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When you've got mesh screens on your windows and doors, rips and tears just seem to come with the territory. Take advantage of spring's arrival to finally scratch this quick fix off your seasonal household maintenance check list.

1. Purchase a replacement roll of mesh or screen fabric, or salvage mesh from an old screen in your basement. Ensure the surface area is sufficient to cover the entire range of tear.

2. Cut the torn area of your existing screen into a clean rectangle (you'll need strong scissors for this job!).

3. Lay the torn piece over your new mesh fabric and use as a pattern to cut your replacement piece, leaving a 1/2 inch margin around the entire area of your replacement fabric.

4. Bend your replacement screen's edges' teeth into right angles, creating a flush surface.

5. Set your replacement screen over existing opening, so the "teeth" penetrate the screen.

6. Turn screen over and bend teeth flat on the reverse side to hold in place.

Of course, for larger tears and replacement screens, you may need to invest in some adhesive, or perhaps replace the entire screen, which is much easier than it sounds. Otherwise, opt for an aluminum screen, especially if you have pets. Aluminum is much more resistant to animal-induced damage.

Now the only thing you'll be letting in when you open your windows and doors is the beautiful spring breeze.



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