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Installing Screen Mesh


window screensInstalling window screen mesh isn’t difficult, but you need to make sure the window frame (or door frame) isn’t bent. If the screen’s frame is bent, it will be too weak to hold the tension of the screen as it is stretched across the frame. If you use the right material, the job is easy.

Choose the right thickness of window frame. The screen’s frames come in 2 different thicknesses, so measure before you go buy a replacement, or better yet, take a piece of the old frame with you so you can compare the thicknesses. If you are reusing the old frame, make sure it is in good condition.

Most of the screening materials are fabric (rather than the old style metal), and they last long and trim easily with a utility knife. Also get the right size of spline. The spline is the rubbery cord that holds the screening material in the groove. Too fat and it’s too hard to push in…too thin and it won’t hold tension.

Cut the piece of screening so it overlaps the frame by a few inches. Start at a corner and push the spline into the screen until it rests in the groove. A spline roller is best for this as it won’t cut the fabric and you can roll it down the length of spline quickly. When you come to a corner, you may have to tug a little on the screening material and carefully push the spline into the groove, but it is quick. You may also have to cut the screening material at a 45-degree angle outside the frame so that it lays flat and doesn’t wrinkle.

When the entire screen has been rolled, use a utility knife and cut the screening material against the frame.

Replacing Window Screen Mesh And Spline


window screenWindow screens are nice to have, unless yours is tattered and flapping in the wind. In most cases, the screening mesh has torn, rather than the spline pulling up from the window screen’s frame.

If the window screen frame is bent, just replace it. Trying to put new mesh on a bent frame is a waste of time and money. Here is an article on window screen installation.

If the frame is straight, cut the mesh several inches larger than the frame and lay it over the frame on a flat hard surface. The mesh will get tucked into a groove on the back of the frame with a spline. A spline is nothing more than a continuous piece of round rubber with little fins sticking out of it. The spline gets pushed into the groove and holds the mesh in the groove with the friction from the fins on the spline.

Starting at a corner, lay the spline over the mesh and push it into the groove. The right tool looks like a mini pizza cutter and makes quick work of this job. If you don’t have the tool you can always use a blunt object, like a screwdriver, but be very careful as the mesh cuts easily from an errant push with a screwdriver.

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