A window screen, in its most basic construction, involves the creation of a four-sided frame with a mesh stretched across the frame.
The Window Screen Frame
Window screen frames vary in terms of the material used to construct them. Some window frames are made from aluminum, while alternative window screen frames are crafted out of a variety of different kinds of wood.
The aluminum window screen framing is generally made of heavy gauge aluminum materials or roll-form aluminum. The roll form variations are less expensive when compared to their heavy gauge aluminum counterparts or screens with a wooden framework.
Roll form aluminum framework is further broken down into two distinct forms; the lip frame window screen framework and the box frame window screen framework. The box frame is used when you want the screen to fit over the entire window. The lip frame is used when you want the screen to be recessed into the opening. When considering window screen replacement or purchase, make sure you know if your need a box frame or lip frame.
Wooden window frames can be more appealing than aluminum frames. But they are more expensive and, over time, will need more maintenance.
Window Screen Material
A special window screen mesh material is then stretched from all four sides of the frame to create a protective window covering.
When it comes to window screens, there are several different types of window screen material that screens are crafted out of by manufacturers.
Window screen material include fiberglass, aluminum, bronze, copper, and steel. Some of the materials may be coated with special coatings in order to give the window screens special properties for ultraviolet protection.
Let’s look at the different types of window screen material in more detail.
Vinyl-coated Fiberglass Window Screening
This is the most used screen material. It is resistant to corrosion, rust, and stains. Its downside is that, compared to aluminum, it stretches and tears much more easily. It also has a tendency to become harder and more brittle as it ages.
It is manufactured by weaving strands of fiberglass criss-cross into a grid pattern on mesh. After the weaving, the mesh is coated with vinyl. Some manufacturers use additives in the coating to provide some additional resistance to the weather. The coating material may also contain a color, most often grey or black.
Aluminum Window Screening
In terms of durability, aluminum screening is preferred. It also resists rust and sagging. It will typically be manufactured with a protective finish which strengthens the weave and prevents corrosion. Unlike fiberglass screening material, aluminum is less likely to be degraded by the sun, meaning it will last longer.
This material usually comes in natural color, but is often also available in charcoal or black. The charcoal is considered less visible, which can improve the appearance of the window screens when viewed from the street.
Bronze window screening material is considered the best material. This material is actually 90% copper and 10% zinc. It begins as a bright gold finish, but over time it weathers and develops a bronze patina. This patina provides the screen with durability and protection from corrosion.
Window screens crafted in bronze help to offer the homeowner excellent privacy as these screens are darker than screens made with other types of window screen materials.
Bronze is a bit more expensive when compared to other window screen material offerings.
Other Window Screen Material
For historic homes, a copper window screen material might prove more ideal; older style homes often used copper screening for window treatments. Owners of historic sites might want to use copper in order to maintain a historic feel to the home. However, it will cost much more than even bronze material.
Some businesses prefer stainless and galvanized steel window screens to give the business an added element of security. Window screens made from steel supply the business with screens that are remarkably strong and more resistant to forced intrusions.