Tom Shafer

Window screens for every problem

August 12, 2015

Now that warm weather is here and you want to keep your windows open, screens are going to be a necessity to keep pesky insects outside your home.

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Window screens are best purchased from the window manufacturer. Buying from the same maker means the screen frame will match all of the windows, and the screen material will be the same design with the same hardware in the same color. However, if the manufacturer is out of business or the window is no longer made, you might have a problem.

If you can't find screens from the manufacturer, check out this website, which breaks down window types, sizes, and ideal screens. Once you know what you need, you can start looking around at local window companies and big box stores.

With a little measuring and careful observation, every home owner can order screens that will fit nicely and match the home. Here's the basic screen types you should be familiar with to get you started:

  1. Fiberglass screens are probably the most popular, and for good reason. It's very durable, inexpensive, and easy to work with. You should have no trouble finding these screens.
  2. Aluminum screens were the old standard. Before fiberglass came along, this was the screen of choice. Aluminum does not easily tear. However, do not use this screen in an environment where there is salt air; it will oxidize quickly.
  3. Porches and patios may need a screen with a thicker diameter cloth. Fiberglass and aluminum screen cloth has a thickness of .011 thick, but porches and patios may need some extra protection due to their size. You can find screen cloth with a thickness of .13 that will do the trick.
  4. For bug problems, the solution is a screen cloth that is tightly woven. Normal screen cloth has holes of 18 x 16 per square inch, but you can find cloth that is 20 x 20 per square inch.
  5. For sun problems, consider solar screens. This cloth is 20 x 30 per square inch, which not only keeps insects out, but blocks 65% of visible transmitted light.
  6. For pet problems, look for special pet screens of 18 x 16 density built with very thick strands of fiberglass. It should withstand most paw attacks.

As you can see, you have plenty of options to make your screens work just the way you want them to. Want to change the strength, color, or darkness of your screens? You can do that, too! Buying screens all in the same color will create a uniform look for your home, regardless of the special type you need for each window.

About the Author

Tom Shafer has decades of experience in window sales, marketing and product development. He's worked closely with window design engineers in testing, design, and building code interpretation. Past employers include United Windows and Doors and Norandex, MI Windows. He currently works at a home improvement retailer.

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