Screens Need Replacement

Problem: Screen section is loose from frame, has been pushed out, or has suffered damage beyond the scope of small patch repairs.

Background: Older screens may deteriorate from weathering and rust and become vulnerable to damage. Newer screens may suffer damage from abuse and their wood or metal frames may need repair. Note: Broken-out screens on second or third stories of homes should be fixed promptly, especially if small children are present. Though screens are not intended to keep children from falling, screens either damaged or not in place may increase chances of injuries due to falls. Newer screening material available include aluminum and fiberglass.

What to do: Most local hardware stores offer screen-repair service. If you do the repair yourself, you may need a splining tool, available at your hardware store. With wood- frame screens, remove the moulding from the exterior side and pull out the old screening. To get the new screen tight, set up 2 sawhorses with two 2x4s between them the width of the frame. Lay 2x4s under the bottom and top ends of the frame, then use C-clamps in the middle of each side to bow the frame. Begin by attaching the top, bottom, and sides and by pushing the screening into the spline, if there is one, and with staples. Trim off any excess screen, release the clamps, and replace the moulding.
   With metal-frame screens, screening is held in place by a vinyl spline, which is in a groove along the frame. When buying new screening, also buy new spline material of the same size. Use a screwdriver to remove the old spline and screening. Press the new screening in place with a splining tool, using the convex wheel for an aluminum screen, or the concave wheel for a fiberglass screen.

Special advice: To remove mouldings from wood frames without split ting them, use a small screwdriver, putty knife, or a thin, flat pry bar. Break any paint seals with a utility knife, then work under the moulding near the brads that hold it. Re move the perimeter moulding first because the center moulding may be wedged between the side pieces.

Helpful hint: When replacing the screen, also check the frame for loose or broken corners. Mending plates made of heavy sheet metal for strengthening frames are avail able in either flat or angle versions.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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