Flies, gnats, and no-see-ums can make a camping trip miserable if you don’t have a trustworthy escape plan. Citronella candles might keep away the mosquitoes, and bug sprays can protect you on a hike, but sometimes the only way to avoid biting bugs and pests is to retire to the RV and let the door and window screens do their job.
There’s only one ‘fly in the ointment’ with that plan, however. What can you do if a screen has a hole or tear? If you can’t fix it quickly, you’ll have a militia of insects marching into your home-on-wheels.
Not to worry! We have put together a guide on do-it-yourself screen repair techniques. Let’s take a look!
Can I Fix My Own Window Screens?
Yes! There are numerous ways to repair a screen, whether on a window or door. How to accomplish this will depend on the size of the damaged portion. Many times, you can repair a screen without entirely replacing it. You won’t need special tools to fix a screen, but if you replace one, you will need a spline tool with a concave and raised wheel, a roll of screen material, and a new replacement spline.
How Do You Fix a Window Screen Without Replacing It?
From mesh kits to screen tape, you can quickly repair window screens if the tear is small enough. For smaller holes, you can use a screen tape.
First, cut off any rough edges in the gap itself. Then cut a piece of screen tape to fit over the hole with extra tape around the edges, giving the tape something to adhere to on the original screen. Pull off the tape backing and place the piece securely over the hole. Then use a blow dryer to heat the adhesive on the tape and create a stronger attachment.
You can repair larger holes by using precut screen patches. These come with adhesive around the edges, and you can secure them with more strength if you use a blow dryer on the adhesive after placement.
Pro Tip: Want to upgrade your RV windows? Find out Can You Tint RV Windows?
How Do I Fix a Small Hole in My Screen?
One screen repair technique for small holes requires a blow dryer or heat gun and a pair of scissors. A screen repair patch kit consists of a large piece of screen mesh that has adhesive on one side. Cut the mesh down to size, fitting over the tear in your screen with a bit of extra mesh left around all the edges. Peel off the paper on the mesh and place the patch over the tear.
Then, turn on a blow dryer and use it over the patched area, constantly moving it. The heat from the drier will activate the adhesive and attach the patch to the rest of the screen. These patches come in different colors to match the various shades on screens.
What Supplies Are Needed to Fix a Window Screen?
If a repair is all you need, most techniques involve using scissors to cut rough parts of the screen tear away. You also may need a blow dryer or heat gun to activate adhesive. Other valuable tools are a wire screen repair kit, screen tape, or a patch kit to cover the existing hole in the screen.
Are All Window Screens the Same?
Window screens vary significantly in their shape, but regarding the screen material, there are five types. Aluminum wire is the most prevalent screen material people use because it is durable and won’t sag. It resists rusting, and with a black or charcoal finish, glare is down, making it easier to view through the screen.
Fiberglass material is inexpensive and does not unravel or dent, and it is straightforward to install. Most replacement window screens are fiberglass mesh, and new homes usually have fiberglass screens, as well.
Polyester material comes from the fiber in polyester fabric. It is helpful for invisible insect window screens, and it’s firm. Polyester screens are 100% stronger than fiberglass screen material.
With a larger weave for use as deep fryer baskets and food covers, manufacturers can weave stainless steel screens into intricate designs for appearance and specific use. It is more expensive than the mesh options.
Copper mesh is highly durable, as it is 90% copper and 10% zinc. It is a bright gold color that quickly oxidizes, protecting the copper material.
Pro Tip: Maintaining your RV windows is important. We uncovered Do RV Window Seals Shrink?
Is Repairing a Window Screen On Your Own Worth It?
Knowing how to repair a window or door screen can save your camping trip and keep pesky bugs out of the RV. By checking your screens before you hit the road, you can make simple repairs quickly and avoid the need for fly swatters and anti-itching cream in your rig. This gives you a haven from nature’s irritants, making window screen repair an essential skill.
Have you ever had to repair a window screen in your RV? Tell us in the comments!
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