Components of Contemporary Sliding Screen Door Hardware

Sliding screen doors are both effective and efficient in today's economy and against the natural elements and to properly maintain one you'll need to know about the sliding screen door hardware. What better way to keep out unwanted debris and unwanted insects or animals, while still keeping your home cool and circulating fresh air? To understand the benefits and responsibilities of installing and maintaining a sliding screen door you first need to understand the various doors that are available to you and the components these doors are made of.

The Frame

Most sliding screen door frames are rollformed out of aluminum. As with other aluminum products, it is cost effective and lightweight, however, also pliable and can be bent or dented by furniture or heavy branches. Rollforming causes the corners of the screen door to be the weakest link and after repeated long-term use the corners will stress and loosen, enabling the door to stick or jam and will often require replacement rather than repair. Extruded aluminum doors are the suggested alternative. They are fairly strong but also run in a slightly higher price range.

The Screen

The actual screen can be comprised of several materials, including fiberglass, aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, and polyester core. The most common and cheapest contemporary material is fiberglass, which is also the easiest to install but is more prone to damage. Aluminum screen is commonly found in older screen doors but is often problematic to install and is not durable. Stainless steel is a heavier screen that is built to last, but also is more expensive than the previous two, as is bronze, although bronze is somewhat difficult to work with. Polyester core is the recommended screen choice as it is generally more cost effective than both stainless steel and bronze, but has enough strength to withstand repeated wear and tear due to its plastic coating.

The Spline

Generally made of rubber, the spline is an essential component for holding your screen in place. A damaged or partial spline will cause both screen damage and a breech in the integrity of the door. Special tools called spline rollers are the best practice when installing a spline, although a screwdriver can be used but due to the likely-hood of screen puncture is not recommended.

The Rollers

Nearly all rollers are made out of plastic, making them easy to replace and cheaper to manufacture. The rollers are located on the bottom of most sliding screen doors, but can be located on the top in top-hung door varieties, although these are most common in non-screened closet doors. One area of routine maintenance with a sliding screen door involves the rollers. Often times, the rollers can become obstructed by debris and will need to be cleared from the track in order to have the door fully operational. If the door seems to slide rather than roll, it is a warning sign that the roller may be obstructed. The rollers are attached to the door via springs and a screw, which protrudes through the frame. This adjustment screw is used to raise or lower the roller, thereby increasing or decreasing the height of the door. During initial installation, the rollers will more than likely need to be adjusted to fit the external frame. This can be done by inserting the top of the door into the frame, lifting up and then adjusting the rollers via adjustment screw. The reverse process is used when removing the doors.

No matter what kind of sliding screen door you choose, ensure that you prepare yourself with the knowledge of operation and possible maintenance and your door will last. With this knowledge the repair and maintenance time of your sliding screen door will be a breeze.