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May 8, 2015

Keep the bugs out! -Screen Repair

Spring is here! It’s a great time to repair your screens, before those pesky bugs start to appear.


  • screen [know the size of your window when you go to the store, so that you can buy a pre-measured roll to fit the exact size of your window; buy enough that you have a couple of inches extra around the entire frame]
  • needle nose plyers
  • clamps
  • awl or narrow-tipped screw driver
  • utility knife
  • spline [enough to go around the perimeter of the screen]
  • screen rolling tool


Pry out the old spline with the awl or screwdriver.  Throw away. Spline gets brittle with age and shouldn’t really be re-used.

Remove the screen and throw away.


If you are repairing multiple screens and bought a roll of screen, roll out the screen to cover the frame, leaving at least an inch of extra around the edges. This will give you something to grip onto later. Cut the required amount of screen needed for your job with the utility knife.


Clamp the top side of the screen, making sure it is lying flat/taught across the frame.


Begin installing the spline at a corner.

The screen roller has two ends with different shapes:

Concave wheel end of Screen Rolling tool.

Round wheel end of Screen Rolling tool.



Take the screen rolling tool and use the concave side to push the spline and screen into the groove of the frame. Continue around the frame, keeping the screen taut. Small wrinkles will tighten up as you get back to the corner you started at, but it wrinkles and bulges appear, remove the spline and try again.  Reroll the spline and screen with the round wheel end of the screen rolling tool.

NOTE: If the screen tension is too tight it will cause a bow in the aluminum sides. If it is too loose it will sag.  Placing a heavy book or brick in the center of the screen after you roll in the spline on the first two adjoining sides can help you create the perfect amount of slack.


Trim the excess screen using an utility knife. Be sure to cut with the blade on top of the spline pointed toward the outside of the frame so that you don’t accidentally cut the screen covering the opening of the frame.

That’s it. The screen is ready to be installed back into the window!

If you don’t have the time or patience to do this yourself [or you’d rather just spend your time doing something else!], just bring your screens into our Repair Center and we’ll do it for you! [see store for pricing]




Posted by:

Jon, Maine Hardware Repair Professional

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