Screen doors serve an important purpose by protecting your main entry door from the elements and keeping pests out on warm summer days. They are also one of the easiest parts of your home to maintain. Before you call a professional to repair your screen door, learn these simple steps to fix three common screen door problems.
Screen Door Doesn't Slide Smoothly
Sliding screen doors are even more convenient than traditional hinge doors, as long as they are working properly. It is not uncommon to find that you have to push excessively hard to slide your screen door open all the way, or that it has become completely stuck and you cannot move it no matter how hard you push.
The main cause of a stuck sliding screen door is tracks that are dirty or bent. To clean the tracks, use a flat screwdriver, awl, or other narrow tool to manually dig dirt and grime out of the tracks. If the tracks are bent inwards, as often happens when you or your guests accidentally step on them, use a pair of pliers to pull the tracks back into the correct position.
Replacing A Torn Fiberglass Screen
If the screen on your screen door is torn, it will allow insects into your home when the door is open. Fortunately, these screens are easy for any homeowner to replace. Begin your repair by pulling the screen door up from its tracks or removing it at the hinges. To access and replace the screen, you must first use a screwdriver to remove the handles on the door. Next, use the screwdriver to pry up the spline on each side of the screen, taking care not to break it.
After laying the replacement screen evenly over the space in the door, you will use a spline installation tool to re-fit the spline and fix the screen in place. The spline installation tool has two rollers, a convex roller and a concave roller. Use the convex roller first to press the screen down into the grooves around the space in the door. Afterward, place the splines over the screen along the grooves, and use the concave roller to press the splines into the grooves on top of the screen. Finally, pull the excess screen on the outside of the door tight, and use a utility knife to cut away the excess. You are now ready to reinstall the door and replace the handles.
Door Is Leaking Water Around The Edges
Screen doors are fitted with rubber insulation around the edges to prevent water from damaging your main door. Over time, this insulation becomes worn and tears off of the door, so it is a good idea to inspect the door at least once a month and replace worn insulation when you notice it.
To replace screen door insulation, pull off the old, damaged insulation by hand or by using a pair of pliers. Many screen doors have metal "fins" on either side of the insulation to help hold it in place, so you may need to unbend the fins with a pair of pliers to help you pull off the old insulation.
Your new insulation will have a strip of adhesive on the top that is protected by tape backing. Remove the tape and slip the insulation into the groove on the edge of your door, making sure it is firmly in contact with one corner of the door. You will likely have an extra length of insulation sticking out from the other corner of the door. Use a utility knife or a pair of scissors to cut off the excess, and use the pliers to bend the metal fins back into place if your door has them.
Screen door repairs are easy for any homeowner to do with a bit of research and patience. Keep these tips in mind so that you can repair your screen door as soon as you notice there is a problem.