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Replacing Window Screens Is Easy And Inexpensive

(HIT) - Early Spring is a good time to repair or replace window screens. "Besides being a home's first line of defense against flying insects, clean, well kept window screens make a home more attractive," says Peter Miranda, Executive Director of the Insect Screening Weavers Association.

"Even the 'unhandy, handyman' can replace old, worn-out window screens with a few simple tools and inexpensive materials," Miranda says. He explains that there are two types of screening: metal (primary aluminum) and fiber glass.

"Putting new metal or fiber glass screening on existing window frames—whether aluminum or wood—is one of the least costly home improvements," Miranda says. "All you need is a new piece of screening, a screwdriver, utility knife or tin snips, hand roller tool and vinyl coated replacement spline." (The spline is the rubbery strip that anchors screening to a frame.)

Once all materials are assembled, do-it-yourselfers replacing aluminum frame window screens in a single or double-hung window should lay the old screen on a flat surface with the spline channel facing up. To remove the old window screen, pull out the retaining spline (use the screwdriver to get started) and throw away the worn materials.

Now place the new window screening material on the window frame with a 1-inch overlap on all sides. Starting at any corner of the frame, use the concave hand roller tool to secure the screening and spline into the channel. Go completely around the frame, making sure that the screening is held taut. After trimming off the excess, you are ready to install the repaired screen.

The method for replacing window screens on wood window frames is similar, but you'll need a workbench, wood blocks and two C-clamps to make sure the screening is taut.

Start by removing the molding over the spline channel. If one is present this should be done carefully with a wide chisel or putty knife. Next, detach the old window screening as you would with an aluminum window frame and cut a new piece of screen slightly larger than the area to be covered. Staple or tack the new screening to one end of the window frame and lay it down on the workbench with 2-in. x 4-in. wood blocks under each end. Fasten the C-clamps along each side of the screen to bow the frame, then pull the screening taut and tack down the second end.

Once you've secured the ends, remove the clamps and blocks and use new spline and the concave roller to fasten the screen. If the window screen has a center rail, put it back on, then just trim off the excess screening with tin snips and reattach the frame's decorative molding.

"Standard-mesh metal and fiber glass replacement window screening can be bought at hardware and home supply centers nationwide, along with your replacement spline and hand rollers," Miranda adds. With materials readily available and inexpensive, you’ll find that replacing window screens is a simple project.

Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center

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