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How To Remove Broken Or Damaged Spline

Most contemporary screens are held within their frames with the help of screen splines. Screen splines are a rubber tubing-like structure that is pressed into the groove of your screen frames. Over time, there are several ways your spline can become broken or damaged, requiring you to remove and replace it for the strongest possible screens. The first step for removing the screen spline is the same no matter what type of spline you are working with, but each type of damage can require a different removal method.

Remove Your Screen

The first step to removing your spine is to remove your screen from the window and lay it on a flat surface. This will ensure you do not cause damage to the frame or warp it while trying to remove your spline.

Find Your Spline's Ending Point

Finding your spline's endpoint should be easy. The end is generally visible due to its slightly thicker edges. The underside of the spline will be more accessible here than at other points, allowing you to get a knife or other tool underneath the spline to pop it out.

Edging Out Your Spline

For some damaged splines, edging out the spline will be all you have to do. To do this, place the tip of a screwdriver into the underside of your spline. Use some force to lift the spline, pushing it up out of the spline groove. Push out as much as you can, then grab the spline and pull it out of the groove. If your spline is broken in areas, repeat this process until your spline is completely removed. Since you will not be reusing this spline, you will not need to worry about not stretching the spline as you remove it, so pull it out of the groove in the way that is most comfortable to you. You can use pliers or your hands to remove the spline at this point.

Cracked Spline

The cracked or brittle spline can be more difficult and tedious to remove than a broken spline. After years of holding your screen in place, the rubber material has degraded to the point of becoming brittle. Edging out the spline piece by piece may be impossible, as you will find the spline breaks as you try to pull it out of the groove. In this case, you will likely need to use the head of a screwdriver or a utility knife to pull out the spline piece by piece. Be sure you have removed all spline from the frame, or else you will find it impossible to get your replacement spline to fit properly in the spline grooves.

Melted Spline

In some climates, the temperature will get hot enough to melt your screen spline into the grooves of your frame. When this happens, the easiest solution is to buy or construct new frames, but that would be a waste of a perfectly good frame. When this happens, you will need to use a utility knife to cut the spline into manageable pieces, scraping out the spline as you work. This can be a tedious process, but ensuring you get all the spline out of the grooves is important for replacing the spline in your frame. Even the smallest amount of remaining melted spline can make it difficult to fit replacement spline into the grooves.

Examine Your Groove

Once you believe you have removed all the screen spline from your frame, be sure to check the screen groove one last time for any remaining spline. Any leftover spline should be removed easily with a putty knife.

With these steps, you should be able to remove any broken or damaged splines you encounter. If you have any additional questions about screen spline installation or removal, please feel free to contact us via email or phone at 972-438-9100 for more information.