Choosing the Right Screen

Posted on 27 June 2018

Today’s wide variety of mesh, frames, and retractable devices guarantees that you can find a screen solution to match your specific need.

Mesh, the screen fabric, comes in a wide selection of color and ‘openess’. The more ‘open’, the better you can see through it. The tighter the weave, the smaller the bugs it will keep out, the more sun and wind it will block.

For example, a mesh that is 45% open will keep out most bugs, will allow airflow and will not impact your view. It will block about 55% of sunlight and cut down on the wind.

32% open will block out the smallest bugs, deflects even more wind and blocks up to 65% of sunlight. You will also get daytime privacy as the ability to see from the ‘lighter’ side of the screen (outside) to the darker side of the screen (inside) is reduced. It’s important to remember that this is daytime privacy. At night, when the inside of your home is brighter than outside, the screen is not providing privacy.

10% open will block about 90% of sunlight and can provide privacy to even your outdoor living spaces, and will serve as an excellent wind deflector. It won’t allow much of view out.

Choosing the right colour ensures the screen either blends into or compliments the colour scheme of your home. Colour also affects the function of the screen. Darker colours absorb sunlight, allowing a better view through the screen. Lighter colours reflect sunlight, washing out the view.

It’s also important to consider how the screen is held into its frame. For example, mounting screens on the outside of the window is the most effective way to protect your home from solar heat gain: block the sun before it touches the glass. A good mesh option is a 20% open mesh, blocking about 80% of the sunlight while still allowing a view to the outside. For this application, the mesh can be ‘splined’ into an aluminum frame, (spline is a flexible cord that holds the screen in place when rolled into a groove on the frame). These frames can be built to match any shaped window. They can be permanently attached to the window, or sit in a channel or held in place with clips, for easy removal.

For larger, permanent applications, such as screening in a porch or patio, mesh is held securely to the frame using a zipper and clip system. This makes sure that the screen stays taught and smooth for years.

Another consideration for larger screen applications is the width of roll the mesh comes on. In order to avoid, or minimize seams in the mesh, turn to rolls up to 120”.

It is often desirable to be able to retract the screen. Keeping the screen rolled up and protected when not in use extends the life of the mesh. It also allows for easier passage through the door or entrance to the patio. Especially for tighter sun blocking mesh, retracting the screen after dark helps maintain an attractive open feel and view. There are a variety of ways to secure retractable screens against the breeze such as clips, cables, tracks or zippered rails. These systems can be manual or motorized.

As Solaris, we don’t want to just sell you a product. We want to help you find the sun, bug, wind or security solution you are looking for. Call us, stop by our showroom in Edmonton or Calgary, or invite us to your home. We’ll talk about what you want to accomplish and recommend what will work best for you.

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