Fix a screen in five steps

Keep the mosquitoes at bay with this simple DIY repair

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There is something so quaint about screens, they let you hear the drone of a lawnmower and allow fresh air to waft through your home. It’s a picture of summer perfection, until the dog puts his nose through it. One little flap or tear can let in an army of mosquitoes, so don’t procrastinate. It’s easy to fix the problem now and you will feel the breeze in no time.

1. If the damage is pet-derived, you can opt for a thicker polyester mesh that’s more durable. Try the options from petscreen.com, which come in shades of black, brown or stucco. Older screens are usually made of aluminum but if you’re not interested in matching all existing screens on your home’s exterior fibreglass is a modern option because it won’t get brittle like aluminum does.

2. You’ll need a piece of screening a couple of inches wider than your frame. Rolls of mesh are available at hardware stores in varying widths. In addition to picking up some screen, you might need spline: that’s the rubbery stuff that runs around the frame and holds it in place. If your spline is cracked or damaged, you’ll need some new stuff from the hardware store (but if it’s in good shape you can simply re-use it).

3. Be sure and get a spline roller, too. It resembles a pizza cutter (Forget subbing in with the culinary gadget – it would cut the spline). The roller is two-sided: The convex roller pushes the screen into the frame, and the concave end sets the spline into place. Pry up the spline with an awl or large nail and remove the damaged screen. Unroll the screening and mark the size you need with chalk and ruler (remember to add two inches to all sides). Cut the screen with a utility knife, trimming the corners at a 45-degree angle so they don’t get bunched.

4. Lay the screen over the frame and work on a flat surface so the screen is taut. Push the screen into the frame with the convex roller. Lay the spline on top of the screen and roll it into grooves by moving the concave end of the roller back and forth in an even motion. Press the screen and spline into the perimeter of the frame at the same time.

5. Use a flathead screwdriver to help you maneuver the screen spline into the corners, continuing all the way around your frame until you reach your starting point. Carefully trim the excess screen with the utility knife along the outside edge of the spline. Now, bring on the mosquitoes and any nosey pups.