screen door repair

How to Replace Sliding Screen Door Mesh

A sliding screen door is a great addition to any home, providing a breath of fresh air while keeping pesky insects at bay. Over time, the mesh on these doors may wear out or get damaged, requiring replacement. For example, you might get a hole near the handle, or your dog might claw at it…

A sliding screen door is a great addition to any home, providing a breath of fresh air while keeping pesky insects at bay. Over time, the mesh on these doors may wear out or get damaged, requiring replacement. For example, you might get a hole near the handle, or your dog might claw at it and make itself a doggie door. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of replacing the mesh on your sliding screen door, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a well-ventilated home once again.

 Materials and Tools:

  • New screen mesh 
  • Flathead screwdriver or awl
  • Utility knife 
  • Screen spline (if not reusable)
  • Spline roller tool
  • Screwdriver

Prepping to Fix a Screen Door

Deciding what kind of screen you want to use is important. This decision will have the greatest impact on the final cost of repairing your screen door.

The most common screen door option is fiberglass because it’s easy on your wallet and easy to install. You can also buy sturdier aluminum screens, though they require more precision to install. There are also pet-friendly screens engineered with dog and kitty claws in mind. These doors are also good for storm doors because they’re stronger and hold up better to the inevitable daily wear.

Keep in mind that if you have the tools already on hand, you only need to buy the screen and spline. Or, you can opt to buy an all-in-one kit with everything you need to get the job done.

Step 1: Remove the Sliding Screen Door

To remove the screen door, slide a flathead screwdriver under one corner of the frame, lift it, and pull it outwards. Repeat the step on the other corner.
Once you’ve freed the door, place it on a flat surface. Next, remove the door handle with a screwdriver—you only need to remove one side.  

Step 2: Remove the Spline

Locate the spline, which is a rubber or vinyl cord that holds the screen in place. Use a flathead screwdriver or an awl to carefully lift and remove the spline from the groove around the frame. If the spline is damaged or brittle, replace it with a new one. 

Step 3: Remove the Old Mesh

Once the spline is removed, gently pull the old screen mesh out of the frame. Dispose of the old mesh properly.

Step 4: Install the New Spline and Screen

Roll out the new screen on top of the door frame and leave an extra 1/2 inch to 1 inch of extra screening on all sides. You can tape one side down (or use lightweight clamps) to make the job easier.

Then, take your spline roller and use the convex wheel (the pointy one) and run it along the spline track. This step will help secure the screen before you install the spline.

When installing the spline, you should start in one corner and work in a circle. Use the concave wheel (the grooved one) to push the spline in. 

As you install the spline, make sure to keep the screen taut, but not too much. If you install the screen door mesh too tightly, it can warp the door frame or rip the screen.

Step 5: Cut the Excess Screen and Reinstall the Door

Trim the excess screen down to size with your utility knife, and you’re done rescreening your sliding screen door. 

You can take this opportunity to lubricate the rollers on your sliding screen door and clean the tracks as well. 

Now, all that’s left to do is to pop the door back into the track. You can use the flathead screwdriver to help you get it back into place. Lift the door and place the top wheels back onto the track. Lower the bottom wheels into the track.

Step 6: Test the Door

Slide the screen door back and forth to ensure it moves smoothly and that the new screen is securely in place.


Congratulations! You have successfully replaced the mesh on your sliding screen door, restoring its functionality and allowing fresh air to circulate through your home. This DIY project can enhance the comfort of your living space. Enjoy your renewed sliding screen door and the benefits it brings! If you’re looking for professional help repairing or replacing your sliding screen door you can contact us here at Revitalize Windows & Doors we’re we’ll be happy to provide a free quote. Servicing Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Markham, Richmond Hill and surrounding regions, we’re your go to window and door repair specialist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you patch a screen door?

If you’d rather repair your screen door mesh than replace it, you can patch it. Purchase a mesh patch for screen doors with small holes or tears, especially if the mesh is pretty new. Hardware stores and websites sell mesh patches that are easy to apply with an adhesive or a warm hair dryer. Keep in mind that repairs won’t look as aesthetically pleasing in most cases as a full replacement. 

What are solar screens?

Solar screens use a thick mesh of polyester to block out the UV waves and solar heat. While they are more expensive, they can protect your porch or hardwood floors from sun damage and keep the room or porch on the other side of the patio cool.

What can you do with old screens?

You can recycle old screen doors or repurpose the screens around your home. The most popular way to repurpose an old screen is to add it to another smaller opening, like a shed window or doggie door. Old screens can be a good material for patio doors or other exterior doors where security isn’t a concern.

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Custom Sliding Screen Doors

  •  Sliding Patio Screen Door Repair 
  •  Custom Sliding Patio Screen Door  Replacement
  •  Sliding Patio Screen Door Roller Replacement
  •  Doggy Door Installation

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