Overexcited pets can wreak havoc on a screen door upon spotting something interesting lurking outdoors. Curious cats frequently climb up the screens to obtain a better vantage point for a look across the yard or even just for fun. Rowdy dogs jump up onto the screen door to greet visitors or bark at neighborhood wildlife. After awhile, your screen door will start to show a significant amount of damage. The damage could even impede its function as a bug deflector or barrier against wild creatures lurking outdoors. Here are three common problems you can easily fix to restore the function and appearance of your screen door.
As your pets put their full weight against the screen, it starts to pull the mesh out from under the spline. The spline is a thick rubber gasket that fits snugly in the groove in your door. Manufacturers use the spline to hold the screen tight across the gap in the door.
As the mesh starts to lose its rigidity, the screen portion runs the risk of completely pulling out of the frame, allowing your pet to escape from the house. Thankfully, you can pull the spline out of the groove to release the screen materials. Pull the screen taut against the door and reinstall the spline to keep it in place. Although you can use a flathead screwdriver to push the spline in the groove, it's easier to use a specialty tool called a spline roller.
As your pet's nails dig into the screen material, small tears could start to appear. Pets will naturally poke and dig at those torn areas in an effort to run free out of the house. As the hole grows bigger, you may worriedly start to look for a replacement door.
Thankfully, you can actually patch the screen to avoid having to buy a full replacement each time your pet causes a bit of damage. You will just need to pick up some extra mesh cut to about one inch larger than the existing hole. Also, grab some thick grey thread and a curved upholstery needle. Use the thread to stitch the patch to the screen, and then finish with two to three overhand knots to prevent fraying.
Downward forces on your screen door can take a serious toll on the hinges attached to the frame. Most hinges are only rated to hold the weight of the door alone. If the screws holding the hinges in the frame start to work loose, the door could end up hanging crooked. Eventually, the gap between the door and the frame will expand enough to allow your pet to squeeze through.
You can prevent this from happening by using a Phillips screwdriver to tighten up the screws holding the hinges Consider how often you see your pets putting their full weight against the door to determine the best maintenance schedule for your hinges. If you're unsure, you can always check monthly at first to determine when the screws start to feel a bit loose.
Maintaining Your Screen Door
If you are not comfortable repairing your screen door on your own, you can hire a professional to complete the job for you. Screen door repair professionals know exactly which materials and tools to use to restore your door to like new condition. Furthermore, professionals can often use extra robust mesh, splines and hinges to prevent your pet from causing frequent damage.
Even with the upgraded parts, you will still need to handle signs of wear from time to time in order to keep your door in excellent condition. You can set up a preemptive maintenance schedule to have your professional come by every once in a while to inspect the screen door components and determine if service is needed at that time.