Very soon now, the warmer, milder weather of spring will motivate us to open windows and doors and feel the fresh air. This goes for flies and insects, too – it doesn’t take much of a hole in a screen for them to fly right into your home. Now’s the time to make sure all of your screens are in good condition. What might you find?
- Holes and punctures in the screen
- Screens torn away from frames
- Window, door or screen parts that are rusted, corroded or damaged
- Screen windows and doors in perfect condition (do a little jig!)
Depending on the condition of your screen windows and doors, you may decide to buy new ones, which can be an expensive proposition especially if your screens are custom-made.
However, do-it-yourselfers are likely to decide on repairing or replacing screens themselves.
How to Repair a Screen
Repair small holes or tears in screens using a patch. Patches will look obvious, yet still do the job of keeping insects out of the house. You will need screen material that matches the original, scissors, a block of wood and a tape measure or ruler.
- Trim the hole of excess or damage.
- Cut a piece of screen two inches larger than the hole on all sides.
- Secure the patch to the outside of the original screen by lacing a piece of wire through completely. Twist the end of the wire around one section of the original screen to finish.
- Or, use about ½-inch of the wires on the edges of the patch on all four sides to secure it to the original screen. Bend the ends over a wood block or the ruler edge of a ruler to form prongs.
- Place the patch over the hole and push the prongs through the screen.
- Bend the prongs toward the center of the hole to secure the patch.
How to Replace a Screen
A less obvious repair job is to replace the entire screen. You will need screen wire fabric, screen staples or tacks, bedding strips or splines for metal frames, scissors, screwdriver and hammer. Metal or nylon screen fabric comes in rolls or large pieces, which is attached differently on wood or metal frames.
- Work with each frame on a smooth, flat surface.
- Remove the damaged screen from the door or window:
- Wood: To free the wire fabric, use a screwdriver to pry up moldings, then remove old staples, tacks and brads.
- Metal: Lift and pull the cut end of the bedding strip up and out.
- Measure and cut the replacement screen fabric on the grain.
- Wood: Cut the fabric 6 inches longer and 3 inches wider than the opening.
- Metal: Cut the fabric 3 inches larger than the opening on all sides.
- Position screen fabric on the frame. Make sure the grain of the screen fabric lines up parallel to the sides of the frame.
- Wood: The screen fabric should extend about 1 inch from the top opening and 1-½ inches from each side.
- Metal: The screen fabric should extend about 2 inches from the top opening and 2 inches from each side.
- Attach screen fabric to frame.
- Wood: Insert screen staples or tacks across the top of the frame every 2 inches. Stretch the screen fabric from top to bottom of the frame, and attach the fabric in same manner as for the top. Tack or staple the sides every 2 inches. Attach the fabric to the center rail last.
- Metal: With a screwdriver, seat the bedding strip and edge of the screen fabric into the metal channel. Push the bedding strip into the channel on top of the screen. Pull the screen fabric taut across the frame and secure the other side, then secure the top and bottom by pushing the wire fabric and bedding strip into the channel.
- Trim excess wire fabric with a sharp knife or scissors and remove.
- Attach molding or quarter rounds. Touch up wood frames with paint, if necessary.
Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with home repair projects. From power tools such as drills and hammers, saws, nailers and staplers, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.