Anyone with pets or small children will know how easy it is for fly screens to be damaged. And holes in fly screens not only look unsightly, but they are also an open invitation for more flies and mosquitoes to enter your home.
The good news is that replacing fly screen mesh is an easy maintenance job you can do yourself. Here’s our simple guide on how to fix a fly screen.
Tools and materials
The tools and materials you’ll need to replace the mesh on your fly screen you will either already have at home or can easily find at your local hardware store. They include:
- Dust brush
- Fly screen (see options below)
- Tape measure
- Scissors or a knife (although depending on the mesh, “aviation snips” are recommended)
- Spline (this is the rubber material that is used to secure the fly screen mesh to the frame)
- Spline roller (this is the equipment used to do the above)
Types of fly screen mesh
Fly screen mesh is constructed from a range of materials, and each has its own unique benefits. The weave of the mesh can also differ — the weave refers to the spaces within the mesh. Generally, the tighter the weave, the less likely pests like flies and mosquitoes can get through the window or door. However, the downside is that a tighter weave may interrupt or block your view. Types of mesh include:
This is the most common material for fly screens and is sometimes referred to as nylon mesh. It is popular in coastal towns as it doesn’t rust, stain or corrode. It does, however, tear and stretch more easily compared to other mesh materials.
Aluminium is also a common option for fly screen materials as it is more durable than fibreglass as it withstands harsh weather conditions. However, it can crease and dent over time, but choosing a heavy-duty aluminium can help minimise this.
This is another popular choice for fly screens as it is strong and tough. It is also recommended for homes in bushfire prone areas.
This type of fly screen mesh is popular in areas where sun protection is needed as it provides shade and absorbs and blocks heat. It is ideal for areas near verandahs and porches.
This is typically made from vinyl-coated polyester. It is tough with smaller mesh holes that can help protect it from pets damaging and scratching it.
The process for fixing a fly screen
In terms of how to fix fly screen frame mesh, there are seven basic steps:
- Measure the height and width of the fly screen mesh you wish to replace. You should allow a minimum of 7.5 to 10 centimetres of additional mesh on each side. Document these and take them to your local hardware store. They should be able to advise you of the correct size required as well as discuss the type of mesh best suited to your needs.
- Once you have the most appropriate mesh, clean the existing fly screen, including checking for spiders and other creepy crawlies! The safest way to do this is to use a dust brush.
- If possible, it is highly recommended that you remove the door or window from its frame before removing and replacing the existing screen.
- Place the door or window on a flat surface. Point your screwdriver into the corner of the frame and gently pry out a section of the old spline until it becomes loose. Once you’ve raised enough of the spline to get a grip on it, pull the rest of it out. Then take the fly screen out of the frame and clean out the frame gutters with your dust brush.
- Next, lay the new fly screen mesh over the top of the frame and begin to install the spline that will hold the mesh in place. Start on one corner at the short side of the frame, and, using your spline roller, use a small amount of pressure to push it into the gutters until you have completed the entire frame.
- Make sure you don’t pull the mesh too tightly (the spline should naturally do this) and ensure the mesh is kept straight. You can achieve this by ensuring the weave is parallel to the screen.
- Trim the excess mesh using scissors, a knife or aviation snips, leaving around 5mm overlap around the whole screen.
If you need further help with fixing your fly screen or any other repairs around tour home, get in touch with our experienced handyman in Brisbane.