Things happen, and that’s as true for screen windows as for anything else in your house. Pets make holes in them, they get ripped or sliced by accident, and most people think that the entire window, including the frame, will have to be replaced. But that’s not true, and Eric Huber with Blaine Window Repair Service is here to show you that you can easily repair your screen window with just a few tools and a little expertise.
What’s in a screen window?
The first thing to understand is how your window is constructed. A screen is usually held in with a rubber spline, which is another way of saying slat: it’s a long, narrow, thin strip of any material, in this case rubber. So the first thing that you want to do is remove that spline.
To remove the spline, just take a standard screwdriver and work it under one end, and then move it all the way down so that all of the screen has been removed from it. Once the spline is out, it’s easy enough to remove the old ripped or otherwise defective screen material.
Think about materials
Once you have the old screening material (Huber refers to it as “wire”) out, you can discard or recycle it, and you’re ready to replace it with new screening material. There are, as Huber points out, a number of different screening materials from which you can choose. He notes that there’s aluminum screen wire. There is also, he points out, a new kind of solar reflective wire that would help keep some of the sun out. What you really want to do is consider what use the screen will get: is it in a window where nothing is apt to encounter it? You can use a lighter material. But if it’s going to get heavier usage and potential tearing, then you’d choose another material. “There is a copper wire and a heavier mesh of pet screening which would help with in the padding of your door screen, help if you have a cat or a dog that you want to call to come in, this would help from tearing so easily.”
Measure your new screen
Once you’ve selected the appropriate material, you want to unwind it and roll it over the screen frame you have from your old window. It needs to be overlapped on the edges by about an inch or two. At this point, you can put the spline back in. Start at one corner of the screen and press it down into the screen groove. Once the spline has started, it’s easy enough to roll it back in. The way to do that is to take a screen roller. Holding one end of the spline up to the opposite end from which you are starting, just roll it in. When you
reach the corner, all you have to do is make the corner and then press it in exactly as you did at the start of the procedure. Again, hold the opposite end from what you were restoring and roll it in.
Complete the procedure
This brings you to the final edge. Once you have fitted the spline in, make sure to double-check your corners (you know the old adage, measure twice, cut once? It definitely applies here!). Make sure that the spline is pressed in tightly. Then all you have to do is trim off the excess wire. Taking the utility knife, just lay your razor blade on the outside edge of the spline and trim off the excess wire.
Once you’ve trimmed all four corners your screen window is fixed.