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How to Fix a Storm Door Retractable Screen

If you own a storm door with a retractable screen, chances are you’ve experienced the benefits of enhanced curb appeal, better home circulation, and improved energy efficiency. But what happens when your screen rips or won’t open and close correctly? The expert technicians at Glass Doctor are ready to help you fix all your window screens.

Read on to learn how to resolve common retractable screen storm door problems.

Need window screen repair? Learn more about our window screen and solar screen services. Call 833-974-0209 or contact the Glass Doctor® location nearest you to get started. 

How Do Retractable Screen Doors Work?

Modern retractable screen doors work by rolling and unrolling screen material via a spindle at the top or side of the door. This allows for a clear, no screen, window view when you have the screen rolled up. Storing the screen rolled up also protects it from constant wear and tear.

Here are the five steps to remove and re-install the spindle before you make your retractable screen repair:

  1. First, you will need to disconnect the glass and from the screen. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws at the top where the screen and glass meet.
  2. To be safe, take the top glass off the track to prevent it from breaking.
  3. Continue with the screwdriver buy loosening the screws at the very top where the screen and spindle is located. This also includes any screws or hardware that is keeping the top of the door attached to spindle.
  4. After unscrewing all top sections, you should then be able to gently remove the whole section where the screen is housed.
  5. To reinstall, simply follow directions 1 to 4 backwards. So you will ultimately put everything back into its place, screw it in, and make sure it is secure.

How to Fix a Storm Door Retractable Screen

Ultimately there are two key issues homeowners may face with a retractable screen door: a ripped screen or a screen that won’t open or close. Here are the ways we recommend fixing these two issues.

How to Replace a Ripped Retractable Screen

Unfortunately, if your screen is ripped, the only solution is full screen replacement. Because retractable screens are always taut, even a patched screen will get worse over time. In addition, patching the screen will negatively impact your view out the screen door. Here is how to install the new screen yourself:

  1. After removing the spindle from the door, gently remove the old screen roll from the spindle by removing the end cap and any screws on both sides and sliding it out of the pull bar.
  2. After you have removed the pull bar and endcap, remove and discard the old screen
  3. Insert new screen roll into the spindle and make sure the end of the screen is placed properly along the track in the pull bar.
  4. Confirm there is no slack on the new screen and screw the endcap back on the spindle and the pull bar to secure the screen into place.
  5. Hold the spindle sideways and manually test the screen.
  6. Re-install the spindle on your storm door.

How to Fix a Storm Door Retractable Screen That Won’t Open or Close

If the screen on your storm door is being stubborn, its inability to open or close is due to screen tension. If your screen is difficult to retract, there is not enough screen tension. If your screen struggles to stay unfurled, there is too much tension.

Here is how to fix your retractable screen tension issues:

  1. First, follow the steps above to disconnect your spindle.
  2. After disconnecting the spindle, open each endcap on the spindle.
  3. Gently wind up the end of the spindle if you need to create tension, or gently unwind if there is too much tension. If there is too much tension, make sure to be careful when you are unwinding, as it could hit your hand.

Trust Glass Doctor for Screen Repair & Replacement

If you’re ready to skip all these steps, the team at Glass Doctor is ready to help with your storm door or home window screens. Schedule an appointment online or give us a call at 833-974-0209 to get started solving your retractable screen storm door problems today.

Experiencing door sagging or structural issues in your home? Learn a quick DIY fix for sagging doors from fellow Neighborly® brand Mr. Handyman®.