If you have a small hole to mend in your window screen, you will be better off taking the nail polish option. It will also be in your best interests to use clear nail polish for this, to mitigate the effect this might have on the visual experience through your screen. But ultimately, your goal is just to keep the bugs out. Anything else is merely a bonus.
You would usually darn your window screen when the hole or tear in your window screen is too large to be mended with nail polish, but still small enough to avoid more dramatic interventions. This method will require a little more patience and a bit of handcraft. It is not for everybody, and not a very permanent solution either.
The third option would be to apply an actual patch to the hole or tear in your window screen. This is the method that we will explore in greater detail here. There are essentially two ways to go about it, with one of them being a little more labor-intensive than the other.
How To Patch A Window Screen Step-By-Step
1. As a point of departure you need to actually purchase a window screen patch kit (or screen repair kit), either at your local DIY store or at an online vendor like Amazon.
There are numerous products available on the market, but you want to make sure you get one with a strong adhesive and a strong waterproof covering. The less conspicuous the patch covering, the better. It would also be great if you can find a repair kit with little pieces of screening material (fiberglass screens) that are already pre-cut.
Some of the fiberglass screens will have beveled edges, while some of them will be flat. When you visit your local hardware store, your local expert will likely tell you that it doesn’t really matter if you have fiberglass or an aluminum screen. But in the context of the entire screen, your actual patch has to be aluminum.
2. When you have your kit (from the previous step), you will also need to assemble a few more tools for the repair job, which include a utility knife, screwdriver, hair dryer, glue, nail polish, and paper clip, and a pair of scissors. The exact tools you use for the repair job will depend on the technique you adopt to patch your entire screen.
Depending on your preferences you could also include a putty knife, a sharp knife, a sharp utility knife, or a knife blade to complete the job. You could also use a flathead screwdriver or a narrow-tipped screwdriver. You could also use waterproof silicone glue or super glue, but you must just make sure that it is fast-drying glue.
Many of these are really optional extras though, some of which will maybe make your job a little easier. You will be able to make a more informed decision on that one if you have read the next steps in this guide.
Patch A Window Screen With Just A Paper Clip And Scissors
1. If you purchase a piece of aluminum screening at your local hardware store, it will be pretty easy to just cut its size without bending up. All you need to do is cut a size that is just larger than the hole you are trying to patch on your window screen, to prepare for the upcoming step.
2. You should then grab your paper clip, open it up and use it as a tool to help you with the screen patches. Working on either side of the replacement screening, you can then use the paper clip to pull away at about four rows of the wire. Removing those four rows will give you the weave you need to push it into the existing screen.
3. Bend the two sides where you removed those four rows, by using a simple piece of cardboard or the edge of a table to line the aluminum screen up before bending those two sides at a 90-degree angle. When doing the second side, you might have to leave the screen at a bit of an angle, because of the side that you already bent on your aluminum screen. Take as much time as you think you need, to make sure that the job is done right.
4. Take your patch, where the ends are now at a 90-degree angle, and weave it into the existing screen. If you have a hole in a fiberglass screen, and you have an aluminum patch, it will take you a little longer to make the required adjustment, which will require a little more patience on your part.
5. Once you have the patch completely over the hole, all you will need to do is hold the patch in from the bottom, after flipping the entire screen around. At this point, you will push over all those pieces of aluminum thread that you pushed through when attaching the patch.
Try to flatten it out as much as you can, by using a little bit of pressure. You can also use the paper clip tool that you had to straighten the patch out nicely, to make the patch look visually appealing too.
How To Patch A Window Screen With A Hair Dryer
1. You can also purchase a product called screenmend, which is suitable for all DIY attempts to patch a window screen, and provides an agreeable alternative for those who are not comfortable with the paper clip and scissors. Screenmend comes with sheets of screening material, which you will need to cut to a size that is big enough to cover the hole in your window screen. You will want it to be slightly bigger than the hole or the tear in your window screen.
This is also a technique where you will need the hair dryer we mentioned earlier, so you need to make sure you have that handy.
2. The screen has a covering that you will remove from the back, which will expose an adhesive patch on it that is also heat sensitive.
3. Grab the side with the adhesive exposure and press it against the hole or the tear in the screen that needs patching. Grab the hair dryer and blow it against the patch. Blow on the patch for about a minute, which should be enough to activate your adhesive on the patch.
The adhesive will just lock into place, without you even needing to press down any longer. You can then just flatten it out with your fingers to ensure that there aren’t any air bubbles, which helps with visual appearance once the job has been done.
4. Sit back and allow for some drying time before making use of your window again. You should always seek a more permanent solution though.