Okay! Corny and yes, we are sure this is unoriginal, but you had to know we would use some reference to the ‘spring cleaning’ time of year in a tag line!
So for those of you who have incorporated a screened enclosure into their spring, summer, and fall lifestyle, part of your spring cleaning duties will be preparing your screen room for the upcoming season. That should include washing winter dirt and debris off the screening material. Paying extra attention to your screens now can end up saving you money, as well as providing a better view.
Cleaning is key! Most of the screening systems that Home Porch & Patio Kits sell incorporate screening made of either aluminum or a fiberglass with a vinyl coating. We would recommend washing them twice a year, but at least once in the spring to rid them of winter grime. Think of the screening as a filter… you wouldn’t want to be exposed to all the dust and the dirt that builds up over a season.
If you are taking your system out of storage, before you assemble it, lay your screen panels on the driveway. If you have a permanent system, you would still need to follow the same steps, just perhaps a little more gently!
We suggest a cleaning solution of 1 cup ammonia, 3 cups of water and a squirt of dish detergent. Be mindful that the ammonia may affect the vegetation in the area (grass etc.)
Thoroughly wet your screens with a hose (mist setting) and use a squirt bottle to apply the cleaning mix. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, and then use a soft-bristled brush to remove stubborn grime. Rinse thoroughly. Don’t scrub aluminum screens too hard; you could dent them. Don’t push too hard on any screening, or you could pop the screen out of the spline groove (easy to fix, just an added chore that you don’t need at this time of year!).
You can wad up a bunch of paper towels and gently go over the screening to take off excess water or if you have a nice taut screen, gently snap them with a towel to send water drops flying and prevent hard-water stains.
Obviously you have a “screen room” to create an outdoor space indoors with access to fresh air while keeping bugs and debris out. Rips and tears in the screening will defeat that purpose. You can do some minor repairs on your own. Inexpensive patch kits available at home-improvement stores include small pieces of mesh that grab around holes and close them up. Pieces of household tape can cover up tiny tears. Neither option is attractive, but they can serve as quick fixes in otherwise good screens. If the entire screen section needs to be replaced, our systems are designed so that you can do that too!
If it is just one section that needs attention, you can pick up a repair kit at your local hardware store which will include a 48” wide by 80” tall section of screen with a spline. Simply remove the spline from the outside groove, take out the old screen, lay in the new section of screening, roll the spline back into the groove with the hand roller in the kit, trim the excess screening and stand back and admire your handiwork! If you have a large project where you are re-screening your entire porch enclosure system check out the types of screen we have available in our Bulk Screening Section… this may be the perfect time to upgrade to that solar screen you have wanted for so long! You can also check out some screening tips that we have added to our YouTube Page.
Children and pets can be especially tough on screens and screen doors because sometimes they just don’t see them. I will always remember my brother walking into a closed screen door with an ice cream cone in his hand! Mom was not happy with the result! Consider using decorative stickers to remind them that a screen is there.
Naturally, if you do not have a screen enclosure yet but this is the year that you were going to make it happen… check us out on the WEB at Home Porch & Patio Kits. Looking forward to a great year and, as always, let’s do-it-ourselves… together!