How Do I Patch Up A Screen Door?

Get ready for spring by replacing your worn out screen door. It's easier than you think. Read on for basic instruction on this chore.

When warmer weather arrives, the first thing most people want to do is open up their windows and doors, allowing the fresh air to penetrate their winter-weary homes. But winter's snow, winds, and ice can be tough on your home, and every year, there are plenty of projects that need to be done to prepare for the summer months.

A screen door often bears the brunt of winter's rough treatment. Whether it was stored away in the garage or left in place all winter, frequently the screen must be repaired for tears or holes. This is a fairly simple task requiring little skill and a minimum of tools. In fact, you can repair your own screen door with only a hammer, screwdriver, and a pair of scissors or a razor knife.

The first thing that you need to do is remove the screen panel from the door. Screens for newer storm doors are often held in place by screws with large heads that can be finger-twisted off. Full-length screens can either be screwed in or held in place with a rubber strip. In order to replace the screen, you need to remove the existing one from the door. It is also easier to replace a screen in a full-length door if you remove the door from its hinges. The door will probably be held in place by screws on three hinges. Make sure to keep the screws in a secure location one they are removed.

Measure the size of the screen and note the measurements. Screening is usually sold by the roll, although pieces are available for specific sizes. Take the measurements with you to your local home improvement store. Screening isn't always easy to find in the store, so ask someone for help. Once you locate the screening material, you will most likely find more than one color, weight, and texture. Make your selection according to personal preference, but be sure that rolled material is the correct width and has enough length to fit your door. It is always a good idea to buy a little more than you need just in case you cut the screen too short or too narrow.

When you get the roll home, lay it out on a flat surface, and use chalk to mark the dimensions that you need for your door. Always allow for some slack since the screen must be positioned tightly so that it will fit snugly. Only then should you begin to cut the piece. Keep checking to be sure you are cutting the piece squarely and to dimension.

Once you have the screen cut to size, lay the door or screen panel down on a flat surface. Lay the screen over the area to check your cut. If it is not big enough, you will obviously have to cut the material again. If the piece looks to be the right size, you can begin the installation process.

Making sure that there is adequate overlap on all four sides, start at the top left corner of the panel. Take the rubber piece and set it in the channel. Use the butt end of the screwdriver to poke the rubber into the channel. You can also gently tap the channel in with the hammer. Continue running the end of the screwdriver down the rubber, securing it into the channel. When you reach the end of the section, go back and make sure that the rubber is firmly placed in the channel. Run the rubber around the corner and continue the process until the screen is affixed on all four sides.

Take your time doing this, and make sure that the screen remains taut, especially in the center. If you have too much slack, you will need to start over at the point where the tension is lighter. Once your screen is tightly installed, use scissors or a razor knife to trim the excess around the panel. You can then install the panel into the door, or reinstall the full-length door on its hinges.

Note that there are a wide variety of screen doors on the market, and these instructions may not cover all the possibilities. If you have a special or custom door, you may have to buy a new screen from the manufacturer or take the screen to be repaired by a professional. But, in many cases, this is a job that can be done by even the most inexperienced do-it-yourselfer for a fraction of the cost.

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