There are many reasons why it’s crucial to maintain your fly screens. Firstly, they’re important – fly screens are purposeful products that allow you to enjoy your home throughout the year by improving ventilation and reducing your family’s risk of insect-borne disease. When a product has a job to do, you need to keep its working condition from being compromised.
Flyscreens, by their very design, attract dirt and grime. When you fail to address dust, dirt, salt, sap, and other bio-matter build up, it can affect your screen’s effectiveness. Other things to think about include:
If you plan on selling your home, dirty or damaged screens can make a potential buyer question how well the rest of your home has been cared for. Well-maintained screens will add visual appeal and impress your visitors or future home buyers.
When your fly screens aren’t kept clean, rain will wash the dirt of the screens, straight onto your window panes. This can leave dirt splash on the glass, restricting your views of the outdoors and making your exteriors look messy.
If your screens are working properly, they’ll assist in deflecting rainwater, reducing the risk of pooled water on your frames. This will protect your frames from mold and deterioration.
The basics of Artilux screen maintenance
Artlilux unlocks your home’s potential with some of the best and most durable screens on the market. Our screens feature industry-led design, offering the best functionality and versatility. But even the best requires proper maintenance to ensure years of trouble-free service.
Artilux retractable Fly screens function smoothly and come with discreet cassette systems and tracks. When not using an Artliux insect screen, keep it in the retracted position. Leaving the screen extended for long periods will cause the mesh to sag, and will void the warranty of your Artilux screen.
There are 3 types of Artilux retractable screens roll-away soft close and roll-up soft close and pleated ly screens. Whichever configuration you have, extend or pull your Artilux screen with gentle force. Putting undue pressure on the screen may cause permanent damage.
Routine cleaning for longevity
- Weekly vacuuming
The bottom tracks should be vacuumed regularly, ideally once a week. The accumulation of dirt, debris, and pet hair can cause the system to perform poorly, and can cause your screens to jam. Our screens are designed to roll smoothly over tracks, and heavier handling can cause creases in the mesh.
When vacuuming the tracks, take a moment to clean the mesh using the soft brush attachment on the lowest possible setting. This will loosen dirt or debris, making your screens easier to scrub.
- Mesh maintenance
Should the mesh become soiled, clean with warm water and a damp, lint-free rag or cloth. Use mild soap if necessary, but do not use abrasive detergents or chemical additives. Rinse the cloth or rag out as you go to prevent the dirt from spreading onto other parts of the screen. Allow each screen to dry naturally.
- Special attention in harsh environments
Adjust your weekly routine accordingly in harsh environments, where dust, debris, and humidity are persistent or higher than normal. Coastal areas are prone to salt build up, urban areas are prone to pollution, and rural areas are prone to dust and mud. Think about where you live and if that may impact how often you need to clean your screens.
Advanced maintenance tip for peak performance
To keep your Artilux screens running smoothly, we recommend applying a light spray of a silicone-based lubricant to the screen tracks and handle fittings about every three months. Curtain Track Lube, available in most hardware stores, will do the trick.
If you notice your fly screen mesh is starting to look greyish or “dull”, apply a solution of 40% methylated spirits and 60% water mixed in a spray bottle. Do this directly after a good clean. You can then remove the solution by wiping the mesh and the screen with a soft, lint-free cloth. There is a risk of this mesh restoration method affecting the mesh coating, so only do this every two years. It should not be carried out too often.
What not to do: Common mistakes in fly screen maintenance
Let’s face it – no one wants to clean their fly screens regularly. The reality is, though, they are designed to be see-through, to allow air flow, and to protect against mosquitoes, pollution, and other insects and materials. Maintenance is required, but good maintenance is key. It’s important to avoid these three common mistakes.
- Using abrasive detergents or chemical additives
Cleaning products can contain a cocktail of chemicals that can be potentially hazardous to your health and the lifespan of your fly screens. Use a mild dish soap only, or better yet, consider using natural products such as vinegar. Use one cup of white vinegar and ½ a tablespoon of mild dish soap for 2 litres of water, or check out these 9 all-natural home cleaning products.
- Forcefully extending or pulling the screen
Before operating your retractable fly screen, review the manual and then put it in a safe place for future reference. Gently pull or push the handle or the sliding bar to the desired position and do not lean or push against the fly screen’s mesh. The retractable fly screen should be operated at a slow pace and should slide with ease. If you are using excessive force, your screen likely requires some maintenance.
- Using bore water, tank water or recycled water
Bore water has high levels of iron, and bore, tank or recycled water can leave more contaminants on the screen than there were to begin with. In some cases bore water can leave brown staining. Use clean water for cleaning your screens and keep the spray soft. Never direct powerful streams of water at your fly screen products, as this can strip the powder coating or tear the fly screen mesh.
Getting the most from your fly screens
Fly screens, while fantastic additions to your home, are not ‘set and forget’ additions. They require proper maintenance and care, and so arm yourself with the right tools and create a routine you know you can stick to. Download our Maintenance Guide and contact us if you have any other questions or for a free quote on our high-quality retractable screens.