Photo: Jean Allsopp and Harry Taylor
For small tears in metal screens, use tweezers to twist the strands into shape and then seal them with a dab of superglue. With a fiberglass screen, use a needle and fishing line to stitch the tear, then seal it with superglue. Don’t pull too hard, or the screen will buckle and you’ll create an uneven pattern.
- If the damage is more than an inch on a metal screen, you’ll want to make a patch. Remove the screen from the window and place it on a flat surface. Use a sharp utility knife to cut out a clean square where the damage is.
- From the replacement screening, cut a patch that’s slightly larger than the damaged portion. Unravel the edges and bend the strands through the existing screen until they’re interwoven. Glue the border with adhesive rated for use with your screen type.
- For large holes or tears that are longer than a few inches in fiberglass mesh-type screening, you’ll want to replace the whole piece of screen fabric. Lay the screen on a flat work surface. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry up the spline that runs around the perimeter of the frame, holding the fabric in place. Remove the old spline and the screen fabric.
- You’ll need a piece of screen that’s larger than the size of the frame, because the excess is trimmed to fit. While you’re at the store, also buy a spline roller and a new spline material that will fit the groove of your screen (you can use the old spline if it’s not damaged). You could also use a putty knife instead of a pline roller so you don’t need to buy a new tool. Lay the new screen over the frame, making sure you have a couple inches of overlap on all four sides. Starting on the top edge, place the spline into the groove and press it in place with the spline roller or putty knife, letting the excess hang over. Check to make sure the screen material is not crooked.
- Once the top is secure, stretch the screen fabric taut and secure it along the bottom. Then secure each side Trim off the excess material with the utility knife.