How to Repair and Replace a Screen in a Door

Screen doors are an obvious asset to your home. They allow a breeze to enter on a warm day, and help keep nasty pests such as mosquitoes out at the same time. The only problem is, it seems like a screen never stays new long. Kids push against them, causing the screens to come out at the seams, or your pet may scratch at the door and tear a hole. The good thing though is that neither scenario requires you to replace the door itself, or to call in a professional along with a tidy repair bill. Both a torn screen and one that has been pushed right out of its seams can be quickly repaired. Supplies are only a hardware store away.

Purchase Repair Materials

Purchase a roll of replacement screen if you will be replacing the whole screen, or if you know that repairs will be frequent, as in the case of a pet, and replacement is most likely not far off. Otherwise, you can buy a kit that will sell small squares of screen already cut for patch jobs. Also, buy a roll of weather stripping made for the replacement of screens.

Measure and Repair

A hole in a screen will require you to measure both the width and the height of the tear. Add ½” to 1″ to this measurement and place a pre cut piece of screen in the size required over the hole on the outside of the screen. With a small, but blunt tipped needle, and clear fishing line, (Fishing line will not show when used for sewing the patch in place) whipstitch the edge of the patch to the screen, over the hole. Once the edge is sewn in place, go back and sew around the edge of the tear itself, in essence flattening, and stopping the hole from becoming larger.

Measure and Replace

Replacing the screen is even easier than fixing a hole. Removing the door from the doorway can be done first, and will make placing the new screen in place much easier. Find the edge of the seal, typically a round black rubber strip, and pull out. If there is any residue or small pieces that have cracked apart due to old age, be sure to remove all of it. Measure the screen area, cut the replacement screen from the roll about two inches wider and longer than needed. If desired, you can start with the replacement screen only ¾” larger than the opening, saving yourself the trimming process at the end, but it leaves a lot less room for error when actually putting in the new screen.

With new weather stripping in hand, and a small tool such as a regular screwdriver (I used an old credit card actually) lay the replacement screen over the opening, and with the screwdriver or other flat ended tool, place the weather stripping into the corner of your choice, and slowly push the weather stripping into place around the edge of the opening, over the screen. Continually check your progress as you do this, being sure that you keep the screen taught, and in place. Once the weather stripping and screen is completely sealed, trim the excess screen.

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