A patio is the ultimate place to unwind, entertain, and enjoy the scenery that nature has to offer, without ever leaving your home.
With all of its benefits though, spending time outside comes with some bothers, but they’re nothing that a good patio screen can’t fix.
What does a patio screen do?
Patio screens can be placed around your outdoor space to keep insects away, protect the area from UV rays, offer privacy, or even make the area more secure.
Depending on the goals you have for your patio, there’s likely the perfect type of screen out there to meet them.
If you want to make the most out of your patio but find something getting in the way, a good screen could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
We’re here to look at the many types of patio screens available, what they’re made of, and how they can make your outdoor haven more enjoyable.
Why Do You Need a Patio Screen?
The average patio is typically an open space that flows on from your home, and although it might be covered by a roof, there’s nothing on the sides that give it full protection.
Therefore, it’s common for people to seek out some sort of cover from a screen, to keep them safe from things like:
As an open-air space, patios don’t usually have the best protection.
Some homes have fully stocked patios with things like TVs, bars, and other expensive goods out in the open, so installing some form of security screen is the smartest option.
Nothing ruins a relaxing evening on your patio more than the buzzing and biting of mosquitoes, not to mention the other bugs that hang around, especially during the warmer months.
If you’ve been trying to make the most of your outdoor space but find the bugs driving you away, a patio screen can easily block them out without taking any of your view or fresh air.
The position of your patio means the sun might shine in at the worst time, bothering you and your guests, and fading and ruining your favorite outdoor furniture.
Some people get relief with a carefully positioned screen that protects against UV rays and makes the whole space usable.
If you have rear or side neighbors that get a good view inside of your patio and you want to stop their prying eyes, there are lots of options for privacy screening out there.
Common Types of Patio Screens
Patio screens come in many different materials, sizes, and are made for many reasons, with some doing it all and others there just to serve one purpose.
Before you jump in and start measuring up for a new patio screen, take some time to learn a little more about what options are out there.
Aluminum is one of the most common types of patio screens and it’s also affordable, which further adds to its appeal.
The benefits of using aluminum are that it leaves you with good visibility to enjoy nature and is tougher than other materials like fiberglass.
However, it’s more work to install and isn’t the best choice for areas with glare, as the bare metal screen reflects it inside.
Fiberglass is the second most common material for patio screens and porches, thanks to its cheap price and good visibility.
This material is made of fiberglass threads that have been coated in vinyl to make it tougher but softer.
If you’re hoping to keep your views out outside, fiberglass has good visibility, and it also reduces the glare from sunlight which means you can enjoy your patio at all times of the day.
However, there are drawbacks, mainly the stretch that occurs in this material after a while and its susceptibility to tearing, which means people with animals should avoid it.
Harder metals like copper, bronze, stainless steel and the nickel-copper alloy called ‘monel’ are known as some of the more durable patio screen options.
With this strength also comes a much higher price and installation that can only be done by a professional.
The major upside is that they last longer, are secure against predators, and leave you with good visibility to take in the view.
Polyester PVC Screen
A PVC-coated polyester screen is an affordable option for patios that gets the best of both worlds with these two materials.
These screens feel soft and stay soft, so they’re surprisingly resilient against UV rays and moisture, which makes them a smart choice for the patio and other outdoor settings.
This screen features a polyester core yarn that’s coated with PVC and they come in different colors and sizes, and are easy to install yourself.
This is sometimes referred to as a solar screen and it’s been specifically formulated for areas with lots of glare and sun exposure.
Textilene and similar materials are capable of blocking up to 90% of the sun’s rays, but it costs more than other screens like polyester and aluminum.
Another downside is that you’ll lose some visibility with this installed so if keeping your patio views are important, there’s probably a better option.
Pet screens are perfect for patios where dogs and cats are kept in the home and outdoors, and must be resilient enough to withstand their sharp claws and scratching.
At the same time, a pet screen has to meet the patio’s other requirements, like good visibility and security, so this will dictate the best fit.
Softer mesh screens aren’t ideal so choosing aluminum or another thicker metal is a smart approach.
The no-see-um is a small, flying insect that can be just as annoying as the mosquito, but because of their size, they can usually fit into the holes of the screens made for their larger counterparts.
A no-see-um screen is made out of fiberglass mesh and sometimes has a protective vinyl coating.
With tightly woven mesh, its holes are often referred to as 20×20 for their smaller size and depending on the type, you can usually install it easily enough at home.
Mosquito netting is commonly made of materials like polyester, cotton, nylon, or polyethylene.
The mesh holes measure around 0.047 inches in width to prevent mosquitoes from entering, but they can vary in size.
Some mosquito netting can be smaller like a no-see-um screen to stop all kinds of flying insects.
The lightweight netting is draped over umbrellas and other patio furniture or it can be hung like curtains around the patio to protect the entire area.
A Patio Without Problems
The simple addition of a patio screen can remove issues like mosquitoes, sun damage, and unwanted intruders, but it has to be right for your individual setup.
Consider what it is you hope to get out of a patio screen and what’s stopping you from enjoying your outdoor space to its full potential, and you’ll likely find a screen that can fix it.
A patio screen is an easy fix to so many problems and they’re uniquely designed so they don’t take anything anyway in the process.
If you’re in the market for a screen to keep mosquitoes or prying eyes away, we’ve got some FAQs and answers that can make that search easier.
Which Is Better Aluminum or Fiberglass Screen?
Aluminum screens are considered more durable when compared to something like fiberglass but they can also oxidize if installed in the wrong areas, like near the ocean.
Fiberglass screens are easier to install yourself but they may crease during the process and the result is a screen that’s quite light.
Both offer good visibility and airflow though, so it’s down to the individual features to find the best fit.
What Color Patio Screen Is Best?
A darker color patio screen will usually allow for better visibility, so choose a color like charcoal or dark gray if you want to keep your view.
Although light colors appear to help with visibility when choosing a patio covering, they make it harder to determine what’s past the screen and can end up having the opposite effect.
Is Mosquito Netting Waterproof?
Certain types of mosquito netting are waterproof, depending on the materials used to make them and any protective coating they have, so they won’t be damaged by moisture.
However, this doesn’t mean they will block water from getting through.
A mosquito net is only designed to keep small insects out and won’t have the same effect on water, so you’ll need to invest in a thicker and water-resistant material if this is your goal.