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Making Window Screens Last Longer

Having window screens to protect your living or work space from bugs and debris is essential when the weather is warm. When your window screens are functioning correctly, they allow you to air out your environment while experiencing a pleasant breeze indoors. With benefits such as these, it's common sense to extend the life of your window screens so that they can continue to serve you with full operability. The best way to make your window screens last longer is to care for them with proper maintenance and cleaning techniques, avoiding and mitigating damage. Though it seems common knowledge that you should take care of your window screens, the how is not as obvious. There are many ways to clean that seem like a good idea but can actually result in causing damage - effectively lessening the lifespan of your screens rather than extending it. We'll go through the most used techniques for trying to extend the life of your window screens and tell you which ones work and which ones to avoid.

 Proper Maintenance Techniques
There are many ways to care for your window screens correctly.
Any time there is noticeable dirt or debris build-up, brush it off. Most screens are relatively durable, so they can handle a healthy brushing! Vacuums with brush attachments are perfect if you're going for a deeper clean. If you are vacuuming, be sure to get both sides of your screen, and don't forget the edges!
If you're going for a disinfecting type of deep clean, make sure you're using the cleaning ingredient that's fit for your screens. Most of the time, the answer is dish soap! You can also use white vinegar, but be gentle with that and make sure to dilute it for older screens. If your screens are nylon or steel, ensure the cleaning products won't cause more harm than good.
Last but not least, taking them down during the winter months can help extend your screens' life. If you do end up opening your windows during the winter, and you're lucky enough to live in an area where insects are not a year-round problem, there won't be many bugs or debris that require a screen to keep out due to the cold weather. Instead of leaving them up and at the mercy of the elements, save your screens from nature's weathering by keeping them inside. This will increase their lifespan more than you'd expect!

Improper Maintenance Techniques
Now that we've gone over the basics of how to care for your window screens let's dive a bit into what NOT to do. Again, there are many ways to clean a screen that seem like a good idea at first but can cause irreparable damage to your screens or lessen their lifespan or functionality.
First of all, never pressure wash your window screen! Pressure washing is great for exterior cleaning, but it's not meant for more fragile materials. The high-intensity water streams can bend your screens or break their edges. While screens are typically durable, they aren't built to withstand that amount of direct pressure. Cleaning them is much easier than a project that requires heavy equipment.

Secondly, don't use harsh chemicals to clean your window screens. They might look dirty and dingy, but gentle dish soap or vinegar is more than likely to get the job done. Powerful cleaning agents can seem tempting but could damage your screens and aren't necessary to clean them without much effort. Dish soap or vinegar will take care of that build-up without requiring much elbow grease. They aren't meant for heavy scrubbing either - that could tear the material! Trust that a gentle cleaning touch with mild cleaning agents is the best way to go.
Lastly, don't count a damaged screen out. A small hole can be patched without much time, money, or energy. Even if you have to replace the whole mesh, saving the frame will save you money. Take the parts that are still lasting, and help them to live on with a few additions.
Keep these do's and don'ts in mind when cleaning your screens, and watch them last longer than you'd ever expect!