how to fix patio screen door

person holding a new screen in front of a patio door
Tools Needed
1 Spline Installation Tool
2 Rollers
3 Screen
4 Spline
Materials Needed
1 Utility Knife
2 Safety Glasses
3 Gloves
4 Screw Driver
Total Cost
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
2-3 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

modern patio door with a screen door

Having a patio door is a wonderful idea. It allows you to feel like you are close to nature without being outdoors. If you have a sliding screen door, you can get fresh air into your home without having to be outside with the bugs. There isn’t much maintenance when it comes to having a patio screen door. You just need to make sure the rollers and tracks are clean. However, sometimes the screen may get ripped and need to be fixed so critters and those pests don’t get in. Many of the newer screen doors are made a frame created with aluminum. It is very lightweight. The screen is generally fiberglass and can be stretched. This is economical but it is easy to get ripped as well. However, you can replace it quickly and easily with new materials.

Before you go to the store to get the new materials, slide your door a few times to see if anything else is broken. If your door isn’t sliding well, clean out the dirt from your door’s track and try it again. If it still won’t slide well, you will need to get newer rollers from the store. If you need to take the door off its frame, lift on it and pull the bottom part from its track.

To start replacing the ruined screen, you need to know two things right away. You need to know about the screen and the spline. The spline is the tubing made from rubber. It locks your screen into the frame’s grooving. There are many diameters in which the spline might come in. You need to make sure the new one you get is the same size as your old one. You will need the installation tool to put the new spline in as well. It has a concave and convex end to properly place the spline.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Removing the Damaged Screen

person removing the damaged screen from a patio screen door

The first step to fixing a patio screen door is to remove the screen. The screen is going to be on the rollers which are in the track. You will need to pull the screen door off from the track. You pull upwards so that the bottom of it gets pulled out. You will then lower your door until it goes under the top part of the frame.

After you have taken the door off from the track, you will want to remove take off the handle from the door. This will allow you to get to the screen without having any obstructions. If the handle is broken for some reason, this would be a great time for you to replace it.


Remove The Spline

person removing some screws from a patio screen door with a screwdriver

Very commonly, you might find a different spline length on the various sides of your frame. You should use the awl to grab the ends of it to pry it off. Be careful so you don’t ruin the spline when you are doing this. If you don’t break it or if it isn’t already broken, you can reuse it.

The next step is removing the spline. You will want to hold the spline by hand and pull it off very gently. You must do it slowly so it doesn’t get ruined. You should do this for all the segments of spline on the door.

You can now start removing rollers from the door. You should take them off carefully. You will do this using your screwdriver. Certain doors may use spring clips and you may need to depress these to get them off.


Install The New Spline And Screen

two people standing in front of a new patio screen door

Now you can install newer spline. You will use a knife or even scissors to cut proper lengths so it will fit nicely into the grooves. You will want to assure that the spline’s diameter is exactly as it was on the older spline. You will now put your new screen over top of your doorframe. Make sure you are aligning one of the screen’s edges onto the outer edge of your door. This will assure that your screen is even with the frame as it should be.

Now you will need to use your convex roller. This will be used so that you can install your spline. You push it on top of the screen over the groove line on your doorframe. Don’t press too hard or it could rip your screen. You will now be using your concave roller. This is, again, pressed into each groove along the doorframe so the spline can be installed. You will gently push on this and put the tool on an angle slightly against the outer frame so you don’t tear your new screen.


Finishing Touches

close up of a patio screen door

Make sure you now have your screen pulled tight before you start trimming off any extra screen. You should now push your concave roller into the grooves gently but with enough pressure to get the extra screen off from the doorframe. You are now nearing the end of your project of fixing the patio screen door. Push your roller into the door’s opening and snap the clips into place.

You will now want to replace your screen panel that is located in the track of your door. Then, you should make sure the door closes nicely into the doorjamb. If it doesn’t do this, you can change the position of the roller so it does. You turn the adjustment screws to accomplish this step.


Sometimes the latch on the door may be broken. If that is the case, be sure you get a new one and secure it properly. Fixing a patio screen door does take quite a few steps. However, the project is quite simple and can be done in less than a few hours. Once you have followed these steps, your patio door will look like it is brand new.

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