How Do You Repair a Window Screen?

Repair a Window ScreenWhile it is possible to purchase window screens that fit standard size windows, on occasion, you may wish to repair a window screen instead of replacing the entire unit. The reasons can be manifold. Perhaps you have window that is a non-standard size or shape. Maybe your window screen has a sturdy frame in great shape that fits the rest of your house. Or you only have a small damage to your screen and you are looking to fix a small area. Regardless of your reasons, if you always wanted to repair a window screen, but did not know how to go about it, the following guide will give you get you started.

Repair a Small Area with an Adhesive Patch

Occasionally, you may notice a few mosquitoes and flies making their way into your home even though you have a screen in place on all your windows and doors. Usually these unwelcome guests arrive through small holes and punctures in your screens. Wind damage, rust, and aging can cause these small tears, but you do not need to replace the entire screen in order to fix them. There are a few methods you can choose from when it comes to fixing a small area. The first method is the easiest, as you can simply buy 3×3 inch patches that come with adhesive backing. These are usually made of fiberglass in different colors. After purchasing the patch, the only thing you need to pay attention to is covering the entire hole and if you wish, you can also use a pair of scissors to round the corners for a better fit. If your patch is in a visible place, you might find it irksome having to look at it all the time. It may also be difficult to find the right color match for your screen.

Repair a Small Area with Stitching

This method works great for larger or non-regular sized tears and punctures that can be caused by pressure such as your dog or cat jumping up on your screen. To stitch or weave a patch into the damaged area, you will need a piece of extra screen material. You may already have some on hand or can get the piece you need from a neighbor or surplus store. Once you have the material, cut out a patch that covers the damaged area and leave an additional ½ inches on each side. If you wish to proceed by stitching, you can use strands of the screen to weave the patch and the damaged area together. This is a great way to deal with irregularly shaped holes. If you want to fix a fairly regular hole or cut, you can take your patch and gently bend the edges over a rectangular or square object, such as a small box or a ruler. Once you created four sets of raised claws on the sides, hold your patch up to the screen, push the claws through the material, turn the screen around, and bend the claws until they are flat against the screen. This method will give you extra support to prevent the further spreading of the damage.

Replace the Screen

On occasion, it will be necessary to replace the entire screen. If you decide to do so, the first thing you will need to ascertain is the material of your screen’s frame. Wooden frames can be repaired by using small tacks and nails, but for metal doors, you will need to use a special, but usually inexpensive, screening tool to achieve the best results. In both cases, you will first need to remove the old screen and purchase the new screen material. For wooden doors, gently pry staples and nails holding down the screen material off the frame with the help of a flat screwdriver. Sometimes, you may even need to remove a few small screws, so having a drill or a multi-bit screwdriver on hand would not be amiss.

For metal doors, you can remove the old spline with an awl, which will release the screen, according to Family Handyman. Roll out the new screen on top of the opening and cut out the shape you need by leaving 3 inches extra on each side. For wooden frames, use tacks, staples, and nails to attach the new material to the sides then trim off the extra. For metal doors, use the conclave screening tool to push the fabric and the new spline into the groove. Make sure you do not overtighten the screen as this can cause tearing and weakening of the material. Putting a heavy object such as your hammer or a few books in the middle of the screen while you are securing the material to the frame will give you just the right amount of slack.

Keeping all your window screens in good shape will go a long way in helping you enjoy both your home and your everyday life. Nobody likes hunting for mosquitoes in the middle of the night and finding flies in in their dinner. This can be prevented by taking a few minutes to examine and repair a window screen, and once you have the tools and material on hand, it will only take a few minutes of your time.

Related Resource: Repair Sagging Windows