Just like tires, paint, and roofs, screen mesh has a life span. If your screen has a few tears in it, you might be wondering, if you should get a full re-screen or just replace the panels one by one. It is a fair consideration in an effort to maximize your value, as service calls for miscellaneous panels have a higher rate than a full re-screen. In other words, you get more screen for your dollar when you do a full re-screen.
To find a good solution, lets think about tires on your car. If your tire blows out due to an ‘event’, like running over glass on the road, you would probably just get the one tire fixed. On the other hand, if your tire blows out because it has 40,000 miles and is worn, you’re probably best replacing all of your tires. The same goes for screen on your enclosure. If you just have an ‘event’ that tears the screen, like getting cut with a weed whacker, you should probably just get the panel replaced. If the screen is tearing because it is worn out, you should probably go for the full re-screen. Like tires, screen has a life expectancy in Florida conditions, based on the type that it is.
Artisan (builders grade): 3-5 years. This is the material commonly used by commercial builders like Lennar, and GL homes.
New York Wire: 5-7 years.
Phifer: 7-9 years.
Polyester Screens (Ultra Screen & Super Screen): 15+ Years.
As the screen reaches these ages it gets extremely weak, and changes color. When the screen is new, the material is at its strongest, but as it ages in U/V rays it gets weaker. For example, new Phifer 18/14 will hold up to a power-washer. At 7 years old, a power-washer will shred the Phifer 18/14. Once it reaches its life expectancy, the coating wears away, the mesh changes color, and a gust of wind is enough to tear the mesh.
What Does Old Screen Look Like?
Take a look at the enclosure below. You’ll notice that the screen has a white shade — this 9 year old Phifer screen has reached its life expectancy.
Once The Screen Reaches It’s Life Expectancy…
You’ll notice tears at the edge. It looks like the screen has been pulled out of place and can simply be put back in… this is not the case. What happened is that the screen has worn out so much that even a little bit of wind, or slight expansion of the metal from heat tears the screen. This enclosure below has screen that has reached its life expectancy and torn at the edge, you now see it hanging down.