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Tips for Replacing Your Screens this Spring

When spring rolls around, it will be about time to replace the screens on the windows. Window screens should be replaced in spring because they have likely become dirty or damaged after a year of protecting your windows. The sun’s rays can also cause damage to screens over a year, so replacing them in spring can help keep your home looking its best.

We’re here to make this year’s spring cleaning process much easier. If you’re replacing window screens for the first time, have struggled in the past with this type of maintenance, or just need a simple refresher, then this guide is for you. Make changing your screens this year simple and successful with these steps:

Before You Start

The first step in the window screen replacement process is picking the right screen for your windows. You’ll want to find screens that suit the needs of your home. Window screens are typically made from fiberglass. Simple yet effective, it’s an ideal choice if your main priority is to protect your windows and house from common elements like heat, storms, and insects. You could also come across screens that are already framed, which are convenient and have already had most of the hard work done. However, these are already made with specific window measurements, so you’ll need to find one that fits your window perfectly.

If you own pets, there are screens out there that are pet resistant. They are less likely to snag or be damaged by your pets. You might also consider screens made with darker and closer-knit materials. These kinds of screens are successful at limiting the light and heat entering your home. When you choose the kind of screen that works best for you, grab some spline if you have a metal or vinyl frame, which is the rubber seal that keeps the screen in place, and a spline rolling tool, too. You’ll need a staple gun, a prying bar, and a hammer for a wood frame.

Replacing Your Screens

1. Take the Old Frame and Screen Out

Remove your screen frame from the window. If you cannot do this by hand, try to gently pry it off with a screwdriver. Place the frame on a flat table and remove the old spline from around the outside of the old screen.

If you’re working with a wooden frame, use your prying bar to carefully lift the molding off. Unlike spline, molding can be reused, so remove slowly and don’t rush. You can remove staples from a wood screen with your hammer and possibly a pair of pliers.

2. Measure and Cut the New Screen

Roll your screen out over the window frame, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of excess screen covering all four sides of the frame. You can cut these screens with a pair of scissors. Always leave a little extra on the sides in case you make any mistakes. It’s better to have too much than not enough.

3. Use Stop Blocks and Clamps

A stop block is useful for keeping your frame still. If you’re working on a workbench, you can take a small, rectangular scrap of wood and temporarily screw it into the table. Without one, your frame runs the risk of bending and warping as you apply your screen tightly. Clamps help keep the screen in place. Use between 2 to 4 on the opposite side of where you plan to roll the screen.

4. (For Metal and Vinyl Frames) Press and Roll Your Screen

On the opposite side of your clamped area, press your screen into the groove of the window with your rolling tool, where the old spline you removed used to be. Start from one corner to the next and avoid leaving bubbles. With your roller, press the new spline into the frame where you’ve just pressed in your screen. Push firmly and slowly. Note that this may take several times to roll in. Repeat for all sides, then cut off any excess screen when finished.

5. (For Wood Frames) Staple Your Screen

Evenly spread your screen on the back of your wood frame, then from corner to corner, begin stapling it to the frame. You want to staple at about every inch you go down. Make sure the screen is tight on all sides as you go. Cut off the excess screen and hammer the molding back in with nails.