know their pricing terminology. Most roofers estimate by the “roofing square”, which is about 100 square feet of roofing material. When your pricing estimate is by the roofing square, you’ll know what that means.

For the cost of a new roof, you may end up having to dip into your savings. That’s an unappealing way to pay for a roof, so ensure that you need as much as you think you do.

If you’ve noticed that the edges of your shingles are curling and that the granules from your shingles have made your roof bare, it’s probably time. Brittle and cracked shingles are another sign to look out for.

If you’re dealing with water leaking into your house or fully missing shingles that reveal the mat underneath, these are sure signs to get your roof replaced. There’s a lot of rain in Miami, even if just for a few minutes each day, you don’t want to spend the rest of the day tripping over buckets or sopping up puddles.

Water doesn’t need to be coming down for you to replace your roof but it’s a surefire way to know it’s time to start investigating. The longer you wait, the more damage your home incurs. Water damage is often more severe than what we see as a result.

2. Ask Around

Before you make the leap and invest all of your money into a new roof, check out what the local roofers have to offer. Ask any other homeowners in Miami Dade County who they’d recommend.

Start your search online. Since most businesses have moved their promotion and marketing online, there are more ways than ever to find out about companies. You can see pricing schemes, reviews, and photos of their results.

Ask roofers in your region to bid on the job you have for them. You’ll notice some trends and a general price range. If someone undercuts the rest of the competition by more than 30%, be wary of what that means.

Every roofer you speak to should offer a warranty on their materials and the installation job. It should last at least one year if not more like five. Having a warranty guarantees that you won’t be dealing with your problems for another season.

Ask roofers for references. Any roofer proud of their work is happy to offer references to pleased customers.

3. Timing Matters

If you’re considering having your roof fixed in late summer or early fall, you’re not alone. That’s when most people get their roofing repaired in preparation for autumn wind and rain then the following winter.

Don’t expect to get a good price during this time, since everyone will be having their roof worked on and roofers will have no shortage of customers. Try going off-season to ensure you get a better price.

If you’re looking to get your roofing done with the same quality but at a competitive price, go when roofers are hungriest for clients. Timing your roof replacement for spring or late winter ensures you’ll be able to negotiate your price to something within your budget or below it.

4. Insurance Helps

While most homeowners think that the responsibility of roof replacement sits on their shoulders alone, it may not. It’s common for homeowner’s insurance to provide coverage for roof replacement and repair.

So long as the home is being kept up and the roof isn’t left in disrepair by neglect, insurance companies often award homeowners with funding for roof repair. Repairing a roof ensures that further damage to the home is less likely. Electrical fires caused by pooling water, structural damage that leads to collapse, or even mold and mildew all get eliminated by a repaired roof.

Florida roofs face a lot of wear and tear from hurricanes, storms, and wind. Document if a storm has caused damage to your roof. Heavy hail or wind that resulted in shingles being knocked loose could be eligible for full repayment by an insurance company. If you don’t know, call your insurer and ask.

5. Lend a Hand

If you want to lower some of the burdens of the price of replacing your roof, pick up a hammer on your own. Many DIY-loving homeowners decrease the cost of roof replacement by doing some of the work on their own.

Take some time to get the tools and safety equipment for removing your old roofing a few days before your contractor begins. If done correctly, you cut down on a full day of labor costs. The moment your roofer arrives on site, work begins thanks to the prep you’ve done.

However, talk to a roofer before you start tearing it apart. It’s not easy work. It’s tiring, dangerous, and is more complicated than you realize. Roofing tiles aren’t always eligible for regular trash pickup and so you’ll have to arrange disposal on your own.

Your Roof Replacement Cost Could Be Slashed

If you choose the right contractor and end up doing some of the work on your own, your roof replacement cost could be chopped way down. Rather than taking on all the costs, offsetting the costs with some of your own elbow grease is a smart idea.

To learn more about what professional roofers have to offer, contact us today.