window screen replacement

How to Replace a Window Screen

If you’re looking up ways on how to replace a window screen, you’ve come to the right place. Replacing a window screen is a simple DIY project that anyone can do with the most basic of equipment. It’s always better to have a window screen that’s intact. 

After all, it does serve a purpose. If your window screens get a snag, a tear, or a hole, they will greatly lose their effectiveness at keeping insects out of your home. These basic instructions below will show you what you need to do to replace your damaged window screens. 

When You Should Replace

There are several reasons why and when you should consider replacing your window screen. Do keep in mind that for small rips or holes, there is a special screen repair tape that will keep insects out without you having to replace the entire screen. That said, there are several other times when this kind of tape simply won’t cut it. A good time to consider replacing a screen is, of course, when it’s too ripped for the tape to be effective or aesthetically pleasing.

Another instance when you should consider replacing it is when the mesh becomes stretched. Being constantly exposed to the elements and particularly, the sun, the fiberglass fabric will tend to lose its elasticity and starts sagging. This effect is most commonly seen in window screens facing south.

If the mesh is black or has a darker shade, you’ll also notice it fading in color. Over time, this stretching and fading will weaken the fabric, which will cause it to rip and tear more easily. You don’t have to wait for these tears to be visible before you can replace your window screen. 

How to Replace a Window Screen

As we said, replacing a window screen is pretty easy and straightforward. With a few basic tools and a few hours to spare on the weekend, almost anyone can do it. Here are the four steps to replacing a window screen.

Step 1: Remove the old screen – Your screen will most likely be held in place with a plastic cord (spline) that runs around in the channel surrounding the frame. Use a flat-head screwdriver, nail punch, or a similar tool to lift the spline out of the channel. Remove the old screed along with the plastic cording. It’s also a good idea to clean the frame at this time. 

Step 2: Measure the new mesh – place your frame of a flat surface and roll out enough screening material to cover the entire frame. Remember to leave roughly 2” around the board and cut the mesh to size. 

Step 3: Fit the mesh into the frame – Put the newly cut screening material over the frame, making sure that it overlaps on all four sides. Most often, this screening material will come in a roll, which means that it’s still bending at the sides. Try placing it with the curved side down as this will make it much easier to work. Pull the material tight and tape it to the top and bottom of the frame. 

Step 4: Reinsert the spline – If the spline is still in good condition, you can reuse it, otherwise consider getting a new one. Measure and cut it to the same length as the old one. Now, starting on one side, work your way around the frame. Use the convex wheel of a rolling tool or something similar that helps you push in the mesh back into the channel of the frame. Be sure to keep the material tight at all times as you work your way around. Once finished, use the concave side of the rolling tool to push in the spline. Once installed, use a utility knife to trim off the excess material, and you’re ready to go. 

Replacing a window screen is easy and something that you can definitely do by yourself. If you are, however, interested in window replacement or any other type of home improvement project, 1-800-HANSONS is here to help. Get your free estimate here.