The six common household issues that are reported following Christmas

Decking the halls? Avoid these six mistakes to avoid structural damage to your home

Many Brits are debating the 'correct' time of year to hang decorations however what some homeowners might not know is that the real concern lies in whether they are hanging decorations correctly to prevent structural damage to their homes.

Home experts at MyJobQuote have listed six common household issues that are reported following Christmas and have given advice on avoiding such problems. 

1. Standing your Christmas tree near heat sources holds the risk of fire

It’s crucial to keep Christmas trees far from heat sources like candles, room heaters and radiators. Even a slight increase in temperature can accelerate the drying process of the tree, heightening the risk of fire. Ensure a safe distance of at least three feet between the tree and heat-emitting elements. This distance mitigates the tree’s exposure to heat, reducing the likelihood of drying out prematurely. 

Cost of repair: £500 for soot damage restoration 

2. Christmas tree weight can damage flooring

6-foot Christmas trees, often weighing over 100 pounds, pose potential damage to carpet and hardwood floors. When choosing your tree, opt for a robust, broad-based stand to evenly distribute its weight and therefore minimise damage. To safeguard carpeting, place a protective mat or thick fabric beneath the tree to prevent indentations. For hardwood floors, utilise a rubber pad under the stand to shield the surface.

Should you discover marks left upon removing the tree, create a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Gently apply this to the affected area, lightly buff with a microfiber cloth to eliminate the marks, and ensure thorough drying to preserve the floor's shine.

Cost of repair: £50 for 2m² for wood flooring repair and £65 for average carpet repair 

3. Overloading Christmas lights in sockets poses risk of electrical fires

When decking the halls with festive lights and decorations, avoid overloading power sources and sockets. Plugging too many energy draining devices into a single socket can strain the circuit, leading to overheating and an increased risk of electrical fires. Excessive power draw can cause sockets to overheat, melt, or spark, posing a serious danger to your home. Distribute the load across multiple outlets, utilising extension leads equipped with surge protections. 

Additionally, MyJobQuote warns against ‘daisy chaining’ extension leads, in which you plug one into another to increase the number of sockets linking to a power source. Doing so increases the risk of electrical fires. 

Cost of repair: £500 for soot damage restoration

4. Hanging lights? LEDs only to avoid fire damage, recommend experts

Opt for LEDs for decorating your home. Halogen Christmas lights can heat quickly, speed up the drying out process of your Christmas tree and therefore increase the risk of fire. Overheating from halogen lights might also affect nearby surfaces too, posing a fire hazard to flammable decorations or fabrics.

Cost of repair:  £500 for soot damage restoration

5. Hanging exterior lights incorrectly can damage roof and gutters

MyJobQuote strongly advises against nailing, stapling, or puncturing any part of your roof to hang Christmas lights. Though staple holes may seem small, they can result in significant and costly damage. When decorations are stapled or nailed onto the roof, melting snow or rain can infiltrate, potentially harming the interior structure.

Furthermore, refrain from puncturing holes in your gutters to hang lights. Gutters and downspouts serve to divert water away from the roof and the home's foundation. Piercing holes in them can permit water to flow through, leading to potential damage.

Cost of repair:  £90 for gutter repair of three metres, £150 for roof repairs

6. Not checking for pipes before hanging decorations

When adorning walls with Christmas decorations, exercise caution to prevent potential damage not just to the walls but also to underlying infrastructure. Improper hanging, especially on walls concealing pipes, can puncture or damage them. Any accidental drilling or nailing in the wrong spot might lead to significant water damage, disrupting festivities and necessitating costly repairs. Instead, use hanging methods such as adhesive hooks and wall-friendly tapes to avoid structural mishaps. 

Cost of repair: £330 for burst pipe repair and minimum cost of damages 

Property and construction expert at MyJobQuote says, “Decorating for Christmas is joyous but a simple mistake can lead to significant - and costly - damage. By being aware of potential issues, you can prioritise safety and planning before decking the halls this year. A well-decorated home is one that remains safe and intact long after the holidays fade. A little foresight can save you from the unwelcome gift of costly repairs this festive season.”

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