The tiniest hole in a window or door screen will let pests into your home when you're trying to only let fresh air in. Most of those repairs you can take care of yourself. Fix those holes in the screens so you can open up your house to the summer breeze, but not to the flying and crawling pests that try to get inside. Here is how you can do a simple window screen repair.
Supplies You'll Need to Do the Repair
- flat blade screwdriver
- sharp knife or box cutter
- some old rags for cleaning up
- a heavy book
From the home improvement store, you'll need a window screen repair kit. This contains a roll of screen material, the rubber strip (spline) to hold the screen in place, and a tool for installing the spline. The kit will often contain enough material to repair two window screens or a window and door screen.
Doing the Repair
- Pull the window screen out of the track holding it next to the window.
- Place the screen down with the side containing the rubber spline facing up.
- Find the end of the spline in the small channel around the screen opening and pull on it to remove the rubber strip.
- Remove the screen material from the window.
- Wipe off the frame with an old rag, paying attention to removing debris from the channel in which the spline rests.
- Place the window frame back on the floor with the spline side up again.
- Roll out the new screen material over the frame.
- Position the material so you have at least a couple of inches of material overlapping the small channel.
- Remove the new spline from the repair kit and locate one end.
- Push the end of the spline onto the screen material and into the channel.
- Use the screwdriver to carefully push a couple of inches of spline into the channel.
- Using the concave wheel of the spline tool, roll it along the spline while pushing it gently into the channel.
- Stop rolling when you get close to the corners of the frame.
- Use the screwdriver to push the spline into the channel around the corner angle of the frame where the spline tool is ineffective.
- Repeat on the second section of the window frame.
- After doing two sections of the window frame, place the book on the screen material in the center of the frame. This puts the right amount of tension on the screen material so you don't warp the shape of the lightweight frame as you finish the job.
- Finish pushing the spline into the frame on the last two sides.
- When you get back to the starting point of the spline, cut the other end off and push it into the channel up against the starting point so there is no gap between the two ends.
- Remove the excess screen material by holding a knife or box tool at an angle against the spline and cutting the screen all around the frame.
- Replace the screen window in the window frame and you're now protected against bugs.
Problems That Require Help
There are a few situations where you need the help of a professional that has the right tools and experience.
- If the window screen frame is rusted or corroded and stuck in place, have a mobile window screen repair service come out and fix or replace the frame.
- In an older home, the window screen material may be permanently attached to the frame. You'll need to take the frame into a shop, or call the mobile service, to replace the screen.
- Have a service come out and do the repair if the window screen is on an upper story window and you're uncomfortable working on it.