Half the fun of Christmastime is stringing up the lights and decorating your home to match your holiday spirit, but before you dive into the DIY wreaths, ribbons, and blinking bulbs, here are a few simple tips on maintaining the quality of your windows as you dress up your home this season.
Don't: Opt for Inexpensive Adhesive Window Clings
Like many of the holiday enthusiasts, you may find yourself reaching for the snowflake, Santa hat, or candy cane-shaped vinyl window clings often displayed in major box stores; however, the remnants of these stickers can linger on your windows even after the snow has melted.
Commonly used for outdoor displays, vinyl decals are designed to be a semi-permanent window sign and are only good for one use. In addition, removing them requires a heat source and a thin, sharp-edged tool, such as a plastic card or razor blade. This can add quite a bit of stress when it comes time to take down the ornaments and displays and can leave windows in less than perfect condition.
Do: Spruce Up Your Windows with Static Clings and Spray Snow
This season, eliminate the mess and frustration and choose adhesive-free clings, also known at static clings. This type of window decoration is made from a thin plastic film that uses static electricity to stick to different surfaces. Unlike vinyl decals, static clings are easy to remove and can be reused, saving you both time and money. Static clings come in a variety of dimensions, shapes, and styles and can even be customized to match your particular decorating taste.
Artificial snow is another popular window decoration and can create a wintery scene in less than 30 seconds. Spray snow comes in aerosol cans and easily creates a frosty look on your window panes, but removing the substance can be a bigger mess than the real thing.
You may be tempted to grab a razor or a sharp edge to remove the snow, but this can leave permanent scratches on your windows. Instead, use a bristled vacuum wand to suction the spray starting at the top and working your way down.
After you have vacuumed, apply glass cleaner in small sections and allow the cleaner to soak for a couple of minutes before you wipe it away. Wood windows should be covered with plastic or paper to avoid being damaged from ammonia that's commonly found in such cleaners.
Don't: Try to Buy Time and Hammer Nails into Your Window Frames
You've spent the day anxiously trimming the tree, wrapping the garland, and all that's left on your list is hanging the indoor window wreaths and light strings. You may be tempted to forego yet another trip to the craft store and are thinking of hammering nails into your window frames to secure your wreaths or decorative garland instead, but think again!
Drilling holes, hammering, or using a nail gun for vinyl window frames in particular can permanently damage the frame and cause thermal and condensation problems, which in turn can cause major problems in the Midwest during winter months where temperatures commonly dip below zero.
Do: Use Removable Strip or Suction Window Hooks
Homeowners looking to brighten up their windows and window frames with holiday decor should invest in clear strip hooks or suction hooks to hang garland or wreaths on this season. Strip hooks are an inexpensive way to hang decorations without damaging the surface.
Suction hooks work similarly by securely fastening to a variety of surfaces through a lift, push and lock technique. Both suction and strip hooks are designed to hold items of various sizes and weights, so it's best to check the packaging beforehand to ensure the hooks will support your holiday decorations.
For those who love the look of wreaths hung on windows, securing them by using decorative ribbon 'closed' in the window is another easy, damage-free option if you have double-sash or casement windows. Simply tie a ribbon around the wreath to the length you would like the wreath to hang, make a knot, open the window, place the wreath, close and lock. This is a great way to spruce up the interior or exterior of your home. And, they're perfect for a second level as they can be installed from the inside.
Don't: Rely on Your Staple Gun to Keep Light Strings in Place
You may be leaning towards a staple gun to hang your exterior lights and keep them securely fastened around your windows, but this is one item you should steer clear of for multiple reasons.
Not only do these fastening tools cause long-term holes in your window frames, siding materials, and the lights themselves (they're a safety hazard as well. Staple punctures can cause wires to short, and a staple that pierces the wiring could blow a fuse and cause a fire, or worse, conduct a current and electrocute you.
If you're determined to secure your lights with staples, be sure to fasten your display with electrical staples. These fasteners are insulated with plastic saddles to prevent wiring and cables from coming into contact with the metal in the staples.
Do: Purchase Adhesive Clear Clips to Secure Light Displays
Whether you prefer few lights or many, white bulbs or an abundance of color, one important question remains the same: what will you use to hang them? You may have used an excessive amount of tape for indoor displays in the past, only to be left with a sticky mess that comes crashing down shortly after you've completed it.
Or you've turned to more permanent fixtures such as nails or staples to lock down your exterior light strings, but are left with holes in your window frames that affect the structure and overall quality of your windows.
Instead, turn to adhesive clear clips as they are a much easier, safer, and more affordable method for securing your light displays inside and outside the home. The clips conveniently attach to your walls, gutters, and window frames for a more unified light display and only require one clip for every two feet of lighting. Better yet, the clips are simple to install and even easier to remove.
Treat Your Home This Holiday Season with Pella®
No matter what your decorating process may be, Pella believes your home should be as comfortable and inviting on the inside as it is on the outside. Our between-the-glass blinds and shades allow you to control the lightness and privacy of your home without interfering with your holiday decorations. Better yet, they're designed to fit any of our Designer Series windows and patio doors.
Visit one of our four showrooms in Green Bay, Appleton, Madison, and Brookfield for more information on our products and the solutions we offer for your specific project. You can also give us a call at 1-800-242-1008 to learn more!