A screened porch is a safe haven for many people during the summer. It is shady, often cooler than the inside of the house and gives people the opportunity to sit outside in the fresh air without having to worry about being inundated by bugs or other creatures. People are especially grateful for the screens on their porches when they want to eat outside. There is nothing worse than having some bug land right in the middle of your dinner.
There are, of course, different types of porch screens. There are two basic varieties: the kind that will keep bugs out and the kind that will keep larger creatures out.
Insect screens are typically made up by mesh that is either eighteen by fourteen or eighteen by sixteen. These numbers refer to the number of wires per inch. There are always eighteen wires per inch going in one direction on a porch screen, but insect ones can come in either fourteen wires per inch or sixteen wires per inch going in the other direction. Typically these wire arrangements create squares that are smaller than one sixteenth of an inch square. These two variations of insect screens will keep out must of the bugs that would be a bother, but experts suggest using a twenty by twenty mesh one made of fiberglass for porches that might have a problem with very tiny bugs.
These screens can be made from the aforementioned fiberglass as well as galvanized steel, aluminum or bronze. Each type of screen has its own problems. Galvanized steel mesh has to be replaced the most often because the coating that protects it will flake off, which will let the wires of the screen rust. Aluminum will stand up to corrosion or rusting, but does not work well in coastal areas.
Pet-Resistant Screens (the type of screens that will keep larger creatures out) is a fairly new development. One brand, PetScreen, boasts that its screens are seven times stronger than the porch screens made to just keep the insects out. Pet-Resistant screens are made of polyester that has been vinyl coated. It is installed in the same way that insect porch screens are installed, but offers a sturdier barrier between your porch and the creatures who might try to wander on to it.
There are also wind resistant and sun-shading ones which are made from stronger mesh that can resist the wind and other products that can help protect the people sitting on the porch from up to ninety percent of the sun’s heat and UV rays.
Screens are a good idea, especially if you live in an area that has a reputation for its bugs or stray creatures. Even if you live in an area relatively bug and creature free, the wind resistant or shadier screens might be a good idea. They will make sitting outside more comfortable almost no matter what the weather conditions happen to be.