If your aluminum screen doors or windows welcome bugs along with the breeze, here’s how to fix it.
(Replacing screens is easier working flat, so take down the door, section or window if it’s not too much trouble.)
Screens are held in a groove by a metal, plastic or rubber strip called spline. Find where the ends of the spline meet, gently pry out one end with a screwdriver and pull it out of the groove. Then remove the screen and clean out the groove.
The old spline may be shot, but just take it down to the store when you pick up your screening and get some more of the same size.
Screening is usually made of aluminum or fiberglass. Differences? Aluminum lasts longer, but it’s a little tougher to work with and costs a bit more. Get enough to cover the opening with at least a few inches extra all around. And pick up a screen-door tool, which looks a little like a pizza cutter. It saves you time and eliminates the risk of puncturing the screening with a sharper tool.
Back home, lay the screen over the opening, and when you’re satisfied it’s straight, tape the corners in place. Insert the screening in the groove with the screen-door tool (if yours has two wheels, use the convex one), and slowly work your way around the door. Keep the screen neat and straight, and pull it taut as you go. Review your handiwork and if it passes muster, push the spline into the groove with the concave wheel of your tool. Cut the spline so that both ends meet snugly.
Finally, trim the excess screen with a utility knife, and rehang the door or window. Now, about those flies that got in the house…