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What to Know for Your Window Screen Replacement

What You Need to Know Before Replacing Your ScreensWhen it comes to maintaining your home, sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest difference. Window screens might not be the first thing on your mind, but a healthy screen system is vital to keeping your home comfortable and pest-free.

If your window screens are damaged or worn out, they won’t be able to do their job of keeping out bugs and debris. Replacing your window screens is a straightforward process, but there are a few key things you need to know to ensure the job is done properly on the first try!

If you are considering a window screen replacement, there are a few key considerations to ensure you get the best results out of your home ventilation system.

1. Assess Your Window Screen Needs

Before ordering your window screen replacements, take some time to reflect on and assess your needs and the needs of your household. Are you replacing your worn-out or damaged window screens? Do you want to upgrade to a more durable window screen frame or insect screen material? Are you looking to lower your bills and improve your home’s energy efficiency? Understanding what you are trying to achieve by upgrading window screens will help you make informed decisions throughout the window screen replacement process.

If you are still unsure of your window screen needs, there are customer support teams available to guide you through the screen replacement process. Best of all, this service is usually free of charge. If seeking an easy Chat, Email, or Call option, head to the RiteScreen page, where you can even receive a free screen assessment. Take photos of any questionable windows, and RiteScreen will identify which ones need replacing while providing additional steps.

2. Choose the Right Mesh (Insect Screen) Material

Understanding your preferred mesh is the most important factor for your screen solution.Window screens come in a variety of materials, each with its pros and cons. Traditional options like aluminum and fiberglass are cost-effective, weather-resistant, versatile, and widely available. However, newer mesh materials like PVC-coated polyester offer increased durability and UV resistance. Recent innovations, such as PetScreen® and AllergyGuard®, continue revolutionizing the utility of your screen system. Consider your budget, climate (especially springtime through autumn), and aesthetic preferences when choosing the right material for your replacement screens.

Window screen mesh, commonly known as insect screen, is arguably the most essential component of your screen system. There are many premium options on the market, but what do different window screen meshes even do? The numerous mesh options can be overwhelming to homeowners but there are some consistent trends in the fenestration industry.

A few of the most popular mesh options in the window screen and patio door screen industry include:

  • Fiberglass Screens: The most common insect screen material, fiberglass is favored for its light weight, flexibility, and affordability. It is also incredibly versatile and weather-resistant. Fiberglass is resistant to rust, corrosion, and prolonged UV exposure, so it is often used on window screens, door screens, porches, garden enclosures, indoor pools, and much more.
  • Aluminum Screens: Aluminum provides a more durable insect screen than fiberglass. It is stronger and provides premium weather resistance. Aluminum screens are resistant to rust and puncturing, but they can dent as a result. Aluminum is also used in a majority of premium window screen frames and patio door frames!
  • PetScreen is 7x stronger than fiberglass mesh for a durable screen replacement optionPet-Resistant Screens: Made from thicker and more durable materials, these screens are perfect for homes with pets. PetScreen® is the most famous example of this mesh, boasting 7x increased strength compared to a standard fiberglass mesh. Pet-resistant screens are usually used in patio doors and sliding door screens, allowing cats and dogs to scratch without easily damaging the mesh.
  • Allergy Screens: One of the most exciting window screen innovations of the 21st century, allergy screens are an emerging technology with huge implications for home comfort. This insect screen comes at a steep cost but blocks allergens (including over 99% of pollen) and is stronger than other mesh options on the market – including aluminum!
    The most prominent allergy screen option in the market, AllergyGuard® uses three-layer nanotechnology to achieve its best-in-class allergy blocking.
  • Solar Screens: These help reduce heat and glare from the sun, making them ideal for energy efficiency. For example, SunScreen® is the original woven solar fabric and can block up to 70% of the Sun’s heat! Solar screens are quickly being incorporated into home design in hot climates and exceptionally sunny areas.

3. Measure Accurately

Measure your window screen vertically and horizontally for an accurate fit.Proper measurements are essential for a successful window screen replacement. If you have your existing window screen and the fit is perfect, measure the height and width of the frame. These will be the same dimensions for your window screen replacement. If you do not have an existing screen, take precise measurements of the screen channel in each window frame to ensure that your new screens fit snugly and securely. Measuring each window in a room can be a good way to verify your measurements too! Remember: measure twice, order once!

If you’re unsure about how to measure or if you have non-standard window sizes, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. RiteScreen customer support is always available to guide you through your measurements. Not interested in talking? The company’s website also hosts a repository of useful homeowner resources, including measurement and assembly guides and videos.

4. Consider Custom Window Screens

Custom screens are available in 5 colors with custom dimensions down to the 1/16"!While standard-sized window screens are readily available, custom screens offer a perfect fit for windows of any shape or size. If you have unique windows or specific design preferences, investing in custom screens can enhance both the functionality and appearance of your home. “Custom” may sound like more effort and more money, but the opposite can often be true with your screens.

Custom window screens provide a tailored fit to optimize your ventilation and insect protection system. RiteScreen offers custom window screens in different colors and specific dimensions. So, you can complement your home and garden aesthetics while boosting protection against the outdoors. Ensuring your screen fits perfectly will ensure you can have windows open as much as you want, lowering your energy bill in the process!

5. Proper Window Screen Installation Matters

Installing window screens is easy, but it is important to install properly to get the most out of your window screen replacement.Even the highest quality window screens won’t perform optimally if they are not installed correctly. If you are confident in your DIY skills, you can tackle the installation yourself using simple tools and a screen kit. You can find resources for your screen assembly and installation at the RiteScreen website, including a video installation guide. If assembling your screen, either from a kit or from the required materials, installation generally involves:

  1. Lay the Screen Over the Frame: Place the screen material over the frame, leaving a slight overhang on all sides.
  2. Insert the Spline: Using the spline roller, press the new spline into the frame’s groove, securing the screen in place. Start at one corner and work your way around the frame.
  3. Trim the Excess Screen: Use a utility knife to carefully trim away the excess screen material around the edges of the frame.

Some window screens include hardware for effortless installation and removal.If you are not comfortable with the process or if you have complex window configurations, you may consider preassembled, custom window screen replacements. When installing preassembled screens, the task is relatively straightforward. Finding a matching window screen is often the most difficult part. That’s why many homeowners are turning to tools like the new RiteScreen Guided Screen Match Quiz, which finds your perfect window screen replacement for your windows.

With the proper window screen hardware, homeowners can save the money they previously had to spend on expensive contracts. Plus, the updated screen system will enable more indoor time and reduce the dependence on cooling and ventilation systems, such as fans and A/C.

6. Seasonally Maintain Your Window Screens

Clean your window screens to increase their lifespan. Simple cleaning process only requires water and a cloth.Once your new window screens are in place, start to incorporate regular maintenance into your home care routine. Clean your screens before installation in the spring to remove dirt, dust, and debris, and inspect them for any signs of damage or wear. Promptly address any issues to prolong the lifespan of your screens and preserve the comfort and beauty of your home. Remove window screens in the winter to prevent unnecessary weather damage when out of use.

Most window screens are aluminum and fiberglass, so it is easier to clean a window screen than virtually any other part of your home. Remove the window screen from the window frame. Then, use warm water and a soft cloth to wipe away any grime. Just like that, your screen is ready to be put back in place for another season of use! It is more difficult to repair window screens than it is to replace them.

For tips on how to maintain your screens, check out the RiteScreen blog on the importance of cleaning your window screens.


A window screen replacement may seem like a minor home improvement task, but it can significantly impact your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and overall satisfaction with your home. By considering your needs, choosing the right materials, measuring accurately, considering customization options, ensuring proper installation, and maintaining your screens regularly, you can enjoy the benefits of fresh, functional window screens for years to come.

RiteScreen is America's oldest window screen company. Over 75 years of manufacturing the best screen solutions in the industry - now extended to homeowners!