In many parts of the world, window screens are an important necessity of comfortable living. While extremely helpful in keeping out unwanted intruders and letting fresh air flow in, screens are by nature delicate and often need repair or replacement. Particularly if you have a rambunctious dog and a sliding screen door, as my parents do. In their case, they have learned to keep a roll of fresh screening handy. In your case, hopefully this won’t be quite as regular of a task!
If you have noticed a small hole in your window screen, less than about 3" in diameter, you can simply repair the hole. Plastic screens are difficult to patch and should probably replaced. Fiberglass screens can go either way, while metal screens are easy to patch.
Measure the hole(s) and buy ready-made patches or cut them from new screening. For small holes, the patch should have a minimum diameter at least a half-inch larger than the hole. Larger holes require a full inch extra diameter of replacement screening.
To insert the patch into the screen, unravel quite a few strands around the patch’s edges. Interweave these strands with the screening and bent until the patch is held tightly in place. The stands can usually be bent by hand, but if the screening is heavier you can use long-nosed pliers. Plastic patches also require some household cement on the strand ends after they have been woven into the screen.
Small holes (less than 3/8") with some household cement.
Replacing screens in metal and wooden frames can require different procedures. Because replacing screens in metal frames is easier, I’ll discuss that process first and then move on to replacement of screens in wood frames.
Finally, staple the entire screen tightly in place working from the center brace outward. Remove the wedges and the screen should stay taut. Use a screen rolling tool or putty knife to replace the screen moldings. As with the metal-framed screen, relax and enjoy the peace and quiet your hard work has afforded you!
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