There’s nothing quite like a cool summer breeze or opening up the window to the sound of nature, but you might regret that decision if your window screen are not maintained. Small holes, tears, or ill-fitting screens can render your window screens ineffective against insects and other critters who might want to join you inside.
Window screens allow fresh air inside your home while keeping bugs out. If you’ve noticed your window screens have failed to perform their protecting duty, it may be time to take a closer look at the state of your screens and perform some routine maintenance and repairs.
A torn window screen can be the start of numerous problems that will make your house difficult to enjoy. Firstly, the hole will be a gateway for all kinds of bugs, some dangerous like mosquitoes and houseflies, to get into your home.
Moreover, a gush of cold wind would be rushing into your house through the opening if it’s winter season. Rather than suffer from a damaged screen, you should take matters into your own hands and attempt DIY window screen repair to fix the problem.
Window screens can get punctured or torn, but as long as the frame is in good shape window screen repairs are easy and can be done in a few minutes. Here’s how to make your screen door or window look good as new.
You should have:
• Utility knife
• Spline roller- used to press screen mesh into the edges of a window frame that is fluted on the inner edges
• Cordless drill
• Awl- a tool with a long, sharp end for making holes in leather or wood
• 4-in-1 screwdriver
You will also need materials to facilitate DIY screen repair.
• Spline- holds the window screen material into the screen frame
• Wood stop block
How To Repair Window Screens with Smaller Holes Or Tears
How to repair a window screen may look overwhelming at first. But understanding the simple ways to get it done will be great. The following steps will guide you and even show you how to repair window screen mesh.
Step One: Pull Out Strands Around The Hole
The first thing to do is pull out some strands from the small tear in the window screen. Ensure that you don’t make the hole bigger in the process of taking out some strands.
One or two strands are enough to serve as a thread to sew up the small holes. Sewing will not work for bigger holes but patching is more effective to seal up the holes.
Step Two: Place The Screen Seams In Neat Lines
Once you have taken the number of strands required, place the seams of the screen on even lines. Make sure there are no gaps in between the seams as these will spoil the neatness of the sewing. If the seams cannot close up without a gap in between, consider patching the hole instead.
Step Three: Sew The Torn Edges Together
After lining up the torn edges, put the strands in a needle and sew them together. If there is a possibility that taking out some will create a hole larger, use a polyester thread. But make sure the color of the thread is similar to that of the screen.
Bigger needles with larger eyes are the best to use for weaving through the window screens. The reason is that this tool will allow the strands to pass through them, making it easier to handle. However, if the holes seem to remain noticeable after weaving, patch it up.
Step Four: Secure The End Of The Stitch
It will take a while to finish weaving through the window screen. Make sure you sew in all the loose strands on the mesh to create neat work. Finally, make a tight knot at the end of the stitch. That way, it secures the weaving and makes it last longer.
How To Fix Window Screens With Large Holes Or Tears
Sometimes the window may have larger holes which can let in bigger pests and rodents into the house. How to repair the window screen, in this case, will require a different approach.
Step 1: Tear The Hole Into A Rectangle
Some holes are too large to close up by weaving and can create more holes if you try to sew them. In this case, first cut off the mesh strands from the holes and make the hole rectangular. Ensure it does not become bigger in the process of giving it a rectangular shape.
If the hole is rectangle now, trim them in preparation for what comes next. If the hole takes more than a quarter of the window screen, replace the screen instead of patching. Avoid tearing the holes closer to the window frame, as this will be difficult to patch.
Step 2: Get A New Screen Material For The Hole
It is time to patch with a new screen material that is big enough to cover the hole. Make sure the material is 1 inch or wider than the hole itself. If you are in doubt, use a tape rule to measure the hole to know how much of the new material to cut.
Step 3: Keep The End Of Screen Opening And Patch Loose
Even if it is a single hung window screen or any type, make the ends of the opening slack to help the new material blend perfectly. Before you complete the patch, turn the edges of the new material inward. The opening on the screen should remain straight or flat.
Step 4: Tangle The Ends Of The Patch On The Screen
At this point, you must have fully come to understand how to repair the window screen. With the new screen material placed carefully over the hole, it is advisable to secure it with silicone glue. But some patching screens come with adhesive and may not need weaving to keep them in place.
Thinking of replacing your screen?
Which Window Screen Replacement Material Should You Go for?
It is important to choose a reliable replacement window screen material so your window screen won’t get damaged again.
You will have numerous options when looking for a window screen replacement material.
Here are some choices of material that you can choose from:
• Aluminum screen fabric is durable, long-lasting, and sag-resistant. It works for most screen projects and tends to be less visible than other screen types. You can find aluminum screens in bright or charcoal/black finishes.
• Fiberglass screen fabric is easier to install than aluminum and doesn’t crease. Fiberglass works for most screen projects and is available in gray and charcoal/black finishes.
• Polyester Sun-shade fabric is heavier and more durable than fiberglass. It blocks more sun, which means less load on your air-conditioning system and less fading of your carpet, draperies, and furniture. It’s also great for pet owners.
How Do You Replace Your Torn Window Screen?
Step One: Remove the Old Spline
Use a narrow-tipped screwdriver or awl to remove the old spline and discard it. After some use, the spline gets brittle; therefore, it’s best not to reuse the old spline in your screen replacement.
Step Two: Anchor the Frame
You need the window screen frame to be steady before installing the replacement screen to prevent it from bowing inwards. This is why it’s important to anchor it to the work surface with a wood stop block. Use the cordless drill to tighten the screw on the wood stop block.
Step Three: Insert the New Screen
Place the replacement screen material on the anchored frame and allow for an overlap of about an inch. Use scissors to cut each corner of the material above the spline groove at a 45-degree angle. Making these cuts will ensure that the screen can fit snugly into the frame.
Step Four: Set the New Screen Inside the Frame
Set the replacement screen into the frame and install a new spline starting from the corner. Make sure you utilize the spline rolling tool to fit the spline on top of the screen material correctly. Workaround the frame until the entire screen is done.
If you notice some wrinkling on the screen, you can sort it out by removing the spline in the affected area, tightening it, and reapplying the spline. You can minimize the possibility of wrinkles appearing by working on parallel sides at once.
Step Five: Trim the Excess Screen
Once you are done fitting the new screen on the frame, use the utility knife to trim the excess screen on the side. Do this carefully so that the blade does not puncture the newly installed screen or scratch the metal frame. You can now fit the screen back on the window. Check that the window screen has the right tension by placing some weight at the center and observe if it sinks before installing.
Step Six: Pro Trick for Proper Screen Tension
During a window screen replacement, if the screen tension is too loose the screen will sag. But if you pull it too tight, especially on larger door and window screens, the tension can bow in the aluminum sides.
Here’s a simple way to get it just right:
• After rolling in the screen on the first two adjoining sides, place a brick or similar heavy object in the center of the screen to create the proper amount of slack.
• Then continue installing the fabric along the third and fourth sides of the screen frame. Remove the brick.
Overall, the process of repairing a window screen is rather simple and an easy do-it-yourself project! Try it now.