At Home

Expert tips to prevent damage to your home this festive season

Amy Loddington
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20th December 2021
Christmas Stockings 123

As Brits begin decking their halls for Christmas, which can be one of the most exciting parts of the year, it can be frustrating when clearing your decorations away to find certain items that have damaged your walls, floors, or windows.

Festive décor, such as Christmas trees, snow spray, and the equipment used to hang up the likes of stockings, can cause havoc to homes. So, to help prepare Brits this festive season, GTSE has revealed five tips to ensure homeowners are protecting their homes from damage when putting up their festive decorations, as well as tips on removing tack stains when it comes to taking them down in the new year.

1. How to avoid your tree ruining your flooring

If you have carpets – especially deep pile carpets – a Christmas tree and its stand can leave weight marks behind when you remove it in the new year. To prevent this from happening, place the tree on top of a sturdy piece of plywood and then use some wrapping paper to hide the wood and stand. Tree stands, like other heavy objects, can also easily scratch hardwood floors. Place a non-skid mat underneath it to save the floor – and take extra care when you’re bringing the tree into the house!

2. Different ways to safely hang decorations

Hanging Christmas decorations can sometimes mean drilling holes into walls or using products that leave marks that are near-impossible to remove. There are a variety of products you can use which can make hanging decorations, and in turn make the post-Christmas clean-up, much easier:

Attach some string to your wall, using tack or tape, you can then add pegs to this to hang up the likes of cards and other light décor.
Hooks with a special adhesive, making them easy to pull off, such as cable clips.
Removable double-sided tape, although this is best used for lighter items.
Silly putty can also be used on lighter decorations. Simply roll it into a ball and stick it between your wall and decoration.

3. Stopping your dog from ruining festive decorations

Although a joy to the home, inquisitive dogs and especially those experiencing their first Christmas, might be overly excited and want to play with decorations, risking damage to your home if they so happen to accidentally pull down the tree or drag a glittery bauble through the house.

Lindsay Arliss, Dog Behaviour & Training Specialist at Wood Green, The Animals Charity, comments on some ways to help prevent damage to festive decorations:

"If you have a young puppy or very inquisitive dog, you can help keep them and your tree safe in many ways. Using a puppy pen around the tree can prevent them from accessing it, which is useful for young dogs who may be experiencing their first Christmas and be more likely to chew decorations or presents.

“You can also invest in a tree that fixes to a wall, or a slightly shorter tree that you can stand on a unit out of the dog’s reach. It is very likely that your dog will get used to the tree quite quickly but do supervise them closely the first few times they are allowed direct access to the tree. Make sure the cables from lights, wire clips, tinsel and candles are kept out of the way of inquisitive dogs.”

4. How to stop glitter going everywhere

One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to stop pesky glittery baubles from shedding is to use an object lots of people will already have lying around the house, hairspray. Spray the baubles with non-aerosol hairspray to keep the glitter in place. You can also opt for a non-toxic acrylic sealant, which will keep the glitter in one place for a longer time. But allow the sealant to dry before popping up your decorations on your tree and around the house!

5. Avoiding damage to your windows from artificial snow spray

Firstly, when applying the artificial snow spray to windows, make sure you protect the floor and surrounding walls, and hold the can about 12 inches from the surface you want to apply it to.

When removing the snow, don’t scrape it off as this can cause a bigger mess. Instead, spray with a glass cleaner, ideally, window cleaner, take a paper towel and rub the cleaner into the snow until it comes off. If the paper towel starts to spread the snow, grab a new paper towel. Continue to use the spray until completely cleaned but just remember to clean carefully.

6. Removing tack stains

Once celebrations are sadly over and all of your decorations are down in the new year, here are a couple of hacks to remove any stubborn tack stains left on walls.

Citrus-based cleaning solutions are normally recommended when it comes to cleaning tack from walls as these tend to be the best at breaking down oils and the adhesive in the tack. Once you’ve cleaned the area, using a white cloth, make sure you dry it with a clean cloth to ensure any residual product doesn’t damage your walls.

Alternatively, washing up liquid can also be used. Add a little bit to a toothbrush or scrubbing brush, and then rub the liquid into the tack stain in circular motions, cleaning the wall afterwards to remove any residue.

To help avoid the tack from removing paint from your walls, try rolling it from the edges inwards, instead of pulling it straight off. If there are little bits of tack left after you’ve removed the bulk of it then just blot it with more tack – although, if the tack is warm and soft it won’t work so try putting it in the freezer for a bit to harden it up.

When using any cleaning solution, it’s important to always test it on an area of carpet or wall that is less visible, just in case it does cause some damage. It’s also worth using a white cloth so no colours can bleed through to your floors and walls.

To conclude, Kirstie Batty, Head of Merchandising at GTSE says:

"Although the set-up for Christmas is extremely exciting, hanging various items of décor can cause substantial damage to homes when the likes of incorrect adhesives are used, as well as common products such as tack leaving stains that can be tough to remove. This typically means the clean up after the festive season can be a big challenge."

“We hope the tips are useful to anyone looking to put up their decorations soon, to avoid any nasty damages arising to their home over Christmas!”

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