When the temperature drops to a more pleasant number in the summer or the temperature rises enough to be comfortable in the winter, our first instinct is most likely to open our doors and windows and sit on our porches. Many of us enjoy a fresh breeze and the chance to open up our homes after a long winter or summer and many more enjoy being outside during pleasant weather. However, very few of us enjoy the squadrons of buzzing insects that move in without proper screening or protection, nor the leaves, pine needles, debris, and more an open screenless window can let in.
Luckily for all of us, screening and screen material has long been the most effective means to allow us to enjoy open doors and windows freely. In recent years, screen materials have taken on innovative new traits, such as solar screening to prevent UV damage and specialized screens for smaller bugs as well as pet-resistant screen material.
That said, navigating the market to try and find exactly what works for your budget, home décor, house needs, and area might be a bit daunting if you’re unsure what each screen does. To help choose the best screen material that is best for your home, we’ll go through everything you need to know before taking the plunge.
Where to Start
The first thing you’ll need to think about is where will this screen be used?
- Pool Enclosure
- Screen porch or Patio
A few considerations before choosing screens:
- Having pets or kids in your home
- Whether or not visibility is a top priority (Being able to have a clear unhindered view)
- Whether you would like protection from the sun, heat, or glare
The reason these are important to think over before finding the right screen material for your home is that you will no doubt want to invest in an affordable, yet durable screen material that will last as well as being worth your hard-earned money. To choose the right screen material means to choose the one that can stand up to the environment, area, traffic, and what the screen is exposed to. Once you’ve firmly decided what areas need the screen and what traffic or use it might be put to, you’ll have a better understanding of what to look for in narrowing down your screen material choice.
The Different Types of Screen Material
Fiberglass Screen Material
Fiberglass is one of the most used as well as most affordable screen materials to use in homes today. Most fiberglass screen material allows for excellent visibility while keeping pesky biting, buzzing, and annoying bugs at bay. Made from strands of fiberglass that have been coated with protective vinyl, they’re woven together to create a mesh or screen that is small enough to keep pests and debris from blowing into outdoor and indoor spaces.
Fiberglass won’t rust, is resistant to sun damage, and can last between 10-15 years with proper care. The downside to fiberglass screen material is that it isn’t built to withstand heavy weights and isn’t cut resistant. So accidental pushing by a toddler or a large jumping dog or being climbed by a cat, for instance, could cause fiberglass screen material to tear.
There are many conventional sizes of fiberglass screen material you can order, along with a specialized type of screen material called No-See-Um screen. These are a much finer mesh that protects from the smallest insects such as no-see-ums, gnats, and sand flies.
Aluminum Screen Material
Aluminum screening is a rugged mesh made out of metal. This material is even more durable than fiberglass vinyl and is especially resistant to corrosion and rust. As a bonus, unlike fiberglass, they will not begin to sag as they age either. This is a viable solution for those without children, pets, or those who live in homes with low traffic as they tend to bend easily if too much weight is placed on them.
Porch, Patio, and Pool Screen Material
Specially reinforced heavy-duty fiberglass screen material meant to withstand UV sun damage, climate, and exposure. This fiberglass screen material has a thicker diameter to ensure the strand is ideal for larger openings, such as those found on a porch, for use in pool cages and sunroom enclosures.
For an alternative, there is also a screen material called privacy screen, made from the same heavy mesh, but the use of plastic laminate to fill the tiny gaps in the weave creates a privacy screen.
Copper Bronze Wire Screen Material
Lastly, a copper bronze wire is a screen material that is not as commonly used. Made of 90% copper and 10% zinc, this screen material is certainly exceptionally strong and durable. This screen tends to oxidize when exposed to weather, giving in a beautiful antique patina. This type of screen material is especially useful for homes that live in coastal or inland areas that continuously whether the corrosive nature of sea-salt.
Now that you know what area, the traffic amount, what you want out of your screens, as well as the screen material types, you’re ready to take the purchase plunge!