Replace Metal Frame Insect Screening Replace Metal Frame Insect Screening

Because window screens are custom-sized to the windows they were designed for, repairing window screens is much easier than trying to locate and properly fit new screens.

There are a few different ways to repair window screens. The size of the hole (or holes) and type of screen material will determine how window screens are repaired.

Hole Repair

Plastic "faux screen" repair kits are available commercially. These kits consists of two clear stickers printed to look like window screen. They do an adequate job, but are not truly screen -they're simply plastic cover-ups used to close up screen holes.

To repair individual holes in screen made from fiberglass (flexible, lightweight screen materials), cut a section of screen half an inch larger than the hole (all around). Glue the patch section in place with clear household cement. Very small holes can simply be filled using the glue.

For metal screen hole repairs, cut a patch of screen one inch larger than the hole all around. Loosen the weave of the metal screen patch to free wires all around the patch. Press the screen patch flat against the screen. Pull wires through the screen and bend the wires back through to the front side of the screen. Press ends flat against the screen.

As an alternative to either method, sew screen patches into place using clear fishing line and a very thin needle.

Replacing an Entire Screen

For screens with large tears or multiple holes, it is best to replace the entire section of screen, using the existing frame.

On wood-frame screens, first pry off the molding with a putty knife. Remove staples and old screening. Reinforce corner joints as needed.

Cut a new section of screen 4 inches wider and about 10 inches longer than the original screen. Center the screening so that the screen overhangs the frame on both ends. Staple one end of the screening to the frame (fold over lightweight screening before stapling for security). Work from the center to the sides when stapling.

Clamp the center of the screen to a table or workbench. Pull the screening firmly but gently to bow the frame slightly. Staple the screening to the second end of the frame. Remove the screen from the workbench and staple screening to each side. If the frame has a rail through the center, staple it last.

Trim excess screening all around. Cover the edge of the screening with thin molding and secure. Repaint or refinish the frame as necessary.

On metal-frame screens, first pry up an edge of the small plastic tubing (spline) that holds the screen into the frame and remove the spline. It is best to discard the old spline and replace it with new material. Cut a section of replacement screen a little larger than the screen frame. Cut a 45 degree angle at each corner to relieve the screen.

Start with one end of the screen. Lay a section of new spline over the screen and press the spline and screen into the frame with a spline roller. Press firmly on the tool in short strokes.

Pull the screen tight over the frame. Attach the second end of the screen with the spline and tool. Finish the sides last. Trim away excess screen.

All the supplies needed to repair screens can be found through any home center. Replacement screen is sold by the roll. Spline and application tools are readily available where screen is found.

Repairing window screens takes little time and is an easy home repair most anyone can do. Enjoy the comfort of fresh air, through hole-free screens free from pests throughout the season.

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