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Thanks to screens, we can enjoy being outdoors without all the dirt and insects. Open windows let the breeze in without letting in anything else, and we can picnic on our screened-in porches without the bug spray. Screens can generally take a lot of wear and tear, but when subjected to winds, weather, and contact with people and pets, they start to break down. Fortunately, they are often easy to repair without costly maintenance. In fact, window and door screen repairs can be straightforward DIY projects.
Screens usually come in either aluminum or fiberglass material. Either of these can be patched if the damage is minor, such as a rip or hole just a few inches in length. Hardware stores sell kits specific to the screen’s make and material for patching small holes. Alternately if you have spare screen fabric on-hand you can construct and apply a patch yourself. Start by cutting an even shape around the rip, like a square or rectangle. Place a piece of waxed paper under the hole so the adhesive does not stick to your workspace. Dab a light layer of an adhesive like super glue or rubber-based glue along the edge of the hole--you could use a toothpick or small paintbrush for this step. Cut a patch out of your roll of spare screen that is about a half-inch larger than the hole. Center the patch over the hole and press it onto the cut edges of the hole, allow to dry completely.
If the damage is larger or if you would just prefer to replace the entire screen, this won’t cost you much time or effort either.
If you are constructing a porch or outdoor kitchen and planning for a large amount of screen, you may want to consider using thin posts or vertical slats between large screen ‘windows’ instead of expanses of uninterrupted screen. This lets you take down individual screens to repair or replace instead of more costly, larger-scale fixes.