Tips for Repairing a Window Screen

All it took was one moth to land on the outside of my screen and my cat came barreling through the house leaping through the screen. I was left with a gaping hole and a dozen flies buzzing through my apartment. Not to fear, repairing a small tear in my screen was actually quite simple, and much cheaper than buying a whole new screen.

Repairing small holes in your screen is rather easy. First of all, pop your screen out of the window frame. Since most screens are metal based, take tweezers or a small pointed tool to push the strands back together. It is usually fairly simple to manipulate it back into place. For any small holes that are left behind, apply a quick coat of clear nail polish or household cement.

If your screen does happen to be made of vinyl or fiberglass follow the same procedure to push it back together. When filling any holes that remain, be careful that the nail polish or cement do not run since the chemicals in them may dissolve these types of screen.

For larger holes, say where a cat may have charged through, it may be easier to cut the torn part away. You can pick up some screen at your local home improvement store. To save a bit of money, ask if they have any scrap screen around since you won’t need that much. Make sure to use the same material of your original screen. When you are using metal, use like metals to avoid corrosion.

Remove the screen from your window to begin. The patch you have cut should be about an inch bigger on all sides. For the outside half inch, pull wires away leaving a fringe of wire. To apply the patch to the screen, interweave these metal fringes with the mesh of the screen. Bend them towards the center of the patch. Use a piece of wood or a hard object to make sure it is flush. Finish off by stitching around the patch with nylon thread.

If you have a vinyl screen remove the screen as instructed above. Now, measure your hole and cut a patch 1/2″ larger on all sides. Line your patch up against the screen. Unroll aluminum foil and set it shiny side down on top of the patch. Using a household iron, cover the tin foil. The heat will fuse the vinyl patch to the screen. Be sure that the iron does not touch the patch or the screen. Using nylon thread, sew along the edges. Finish by dabbing clear nail polish along the edges to prevent your patch from fraying.

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