Seasonal Screen Maintenance Can Keep Your Home Bug-Free This Spring
Spring often brings with it an infestation of creepy-crawlies. This is in part because insects are waking up from their winter slumber, but it's also because this is the time of year that the windows are thrown open. Even a minor breach in your screens can give entry to the pests. Although most don't survive long inside, they are a nuisance. Locating problem screens and scheduling a visit from a screen repair technician can keep your home bug-free this spring and summer.
Perform a Visual Inspection
A quick visual inspection should reveal any problems. For each window or screen door, look for the following:
Holes. Large holes are easy to find on first-story windows, but they are often overlooked on second-story windows or in rooms that are rarely used.
Small snags or tears. Even though these holes are almost too small to notice, small insects, including no-see-ums and gnats, can easily get in through these openings. Small snags are also prone to becoming large holes in short order.
Fraying material. Stress on a screen and age can both make the screen material weaken. If the screen looks worn or frayed, it's time to replace it.
Border rips. These rips occur where the screen is attached to the frame. You often won't notice these gaping holes by glancing at them, especially if the screen still appears taut. Find these rips by pressing gently on each screen and inspecting the frame joint.
Look for the Perpetrators
Window screens can last decades, but age and weathering will eventually cause damage or weakening. If your screens seem especially hole-prone, check for what is causing the premature wear and tear. Finding the root of the problem helps you make a better replacement choice.
Pets are a common cause of problems. Cat claws can snag or tear screen material, especially if you have a climber. Dogs aren't innocent either. They often press against screens or put their paws on them to look outside. Outdoor wildlife, such as birds and squirrels, could also be damaging your screens.
Indoors, make sure no one is pressing on or leaning objects against screens. Check the window frame interior for any debris or damage that could be snagging on the screen.
Choose the Right Screens
Your replacement technician can help you choose the right type of screen for your particular situation, but it's helpful to be armed with a little knowledge. Screens are usually made from one of two materials – fiberglass or aluminum.
Fiberglass screens don't affect visibility and they are less prone to rusting and other weather damage. They can tear easily, so they are best used in areas where outside stress from pets and people isn't a concern.
Aluminum screens are sturdier and less prone to snags and tears, so these are a good option in areas where pet damage is common. There is also vinyl coated polyester screen options, which are more resistant to pet damage but have the look of fiberglass screens. The polyester screens won't rust, so they may be a better choice in wet climates.
The screen installer will verify which screens require repair or replacement. They will then measure your windows and discuss screen options with you. Once your choices are made, they can usually re-screen your home in just a few hours. Contact a company like Roys Screen Service for more information.