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You’ve invested a lot of money into your screen enclosure, so you need to take the preventative measures to help protect it. Sometimes accidents happen, though. Whether it’s a rock from a lawn mower ripping a hole through the screen, a critter climbing on it and damaging the panels or just nature running its course, your screen enclosure will need to be repaired at some point.
The question then comes when it’s appropriate to repair your screen on your own and when professional repair is needed. You also have to ask whether repairing the screen is more economical than replacing the entire thing. Regardless of what type of screen enclosure you have, here are several points to consider when your screen enclosure is in need of a little work.
To put it simply, you should avoid doing repairs on your screen enclosure as much as possible. Of course, cleaning and protecting your screen is always recommended to extend the life of it. However, repairing panels on your screen is tedious and most of the time can only be done correctly by a professional.
If you notice a few of the fasteners getting rusty, it’s simple to change them out yourself if you have the right replacements. The only downfall is all of your fasteners will need to be replaced at some point, so you have to decide whether you want to replace them piece-by-piece or have a professional come in and do them all at once.
In many cases, professional repair is more economical. Unless you’re an expert in screen repair, there’s a decent likelihood that you might cause more harm than good with your screen… and working that high up in the air on ladders might result in harm to yourself. If you are making an attempt at doing it yourself, you’ll also need some long ladder to get to the over head spots.
If you’re dealing with a torn screen, it’s similar to having a boat with a hole in the bottom of it. It may seem like a minor issue, but it makes the screen completely ineffective. In a situation like this, it’s best to have a professional come out and do the repairing to ensure it’s done correctly the first time.
Another question is whether repairing your screen makes more sense financially than replacing your screen entirely. Repairs may seem like the obvious choices, but it’s actually a little more complex than that. Here are some signs in your screen you need to consider:
If your screen is tearing around the aluminum members, it indicates a larger issue of weakness in the screen. A situation like this likely means the screen needs to be replaced, since a repair will only temporary fix that particular issue, but won’t address other areas of weakness.
A single hole caused by a rock or other item damaging the screen could be repaired, since it doesn’t signify weakness and you know exactly why the hole occurred.
Changing screen colors could also be a sign it’s time to replace your screen. Not only will the faded color be unattractive, but it’s also a sign that it’s becoming weak.
Algae growth is common on screen enclosures over time. Unless you have complete control over preventing algae from growing on it, it’s only going to spread to other areas of the screen. At this point, a replacement is needed if a simple cleaning won’t do the trick.
Depending on the type of screen you have, you need to consider the life expectancy as well. Cheaper screens will only last three years or so. Repairing it simply doesn’t make sense if the life expectancy has been reached or is approaching.
In most cases, it makes more sense for homeowners to replace their screen rather than repair it. And whether your screen needs minor repairs or needs to be replaced completely, it’s best to leave the work to professionals rather than trying to do it yourself.
While there are many great ways to save money by doing DIY repairs, you don’t want to risk the consequences when dealing with screen enclosures. These are big investments, and one minor mistake can lead to spending much more time and money than you expected.
Working on screen enclosures, often more than 10’ above ground isn’t easy work, and it certainly isn’t risk free. Proper licensing and insurance is crucial to make sure you, as the home owner, assume no liability. When you call out a professional to repair your screen, your best bet is to hire an AAF member, which ensures they are properly licensed and held to a high standard level of service.