How To Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Porch Screen

If your home has a screened-in porch, there’s a good chance that you love spending as much time there as you can when the weather permits. You’re certainly not alone, as people have been enjoying the benefits of screened-in areas since at least the 1800s. After all, nothing can be more relaxing than sitting in a comfy chair, enjoying a cold drink, and enjoying the view – with no bugs in sight. That’s also a great reason to make sure that you take the time to maintain the screens that make all of that enjoyment possible.

The average homeowner, though, won’t always know when it might be time to replace their porch screens. Some don’t notice that there’s a problem until there are large, visible tears in sections of the screen that are impossible to ignore. But big tears aren’t the only signs that there’s trouble brewing with your porch screens, so to help, here’s what to look for so you know when they might be in need of replacement.

Look For Weather Damage

Your screened-in porch provides you with an outdoor space that’s free from leaves, debris, and intrusive outdoor pests. To do it, though, your porch screens spend their time taking abuse from everything the environment has to throw at it. That means scorching sun in the summer, damp, wet, and rainy conditions in the spring, and bitter cold in the winter. Those environmental extremes have a bigger impact on your porch screens than you might realize.

Excessive heat can make your screens and the spline that holds them in their frames brittle and weak. Rain can start to create rust on the screens themselves (depending on their type), as well as on the frames and hardware of the structure holding them up. And in the winter, heavy snow or ice buildup can stretch or even tear your screens, leaving permanent damage behind. If you see signs of any of these kinds of weather damage, it’s time to replace your porch screen.

Look For Holes, Splits, and Unraveling

Although you may not realize it, the material that makes up your porch screens isn’t all that different from any other type of fabric. As such, it is vulnerable to some of the same kinds of wear and tear you might encounter with clothing or upholstery. The most obvious sign to look for is small holes in any of the screen sections of your porch. When you do, it’s important to remember that even a tiny hole could be enough to render your screen ineffective, as research has shown that mosquitos have an uncanny ability to find holes no wider than their own wingspans.

You’ll also want to inspect your screens for splits, which occur most often at the edges of the frames. This is due to the tension of the screen, and the effects of wind pushing and pulling the material against the frame. When you examine the material, take care to look for signs that it may be beginning to unravel, as well. If you detect any loose ends sticking out from the screen, it’s a sign that the screen material is starting to come undone, which will only worsen with time. If you find any of these conditions, it’s time to replace your porch screen.

Look For Signs of Sagging

Last but not least, the last major sign that your porch screens are in need of replacement is if you see any sagging in the material. As you know, your porch screens look and work best when the material is taut and held firmly in place. The average porch screen, however, will start to sag after about five to eight years of service. That’s simply due to exposure to the elements and the normal ageing of the material. Still, since the appearance of your screened-in porch is just as important as its function, any sagging screens you find should be replaced as soon as possible. Plus, sagging screens could also be a sign that there’s something wrong with the frames that make up your screened-in porch, so it’s not something you’d want to ignore in any case.

Get Back to Relaxing

If you observe any of the above conditions in your porch screens, make sure to have them replaced at your earliest convenience. Once you do, you can go back to enjoying your free time in comfort and style. When it comes down to it, paying a little bit of attention to your porch screens is worth it, considering how much use and enjoyment they provide, don’t you think?

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