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hoek.fred

Decorating atop of asphalt shingles

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I come from an island where the majority of the houses were are of cinder block and poured concrete with re-bar. I purchased my new home and hearing all kinds of information about not touching your asphalt shingles.

I want to place colored flood lights on the roof of the 1st floor to light up a 2nd story wall and I want to string C9 LED lights along the ridges and valleys of my roof to outline it. Something like this.

34-Stiles.jpg

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I do too, but I've never secured or installed anything on them. I should've been more specific and asks for tips how to secure these?

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I've walked on mine for 9 years of doing a display from my initial static display, to my current animated display and no issues so far. I would say, if you are going to do it, do it before it gets cold.... but I see FL. so probably not an issue there. I do however try to move my ladder around to where I access the roof as to not wear one spot excessively.

Remember one thing, safety first, if you are not comfortable walking on the roof, or it is too steep to walk on it safely, or has a dangerous item below like a pointy metal fence, don't do it. The stats say that for each story you go up your likely hood of dying from a fall goes up by 50%. ( example of the survival rate: 50% then 25% then 12.5% then 6.25% etc.) A gentleman at where I work fell this year setting up his lights and ended up breaking his leg right by his hip, almost had to have a hip replacement over it. Just be careful, dead people can't program lights.

I use these: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202352460/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=christmas+light+clips&storeId=10051

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Yep those are the same I have, but I guess should rephrase these questions because I think my post was confusing....

Is it OK to lift the shingle flap to hook the fastener to the shingle and then the lights or should I use a stapler with a wire guide?

How could I secure a floodlight base (like this one) without harming the shingles?

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have been on roof,s since i was a boy and if the shingles are old and brittle the might get damaged . too cold they will break and to hot ya should not walk on them, it will mark them by taking the sand off of them. too cold should not be a problem where you are at. If it is too hot just wait till evening or in morning when it is cooler. they will take a lot though. try putting the light on a piece of tin first with a piece sticking out enough to slide under the centre of a tab on the shingle then lift the tab with a flat bar and attach it with a couple of roof nail,s.and put the tab back down , you could even put a little bit of tar on the tab to help it stay down. You could slot the tin and it can be taken of too like a roof bracket or just pull the nail,s and tar the hole,s. hope this help,s

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Been Walking on mine for years, as for lights, go get a T-25 stapler with 1/2" staples, works great and doesn't go deep enough into shingle to damage them..

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I actually run sheetroclk screws right into the roof to hold elemets up there. A dab of silicone after will seal the tiny hole. Been doing this for many years and have NEVER had a leak. I have a dark roof and use white silicone - makes it easier to put the element right back in the same place every year.

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I actually run sheetroclk screws right into the roof to hold elemets up there. A dab of silicone after will seal the tiny hole. Been doing this for many years and have NEVER had a leak. I have a dark roof and use white silicone - makes it easier to put the element right back in the same place every year.

That's what we do too.

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For light strings I use Office Depot's medium sized binder clips. Most shingles have a little freeplay at the end where you can slide a binder clip under it and slide the wire through the clip as well. It holds tight and it is very easy and quick to setup and takedown with no damage to the roof. Some shingles are stuck more than others so gentle tugging on the end will give you enough play to slip the clip under.

For larger items like an inflatable and a large wreath I use the screw method with sealant mentioned above.

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I have several friends that are roofing contractors, and not your stereo-typical "make a fast buck, fly by night operations" , the whole reason shingles overlap is so each course above will cover the nailing tabs of the course below. You should avoid making any holes in any roof structure at all costs. Not to mention, the minute you put holes in your shingles, all MFG warranties are null and void due to improper installation.

Please dont think im being a jerk here, but why would anyone "intentionally" put holes in their roof in the first place? Now if there is NO OTHER option, e.g. vent stacks, chimney's, solar panels, sky lights, etc. Then there are multiple installation layers, flashing, ice/water shield, covers, etc. to keep those area's water and moisture proof.

Watch any home improvement shows, building programs, etc, and look at the amount of time and energy spent on keeping the structure's roof solid and in tact, and designed to SHED water away... and that should answer your question.

Even if the roof doesn't visibly leak, once you create a hole, and seal it, water still may penetrate and sit under the shingles causing rot and mold damage. swelling, shrinking, and in colder climates, a freeze thaw cycle will all but destroy your roof.

In addition to Rye's idea above, you can lay out PVC structures secured with sand bags, you can use aluminum flashing slid underneath rows of shingles, (just take care when lifting individual shingle tabs, etc.)

Sorry for the long winded post, but I hate to see this kind of stuff happen in our hobby, when all we are trying to do is put smiles on people's faces, then later we are left to pick up the pieces of damage we do to our own domiciles!!

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Watch any home improvement show? REALLY BAD example. I've seen entire roofs tore off and redone in less than an hour on those shows.

That said, shingle clips slide on and you don't have to put any holes in your roof. Roofs were made to be walked on, why else would we have ladders? :lol:

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I've used lag screws and sheetrock screws for 20 years on my roof and didn't spring one leak with the original roof/shingles. Lifting the shingle tabs can't be healthy when you have thunder storms or ice storms. The are meant to seal. Thats why they have tar under them.

Living in Oklahoma we go thru extreme heat and bitter cold, not to forget ice storms and high wind thunderstorms.

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Watch any home improvement show? REALLY BAD example. I've seen entire roofs tore off and redone in less than an hour on those shows.

I was speaking of the high end ones, you know the ones on PBS, that are really there to teach... not the evening home wreckers that are more of reality entertainment shows...

but to each his own, just offering my opinion and what i know or have been exposed to ... ;)

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This is the reason I asked this question. I've heard the "don't lift the edge of your shingle" reason and common sense -as well as home improvement shows- frown on making any kind of holes into the shingles because water slowly-but-surely finds its way into anything.

It would be good if we could a professional's input on this.

Edited by hoek.fred

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It would be good if we could a professional's input on this.

Most likely, roof professionals don't decorate like we do and have never tried what we do decorating wise.

They will tell you to never do this or that, but we on this forum have been doing this for many years.

The pros your looking for are right here in the forum. Take the comments here from all the members/professionals here and make your own decissions.

And I will repeat myself. I have been doing Halloween and Christmas decorating on my roof for 20 years using lag bolts and screws in the shingles. Not once did I ever form a leak in those 20 years. I even did this on my parents roof (actually my dad did this since I was a kid but I took over as I got older) and they never had a leak. If 20 years of experience isn't good enough for you then I don't know what is. But to each their own.

Edited by Santas Helper

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ok here is my take. i am in tampa fl area, yes no snow and cold, but the year round sun will do a lot of damage also. after years of using shingle tab beeing pushed under and tearing shingles, i started using clip strips (long plastic strips with groove, the lights each get a clip that attaches on the strip--nice and easy, straight and clean look-- http://www.liteclipstrip.com ). the first time i had glued and screwd them down no problems. after having the roof redone, the new shingles didnt hold up as well. so i got this idea from another decorator. took 1"x6" treated, angle cut long edges and screwed together to form a 'v' the fits over the ridges or spots i wanted covered with lights. stapled outdoor carpet on the bottom and painted the other sides. then attach the lights to the top (whatever way you use is ok, because you are attching to the wood). the carpet and weight holds everything in place with NO PROBLEMS, we had a few thunderstorms this year and worked great. worst part is moving them once they are down, they dont move! yes, cost a few bucks and took a few days. but no damage to the roof at all. the guy who told me about this had used for years and no problems, maybe replace a warped board once in while. i will try to post some pictures.

Edited by chipwdw

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ok here is my take. i am in tampa fl area, yes no snow and cold, but the year round sun will do a lot of damage also. after years of using shingle tab beeing pushed under and tearing shingles, i started using clip strips (long plastic strips with groove, the lights each get a clip that attaches on the strip--nice and easy, straight and clean look-- http://www.liteclipstrip.com ). the first time i had glued and screwd them down no problems. after having the roof redone, the new shingles didnt hold up as well. so i got this idea from another decorator. took 1"x6" treated, angle cut long edges and screwed together to form a 'v' the fits over the ridges or spots i wanted covered with lights. stapled outdoor carpet on the bottom and painted the other sides. then attach the lights to the top (whatever way you use is ok, because you are attching to the wood). the carpet and weight holds everything in place with NO PROBLEMS, we had a few thunderstorms this year and worked great. worst part is moving them once they are down, they dont move! yes, cost a few bucks and took a few days. but no damage to the roof at all. the guy who told me about this had used for years and no problems, maybe replace a warped board once in while. i will try to post some pictures.

I too use liteclipstrip, but implemented a little differently. I have alot of hips and ridges on my house, so between each of the 5 foot strips, (lite clip strips come in 5 foot increments) on the underside, I put a 4 inch piece of 1 1/2inch nylon webbing, centered in the middle of the 2 strips. Make sure you use the nylon that is more water resistent and little stretching. I used a hot knife from harbor freight to cut the webbing, it automatically cauterizes the ends so no fraying . I took a 3$ soldering iron and put pilot hole thru the strip and just enough to mark the nylon web coming thru. Bought the webbing from www.strapworks.com I drill out the light clip strip pilot hole with drill press, so you don't have a melted plastic ridge, and use the soldering iron to finish my hole on the nylon strip. Next, a small stainless steel nut and bolt thru the LCS and the nylon web, 2 on each side is sufficient. Also, use a little washer. They snug up nicely.

I have gutters on the front, and really thats the only place that mattered for this application, made anchors for each corner with 1' x 6" cut to fit in the gutter with http://www.strapworks.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=MBP2 attached, I used 8 inches worth of webbing secured to the other end of the lite clip strip , run it thru that loop, and a spring clip http://www.strapworks.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=sbblk to keep tension.

When you get to the peak of each hip, you use a D - ring http://www.strapworks.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=mdrblk . You take about 4 inches of webbing, and sew velcro to the back of it, and attach 1/2 of it to the end of the liteclip strip. You loop around the D Ring. you do the exact same thing down the other ridge. You start from the bottom and work your way to the top, creating tension as you pull towards the top. At the top you will need a few weighted anchors. I used 1$ bricks from Lowe's and tied nylon rope around the brick, and then back around the D Ring, place the bricks as needed to create your tension. definitely on the back side of the house, and a few on either side of the ridge. If you are a stickler, you can paint them the color of your roof, but I just used the earthtone brick and you don't really notice, and not at all at night.

It held up thru the entire season, now when I take them down, number them to where each one goes, and they fold up nicely. If anyone is interested, I'll take pictures this weekend when we are taking it down. I won't lie, it took some time to put together, but once I got all the little nuts and bolts pieces done, I did my roof very quickly, and uniformly, looked beautiful!

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Did you find it wasn't strong enough without the steel rod?

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Did you find it wasn't strong enough without the steel rod?

Originally I was going to clip the mini's on the steel rod, then I realized what a PITA it would be. So I just zip-tie the lights to the steel rod. It doesn't add any strength.

Edited by brownjm74

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just a couple of questions. how do you want to run you lights on the roof? if your just trimming the roof then light clips on the sides of your roof aren't gonna bother your shingles at all. if you have different angles and ridges on your roof you really only need to worry about a clip at the top and at the bottom. unless you get alot of wind the lights laying there aren't gonna go anywhere. and unless you have an issue with frayed light strings even if you get rain or snow it shouldn't affect your lights working. if you dealing with leds then you should have even less problems.

do you have a roof vent? my house has a roof vent on it and on the side of it there are holes drilled for any water that my be up there. all i do is use clips on the side and when i get to the top i just use twist ties and run them thru the hole and use it to hold up the string of lights. the holes are every foot or so. i only put a twist tie every 3 or 4 holes. when you get to the front then you can either use clips on the gutters or under the shingles at the bottom. the problem with the bottom is yes the shingle will be loose but most of your lights may end up in your gutter.

i have stripes that run up each side of my roof and i have clips at the bottom and then just i run up a string of lights then i twist tie then move over a ft or so twist tie again and then run down the roof. you don't need any clips in the middle of the roof cause the lights will just lay there.

if you don't have a roof vent then the previous post about the pvc across the top would work as well. you could also connect vertical rows of lights to the pvc.

as far as the floods for the second floor, you could go the a hardware store and get a section of gutter guard. i should be perforated so what can get to the gutters. then you could mount the light to the gutter guard and just put the gutter guard in the gutter. then you could run your cords down away from the gutter. it should be pretty easy to attach the light to the gutter guard. most of them are plastic or it may already have mounting holes. just use a long enough nut and bolt with a couple of washers and you should be able to attach it to the gutter guard without any problems.

good luck

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if you don't have a roof vent then the previous post about the pvc across the top would work as well. you could also connect vertical rows of lights to the pvc.

The PVC will also work if you have a ridge vent on your house, It works just fine with mine. Just an FYI

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