Homeowners that don’t keep up with routine maintenance eventually threaten the structural integrity of their homes. It’s important to stay on top of the little things because, if enough time passes, they grow to monumental proportions. You might not consider pool screen repair to be something that can escalate to such a degree… Until your night swim is invaded by hoards of bugs and mosquitoes that is.
Even with citronella candles encircling the area and the aroma of bug spray hanging heavy in the air, we’ve all made the decision to retreat into the house at some point, right? The swatting and slapping just get to be too much to bear.
Inspections Nip Things in the Bud
It’s a good idea to actually mark time on your calendar to perform routine maintenance inspections. Take a stroll around the exterior of your home looking for any signs of leakage, salt accumulation, and, of course, holes in your pool and window screens. That’s the focus of this article. It doesn’t take a very large opening for bugs and mosquitoes to make their way through… and if it’s an evening event, you can expect them to arrive in droves! They’ll manage to take over no matter how tiny the opening is allowing them entry.
Taking the time to perform routine inspections gives you a chance to catch those tiny holes. And, if you have kids and they discover a tiny hole in a screen, odds are it’s not going to stay that small very long. Moreover, if left unattended long enough, you could be looking at doing an entire screen replacement!
Screen repair is quick and easy
Rather than pay someone to come in and take care of the problem, if you’re into DIY projects, screen repair is a relatively easy task. You should easily be able to complete the job single-handedly.
Let’s run through the steps.
Gather your tools
It’s much easier to gather the things you’ll need to complete the job before actually getting started. It saves you time in the long run. And, if we’re being honest here, it does a lot to keep the frustration level down as well.
Screen replacement may require using the following:
- Whisk broom
- Duct tape
- Wire clippers
- Joint knife
- Needle nose pliers
- Spline roller
- Utility knife
- Water proof adhesive or needle and nylon thread if using wire or fiberglass screen
If you regularly take on home maintenance projects, you’re likely to have all of the above on hand. You may even have the replacement screen stored away. If not, once you have it on-site, you’re ready to proceed.
Repairing the screen
The first step is to clean the area around the damaged screen with a whisk broom. Since you’ve got the Shop-Vac right there, you may as well go ahead and give the whole screen a quick brush down to clear it of any accumulated dirt and debris.
Once that’s done, precut a few strips of duct tape to apply along the trimmed edges of the screen as to prevent further tearing. Next, cut out the damaged screen with your wire clippers or utility knife. If the damaged area is near the edge of the screen, use your needle nose pliers to remove the piece of old spline within the replacement area from the groove of the frame.
Measure and cut a new piece of screen mesh that is slightly (at least 1/2 inch) larger than the cutout. Place the new screen over the cutout and align the patch with the frame. Attach the patch to the existing screen using the waterproof adhesive. If you plan to sew your patch in place, now’s the time to thread that needle. Good luck!
If the patch includes the edge of the screen, use a spline roller to press a new section of spline into the groove after you have finished sewing or the adhesive has dried.
Replacing the screen
Replacing an entire screen is a little more involved than pool screen repair because the screens are so large! The job isn’t impossible to accomplish on your own. However, it’s probably best to have a partner to make things go as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Since the screens are so large, it’s probably best to remove them one at a time and lay them flat on your work surface. Pry the old spline from the groove around the edges of the screen frame. If you’re working with a wooden frame—it might be time to upgrade, friend—the screen is probably attached with staples or small nails. You’ll have to pry out the staples—a flathead screwdriver should do the trick. And, if the screen is nailed in place, you’ll need to have a claw hammer at the ready. Once the screen is removed, dispose of it.
Roll out your new screen to measure and cut. Leave some extra screen overhanging the frame to be secured in the next step. You can use ordinary scissors or your utility knife to cut the screen. It may be handy to have someone hold the mesh screen in place while you cut. Your spline roller allows you to easily secure the new screen into the frame’s grooves. If you’re still using a wood frame, it’s time to break out the nails or staples—we’d vote for at least upgrading to staples. It could save some wear on the thumbs.
Your new screen should be taut, but not over-stretched as that will shorten the lifespan.
Trim away any extra screen material using your utility knife or scissors taking care not to cut the spline. Once the excess is trimmed away, you’re ready to rehang the screen frame and dust off your hands while you admire your handy work.
Winding things up
Pool screen repair is a fairly easy do-it-yourself job that pays off big for years to come. Keeping your screens in good shape holds bugs and mosquitoes at bay while your family enjoys the balmy, summer nights in the pool. You won’t miss the pungent aroma of citronella and bug spray either.
In fact, here’s something to consider. If you get on that inspection now and take care of any little problems you discover, you can pack that stuff away before summer even begins!