As Christmas day gets closer and closer, families are starting to make sure they are prepared for the arrival of Santa Claus. Santa travels the world by reindeer-pulled sleigh every Christmas Eve to deliver gifts to well-behaved girls and boys.
For families that have homes with flat roofs, it’s simple for Santa to land his sleigh there and come down the chimney to leave his gifts behind. But what about homes with steep roofs? How does Santa land his sleigh on those?
Santa uses a different landing technique for each home he visits. Home’s with steep pitches are more challenging, but Santa has ways to safely land his sleigh. Here are the main methods Santa uses to land his sleigh on steep roofs:
- Straddle the ridge – the “ridge” of a steep roof is the highest point where two opposite slopes meet. Since ridges are horizontal, Santa can safely park his sleigh with its “runners” (the part that touches the roof) straddling the ridge, then zoom down the chimney.
- Park facing upward – for roofs with a pitch of 4:12 or less, which are easily walkable by people, elves, reindeer, and even Santa, Santa parks the sleigh facing up to keep it secure, then exits to find the chimney.
- Find the flattest part – many of the worlds steepest sloping roofs have a flat section that Santa can park on safely and even leave his sleigh behind for a minute while he delivers his Christmas gifts.
- Balance the sleigh – on some roofs with a steep pitch, Santa has a way to balance his sleigh so its runners are making contact with different parts of the roof. Usually, one side will sit on the roof ridge and the other side will balance on the top of a tall chimney.
- Hover – there are many steep roofs where there are no flat sections, and nowhere to balance. For these, Santa uses a trick that is not available to most people with sleighs. He uses his special Santa powers to allow the sleigh to hover momentarily while he rushes down the chimney, delivers his gifts, eats any cookies that have been left, then returns up the chimney back to the hovering sleigh.
Now that we know how Santa lands on steep roofs, what can homeowners do to prepare for Santa’s safe arrival? There are a few do’s and don’ts to point out:
- Do: repair any loose roof shingles or tiles before Christmas Eve so Santa has a smooth surface to land on.
- Do: clean your roof and gutters of any leaves, pine needles, or other debris. The reindeer might try to eat these as snacks, which can upset their stomachs.
- Do: check that your chimney is clean and free from blockages. You don’t want Santa to get injured or dirty on his way into your house, right?
- Don’t: clean snow off your roof. Santa’s sleigh is designed to land on snow, so leave it on your roof!
- Don’t: get onto your roof or set up surveillance cameras to try and see or meet Santa. You may block his path or spook the reindeer, so it’s best to remain indoors and allow Santa to do his job.
That takes care of the roof, but what about the chimney? How does Santa come down the chimney if your home does not have a traditional wood fireplace? Well, this is yet another time when it helps to have special Santa Claus powers. If there is a real chimney, Santa travels down (and up) just as you would imagine. If there is not a regular chimney, Santa uses his powers to “morph” and change shape in order to become ultra-skinny and “slide” into the house (the 1994 Tim Allen film “The Santa Claus” accurately showed this phenomenon). Santa has never found a house that he could not find a way to get into.
With Christmas quickly approaching, be sure to be prepared to track Santa’s progress using NORAD’s Santa tracker. This way you know if you still have enough time to prepare your roof before Santa arrives at your house.
Above all else, the team at Sol Vista Roofing wishes you and your family a very merry Christmas. And of course a happy New Year as well!