Our Northwest

Frosty ladders, roofs could thwart you Griswolds

Tuesday, November 24, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

This past weekend, I got all of my outdoor Christmas lights up. I’m officially in Clark Griswold mode for the holidays!
     If you do likewise this Thanksgiving weekend, beware of slippery surfaces that could send you tumbling. The forecast calls for sunshine but frigid temps over much of the Northwest.
     On Saturday I waited until after the sun hit the house and thawed the thick frost. Then I cautiously climbed an extension ladder to hang my old-school C9 lights from the eaves. My friends in the Claims Department don’t like me writing about using ladders for chores. They see far too many injuries from falls, so here’s the disclaimer: Unless you’re very healthy, nimble, and blessed with great balance, consider hiring a professional to hang your lights.
     If you do it yourself and need to walk on your roof, wait until direct sunlight or warmer temperatures have melted any ice. I waited until afternoon to hang a wreath on the front of our house, when the footing wasn’t slippery. I also had the benefit of walking on composition tile – I can remember how slick it was walking on our old cedar roof.
     My neighbor once thought he had a clever solution: he wore a pair of old golf shoes with metal cleats to clamber about his cedar roof. His cleats sank into the shakes, giving him stability. They also poked so many holes that I’m certain he shortened the life of his roof!
     Before you go Griswold in a bad way, just to be safe, read our Top 10 ladder safety tips.

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