How to Replace a Window Screen

Instructions on Replacing a Damaged Window Screen

By Mark J. Donovan

Window screens are commonly damaged due to objects inadvertently poking through them. Left unattended, your home can be susceptible to insect penetration. In addition, sometimes paint can spill on them when painting the house and make them look unsightly. Fortunately replacing a window screen is easy to do and is inexpensive.

The first step to replacing a window screen is to remove the rubber spline that holds the screen onto the window screen frame.

You can typically remove the rubber spline with a small common screwdriver.

In order to prevent bending the frame, it is best to work on a large flat area while replacing the screen. Make sure you remove the rubber spline carefully as you can use it again when you install the new screen. You can, however, buy replacement rubber spline if you have to.

Once you have removed the spline next pull out the damaged widow screen and throw it away.

Next, visit your local home improvement store and purchase either metal or fiberglass screen material. It comes in various lengths and widths, so select what is appropriate for your window size. Also pick up a spline roller and spline if necessary.

Once you have your new screen material, measure the height and width of your screen frame and cut a section of new screen material that is about 3/4” longer and wider.

Place your new screen material over the widow screen frame, and in one corner of the frame use the spline roller to work the spline and screen material into the frame.

After you have this first corner of the screen locked into place, repeat the process on the far opposite end of the frame.

Pull the screen taught, however, before inserting the spline into this corner. By doing this you can help to prevent wrinkles in the replacement screen.

Now continue to work your spline roller around the perimeter of the window screen frame, pulling the screen material tight just prior to working the spline into the frame. Note, that using the spline roller takes some force as the rubber spline is designed to be a tight fit.

Replace window screen

After you have fully installed the spline into the window screen frame, you can trim any excess screen using a sharp utility knife and holding it at a low angle. Be sure, however to not cut the spline and if at all possible leave about 1/32 of an inch of extra screen material hanging out over the spline.

If you need more help on choosing the right window replacement for your home, contact one of our pre-screened window installation contractors. They can help you select the replacement windows that are right for your home and budget, and perform the installation.

For more information on Installing Replacement Windows and Interior Window Trim

  • See the Installing a New Window Ebook from  The Installing a New Window Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to remove an old window and install a new one. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.
  • See the Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook from  The Installing Interior Window Trim Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to install interior window trim around a window. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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