Tips For Maintaining Your Retractable Screen

If you live somewhere with seasonal insect issues, then retractable screens can be installed on your sunroom or porch to help protect you from the insect hordes. The benefit of these screens is they slide open much like a door or window which allows you to open up a space fully, or to at least be able to have egress points wherever you wish. With proper care, your screens can have a long and useful life. The following tips can help you care for them correctly.

Tip #1: Adapt for visibility

One of the biggest threats to new screens across doorways in particular is someone walking into them. Part of the reason is because most retractable screens are designed to be as invisible as possible so they don't interfere with your view. Many manufacturers provide visibility decals that are designed to adhere to the screen. Place these at eye level. In some homes, this may require the use of several stickers -- one for adults, another for children, and possibly even one for pets. As everyone becomes used to the screen, you can remove all of the decals except for the adult-level one.

Tip #2: Keep the tracks clear

Dirt in the tracks makes it hard to open the screen. If you have to force a screen along a dirty track, you are more likely to warp or damage the frame. When you vacuum your home, take a few minutes to vacuum out the tracks on all the screens with the wand attachment. This removes everything from dirt and dust to pet hair. If the tracks get especially dirty, wipe them out with a damp rag. The moisture will loosen the dirt so it wipes out easily.

Tip #3: Wash the screens annually

The screens aren't immune to dirt. Just like the regular screens on your windows, retractable screens get dusty and dirty. Avoid cleaning them in place, since the force of the water may damage a screen if there is no support behind it. Most retractable screens can be removed as easily as your window screens, which allows you to spray them down with a mild soap solution and then rinse them with clear water.

Tip #4: Watch the weather

Retractable screens are of course weather resistant, but wind can still pose a threat. This is because the tight mesh of the screens can catch high winds, which leads to the screens tearing from their housing. As long as the glass windows are shut, this isn't a threat because the glass will support the screens from behind. If you must leave the windows open on a windy day, fully open the screens so they aren't exposed to wind damage.

For additional help, contact a screen dealer near you. You can also visit sites like for more information.