The screen door provides protection from bugs and keeps our furry ones inside; we don’t often think about them until…they need repair. We all know after time your screen door will eventually need some TLC. Having a repairman in the house during these uncertain times can make some homeowners feel uncomfortable. Well, fear not, fixing a screen door is much easier than most would think. With just one trip to the DIY store, or an online order, and a few tools (which you probably already own), your screen door will look good as new! Below, we will instruct you on all the tools you need to repair, patch, or even install new tracks on your screen door.
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Tools You Will Need
Welcome to 2021 where life has gotten more simplified via online shopping! In today’s world, you can click a few buttons, and for $10 receive a screen door repair kit in a day or so. A typical kit includes a screen tool, screen roller tool with bearing, as well as a spline tool. These make it easy to slide a new screen into place. A flat-head screwdriver, a utility knife, a pair of scissors, and clamps will all come in handy for this DIY task. And, of course, let’s not forget about the screen itself. Usually made from fiberglass, and charcoal is the most common color. But the options are many and come at an incredible low price!
Replacing A Screen
When stains, tears, and holes are the consequence of routine wear and tear on the screen of your door, replacing an entrance screen in its current frame is quick and painless. Just put the frame and broken screen down on a flat exterior that you can work around effortlessly.
Removing The Old Screen
If the spline is still undamaged, pull it off to discharge the former screen. Then just keep that cordage for the new screen. Even if the spline is easily removed, be sure to check for sun damage. If it is starting to crack, or has any sun-fading showing, it will be best to replace since the cost is so nominal. For less than $5, you can get enough spline (approx. 25 feet) to secure your new screen door.
If sun damage has occurred, break out that flat-head screwdriver and start digging out the worn spline. Stay safe by plying away from your body! And make certain not to bend the rails out where the new screen will be laid. Once that chore is completed, that old screen will be cleanly removed.
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Installing The New Screen
The first thing that needs to happen is measuring the new screen. Spread the span of the new screen to cover the frame, leaving a half an inch minimum of overlap. The screen will get tighter as you mount it; so, you will finish with additional screen all around the edges. Trimming that excess fabric later is way better than cutting it too close for your spline to not fit snuggly!
Next, the screen spline installation tool has both curved and dipped rollers on it that provides the forcing of the spline into the framework to secure the new screen. Start by taking the spline and aligning it around the screen and the groove in the frame. Using the dipped point of the tool to push it into place by moving gradually all along the entire stretch of the frame. Hang on to the screen tautly with one hand while you rotate with the other. Otherwise, you may discover that the screen clumps in some spots. As you get to the right-angles of the border, drive the spline into the edge, then apply the curved roller to firmly secure it by pressing hard. We always suggest rolling over the full distance of the spline once more with the curved roller to safeguard that it is entirely pressed into the framework.
Lastly, time to cut that extra screen. Employ your utility knife to cut down off any surplus spline and/or screen. To eliminate the additional screen, cut all along the interior of the framework directly above the spline for a lovely, tidy, and professional look!
Patching A Screen
Sometimes, the kitty or new puppy can’t resist playing with the screen. That’s ok because patching is just as easy as replacing a new screen! And again, we reach out to the world wide web to find screen mending and patching products that are very inexpensive and simple to use. One product online claims it’s as straightforward as to just cut their screen slightly bigger than your problem hole or tear, remove the backing, stick it onto your damaged section, then apply heat from your hairdryer. Then trim your excess once dried.
Then, the old fashioned method of patching a screen is actually the same as above. Just get a piece of the same screen you own, cut it to the size of your rip or hole in the screen you need repaired, then gently add a bit of super glue to attach. Make sure you don’t drip anywhere! Use very sparingly so all the little holes of the screen remain as little holes, not a filled in square of glue.
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Dragging Wheels & Other Troubles
While the constant opening and closing of your screen door continues for a long duration, dirt, dust, and hair can impede the movement of your screen door. This is the time when most find the screen door off its tracks, and in your hand, holding the latch with a screen door attached. It can be very frustrating (especially if you were in a hurry and just leaving). There are a few solutions to ensure your screen door stays intact upon every slide.
Adjusting the wheel tension is one of the quickest remedies for a smooth glide. With nearly every screen door, there will be two adjustment screws. These are easily located if you have your owner’s manual, or you can look it up online. Ninety-nine percent of the time, these screws will be at the top or bottom of your screen door. Using a Phillips screwdriver, simply tighten or loosen the screw or screws until you feel the glide is right for you and your home. Too loose, and it will be wobbly and fall off. Too tight, then the movement will be hindered.
Another issue people commonly report is the handle does not flush directly into the port provided. This creates a gap in which bugs can still get into the house. The biggest tip is to never slam shut a screen door! They are not made out of high quality materials typically, so a plastic handle with a piece of metal can easily be misaligned. If this does happen to you, bending back the metal internal clamp with needle-nose pliers can resolve the issue. If it has been bent too badly, a replacement handle is only a couple of dollars and a couple of screws to replace.
Cleaning Or Replacing Wheels
When that grime keeps your glide not as smooth as it should be, then it’s time to clean. Have you ever wondered why keep on old toothbrush? Here’s the reason! First, we suggest blowing out the track with either a blower or canned air first. Get the dry stuff out. Thereafter, clean like there is no tomorrow with that old toothbrush and some grease fighting dish soap. Once everything looks good to go, dry your track and see if that helps the wheels.
Removing the wheels is not a tough job in itself. Unscrew and clean the wheels thoroughly or let them soak in a soapy solution before cleaning if they are really grimy. If this does not give you the smoothest glide of a screen door you have ever felt, then maybe the wheels do need replacing. Checking the current prices on screen door wheels indicates a range from $3.68 all the way to a whopping $14.49 for the “high-end” screen door wheel. Always replace it with the current make and model to ensure compatibility.
Ok, so we waited for the last segment for the toughest issue: Replacing tracks. Please don’t be intimidated. Again, all a screen door is is mesh, metal, and plastic. The steps are pretty upfront. First, remove the screen door. Now, the “hard part” which entails removing the old door track by taking out the screws that fasten it in position. Have someone to help you out by squeezing downward on one end of the track so it won’t bend when you move it. Gauge by accurately measuring the distance of the old track so you know how long the new track should be cut/ bought. Get rid of the upper track from the top of the door in the identical fashion. Taking the old track to your home improvement store to use as a guide will definitely save you multiple trips!
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Final Thoughts About Screen Doors
Seriously, the screen door is something most don’t think about often. When you want fresh air, or easy access to the backyard, the screen door is your best friend! Keep it clean so you don’t have to worry about gummy tracks. Even clean the screen itself once a month with a damp cloth to ensure air is coming in at its highest volume. We all know the infomercial with the magic screen door that is held together with magnets. These are ok for a backdoor, but they will waft in the wind, and open more often than not.
When purchasing a new screen door, the trim of the screen door itself should be paramount. Make certain it fits your décor and does not look too inexpensive. Even screen doors have their echelons. And the price should not be an issue since it will add huge value to your home for only $17.99 all the way up to $430 (as of last price check). Paying this price to maintain fresh air, easy access, and added value to your home should be your next home decision!
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