Window screens primarily provide the function of keeping insets out when windows are raised or opened for ventilation. Sometimes the screen fabric gets cut or torn and requires repair to retain utility. There are three primary methods of repairing holes, cuts and tears in window screens. The selection of the method used is dependent on the location of the screen and the type of damage.
Small tears and cuts can be repaired by stitching the damages area using small gauge wire similar in size to that of the screen fabric which can be obtained from a hardware or home improvement retailer. Use a large gauge sewing needle, thread the wire through the eye of the needle and then stitch up the tear or cut similarly to repairing a piece of cloth fabric.
Holes cannot be effectively stitched in most cases and instead require application of a patch. Obtain some screen material from a hardware or home improvement retailer along with a supply of small gauge wire similar in size to that of the screen fabric. Cut a section of screen material that will cover the hole and then using a large gauge needle threaded with the wire, stick completely around the patch to apply it to the existing screen.
While stitching and patching are at times cost effective ways to repair window screens, for damaged screens that are installed at the front of a house or that are too badly damaged to make stitching or patching practical, it may be necessary instead to re-screen the window screen. This is still less expensive than buying a replacement screen or screens since the wire screen fabric is the least expensive component. Wire screen material can be purchased from hardware or home improvement retailers by the foot. To re-screen a window, measure and cut a section of replacement screen material that is about ¼ inch longer and wider than the window screen frame. Using a small punch or flat tipped screwdriver, pry the beading material (spline) from the interior side of the window screen being repaired and then remove the old screen material. Lay the frame on a smooth surface and place the new screen material over the interior side of the frame and then reinstall the beading material (spline) by pressing it into the grooves from which it was removed. If the spline is too weathered to be re-used, you can also replace it with new material obtained from the same source as the wire screen replacement fabric. Once the replacement screen fabric has been installed, use a pair of standard pliers to pull at the edges of the screen fabric along each side of the frame to pull it taught. Any excess fabric can then be trimmed off using a pair of scissors.
“Replacing a Screen in an Aluminum Frame”. Home Depot. August 7, 2009.
“Patching a Screen”. Home Depot. August 7, 2009.