Whether you are remodeling and putting in new screen doors or repairing your current doors, there are so many mesh options on the market today — it can be overwhelming trying to determine the best material for your project.
Where do I start?
The good news is, by asking that question, you’ve already started. Here’s a handy checklist to assist you in your decision-making process
- How important is maintaining aesthetics and your view of the outside?
- What safety concerns do you have?
- What size mesh will you need?
- Consider your geographical location
- Common species of insects in your area
- What type, quality and color of mesh material will you need?
Aesthetics and View
In settings where screen doors are installed, consider not only keeping insects out but also creating, enhancing and/or preserving the view to the outside. In most cases, especially in peoples’ homes, choosing a mesh that is as invisible as possible is the first priority.
Then there is the ventilation factor. In locations where conventional swinging screen doors are an aesthetic challenge, such as the main entry, Retractable Screen Doors (RSDs) are a serious option for homeowners to consider. The rapid growth in popularity of RSDs is directly related to the increase in energy-efficient homes where natural ventilation is at a premium.
Often, the main entry door is frequently the only source of fresh air on a particular side of a home; so the only way to get good cross ventilation is to open the front door. RSDs are an affordable, practical and high-curb-appeal alternative to swinging screen doors.
Screen doors, by design, keep bugs from getting inside, but they can only perform that function if the screen material is 100% intact.
Most of us don’t give any thought to the safety aspect of our screen doors until there’s a specific need to. That said, screen door accidents are an extremely common occurrence. People and pets walk into and through screen doors all the time. If you need proof, just Google “screen door accidents” or “people walking through screen doors” to see for yourself.
There is one screen mesh product that has addressed these safety concerns in a very unique and innovative way. It’s called VISISCREEN®. It has a patented density marker designed and woven into the screen door mesh that remains invisible at safe distances but becomes visible as you approach it, thus preventing common screen door accidents such as walk-throughs.
It’s manufactured by Seattle-based Aedes Technologies, aptly named for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for the spread of the Zika Virus, Malaria, Yellow Fever and other diseases.
Interestingly, Genius Retractable Screens Systems, a leading retractable screen door manufacturer, is introducing a version of its Milano series that comes with the VISISCREEN mesh installed. You can learn more about it at visiscreendoors.com.
Screen mesh size is determined by the number of openings per square inch of mesh. For example, a number 4 mesh will have 4 openings per square inch; a number 16 mesh will have 16 openings per square inch. For screen doors, standard 18 x 16 mesh with a .011 diameter (wire thickness) is typically recommended to keep out common insects.
In areas such as Florida, known for no-see-ums and other tiny insects, 20 x 20 mesh with a .013 diameter is more effective at keeping bugs out, but doesn’t perform as well as standard mesh when it comes to light transmission and ventilation.
Vinyl-coated fiberglass mesh is the preferred industry standard for screen doors (and windows). It’s easy to install, durable and affordable. Your color options are charcoal and gray.
Another material option is aluminum wire. Apples to apples, aluminum wire is slightly more durable than fiberglass mesh and is available in charcoal, black and silver. Otherwise, there’s nothing substantially different between the two.
In fact, vinyl-coated fiberglass mesh outsells aluminum 3 to 1, as it’s about half the cost. There are additional specialty material options including Bettervue, UltraVue, Super Screen and Pet Screen.
Choosing the right screen mesh for your screen door project can be a challenging journey. Hopefully, this information has helped you navigate that road so you can enjoy many worry-free outdoor seasons in the safety and comfort of your home.
By Richard Grossman – Brand Engagement Maestro, VISISICREEN®