Love the outdoors, but not the pests that can come with it? A lanai, or screened-in porches, provide a transition from indoors to outdoors without the buzz of mosquitoes. A lanai screen can last anywhere from 3 - 20 years. We've done the research for you on what makes a screen last and how to keep this simple yet effective barrier intact and your outdoor sanctuary with it.
Lanai screens can last anywhere from 3 - 20 years. Some of the factors that contribute to this wide timespan include:
- Screen type
- Exposure to the elements
A lanai provides an outdoor sanctuary space, and the screen adds an important barrier that keeps pests like mosquitoes, flies, and outdoor critters from invasion. Depending on the materials and upkeep invested in your lanai screen reflects how long it may last. Use the following information to help keep your lanai screen in good maintenance so that your downtime is used to its maximum potential.
How Often Should Lanai Screens Be Replaced?
Regardless of the type of screen chosen to enclose a lanai, replacement happens on the homeowner's timeline. Some factors will impact how quickly a lanai screen needs replaced, like the type, maintenance, size, and exposure to the elements. If the materials chosen are on the cheaper end, 3-5 years may be the maximum life of the screen. However, any of the types discussed in this article reliably provide 6-20 years of barrier protection.
Aluminum screens are lightweight, provide good airflow, and prevent insects from joining you on your back porch. This interface has simplicity inherently designed because it can be cleaned with soapy water. Aluminum is synonymous with durability. Once installed, the screen will not pocket or droop.
Aluminum will oxidize over time. Therefore, if the area screened in is located in a coastal area or region, aluminum may not be the best choice for the project.
Click here to see an aluminum window screen from Amazon.
Widely used in many screening projects, fiberglass mesh rates high in strength. This mesh provides an element of flexibility not found with an aluminum screen. However, it may tear more easily because of the increased flexibility. Fiberglass mesh can be ordered in multiple colors to compliment your project. This mesh also tends to last somewhere in the middle of the time range, about 8-10 years before replacement may become necessary.
Click here to see fiberglass mesh from Amazon.
Florida Glass Screen
Similar to the fiberglass mesh, this screen adds an extra element to help homeowners. This screen includes a plastic laminate attached to the interlaced mesh. It can be tinted to increase privacy with a decrease of visibility through the screen itself. This may come in handy for pool enclosures. Sometimes, the extra barrier may be preferable at the bottom of an enclosure to keep borders and edging clean from mulch, grass, or hedges.
Click here to see Florida Glass Screen from Amazon.
Fiberglass 20x20 Mesh
Some habitats have pests so tiny they cannot be seen. When looking for a barrier to no see um's, flying midges, sand flies, and biting gnats, consider the mesh that is a little bit tighter. The fiberglass 20x20 mesh works especially well in marshy, swampy areas or coastal regions where these tiny insects can make an enjoyable evening one of misery and itchiness for days to come.
Click here to see fiberglass mesh screen 20x20 from Amazon.
Polyester mesh provides longevity with 10-year warranties. Yet, this mesh often lasts more than those ten years, lasting two decades before needing replacement. It works to provide a barrier to insects and UV rays, with reduced color loss. This mesh has properties that can incorporate barriers and prevention to algae and mildew growth.
Click here to see polyester screen from Amazon.
Solar screen is a type of fiberglass mesh made intentionally with the sun in mind. This mesh can block up to 75% of damaging UV rays. An essential purpose for solar sun is to provide shade on your back porch or screened-in area.
Click here to see solar screen at Amazon.
While maintaining a screen on the porch may not seem problematic, things tend to grow all of their own accord. Therefore, cleaning the lanai screen every year is important to prevent mildew or algae from springing to life. It may be more often for some climates, or seasonal challenges may need to be addressed as pollen spores come and go.
There isn't just one way to clean your lanai screen. It may be soaking with water, a soft bristle brush and a bucket of soap do the trick, especially for aluminum enclosures. Sometimes bleach may be added for a mildew deterrent. If bleach seems too strong because of plants, pets, or other factors, vinegar acts as a potent mold and mildew cleaner.
Pressure washers can help speed along the process, but using a low setting is important to ensure screens are not damaged. Click here for more information about cleaning your porch screen.
How Can You Patch A Lanai Screen?
Sometimes general maintenance of a lanai screen includes a patch. A patch is often for a small hole or tear, only a few inches in diameter. If there are multiple holes or tears within a section of the screen, it may be easier to replace the entire section.
Window screen repair kits offer simple solutions with all of the right tools. Again, these are for small rips and tears within a screen. As a quick fix before a better remedy can be arranged, super glue for small tears or a small piece of extra screen can be added to a small hole with adhesive. These are both short-term solutions because the tear or hole will continue to be a vulnerable spot in your wall of protection.
Click here to see screen repair kits from Amazon.
While size may seem to be a determining factor in screen replacement, the question asked according to size is how much spline may be missing? Another factor may be patches or repairs that need to be completed in any one section. Lanai screens can be replaced one section at a time, and as factors worsen, such as missing spline, the pieces that hold the screen in place, or multiple patches, replacement may be more imminent.
Exposure to Elements
Exposure to the elements creates general wear and tear on your lanai screen. Sun rays will cause discoloration over time. Storms can bring down trees that may affect your screen. Severe wind damage may lead to holes that need repair. Heat and humidity can have a direct impact on the growth of mold and mildew. All of this weathers the barrier between your living space and the outdoors. Repair or replacement may be needed based on weather patterns that come through your region.
Do Lanai Screens Block Sun?
There are types of screens that can block the sun. Some of these were mentioned above. Specifically, the solar screen is made with the sun's UV rays in mind. It helps slow the breakdown of color and durability that elements like the sun can ravage on lanai screen.
How Much Does It Cost To Rescreen A Lanai?
When it comes time to rescreen a lanai, costs can vary. The most varying factor is the type of screen mesh you choose and if you will do it yourself or hire someone to take care of it for you. The size is another crucial factor, as height adds to the cost of a panel being screened. It may be significantly more than screening in the door to a lanai or a wall panel for your lanai if it is over a pool.
A national average is around $3,000 to prescreen a lanai. Depending on the factors above, a typical range may begin at approximately $800 to $5,000 for rescreening. There are many ways to create your lanai space. Click here to find 21 ideas for your creation if you are considering a re-screening project.
Lanai's provide a place of rest within your home. Having it perform as a barrier to insects, UV rays, and other pests are all important functions. It will break down faster without maintaining the lanai, leading to a quicker turnaround on replacement needs. Consider all of the factors before deciding what type of lanai screen is right for you and when the replacement is needed.