How to Replace Window and Door Screens How to Replace Window and Door Screens

When the warm spring weather comes along, it doesn't just bring longer days, warmer nights and green grass - it also brings bugs. If your window screens have seen better days and the bugs are thinking the gaps in the screens are waving a big Hello, you need to fix them.

The contents of a window screen repair kit: screening material, rubber spline and spline roller.
Fortunately, repairing window and door screens is a job most homeowners can handle using mainly tools they have around the house and some parts from your local home store. The best way to fix your holey screens is to get a screen repair kit from your home store. This kit will include some screening material (enough for a couple of windows), a length of new rubber spline material and a reusable spline roller. A screwdriver, a pair of scissors and a utility knife are your basic tools.

Most newer screen windows and (patio screen doors for that matter) are put together the same way. The screen is placed over the frame, and then stretched tight by forcing a rubber spline down into a groove all around the outside of the window. To repair a screen, simply take out the spline and throw away the old screening, then cover the window with new screen, install the new spline, and you've got a brand new working screen.

Repairing Your Screen

1. Start by taking your screen right out of the window and find a clear flat space to work. Lay the screen down flat and remove the rubber spline that is holding the screen in place. Do this by checking the corners of the screen - one end of the spline is probably just pushed down into the groove. Use your screwdriver to pry up the end and then pull out the spline all around the screen. The spline is just held in place; there is no glue to worry about. Once you have the spline off, the old screen will just lift off the frame and can be thrown away.

2. Lay the new screening squarely onto the frame and use your scissors to trim it all around the window opening about an inch larger than the opening. Make sure the screen is still square and centered on the frame before you begin attaching it.

3. Starting at a corner, run the spline along the groove at the edge of the frame on top of the screening. Tilt the spline roller to the outside of the frame and roll it slowly along the groove pushing the new spline and the screening down into the groove. Work your way along one side of the window and when you come to a corner, use the tip of your screwdriver to (carefully) push the spline down into the right angle at the corner.

4. After you've worked your way around the corner, use the spline roller to install the screening and spline on the next side. Continue this process all around the window.

5. When you get back to your starting point, use your scissors to cut the spline so it overlaps the corner by about an inch and press it in firmly with your screwdriver. Trim off the excess screening all around the frame. Use your utility knife and hold it so the knife edge is facing away from the new screen.

That's it. The new screen is ready to go back into the window where it can do its job of keeping those hungry spring bugs outside where they belong.

Patio screen doors are essentially just big window screens. You replace a patio door screen the same way you replace a window screen - you just need a bigger place to work.

Click here to purchase window screen repair supplies.

Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer with articles published in both the United States and Canada. He has written on a wide range of topics, but specializes in home maintenance and how to's.

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