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The Home Depot

Window Screen Replacement Principles

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Door & Window > Window Screen Replacement Principles
Window Screen Replacement Principles

Window screens are very important if you want to keep bugs out and fresh air coming in. So what happens when it’s time to replace an old tattered screen? Not everyone is schooled in home improvement and many will wonder how to do the job best. There are many different methods that you can use to have your window or door screen looking brand new, without the help and cost of a professional!


Here are a couple tips that we’ve gathered for you to help with installing that new window screen. Enjoy!

    No need to go replacing the whole window screen if all you’re dealing with is a small hole in the screen. Use some household cement or even something as simple as clear nail polish to cover the hole.
  1. 1.Focus on the Type of Screen

    Is your window screen retractable, sliding or hinged? Retractable screens basically look and act like shades for a window, but they can easily become invisible if you want the screen to be unseen. Retractable can be a bit trickier to install than the other two. Sliding window screens are very common; they slide both horizontally and vertically and are able to fit pretty much any size window. Again, since sliding screens are very common there are more helpful tools to better install a new screen. Hinged screens are very durable but not quite as convenient as the other two. Find out the type of screen that you have in order to figure out exactly how to replace it without any complications.

  2. 2.Get Into the Groove

    One principle that can be applied to pretty much all window screens is that they feature grooves on the sides. These grooves are meant to fit into opposing grooves on the actual window frame. It can be on either both sides or just one, but either way you are going to have to make those babies connect. Fit the grooves together and push the screen firmly until you feel them connecting. This part can be a hassle sometimes while waiting for the springs to actually latch on as well.

  3. 3.If it’s Just a Small Hole, Mend it

    No need to go replacing the whole window screen if all you’re dealing with is a small hole in the screen. Use some household cement or even something as simple as clear nail polish to cover the hole. Try pushing the bits of wire back together and then sealing it with one of the mentioned solutions. This works for most small holes. If you live in a buggy area and need a quick fix for overnight, apply tape on both sides of the screen and make sure they are touching. Although not permanent, this can be helpful in keeping mosquitoes and other insects out until you can repair the hole or just get a whole new screen entirely. If the screen you purchased seems to easily break or get holes, I would probably just opt for replacing the house screen.

  4. 4.When a Screen Has Become Rusted – Replace It!

    When a window screen starts rusting or becomes deformed, it can be dangerous and proof that it’s time for a new screen. Rusting means that either the screen purchased was not of high enough quality, or that it’s just too old and the screen has done its job. When dealing with rust, always be careful not to cut yourself. Wear heavy duty gloves, even if it seems silly. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

  5. 5.Be Careful With Aluminum Screens!

    Take extra precautions when dealing with aluminum siding on screens. Cutting this material can cause small shards being thrown about and can end up injuring your feet or even being ingested. Deal with these screens outdoors, preferably near a garbage bin so that nothing ends up on the ground.

  6. 6.If Need Be, Call for Help

    Now I don’t mean anything as dramatic as calling 911, but sometimes installing a new window screen can be too difficult for people. Even with proper instructions, the installation can be too confusing or stressful. Hiring someone to professionally install the window screen for you isn’t nearly as expensive as you may think (as long as you call the right people).


    If you aren’t buying a pre-cut screen ready to install, measuring the screen can sometimes be the hardest part. You usually have to add an extra 3-6 inches to be sure it fits correctly. Installing window screens is never really fun, but at least now you know a little more about what to expect!

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