How to Repair a Screen Door and Keep Your Rural Home Mosquito-free This Summer!

| 5/30/2011 12:02:51 PM

Tags: how to repair a screen door, how to screen door, fix a screen door, replacing a screen door, how to replace a screen, how to replace fly screen, mosquitoes, Victoria Gazeley,

A photo of Victoria GazeleyIt's coming on summer - time for the mosquitoes and flies to begin their annual invasion.  And time to dig out the screen doors to check for holes and tears that would allow those voracious little bugs into the house to feast on your flesh!

If you live in the country, you know that trying to get through summer without a screen door is simply inviting a stress that absolutely no one needs. Honestly, I had no idea how miserable mosquitoes could be until I moved to our little cabin in the woods. So, after that first summer (and a zillion mosquito bites), we installed an inexpensive wooden screen door on each of our entrances. Now, ideally it would be great to just leave the screens on year-round, but our front porch is just too tiny to have room for putting on boots, taking off wet winter coats AND having space for the screen door to open. So we remove it every year. And of course, that means it's in storage, and subject to the abuse that comes with people rooting around the shed all winter. This year, it resulted in a number of holes and a stretched out screen.

So what do you do when you need to fix a screen door? Take it in for repair? Just replace the whole door? Or replace the screen yourself?

I chose the latter. Here's the process.

Step 1 - Buy the MaterialsScreen door repair kit.

I visited our local building supply store one afternoon and picked up a ready-made screen repair kit.  It included the screen material (sized for a patio door), the spline (the material that holds the screen to the frame), the installation tool and a tiny razor knifeTotal cost?  $13 plus tax.  You can purchase kits in various sizes for windows and doors.  You can also purchase just the screen material, so if you have to do a repair in future, you won't have to purchase another kit because you'll already have the tools.

Removing the spline.Step 2 - Remove the Screen

So came a sunny Saturday afternoon that seemed conducive to a screen door repair.  I laid the door out on the picnic table, opened up the kit, and checked the time: 2:23 pm.  I thought I'd be at it for 45 minutes or so, but it turned out to be much less time than that.

johnny shi
3/23/2015 5:00:42 PM

We have two screen doors at our house and I was thinking about replacing the whole door instead of just the screen. I saw your post, also I saw that screen door repair only took you twenty five minutes, and I decided I might be able to do this myself. I guess all I needed was a good example of doing it yourself. You have been extremely helpful, thank you.

victoria gazeley
6/12/2011 10:31:27 AM

Great idea to mount it for winter - we'll definitely be doing that next year!

shane comeback
6/2/2011 9:05:32 AM

Good advice all around

6/1/2011 8:47:26 AM

Thanks for the great ideas. And, I love the Grit magazine. Just a thought about your screen door storage. Perhaps you could just mount it on the wall of that storage shed, inside or outside. Just put the screws through the door's hinge holes and mount it cross-wise, on the wall, in a safe area. MyraSaidIt

victoria gazeley
5/31/2011 4:35:00 PM

Gee, I didn't think of that. Hmmm... I should have included a disclaimer!! ;o) Yes, those who don't live with flying bugs really can't believe it til they experience it. I look at pictures and movies of all these lovely outdoor dinner parties and all I can think is 'that could never happen here'... Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story!

nebraska dave
5/31/2011 11:55:13 AM

Victoria, you have just opened a door so to speak. All those friends and neighbors that live close to you, now know that you can repair screen doors and windows. Lucky you. Can I send my screen from the front door that needs repaired to you? :0) Really, I've gotten more volunteer repair jobs from blog entries than I can count. Responses come back with, "Oh, you know how to do that"? However, I love it. My days are filled with things that keep me out of trouble. Screens are really easy to repair. Aren't they? Now storm doors with broken glass, I usually just take them to the local ACE hardware store to get repaired. That way I don't have to deal with the thought of accidently breaking the glass trying to get it installed. Then there's the size thing. It's not quite as easy to cut glass as it is screen. The mosquitoes are starting to come out here too and they are hungry. I'm usually last on the menu when other folks are around but when I'm alone and the only buffet in sight, it's time to run for cover. It's definitely time to scour the urban ranch and find all those water pockets that could breed the pesky little buggers and dry them up.

nebraska dave
5/31/2011 11:38:11 AM

In Las Vegas where much of my family lives screens are unheard up as they have no flying bugs of any kind. My daughter has lived in Las Vegas since she was out of high school. She's now 40 and has three daughters of her own. She came back to Nebraska for a visit and remarked about how bad the bugs are in Nebraska. I laughed because the bugs aren't any more plentiful than when she lived here. Sun screen and bug spray are my best friends in the summer. Have a great day behind the screen door.

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