Yes or No: Staples?

It’s that time of year again: the annual neighborhood competition to see who can put on the most spectacular light display. You might win this year, but you might not. However, there is one thing you can ensure you’re on top of, and that is carefully putting up your lights.

If you own a staple gun, there might be a tiny voice in your mind tempting you to attach your lights to the roof with it. This temptation is one you should resist! Why do you ask?

The repercussions are far more than a purely aesthetic issue. Staples will significantly shorten the lifespan of your roof due to tiny holes caused by continuous stapling. Even the slightest gaps in your shingles allow water to leak into the vulnerable areas of your roof. Anything that penetrates your roof shingles produces a weak point that can lead to cracks, moisture intrusion, and costly long-term water damage. If water seeps behind the shingles, asphalt shingles will lose granules considerably faster, and wooden shingles can split and even rot. That means your roof will deteriorate over time, eventually collapsing–and you don’t want to be standing on your roof when it does!  Because the purpose of a roof is to provide a protective barrier, don’t poke holes in your roof’s surface, whether with screws, nails, or staples! 

Another reason you should not use a staple gun is that metal staples and electricity are a bad combination! Christmas lights are not produced with a high level of attention to detail; they wink, cut out, and sometimes don’t operate at all. As a result, it’s not uncommon for a string of lights to have exposed wiring and weather-resistant housing. The metal can conduct electricity through your roof or gutters, turning your house into a live wire in wait! In addition, the staples can scratch the plastic covering on your Christmas lights, exposing the wire and posing a fire and electrocution risk. 

If you must staple Christmas lights, make sure you use insulated staples with a plastic cover and staple the lights to wood trim rather than your shingles. However, check out our other blog that features far better and safer methods to make your home festive for the holidays!

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