5 Signs It Is More Economical to Get a Full Re-screen Than to Replace Panel by Panel
Commonly, homeowners want to replace just one panel if they see a damaged section of screen in their pool cage or screen enclosure. After all, that’s the piece that most urgently needs attention, right? Maybe or maybe not.
Replacing all the screen, panel by panel is an expensive proposition. When you replace by the individual panel, you end up paying much more per panel, partly because there’s no discount on the cost of the screen. You also have to pay a service call each time the workers come to your home. Before you decide whether to replace just that panel, consider these 5 signs that going for a full rescreen is your most economical option.
- The Screen Mesh Is Turning Shiny White
Screen mesh can change color, either due to weather conditions and pool chemicals or because it was inferior screen in the first place. Your scenic view is spoiled when the screen turns shiny white. The screen not only looks unattractive but the white color is also a sign that it’s becoming weak and brittle.
When the color is white all over or in substantial portions of the enclosure, you need a full rescreen. Even if only a few panels need to be replaced now, the same issues will soon affect the entire screen. For screen discoloration to shiny white, then, a full rescreen is nearly always the best choice.
- You Have Tears Along the Aluminum Members
A tear in the center of a screen section may be fixable with one panel. A simple single-panel repair might work if you know what caused the tear and are sure it’s something that won’t likely happen again. However, tears along the members usually signal weakness in the screen.
Many homeowners see that their screen bows out in the centers and assume it’s intact but coming loose from the members. The truth is that’s very unlikely. They only look like they’re pulling out from the members because the edges are stretching. The screen isn’t loose, it’s damaged. It can’t be repaired. It needs to be rescreened.
- The Screen Has Reached Its Life Expectancy
Screen mesh that has reached its life expectancy can only be improved just so much. The older the mesh gets, the more problems you likely to have with it. It makes no sense to replace it one panel at a time when you know you’ll have to replace all the screens very soon.
Some screens last longer than others. Cheap Artisan screen, typically made in China, will last only about 3-5 years. Phifer fiberglass mesh usually last 7-9 years. Polyester screen warranted to last 10 years can actually have a lifespan of 20+ years. The estimates you get should mention what type of screen is being replaced panel by panel or all at once.
- Algae Is Growing on the Screen
Algae grows easily in the warm, moist Florida environment. When it grows on the mesh of your screen enclosure, it turns the screen an ugly, green color. This is a problem that won’t go away panel by panel. If the growth has already begun, it will likely continue until the entire screen is covered in algae. Although the weather conditions and nearby bodies of water aren’t going away, a rescreen allows you to start fresh with a new screen that won’t have algae growing on it anytime soon. You may even want to consider a polyester screen which has a biocide coating to prevent the algae growth.
- Your Fasteners Need to Be Replaced
Sometimes, only a few fasteners are damaged or loose. In that case, they can easily be replaced and the panels they hold up can be replaced, too, one at a time. On the other hand, your screws will all rust within a few short years if your pool cage or screen enclosure was put together with builders’ grade steel screws.
Replacing the screws and the panel they hold up may work if the fasteners are bent or damaged, but if some are rusted, they’ll soon all be rusted. You could have just the fasteners replaced with weather-resistant screws, but the cost to do a complete rescreen is not a lot more than replacing all the fasteners without a rescreen.
What Do These Signs Have in Common
The common thread among these signs is that you need to do the full rescreen in one go if the problem does or soon will affect the entire screen. If a specific action or event, such as a raccoon climbing on it, causes a tear in one panel, you might be able to economically replace just that panel. Fixing an ongoing problem one panel at a time just doesn’t make good financial sense. In those cases, it’s much more economical to have a total rescreen done.