A number of years ago we arrived back to our cottage in the early evening to find 60% of the screens in our 4 track aluminum windows had been trashed. Turns out a red squirrel had decided that the decorative, hand painted, table mounted, bird house he saw inside was going to be his! Needless to say, it resulted in several hours of re-screening the exterior of the cottage.

As spring approaches many of us will be motivated to finally replace a few of the window screens long in need of repair in our homes. Many, at the same time will be thinking of finally screening in our covered porch area to create that extra ‘protected’ outdoor space. Still others are going to turn that empty and sun baked deck space into a shade providing haven from summer insects with a hard top screen enclosure.

The type of screening, depending on where you live and the amount of sun and wind your application is exposed to, can be an important consideration. Screen is available in a variety of materials, but fiberglass screening is by far the most common. Aluminum and stainless steel screening are also available; however they require special attention and won’t be addressed in this post! Specialty screening, usually a vinyl coated polyester, includes pet-resistant screen, sun screen which blocks as much as 90% of solar-heat gain and no see um screening to stop the gnat size critters from invading your space.

The standard screening you have in your windows is likely an 18 x 16 mesh which simply means that there are 18 strands per inch in one direction and 16 in the other. This screen is very effective and good for average sized openings; however an 18 × 14 mesh is generally used for openings wider than 48” as it is stronger and more force can be applied without tearing the screen to make it taught in the opening. The close-ups shown below give you a good idea of the differences in the weaves that are used in some of the screening we have spoken of so far.

Standard Fiberglass Screening

Sun_Screening70% Sun Control Screening

Pet_ScreeningPet Screening

When you call to talk to Home Porch & Patio Kits regarding your porch screening needs or putting together that long sought after backyard screen enclosure, we will definitely help you select the screening that best suits your application. In the meantime Phifer Incorporated, the country’s largest and only remaining domestic screen manufacturer, offers an online screening selection quiz that will help you determine the best type of screen for your needs.

As already mentioned fiberglass and vinyl coated polyester screening is by far the best choice for the do it yourself’er. Insect screening has long been effective in creating that indoor space, outdoors. As in so many other areas, technology has increased its usefulness beyond simply stopping the average mosquito. 90_Sun_ScreenFor example, you can see in this picture, provided by Phifer.com, how effective screening can be in reducing sun penetration and therefore heat gain and UV fading of carpet, furniture, and floors. This tightly woven material can be a dramatic energy saver and is a popular option in areas where sun protection is important. While sun screen offers daytime privacy you trade off about 30 to 90 percent of light and of course it reduces airflow in the room.

We use Phifer residential screen wire products exclusively. We maintain a page on our WEB site that gives a lot of information on a variety of the screening that is typically used in our product lines, including burst strength, yarn sizes, mesh sizes and available colors. You can check that out *here.*

Whether you are repairing, replacing or starting new, you would be well served to give a second thought to the screening you will be using. You can choose from the ultra strong TuffScreen that can protect you from stray golf balls or the PetScreen to protect against the exuberant pet or the SuperSolar screen to stop the sun or from the super clear UltraView screening. In doing so you can incorporate today’s technology with superior bug protection to get the maximum benefit of your new screened in porch or >hard top screen enclosure! As always Home Porch & Patio Kits stands ready to help! Remember, doing it yourself doesn’t mean doing it alone!