screen door overlooking a deckYou’re in hurry to get out of the house. Or, you have a few friends and family over for a nice BBQ. The back door is open with the screen door closed, but the angle and the lighting make it look wide open.

As you try to pass through, you make the mistake of running into and through the screen door.

Breaking a patio screen door has happened to the best of us. The good news is, we can help. Whether your dog or cat scratched through the screen or you walked right through it, repairing a screen door is a fairly easy fix.

The bad news? We can’t save you from the embarrassment or the teasing your friends and family will give you about the time you bulldozed the screen door.

When you need to repair your screen door, here’s what you need to know.

Assess the Damage 

First things first, just how bad is the damage? It’s possible that you really hit the door with some force and broke the door itself instead of just tearing the screen.

All joking aside, that might mean you need to look for a professional help to replace the actual door. The team here at Omaha Door & Window is here to help you should your door need full replacement, or even if you just need help with the screen.

The easiest way to tell if the frame or door is damaged is to check if it simply opens and closes. If you find it particularly difficult, it likely means that the frame has been bent, the rollers or tracks have been damaged or pushed out of place, or the hinge (for non-sliding screen doors) has been damaged.

Replacing the Screen

Did you get away easy and only break the screen? Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Purchase a kit. Depending on the brand of your screen door, most if not all hardware stores will carry a kit that helps with installing a replacement screen. Our best advice is to search for brand-specific kits.

If you’re having trouble locating the manufacturer, try contacting whoever installed the door and see if they suggest getting a universal kit, or if they can get you in touch with the manufacturer.

Remove the door. While you can install the new screen while the door is in place, it’s easiest to remove the door from the frame. Sliding screen doors are fairly easy to remove; all you need to do is pop them out of their tracks.

Here’s what you’ll need or what will most likely come in your kit:

  • Screen: Make sure it overlaps the door at least 2 inches for good measure.
  • Spline: This holds the screen in place. Again, enough plus extra to go around the entire frame.
  • Box cutter/exacto knife: For cutting and/or trimming the excess screen.
  • Flat head screwdriver or awl: For removing the old spline.
  • Gardening/work gloves: For safety.

Step 1: Unscrew the handle so nothing prevents you from putting the screen in properly.

Step 2: Gently remove the old spline with the screwdriver by lifting it out of the frame.

Step 3: Place the screen evenly over the top of the frame.

Step 4: Cut the spline to proper length on each side and push it into the grooves, making sure the screen is taut.

Step 5: Using your exacto knife, carefully remove the excess trim from the screen.

Step 6: Screw the handle back in and lock the screen door back into the tracks.

And there you have it!

While this process is well within the purview of some do-it-yourselfers, replacing a screen on your patio door can easily become a big undertaking. Making sure the screen stays straight, getting it tight, and not cutting the screen while rolling in the spline can all be difficult.

If you’d prefer to call in the professionals, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via our website’s Contact Us page. We’d love to help out! We’re also available on Facebook and on Twitter @OmahaDoor.

photo credit: Butterfly via photopin (license)