How to Repair Window Screens

You probably don’t give much thought to the screens that are fitted on the windows around your home. But, they are an important feature of a house. Not only do they allow fresh ventilation to enter during the warm weather months, they also keep flying insects such as annoying flies, wasps, bumble bees, moths, and beetles from entering. Window screens also help to keep dirt and grime from reaching the window glass. This makes cleaning your windows and keeping them that way a little bit easier.

Periodically, a homeowner needs to check the window screens on his or her house. Twice a year, during the spring and in the fall, is sufficient under normal conditions. You can easily check them before you install them in the spring. Then, in the fall, you can check them again once you remove them from your windows.

First, you should check the screen for damage such as holes, cuts, and tears. Then, you should check them to see if they need cleaned. Window screens should be cleaned at least once a year by laying them flat and lightly scrubbing them with a soft brush. Rinse them clean with a garden hose and allow them to air dry before you reinstall them. Not only will the removing of the dirt and grime allow the screens to let in more air, but it will also help them to last longer.

Like everything else around your house, screens have a certain lifespan. But, just because a window screen gets torn or a hole in it doesn’t mean its time for the trash pile. You can easily repair problem areas yourself by following these handy tips:

1. If a window screen gets a very small hole it- no bigger than the size of a pencil eraser- you can dab some clear nail polish on it to seal it shut. Waterproof caulking, and clear, all purpose household glue can also be used for larger holes up to the size of a half dollar. You may need to apply the caulking or the glue in thin layers, one at a time as they dry, in order for them to adhere to the screen properly.

2. You can easily fix a slit or a hole in a window screen by getting out a needle and thread too. Use thread that matches the color of the screen material so the repair will be less noticeable. Then, just sew the sides of the slit or hole together. As you sew, keep the thread taut enough so the repaired area doesn’t sag. But don’t pull it too tight either, or it can put added stress on the screen and cause further damage.

Once you have completely filled the damaged area in, tie the thread off and snip off any remainder.

3. If one of your window screens develops a large hole in it, you can easily repair this as well. You can either use leftover screen material you may have. Or, you can purchase a patching kit from your local hardware or home supply store. Just be sure that the patching material matches the material your screen is made of. If you have metal screens, then you’ll need to use a metal patch, for example. And, fiberglass screens require the same type of patch.

Be sure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions in order to achieve the best results. Basically, you’ll need to use a pair of sharp scissors to trim the ragged sides of the hole. Then, you’ll need to cut a patch that will completely cover the damaged area, plus extend beyond it about a quarter of an inch all the way around. Use the adhesive that’s included in the kit (or some clear household glue if you’re using a piece of scrap material) and secure the patch into place.

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