When we think of screens, we generally think of them strictly in terms of functionality. But the appearance of our screens and the condition of them is often a good indicator of the overall state of our home.
There are many different types of screens and purposes they serve. Screens can keep pests, birds, and dirt from entering the home through the windows and doors. They can also deflect rainwater and even reduce heat transfer when kept in good working condition.
Whether on your doors or windows, keeping your screens in good working condition is important.
Typically, screens are made of a mesh fiberglass, aluminum or metal wire, or other synthetic fiber and stretched over a frame of wood or metal.
There are different mesh sizes indicating the number of tiny square openings across one inch of screen. To measure this, choose a once inch square of screen. Count the number of tiny square openings in a straight line from the top left corner to the top right corner. This is called the foundation or warp of the mesh. Next, count the number of tiny square openings in a straight line from the top left corner to the bottom left corner. This is the second number in the mesh size, called the width or fill of the mesh. For example, 18 warp openings and 16 fill openings means the mesh size is 18 by 16 (written as 18x16). A higher mesh number equals a finer mesh.
Finer mesh fiberglass screens are often used in coastal regions with tiny insects, while heavy-duty fiberglass screens with larger mesh openings are standard for screen doors and enclosures. Aluminum wire window screens are strong, durable and rust resistant. Solar screens are usually made of a polyester mesh, sometimes with the added durability of PVC coating.
Modern screen frames are usually made of aluminum, either roll form or extruded. Roll-form screens are light-weight and work well for bug screens and sliding screen doors. Hinged screen doors and some sliding screen doors are typically made from extruded aluminum, which is a stronger aluminum than roll-form.
Allowing a breeze to flow through the home is so important, but it needs to be done without letting in every bug and pest in the neighborhood! Bug screens perform this job by covering the opening of a window with a fine wire mesh.
Solar screens or sun screens reduce the amount of sunlight that is allowed to pass through the window and into a home. They work by absorbing or reflecting much of the sun's heat. They also help to lower energy bills by stopping the heat transfer through windows and doors. Solar screens can be installed on all windows for maximum effectiveness. However, they are only absolutely necessary on east and west facing windows and highly recommended to protect all south facing windows. North facing window solar screens are not absolutely necessary but look best for continuity and may be necessary depending on whether or not those windows receive a reflective glare.
Solar screen mesh is considerably and necessarily heavier and darker than bug screen mesh. These screens are easily installed over existing windows with frames and clips that come in a variety of colors to compliment any home's exterior.
Sliding screen doors are generally installed in conjunction with sliding glass doors. They are lightweight and allow easy access to the outdoors and free flowing air without allowing pests inside.
A hinged screen door usually refers to one on the front or rear of an exterior door. Sometimes these doors are referred to as storm doors and contain a glass panel in addition to or in replace of a screen.
Retractable screens for windows and retractable screen doors have insect screens that roll into a compact housing. Retractable screens are designed to not interfere with regular window and door function. When they are not in use, they disappear out of sight, preserving the look of your window or doorway. The retractable screen easily extends from the housing and is held in place by a magnetic latch that easily retracts with the help of a spring-loaded roller tube that is built into the unit housing.
One of the benefits of retractable window screens is that they don't inhibit the window view because they retract out-of-sight when not in use. Mounted from the interior or exterior, they provide protection from insects, shade, and privacy while also being discreet and aesthetically pleasing.
Retractable screens fit many door types including single, double, and sliding doors. For double doors, screens are mounted to each side of the door frame and are pulled to the center of the opening when in use.
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