The ultimate guide: Selecting, installing and maintaining a door or window screen
Disturbing and dangerous: insects and spiders in your own four walls
These animals are as much a part of summer as sunshine, pool days and a 3 month long summer break: mosquitoes, flies, wasps and other insects are uninvited guests in apartments and houses when temperatures are soaring, getting inside through open doors or windows. In late summer and autumn, on the other hand, spiders often find their way into living rooms and bedrooms to seek shelter from low temperatures, causing unpleasant surprises and in some cases even fear.
The small animals are difficult to catch and rarely find their way out on their own. This is not only bothersome during meals, but also makes it difficult to get some rest in the evening or at night. To prevent insects and spiders from entering your home in the first place, it is therefore recommended to attach a fly screen to doors and windows.
A fly screen is attached to the window or door frame and, thanks to a close-meshed net, ensures that insects no longer enter the room - fresh and cooling air can nevertheless continue to flow in. Instead, animals remain on the outside of the net, but are not injured or killed in the process, as would be the case with fly swatters.
Which window screens are the best?
Determining which insect screen is best depends on where it is to be fixed. There are many places where a mosquito net for windows is a good choice, for example
- on living room and bedroom windows,
- on skylights,
- on balcony doors,
- on kitchen doors,
- on patio doors or
- on other openings through which insects can enter your home.
After deciding the location where the window screen is to be installed, you also need to select the fly screen’s color scheme. Depending on personal preference, you can choose either a black or white window screen. The former is more understated on a window or door, while the latter offers visual protection due to its light and reflective color and thus fulfills more than one function.
What is a window screen made of?
Insect screens can be made of many materials. In recent years, mosquito nets made of fiberglass have proved particularly popular, as they offer a wide range of advantages:
- reliable protection against insects in all weather conditions,
- avoidance of spreading holes thanks to a close-meshed structure,
- optimal air circulation and visibility to the outside and
- much more.
In addition to fiberglass mesh (also known as glass fiber mesh), a bug screen can also be made of polyester, aluminum or stainless steel, for example. However, most commercially available window screens are made of fiberglass mesh because of the advantages mentioned above.
How can a fly screen be mounted?
There are various options for attaching mosquito nets for windows. A window screen can be attached with the help of
- a drill and screws,
- a double-sided tape,
- a velcro tape or
- a magnetic tape
to the window or door frame. The individual options have their own advantages and disadvantages, which will be presented in more detail below.
Fastening by drilling
At first it seems obvious to attach the insect screen to the desired frame with the help of a drill and screws. The advantages of this option are evident:
- stable and weatherproof fastening,
- minimization of cavities and
- long-lasting adhesion without the risk of adhesive weakening.
However, drilling on windows and doors can prove difficult when the window screen needs to be removed at the end of the season or when moving out of an apartment. Residues such as holes in the frame can then hardly be avoided and might very well cause problems with a landlord. In addition, it is not possible to spontaneously clean the window sill or water flowers standing on the outside window frame. Furthermore, the installation is often time-consuming and can be a difficult task, especially for laymen, when it comes to attaching the screen in a straight and clean manner.
Fastening with double-sided adhesive tape
Many people turn to double-sided tape to avoid the aforementioned disadvantages of attaching their bug screen by using tools. At first glance, it makes sense: an adhesive tape is often readily available in a drawer at home, can quickly be mounted and many manufacturers advertise a double-sided adhesive tape’s residue-free removal. In reality, however, this attachment also has disadvantages:
- decreasing adhesive strength upon removal and reapplication,
- low weather resistance and
- residues on the frame due to foam or other fabric residues.
Complete insect protection is often not possible with this method of attaching a window screen. Therefore, in most cases, there remains an equally simple and yet durable alternative: the attachment of a fly screen by means of a velcro or magnetic tape.
Fastening with Velcro tape
A somewhat less complex option of mounting the insect screen is to use a Velcro tape. Velcro tapes are just as quick to attach to the frame as a traditional double-sided tape and can be cut to size with scissors.
Fastening by magnetic tape
The most flexible and unproblematic choice for fixing a window screen is a special magnetic tape. In this case, the fly screen is attached to the frame from the inside with magnets. This has several advantages:
- no damage to paint or material on the window or door frame,
- durable adhesion due to long-lasting magnetic force and
- fast attachment without tools.
In the rest of the article, we will explain how to use a magnetic tape and show you how to easily install a fly screen using the A+B magnetic tape just described.
How to attach a window screen correctly?
Attaching a window mesh screen with a magnetic tape is a convenient alternative to drilling, screwing or gluing. However, there are a few things to consider here as well if you are aiming for seamless protection. To start off, it is most important to choose the right magnetic tape, because one classic magnetic tape repels another.
Therefore, to ensure the proper installation of an insect screen with magnets, one should resort to a magnetic tape of the type A + B. This offers the advantage that the two sides of the magnetic tape attract each other, creating a strong hold and therefore keeping the mosquito net securely in place.
How do I install an insect screen using magnetic tape?
With the help of the following instructions, a window screen can be installed in a matter of minutes without having to get out your toolbox and drill. All that you need is a pair of scissors.
Step 1: Cleaning the surface
Before attaching anything to it, the window or door frame to which the magnetic tape and later the fly screen are to be attached should be thoroughly cleaned so that the surface is free of dust and grease. This way, the magnetic tape will find optimal hold.
Step 2: Cutting and attaching the magnetic tape
First, one side of the A+B magnetic tape is attached to the frame. Then, the second side is attached onto the first so that a strong connection is created.
Step 3: Cut the fly screen
Next, you can attach the insect screen to the top layer of the magnetic tape. If there are any protruding edges, simply cut them off with scissors.
Step 4: Remove and reattach as desired
Now, thanks to the magnet, the window screen can be opened and closed as needed. Unwanted visitors on six or eight legs are now a thing of the past and removal of the fly screen is also made easy.
The bug screen does not hold onto the frame or magnetic tape - what to do?
There are several possible explanations if your window screen holds poorly or not at all on the door or window frame. Often, it is a combination of the following causes, which can usually be easily fixed.
Cleaning the frame thoroughly
It is possible that the frame was not cleaned sufficiently before the insect screen was attached, and as a result the adhesive of the magnetic tape cannot develop its full effect. The dirt caused by environmental influences such as dust, rain or animals can be quickly removed with a damp cloth, so that the magnetic tape can adhere better.
Choosing the right magnetic tape
The use of the wrong magnetic tape can just as easily be responsible for the fact that the fly screen cannot be attached at all. It is essential for the installation that the magnetic tape in use has two different magnetizations so that the individual pieces adhere to each other - otherwise the individual magnetic strips repel each other and no connection can be made.
Paying attention to the adhesive
Even if you don't recognize it at first glance, a less high-quality adhesive can also be the reason why the window screen does not remain reliably attached to the frame. It is therefore advisable to use magnetic tape with 3M glue, which ensures long-term adhesion.
Examining the surface
You always need to ensure that the adhesive has enough surface to stick to. On an uneven, cavernous window or door frame, a magnetic tape cannot be attached very well, so it will always come off. Minor imperfections can quickly be repaired by hand, but if major renovation work is needed, the landlord or an expert should be contacted. Alternatively, a double-sided adhesive foam tape can help to level the surface and attach the bug screen.
How long do window screens last?
Fly screens, although it may not seem so at first glance, are utilitarian items like any other household tool. The following circumstances can affect the effectiveness of an insect screen:
- weather conditions such as rain, snow or sunlight,
- pollen, grass and fine dust,
- birds, which destroy the net with their beaks in search of dead insects,
- strong external forces and
- much more.
To guarantee the protection of the window screen in the long run, it should be cleaned from time to time with the help of water and some detergent, so that insect or pollen remains are removed. It is important to treat the sensitive net of the mosquito screen with care, as it can otherwise be damaged. If the window screen was attached to the frame with a magnet, it can also be quickly detached for cleaning, thus removing stains even more thoroughly. After washing, it can be easily reattached.
If you take good care of your bug screen, its life can be significantly extended. By the way, holes in a window screen are no reason to dispose of the net: using window screen repair adhesive tapes or patches, they become fully functional again in no time and can provide protection from insects for many more years.
Versatile: Use fly screens with magnets when camping at the caravan
Not only in your own four walls, but also on the road it is a good idea to attach a window screen with a magnet. Camping and van fans know the problem when insects and spiders make their way inside a caravan during a relaxing vacation in nature. At night, when the window has to remain open in order to let in a fresh breeze of air, an insect screen helps keep flying and crawling creatures out.
Unlike tents, caravans usually do not have built-in fly screens on the windows. Therefore, in order not to have to make permanent changes to the vehicle by drilling or screwing, you can also rely on the support of a magnetic tape.
Attaching a window screen with magnetic tape - quickly done and no tools needed!
A window screen brings many advantages, not only in the summer with regard to mosquitoes or flies, but also in the cooler season when spiders settle in houses or apartments. For camping vacations, a fly screen on the caravan is practical to repel insects. With the help of magnets, the insect screen can be mounted anywhere within minutes and still be taken down at any time should you want to clean it. Now, your environment at home and on vacation is guaranteed to be free of mosquitoes, spiders and other insects!
Discover window screens and A+B magnetic tape for fly screens at GAUDER
In order for nothing to stand in the way of a carefree summertime, all you need are the right products. Feel free to browse through our online store and get inspired by our wide range of A+B type magnetic tapes, window screens and much more.