Stiletto marks in wood flooring, gouges out of the dining room table, cigarette burns in worktops, or even a ‘tag’ scratched across the front door window – here at #Plastic Surgeon we get asked to deal with all of them; and as insurer Allianz reported, teenagers’ parties are a prime source of such damage.
It is only a couple of years ago that a large country house, close to our West Country headquarters, was trashed when the owner’s daughter announced her birthday party on Facebook and hundreds of uninvited guests turned up. The police spent all night dispersing them back across the county, while the #party damage ran into tens of thousands of pounds.
Not all parties go that far wrong but Allianz reports that the average repair bill has risen by a third in the past year to reach £162, a considerable sum and one that will often include the purchase of replacements for the #damaged property. Also, while girls tend to create more mess, it is teenage boys who are likely to cause physical damage.
The Allianz survey covered 2000 parents, of whom 45 per cent had suffered damage done to the family home of varying degrees. Andy James of Allianz Your Cover advised that parents need to be more vigilant about the use of social networking sites, and to set tighter “boundaries”. All we would add is that if damage does happen then consider our Finishers as offering the best and speediest means of putting it right.
Those who are as long in the tooth as your blogger might recall a Yellow Pages advert where a scruffy teenager comes to after a party and finds a big scratch in the coffee table beneath the debris, and wants to conceal it before his parents arrive home. A French Polisher duly does the deed, but then just as he hears his parents coming through the front door he spots a moustache drawn in felt tip pen on an oil painting.
Now we have full respect for the skills possessed by French Polishers and cabinet makers, but they don’t have the array of repair systems at their disposal that our Finishers are trained in using. And with the way our business operates – where clients can opt to buy the Finishers time in half day or other time units – it is possible for them to address a number of very different repairs during a single visit.
Dents or scratches in furniture, floors, kitchen fittings or doors and window frames will normally be repaired using a two part filler and carefully smoothed to restore the original surface. Then the Finisher’s training in colour matching comes into play as they ensure the area is blended back in with the background, while lacquers and other treatments are applied to protect the repair and help get the level of reflectance right.
Our R&D team is constantly working to devise ever more effective interventions as well as ways to match new materials being employed by manufacturers of household objects and building components, while glass polishing is a skill being taught to ever more of our Finishers.
So it is possible for them to take out even quite deep scratches from glazing or ornamental glass by using powered sanders fitted with a succession of ever finer abrasives. An important part of the art being to ensure the glass surface does not become distorted as the area of the repair is reduced.
The good news for homeowners whose offspring have left them with a party ‘hangover’ is that many household insurance companies now sanction our services as a first response to minor damage: reducing cost and disruption for all concerned while also cutting down on the environmental impact of installing replacement items.