What Type of Material is Best for My Screen Door?
This time of year, we all want to be outside, in the fresh air, as much as is comfortable and possible. And naturally, we invite the outside in by opening our windows and doors, allowing warm, fresh air to circulate through our homes after the long, stuffy winter months.
However, it isn’t always the ideal choice to let everything into our homes that want entry- and that’s where screen doors come in. Below is a quick overview of the “why” and “how” of screen doors, and how they can best benefit your home.
Benefits of Screen Doors
1) Increased Ventilation and Energy Efficiency
In most of the world, the outdoor air is generally cooler at night. By utilizing a screen door, you can allow all that fresh, cool air to circulate through your home all evening, and then in the morning as temperatures again rise, lock the cool air in. This minimizes or even eliminates the need for air conditioning during the day, ultimately reducing energy costs.
2) Pest and Debris Elimination
While most of us love a strong breeze and the summertime smells of fresh-cut grass, flowers, and grilling drifting through the home, we don’t always love the bugs that come with those tantalizing scents. Screen doors enable air to pass through without allowing insects, rodents, grass clippings, leaves, or other debris into your home.
3) Added Home Security
With a security screen door, you get the benefits of all of the above, in addition to the reassurance that no person or thing can intrude into your home. A security screen door still allows air to pass through, but is strongly constructed and typically features a lock as well. If you are in an area where there are concerns of uninvited home intrusion by either animal or other humans, this is the option for you.
4) Increase Home Value
Put plainly, for all the reasons you want a screen door, prospective buyers do too. Whether you’re looking to sell in the near future, or are simply considering the pros and cons of screen doors, it’s undeniable that there is definitely a positive ROI for this home upgrade.
5) Protect Your Door
While it’s no impenetrable forcefield, using a screen door in the summertime takes some of the wear and tear away from your front door. If you have a household with lots of in-and-out traffic, utilizing a screen door minimizes the visible impacts on your front door. Additionally, in summer storms or days with high winds, the screen door is first in line for any blowing twigs or other debris and will deflect damage away from your front door- to an extent.
Types of Screen Doors
The “traditional” screen door, a hinged door is mounted on the exterior of your home in front of your door, and swings like any other standard door, on hinges. These can be ornate and decorative or simple and minimalist, but they are commonly found in homes.
This type of screen door accompanies a- you guessed it- sliding door. Well-made sliding screens create a seal so that insects cannot easily slip through cracks to enter the home, but they can also get “sticky” with use over time or come off their track, requiring maintenance.
Newish to the market, retractable screen doors withdraw into protective housing when not in use. They can mount to either the inside or outside of a door frame to accommodate for swing, and are easily retrofitted. Additionally, since they are self-contained when not in use, they don’t need to be removed at the end of the season, and they also may last a bit longer since there is less overall exposure to the elements and harmful UV rays.
- Magnetic / Hands-Free
Magnetic screen doors are great for a seasonal solution if you aren’t sure whether or not you want a permanent door installed. They are usually mounted to the header of the doorway, either interior or exterior, depending on the door’s swing. You can also get a double-wide version for french doors or sliding doors that don’t otherwise have their own screen. All that’s required for a person (or pet) to pass through is a little pressure, and the resulting swinging motion of the screen plus the attraction of the magnets causes it to seal itself back up without any additional effort.
- Security Storm Door
Security Storm doors offer the airflow of any other screen door but within an unyielding frame. They offer additional protection while still allowing airflow. There are now many styles on the market, and there’s one for every home aesthetic.
- Pet Screen Door
We all know someone who needs one of these- they are custom designed to allow for in-and-out access for furrier family members without sacrificing the functionality of the rest of the door.
Best Materials for Screen Doors
While any type of screen will block insects, there are additional advantages to certain screen materials over others.
Available everywhere, affordable, and easy to work with, fiberglass is the most common modern screen material. It’s a bit more flexible, and it “gives” a bit under pressure, so it’s a good solution for homes with young kids or active pets. It won’t “dent” the way metal-based screens will, and instead just relaxes back to its original shape.
Overall, aluminum screens are stronger than Fiberglass, though they will dent under intense impact. While there aren’t any other major differences between the two, aluminum still typically undersells fiberglass, mostly because of price (aluminum is about double the price of fiberglass).
A high-end option, bronze has a beautiful golden tint in the sun when first installed, though is known to develop a patina over time, not unlike copper. It is a very strong screen option, but also very expensive.
- Pet Screening
Pet screening is made of reinforced fiberglass that is about 20% stronger than standard fiberglass screening. It may be the way to go for households with active and jumpy fur babies! While naturally a bit more expensive than standard fiberglass, the resulting longevity ultimately pays for itself.
- Solar Screening
For those in hotter climates, solar screening can help cut energy needs and costs by minimizing the amount of heat transfer through the screen and into your home. There are different options available on the market, so make sure to do your homework to ensure the product you choose is right for your circumstances!
Let us know if you have questions about anything covered in this article, and what you’d like us to break down next!