Rescreening Basics: Fix Damaged or Torn Screens

Torn or damaged screens on doors, windows, and pool cages all render the entire screen system worthless. A screen window or door is your first defense against insects and dust. When damages occur, don’t worry about hiring a rescreening company unless your screens are inaccessible or hard to reach area. Do it yourself with these basic tips and instructions and you’ll be sure to get the perfect screen job for your pool or home, without the high cost of hiring a professional rescreening company.

Removing the Spline

All screens are held into place by a plastic or rubber spline. This flat, oval or round shaped rubber stopper is what is used to secure the screen and stretch it tight when installing. To remove the rubber spline and replace the damaged screen panel, use a pair of needle nose pliers to grasp the end of the spline. The end of the spline is commonly found in the corners of the panels. Once all of the spline and debris is removed from the channels on the aluminum, the screen can be removed and a new panel can be cut for replacement.

Cutting a New Screen Panel

Getting your screen panel tight is the key to success and that starts with the cut. Take your old screen panel and use it as a template for your new screen. Instead of cutting the panel to the exact size it was before, add 4 inches to the overall length and width of the old screen. This will provide you with an extra two inches of screen for stretching on each side. Use a utility knife and a straight edge to ensure you get a square cut.

Installing New Screen

Installing your new screen is easy if you use a small spring clamp to hold the corner of the screen while installing the spline. Using several clamps, attach the longest corner of the screen on the left hand side of the opening (right side if you’re left handed) and stretch the screen across the longest channel first. In the corner of the screens edge leave roughly 2″ sticking out of each side. Use a spline roller and press a small section of the spline into the groove.

Rolling the Spline

Now use the spline roller to insert the screen into place with the 2″ screen edge sticking out. Finish the first side, then repeat the process for the opposite side of the screen, pulling the screen tight as you insert the screen in the channel, then back roll it in place with the spline, every 4-6″ as you move down the channel. Remove any bulges or wrinkles by removing some of the spline and stretching the screen tighter. Cut the end of the spline at each corner, and then trim the screen carefully with a utility knife facing away from the screen.

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