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How To Replace A Damaged Window Screen

by Wade Black

Holes and gashes in a window screen can be a real pain, especially in the heat of summer, when insects are a problem. Luckily, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to replace a damaged screen. If you have window screens in need of some attention, read on.

This article will teach you how to get them fixed in no time flat.

Repair vs. Replace

There's no reason to bother replacing a screen completely if it can be repaired. In general, holes less than 3 inches in diameter can be easily repaired using either a scrap piece of screen, or a store bought repair kit. Make sure your patch is slightly larger than the hole. Then unravel a few wires of the patch and pass them through holes in the screen. Then simply wrap or press the loose ends closed. Voila, screen repaired!

Removing the spline

More extensive screen damage will usually necessitate replacement. Begin by lifting the screen and its frame out of the window. In order to help ensure a professional looking result, replacing a screen should always be done on a flat surface.

The first step is to remove the screen spline from around the border of the frame. This should be done using either an awl, or a screwdriver with a narrow tip. Check the quality of the spline. If it appears cracked and brittle, you should replace it with fresh spline of the correct size. Reusing worn-out spline will increase the likelihood of your screen sagging or falling out of the frame.

Secure the frame

Screen frame are generally made out of lightweight aluminum, a material that can easily bow inward due to the tension of installing a new screen. This can be prevented by carrying your repair out on a wooden work surface. This allows you to screw two pieces of scrap wood to the table along the inside edges of the frame's long sides. These will keep the frame from being bent out of shape.

Install the new screen

Cut a piece of new screen so that it overlaps all edges of the frame by at least 3/4". Then trim off the corners of the screen at a 45-degree angle. This will help keep it from bunching up during installation.

In order to continue, you'll need a special tool known as a screen rolling tool. This tool helps to push the spline down into its groove, thus holding the screen in place. Begin at a  corner and work your way down each side. If you notice any wrinkles or bulges, simply pull the spline back out and roll it again.

Trim the excess screen

The final step is to simply trim away any excess screen. Use a utility knife with a sharp new blade, cutting just above the top of the spline. For more information, contact a company htat specializes in window screen repair.