Window screens are easily one of the most forgotten parts of any home. They get dirty, saggy and torn, and no one seems to notice. These torn screens are more important than one might realize. An intact screen not only looks better, but also improves a home’s energy efficiency as well as its ability to keep out pests.
It is easy and inexpensive to fix screens with some simple tools and a little professional knowledge. Many homeowners may be surprised at just how beautiful the end result can be.
Repairing the Screen
If choosing to repair the screen, first assess the material it is made of. Most screens are made of fiberglass, metal or plastic. Metal screens are often made with aluminum, bronze or copper. It is important to replace metal screens with the same metal as in the frame. On the other hand, fiberglass and plastic screens are best for wood frames because there is less chance of staining.
After clarifying what material is needed, a thorough assessment of the screen damage will also need to be made. Tears can be repaired in one of two ways: sealing or patching.
To complete a sealing, measure the size of the holes. Holes with a diameter of 1/4″ at most can be fixed with a little bit of household cement that dries rapidly. Slightly larger holes can be fixed by weaving a few loose strands of wire into the screen before the cement is added.
When patching, keep in mind that the screen and the patch should both be made of the same material. It will be necessary to remove the screen from the window, place it on a flat surface and clean it thoroughly. To clean the screen, give it a gentle scrub with a wire brush, or run a vacuum cleaner hose attachment over the surface, and the screen will be made to look almost like new.
Next, use tin snips to cut out a patch of scrap screen material in the shape of a square that is two inches bigger than the hole to be repaired. This provides something to hold onto during installation. The excess that is left over once the patch has been set in place will then need to be trimmed.
It will then be necessary to remove inch of the cross-threads from either side of the screen and then to use a pointed tool like an awl to flatten the wires in place. Loop the scrap wire around the hole to make a 90-degree angle in relation to the area being patched, and push the wires into the screen, being sure to press them all down flat. Spray enamel, paint, or varnish on each side of the screen and let dry completely.
Replace the Screen
Sometimes it is just not possible to repair the damage that has been done to a screen. Some holes are too big and/or are in strange positions that do not allow for easy repairing. In cases like these, it is most likely that the screen will have to be replaced.
There are many things to think about when it comes to complete window screen replacement. It can be a much more involved process than just a simple repair. Our company replaces whole units of windows, not just screens, so if you have done work with us in the past, there are chances that you may be covered under warranty.