Hiring a contractor to take care of home maintenance projects adds up pretty quickly. It’s one of the main reasons that most homeowners are willing to put in a little work themselves. Not all home maintenance projects are a good fit for a novice “do-it-yourselfer” though. Let’s take a look at pool screen repair because that call could go either way.
It feels good to tackle a project on your own and see it through to completion. However, jumping into a job that requires skills that you have yet to acquire isn’t always a good idea.
Are you qualified?
When making the decision whether or not to hire a professional, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the job require a permit?
If the answer to that question is yes, you might be ahead of the game by hiring a licensed professional. Permits exist to make sure that the job is completed correctly from beginning to end. It could be your first signal that you may be out of your league.
- How much time does the job require?
If the job is going to take more than a weekend or two to complete, you’re probably better off letting a professional take charge. You never know when life will throw you a curveball and you don’t want to get caught leaving things undone that will eventually cause a bigger problem than the one you had to begin with.
- Is it dangerous?
Some things to consider include whether or not you’ll be working with electricity, power tools, or gas lines. Moreover, if the job requires working from a ladder, you should definitely consider hiring a professional. Around 500,000 people fall off a ladder each year… and 97% of those accidents happen at home. If you don’t have experience working from a ladder, holding tools and materials while balancing on the rungs puts you at grave risk of having an accident.
If you’re feeling confident about proceeding on your own, it’s time to take a closer look at the specifics of repairing your pool screen enclosure.
Do you own the necessary tools?
It doesn’t take long for tools and supplies to add up. If you don’t already own the tools that you need to complete the job, find out what you’re lacking and do some price checking.
For some projects, this expense may be enough to sway your decision and cause you to hire someone rather than completing the job yourself.
In this case, though, repairing your mesh pool screen only requires:
- Replacement screen (usually bought in rolls) of like size
- Spline roller
- Masking Tape
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Screwdriver (optional)
Repairing holes in your mesh pool screen
Other than providing a sense of privacy, the number one reason that people install pool enclosures has got to be to keep insects away. It seems that luxury disappears as soon as the tiniest hole appears, doesn’t it? Insects appear to be drawn to the opening instantly and the assault begins.
The time to repair a small hole in your mesh screen is as soon as you realize there is one. If you have young children or pets, it will only grow larger once they discover it’s there.
If the hole is where you can reach it standing on the ground, you may feel capable of repairing it. You’ll be using some of the same tools listed above with the addition of a tube of clear silicone caulk.
You can find how-to videos online that take you through the process step-by-step.
In short, the process will be:
- Access the damage and measure the size of the hole(s)
- Cut the replacement piece
- Trim the edges of the hole with scissors
- Adhere the patch by dabbing some of the clear silicone caulk onto your fingers and covering the edges of the hole. After the caulk becomes tacky, apply some caulk to the outer edges of the patch.
- Firmly press the patch onto the screen and hold it in place for a few minutes.
- Allow to dry for 24 hours and then trim away the overlapping screen using scissors.
Replacing mesh pool screen panels
If you need to replace an entire panel of pool screen in your enclosure, you need to know that it’s usually a two-person job. While it’s not impossible to handle on your own, it goes much faster when you have someone helping you.
Here are some tips for replacing your pool, patio, or lanai enclosure panels.
- Remove old or damaged screen. Use pliers or a utility knife to release an edge of the spline and pull it out of the frame. Then, you can easily lift the screen out of the frame.
- Use your tape measure to measure the openings of each panel. Place your tape measure along the outside edge of the spline channel. Measure down the length and then across the width of the opening. Add two or three inches to each side for allowance.
- Roll the new screen out on a flat surface and cut to size using your utility knife. Use a yardstick or piece of lumber as a straight edge to guide your cut.
- Roll the newly cut screen in place over the opening, leaving at least one or two inches of excess screen around the edges.
- Take your spline and use your spline roller to press spline against the screening material and into the groove in the frame. Stretch the screen tightly to ensure a firm application—a second person comes in handy here!
- Go completely around the screen inserting the spline into the frame’s groove.
- Before you cut the spline cord, make sure that the screen is installed tightly.
We won’t add it to the bullet list, but the next step is to take a step back and admire your work! Replace the panel in your enclosure and the job is complete.
We’ll remind you once more, that working from ladders is very dangerous. If you need to repair or replace a screen that requires it, you should heavily consider hiring a professional to do the job.
Better safe than sorry is an old adage that still carries a lot of weight. There aren’t many DIY jobs worth risking permanent injury—or worse. We think replacing your mesh pool screen would fall under that category.