Polyester Screens VS Phifer: Which Material Is More Resistant To Strong Winds?

Tears at the aluminum member, like this, are the result of wind.

This a is question we get quite frequently.  Our customers would like to know whether the upgraded polyester screen choices (Super Screen / Ultra Screen) are more resistant to high winds than our standard Phifer 18/14 screen (Phifer is stronger than many cheaper types of screen mesh).  The answer is YES but not the kind of winds you are thinking of.

When Phifer is new it has a ball burst strength test rating of about 63lbs.  The polyester screens are inherently stronger with a rating of 180 – 190 lbs.  Those are lab test though.  In reality, the 63lbs of Phifer is strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds for a sustained period of time – when the Phifer screen is new.

The difference comes over time.  As Phifer screen ages, spending its life under U/V rayes, the fiberglass based fabric quickly beaks down and quickly loses its 63lbs rating.  Although no aged testing has been done, I would estimate it loses 75% of its strength in the first 3 years.  At this point hurricane force winds will tear it.  Fortunately we don’t

Another Tear Right Along the Edge (Very Old & Dirty Screen)

have hurricanes that often.  At about 7 years, the Phifer screen will have lost most of its strength and the charcoal coating has started wearing off leaving shiny white/gray the fiberglass stranded exposed.  This is the time when wind from a regular south Florida afternoon storm can tear it.  You will notice tears along the sides of the panels near the aluminum members.  It almost looks like the screen has simply ‘pulled out’.  What actually happened is that there was enough wind to tear the screen at the point where energy (pressure from the wind), can be transferred no farther.

The polyester screens, Ultra-screen and SuperScreen, are warrantied against tears like this for 10 years.

Discuss This Project With The Author In The Comments Below

The Top 5 things To Know About Protecting Your Pet With Pet Screen

Having a pet is more than having a loveable furry companion, they are family members and are deeply cared about by the entire household.. The most widely used screens in the industry are great at keeping insects out but lack the durable resistance for dog or cat claws that can tear through the screen. Here are some important things to know about Petscreen.

1.)   Strength – The vinyl coated polyester Petscreen is 7 times stronger than the standard Phifer 18X14 screen typically used on screen areas. It doesn’t matter if you own a German Shepard or a Pug; your pet won’t be able to puncture through Petscreen.

2.)   Maintained Visibility –  A valid concern amongst customers is weather or not they will be able to see through their lanai and enjoy the visibility of their backyard. Petscreen still maintains visibility aesthetics while having the functional durability to protect against clawing and biting.

3.)   Sizing and Location –  Typically, customers choose to apply Petscreen on all the 3 foot screen sections below the chair railings. This is usually where most clawing and biting occurs.

4.)   Affordability – Petscreen is a cost effective way to keep pets safe and maintain the aesthetics of your screen or pool enclosure. Thinner screen will continuously be torn and require multiple rescreens as opposed to Petscreen which has a minimum 3 year warranty. Petscreen is a long-term solution to all long-lasting pet issues.

5.)  Safety – Too many times I have heard customers tell me their dog got excited chasing a squirrel and burst right through the screen and out into the neighborhood. The idea of losing a beloved family pet can be extremely stressful. Petscreen gives pet-owners peace of mind knowing that their dog or cat cannot escape the confines of the screen enclosure and enjoy the safety of their family.