Another important task on your pre-Christmas to-do list is to prepare your roof for the arrival of Santa Claus’ sleigh and reindeer. Here are some suggestions on how to accomplish that goal:
1: Replace worn shingles. If there are a few places where Santa might trip and fall on uneven or missing shingles, then you should probably replace them ASAP.
2: Scoop up wet leaves. Piles of leaves that are wet from rain, snow, or ice melt can trap additional water, wear away shingles, and possibly leak into your attic.
3: Clear your roof of snow. In most cases, the safest way to do this is to use a long snow rake to drag the snowpack onto the ground. If heavy snow sits on your roof for a long time, it could weaken its support and even cause a collapse.
4: Break ice dams. Use an awl or ice pick to break up the ice on your gutters or roofline. To prevent ice dams, insulate your roof better and consider a heating cable system for your gutters.
5: Prevent future ice formation. Take some pantyhose or stockings and fill them with corn-based deicing material (NOT salt – that can corrode your gutters and damage your lawn). Place them in your gutters, or perpendicular to the roofline to break up ice dams.
6: Clean your chimney. Get a chimney sweep to make sure that your chimney isn’t blocked with anything that could cause problems. Santa’s job is dirty enough as it is.
7L Use Christmas lights to make a “runway.” Two parallel rows of lights several feet apart will allow Santa to make a smooth landing on your rooftop on Christmas Eve.
8: Put up a windsock. Crosswinds can be difficult if the weather isn’t ideal on Christmas Eve. A holiday-themed windsock on your roof can help Santa gauge his approach more accurately.
9: Employ spotlights for additional illumination. Once Santa lands, he won’t want to walk around in the dark. A few spotlights on the roof could help him (but not too bright; that could annoy your neighbors and get you on the naughty list).
10: Provide food for the reindeer. These hard-working animals love lichens and bearberry. But if you can’t find those, they’ll appreciate a few carrots, apples, or plants.