May Home Maintenance To-Do List
By: Danny Lipford
To-Do #4: Repair and Clean Window Screens
To keep mosquitoes and other insects out this summer, repair or replace the screens on your windows, then clean the screens to remove any winter dirt or grime. Here’s how.
To repair window screens:
- To fix small holes in fiberglass screen, gently press the edges of the tear together, and apply clear fingernail polish to both sides. Allow the polish to dry and repeat if needed until the tear is sealed.
- Larger holes and tears can be repaired using a screen patch kit. These are applied by cutting out the tear in a square a bit smaller than the patch. The patch is then applied using adhesive or tiny hooks that bend over the existing mesh. These repairs are quick and easy, but they show.
Watch our video on Repairing Window Screens to find out more.
To replace window screen:
- Lay the screen on a flat surface, such as a deck, patio, or workbench.
- Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry out the rubber spline that holds the screen in place, being careful not to damage it.
- Remove the old screen wire from the groove.
- Cut an oversized piece of screen wire, and lay it over the screen frame.
- Use the convex side of a spline roller tool to press the screen into the groove across one end of the frame.
- Flip the tool over and use the concave end to push the spline into the groove to hold the mesh in place.
- Repeat the process on the opposite side, followed by the top and bottom. Pull the screen tight and smooth as you go.
- Use a utility knife to trim off any excess screen wire.
Watch our video on Replacing Window Screens to find out more.
To clean window screens:
- Fill a child’s swimming pool with water, or construct a frame of 2x4s lined with plastic sheeting and fill it with water.
- Add a squirt of biodegradable liquid dish soap to the water.
- Soak the dirty screens in the soapy water for a few minutes.
- Gently clean both sides of each screen using a soft brush or broom.
- Rinse the screens with a hose and allow to dry before reinstalling.
Watch our video on Cleaning Window Screens to find out more.
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