With Christmas around the corner (at the time of this writing), thoughts are turning to external decorations, exterior lights in particular. After all, you want your home to look festive, right? And that means lights – and plenty of them!
But where are you going to hang these lights? Most people will attach them to the guttering around their homes. This is perfectly fine, say the experts at Global Gutter Systems – as long as you are careful. The last thing you will need or want either before or just after Christmas is to have to call in the professionals to do a full rain gutter installation because you have managed to pull yours from the roof along with your lights. So, how can you safely hang lights from the gutter?
Always Stay Safe
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to attach fairy lights to their guttering is to do it from ground level. This makes no sense because it means you are stretching to reach the top of the guttering and you are more likely to pull on the gutters if you lose your balance.
It is best to use a small step ladder to attach plastic gutter clips along the perimeter of the guttering. Make sure that your ladder is flat on the ground so that you do not fall. If you need to use a longer ladder, get someone to hold it steady as you work. Once the clips are in place, you can use a specially designed-pole that comes with a notch at the end. This will allow you to clip the lights to the gutter clips. You can use the same pole when it is time to remove the lights after the festive period.
Decide Where to Start
Before you get going attaching lights to the guttering, you should have a rough idea of where to start and where to end (in terms of where you are going to plug them in). Many people just grab one end of their lights and start attaching, only once getting to the end and realizing they do not have a nearby electrical socket to plug them into.
You should also make sure that your lights are fully disentangled before you start. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through and realizing that you need to take them all down again to undo a massive knot in the middle of the light string.
Consider the Weight
Something that can cause havoc with guttering is too much weight. Gutters are designed to hold quite a bit of water, and they can even handle snow. However, overloading them with too much weight will inevitably affect their integrity. This is especially true if they are already holding dirt and debris.
It is best to check them to ensure they are free of blockages before you hang any lights. If possible, clean them out or get someone in to do this for you. Make sure there are no loose brackets along the roof and that the guttering is not sagging anywhere. Furthermore, avoid hanging any heavy objects from the guttering as this can cause them to pull away from the roof.
Your guttering is the perfect place to attach Christmas lights, but only if they are securely attached to the wall, are free from heavy loads of dirt and debris, and the lights attached are not too heavy. Taking the time to attach the lights carefully will help to maintain the gutters and allow them to keep doing what they are primarily designed for – directing rainwater away from your home.