How to Re-Screen an Old, Broken Screen

Updated on October 30, 2017
Msmillar profile image

MsMillar has been a writer on HubPages for six plus years. She enjoys the freedom Hubpages allows for her to explore her creative side.

Re-Screen Your Screen Window and Doors

You can re-screen your windows yourself! It's easy, and they look great when you're done!
You can re-screen your windows yourself! It's easy, and they look great when you're done! | Source

Re-Screen That Window Screen (or Door Screen)

Do you have an old window or door screen that has ripped, torn, or disappeared altogether? You can replace it with ease.

Is the frame broken at the corners? No problem! It can be re-screened, and it's as simple as anything you have ever done before!

That old, nasty screen window will look fantastic when you're done, and those pesky flies will stay where they belong: outside!

For Whom This Applies To

Just so we understand one another, I'm writing this article with the lay person in mind. This is not for the professional window screen repair person (if there is such a person), or the gal with all the nifty tools in her garage. This is for regular Jane next door that wants the dang screen back on the window.

This is an easy fix, with tools that can be found around any home.

In the box below is a list of the tools you are going to need to complete this little task, and the alternative tools that can be purchased:

Tool List

 
 
 
A window screen to re-screen
It can be a broken window screen (if broken at the corners)
It can be a door screen
1 Roll Window Screening
It's purchased in a roll from hardware stores, Walmart stores, Target stores, Kmart stores, well you get the idea, almost anywhere!
There are several varieties of screen such as: heavy duty, pet screen, metal screen and standard.
A butter knife
A screwdriver works for me, or you can purchase a window screen roller.
This is used to press the plastic window screen retaining strip back in the groove.
Scissors
Razor blade, knife.
Use this to remove the excess screen.
A square
Piece of paper, anything with two straight edges.
A square is used to make sure the screens sides are straight at the corners. I don't use one, but you may want to.
Yep, that's all you need!

Re-Screening Tools

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pet resistant screenScreen rubber strip securing device.A square.
Pet resistant screen
Pet resistant screen | Source
Screen rubber strip securing device.
Screen rubber strip securing device. | Source
A square.
A square. | Source

Remove The Window Screen From The Window

Before we get started, you're going to need to get the screen out of the window frame it's in.

Your standard window screen is a snap to remove. There are two leaf type springs on the top of the window screen frame that hold it in position. You need to compress these leaf springs to get it out. From the outside of the house:

  1. Put your thumb and index fingers on the top metal part of the window screen while it's in the window.
  2. Press upward with your finger and thumb, like you are opening a window. The whole screen frame should move upward about a half inch. If it did not move at all, it's stuck. Press harder, or get a screwdriver and go to step three.
  3. Once you have pressed the screen frame upward a half inch, the bottom will sometimes pop out for you. If it doesn't use the tips of your fingers, or a screwdriver and slip it in the gap at the bottom of the screen that you create by pushing up on the top.
  4. Once you get the bottom of the screen pulled out, pull down and out and the top will come out.

Inserting the screen is the reverse of the previous four steps except use the screwdriver, or your fingers so press the bottom of the screen in once you have the top part in. Remember the top of the screen is the side with those leaf springs.

About The Screening

Window screens come in a variety of strengths. I use the pet-resistant screening. There's also standard screening and a wrinkle-free (wrinkle-resistant screen). They all work, but the pet-resistant screen will not shred as easily as the standard one. For about $20 per roll (at the time of this writing 2017), it might be worth it to a pet owner. The pet-resistant screen will not resist Fido from bounding through it! It will not resist your cat climbing up it! It will hold up longer to these attacks, but not forever. If you have pets that wreck havoc on your screen, your best bet is to put a metal wire mesh screen protector over it. The one I installed for my front door is shown below. I wanted something that would look nice because it is my front door, but not too expensive. There are different varieties you can choose from. I just liked this design.

Let's Get Screening!

Choose an area where you can work with a flat surface (e.g. driveway, pool table, ping pong table, front room floor, etc.) Depending on the object you are re-screening, choose an appropriate size area.

You can follow along with the thumbnail pictures below which have captions explaining which step is depicted. I am using a screw driver, so I will be referring to a screwdriver when you can use one of the alternative tools (listed above in the table) if you so wish.

  1. Lay out your screen frame on the flat surface.
  2. Locate the ends of the rubber retaining strip inside the edge of the screen. Wedge your screwdriver in the gutter, and pick out one of the ends. Doesn't matter which one, just end one of the ends out.
  3. Take that end in one hand, and hold the screen down with your other hand, and pull the rubber retainer out of the gutter all the way around the screen.
  4. With the rubber retainer removed you can pull any old screening out of the frame and toss it in the trash.
  5. I like to wipe down the rubber retainer with a cloth to get the dirt build-up off of it. Set the rubber retainer somewhere safe. If it becomes lost, it can be replaced at the hardware store. (If you have kids, put it up out of their reach, or you may find them chasing each other around the house whipping it around).
  6. You have the screening out now, and the frame lying there in front of you. Is it dirty? This is the time to clean it up. Do the grooves have build-up in them? Clean it out with a tooth brush and some window cleaner. If the corners are broken skip down to repairing corners.
  7. Leave the frame lying on your work surface with the groove (that you removed the rubber retainer from) facing up.
  8. Open your new screening material, and roll it out over the frame.
  9. DO NOT CUT the screening yet. Locate your rubber retaining strip, and lay it out along the groove, on top of the screen, matching corner to corner if possible.

Put On The Screen

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Start at one of the corners by pushing the rubber retaining strip into the groove. I chose the corner that was broken to begin with. It doesn't matter which corner you choose to start at.Set the broken corner next to each other as they should be.  Lay the rubber strip along the broken corner......press the rubber strip into the groove.  It will hold the broken corner together.  This is not good for the long term. When the screen is ever removed it won't hold up.Pull the screen to make it flat, but don't pull too hard or it will skew the frame.
Start at one of the corners by pushing the rubber retaining strip into the groove. I chose the corner that was broken to begin with. It doesn't matter which corner you choose to start at.
Start at one of the corners by pushing the rubber retaining strip into the groove. I chose the corner that was broken to begin with. It doesn't matter which corner you choose to start at. | Source
Set the broken corner next to each other as they should be.  Lay the rubber strip along the broken corner...
Set the broken corner next to each other as they should be. Lay the rubber strip along the broken corner... | Source
...press the rubber strip into the groove.  It will hold the broken corner together.  This is not good for the long term. When the screen is ever removed it won't hold up.
...press the rubber strip into the groove. It will hold the broken corner together. This is not good for the long term. When the screen is ever removed it won't hold up. | Source
Pull the screen to make it flat, but don't pull too hard or it will skew the frame.
Pull the screen to make it flat, but don't pull too hard or it will skew the frame. | Source

Repairing Corners

If the corners of your screen are broken, no problem. I have used all three of these methods successfully. Depending on the location of the screen I would use the appropriate repair. Back door, something cheap and simple, front door, something nice to look at. There are three methods to fix this:

  1. Simple Repair (good for a single broken corner at the back door): Not really a repair but a look-away method (when the screen is done, just look-away from that corner). Line up the screen corners as they should be. Insert the screening and rubber screen retainer, the rubber will hold the screen frame in position. Be careful lifting the screen so it doesn't go out of whack.
  2. Actual Repair (when aesthetics is important): There are replacement corner inserts at the hardware store for the corners. Remove the broken one from the screen, and put the new one in and press the corners back together.
  3. Actual Strong Repair (good on front or back doors of multiple broken corners): Using metal triangles, purchased or homemade with some scrap sheet metal, these are placed across the corners and screwed in (some snap in) to reinforce the strength of the screen frame.

Inserting The Rubber Strip

This is the part that holds the screen in the frame. Take your time. Be careful with the tool you choose to press the rubber into the groove. You don't want to have your tool slip and rip the screen. Just take your time.

  1. Starting at one of the ends of the rubber stripping, push it into the groove with your screwdriver. Move down a few inches and push the rubber strip in again, move down a few inches and do it again. Pressing the screen in can be difficult sometimes. A small squirt of WD 40, or some spit, can go a long way here to make the rubber retainer slip in easier.
  2. When you come to the corner, stop. Go to the other side of the screen. Flatten the screening as you want it to look. Starting at the corner press the rubber strip into the groove, move down a couple of inches and press it in again, all the way to the corner. So, now you have the two opposite sides pressed in at intervals of a few inches.
  3. Step back and look at the screen. Is it wrinkled? Is it straight? Remove wrinkles by gently pulling on the screen at a corner,or along the side. The rubber retainer will give a little so you can get the wrinkles out (especially if there's some WD 40, or spit in there). Do NOT pull it taunt! If you pull it tight you risk the screen becoming askew when you are done.
  4. When the screen is to your liking, go back and press the rubber retainer in all the way into the gutter (see short video above).
  5. Once those two opposite sides are in, start working on the other two opposing sides.
  6. If there is a broken corner, now is the time to line-up the broken corner into it's position, so when you press in the rubber retainer, it will hold the broken corner in place!
  7. Now, press the rubber retainer in every few inches just like you did for the other sides. Move to the last side. Stand back and look for wrinkles you want to remove, gently pull on the screen to remove them.
  8. If it is nice a flat, press the rubber retainer into the grooves the rest of the way on both sides.
  9. Using scissors, or a razor, cut the remaining screen off along the edge. Be extra careful to NOT cut the inside screen, but just the extra outside portion.

You are done! Congratulations!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)