Small tears in window screens are common, but they can let insects or debris inside. When your screen tears, patch it immediately to avoid further problems.
Patch Small Holes
Very small holes of less than 1/8-inch in size can be patched using either clear nail polish or clear silicone adhesive.
- Clear nail polish or clear silicone adhesive
- Small artist's paintbrush
- Paint or dab on a layer of nail polish or silicone adhesive onto the hole.
- Make sure you cover all areas of the hole, including the mesh surrounding it.
- Allow the liquid to dry.
- Go over the first layer with a second layer of nail polish or adhesive.
- Allow the liquid to dry. The polish or adhesive will seal the hole, keeping insects and debris out.
How to Patch Long, Thin Holes
Long, thin tears of 1/8-inch in width or less can be sewn shut.
- Screen patch or piece of rolled screen mesh
- Unravel a long section of vinyl or fiberglass thread from the screen patch.
- Thread the strand through the needle and tie it off.
- Push the needle through the mesh on one side of the tear and pull it through. Take care not to pull the entire thread through the mesh; leave a small section at the end to anchor the repair.
- Pull the needle through the mesh on the other side of the repair and gently tug to pull the two sides of the repair together.
- Pull the needle through the mesh just below the space where you first inserted the needle. Pull the thread through gently.
- Repeat until the tear is sewn shut.
How to Patch Larger Holes
Larger holes or wider tears in a screen can be patched with a piece of screen from a patch kit.
- Screen patch kit or piece of rolled screen mesh
- Cut the screen patch from the kit down to 1-inch larger than the size of the hole.
- Use your fingers to bend the mesh ends of the patch backward at a 90-degree angle so they come off the back of the patch perpendicularly.
- Line up the patch over the hole with the bent ends pointing straight at the screen and push the bent ends of the patch through the mesh surrounding the hole.
- Turn the screen over and bend down the ends of the mesh from the patch coming through the screen so they lay flat against the screen and hold the patch tightly in place.
Screen Patch Kits
Screen patch kits are available at most hardware stores. They consist of small sections of either vinyl or fiberglass screen mesh and clear adhesive. You can purchase sections of rolled screen mesh from your local hardware store as well; just cut it down to size to make the patch. Be sure to get the type of mesh or patch that matches your screen for the best repair.
A few kits found online include:
- Phifer Screen Repair Kit - Bright aluminum in color, this kit can also be found at your local Home Depot.
- Prime Line - This kit is self-adhering; just press it to your screen to repair the tear.
- Slide-Co - This kit features an aluminum patch that matches metal screens.
Keep Your Screen in Good Repair
Small holes and tears in screens should be repaired as soon as they are noticed. Something snagging on a small hole may turn it into a larger one, which will require more extensive repairs. Keep your window screens in good shape to keep your home insect free.