The Different Types of Fly Screens Explained
Inviting fresh air into your home is a welcome relief, but without fly screens, you’re also attracting unwelcome insects. Luckily there are many different types of fly screens and even more material options.
The umbrella term “fly screen” essentially means material that’s designed to cover the opening of an open window or door. The primary purpose of a fly screen is to keep insects, dirt, leaves, debris, small birds and pests from entering your property when a window or door is open.
With a fly screen, you enjoy cool breezes with peace of mind that your window or door is protected from unwanted insects.
At first inspection, some customers may presume that all fly screens are very similar to each other in terms of materials and construction. However, nothing could be further from the truth. There are many different varieties, each offering their own unique benefits and to suit any situation. The main differentiator is often the type of material used, which can determine many different elements, from the size of the mesh to its durability.
Fly screen materials include:
PVC Coated Fibreglass
The most common material for fly screens, this is sometimes referred to as nylon mesh, fibreglass is popular in Australia’s coastal towns as it doesn’t corrode, rust or stain. It does, however, stretch and tear more easily when compared with other materials.
Aluminium, also a common option for fly screen materials, also withstands harsh weather conditions. Aluminium is more durable than fibreglass but can dent and crease over time. Heavy duty aluminium is available to protect against this.
Recommended for homes in bushfire prone areas, stainless steel is strong and tough. For this reason stainless steel is also used in most security screen options.
Popular for areas where sun protection is needed, solar screens provide shade and block and absorb heat. This makes them ideal for areas near porches and verandahs.
Made from vinyl-coated polyester, pet screens are tough with small mesh holes to protect the screen from pet scratches and damage.
The weave of a fly screen refers to how many strands are in a square inch, ultimately creating spaces within the screen. As a general rule, the tighter the weave, the less likelihood something can get in through your open window or door. The trade off is that a tighter weave may block or interrupt your view, so be sure to check your options before purchasing the tightest weave.
If you live by the beach, sandfly screens offer a tight weave that is specifically designed to give respite from midges.
As well as material and weave, fly screen frames can come in different colours. Artilux retractable fly screens and Allegro™ pleated insect screens can be manufactured in almost any frame colour from the range of standard colours from the Dulux® and Interpon® powder coating charts. The systems are also available in clear anodise and an attractive woodgrain finishes.
As standard, our retractable and Allegro™ pleated insect screens come in the following colours: Pearl White (Classic Pearl White), Satin Black and Clear Anodise,.
While there are many different styles of fly screens available, there are three main types to consider.
Retractable Fly Screens
Commonly referred to as roller screen doors, retractable screens are a roll of mesh that’s contained within a housing (cassette). As you pull the screen along top and bottom tracks, the mesh unrolls and extends to provide complete protection from insects.
Retractable screens work in a similar way as a roller blind, only instead of fabric they use insect screen mesh. They can be fitted horizontally or vertically and in keeping with the design of your home.
Retractable screens are designed to pass unnoticed, incorporating small tracks, discrete fittings, and a range of sizes and colours depending on your design requirements.
Pleated Fly Screens
Instead of having mesh that rolls into a cassette like a retractable fly screen, pleated fly screens work like an accordion or concertina. This means that once the pleats are retracted, they fold and stack back onto each other with ease.
Pleated fly screens have less tension than retractable screens as they don’t require a spring-loaded tube like retractable fly screens do. This makes pleated fly screens a good option for children and the elderly, requiring very little muscle strength to open and close.
Pleated screens feature sleek, modern design that blends seamlessly into the existing door frame. There are no clunky additions; just clean, minimal execution.
Hinged Fly Screens
Hinged fly screens are made to fit onto a door’s side using a hinged framework. The term ‘hinged’ refers to the hinges on the side so the door can swing. The mechanism in which hinged screens open is like that of shutters, and generally speaking, they are a cost-effective option. Hinged fly screens are for doors, where they act like a fly screen mesh for the door frame, and can be fitted over any UPVC, timber or metal casements.
Sliding Insect Screens
Sliding insect screens are made for both sliding doors and windows. The fly screen’s frame is mounted on tracks, so it can be easily slid along an additional track that runs parallel to the doors or windows.
These are the archetypal or ‘standard’ fly screens for windows. Normally just a simple frame with an insect mesh extended over it. These are normally without any additional features – for example, they cannot be not retractable. Depending on how they were originally installed, these can be removed and put in place again – which is necessary to clean the windows, even though it is a bit cumbersome.
Choosing fly screens for your home
Fly screens are a common feature in Australian homes but that doesn’t mean that fly screens are a design decision that should be made easily. When choosing fly screens, it’s important that you consider your personal preferences and factors such as location, climate, view and what insects you’re dealing with. You should also consider pets, children, privacy and frequency of use.
Fly screens of all materials, mesh size, colour and style are available for purchase and installation through select retailers and providers. Many handyman services are equipped to help you install them, and if you have the time a skill set to do it, it’s even possible to purchase do-it-yourself options.
That said, we always recommend using a trusted fly screen provider like Artilux to ensure you have the right fly screen type for your doors and windows. Do-it-yourself options and over-the-counter styles tend to be very basic and you should never underestimate the impact the right fly screens can have on your home’s aesthetics, form and function.
If you’re considering retractable or pleated fly screens for your home, Artilux were the first company to bring the style to Australia. Form and function are critical parts of our design process and to cater to the different needs of our customers we offer unique systems that offer versatility to be combined with any cassette size. For the last 30 years, Artilux has been Australia’s leading supplier of high-quality retractable fly screens.
We’re a family business and we always go out of our way to give the highest level of personal service. Not sure which solution is right for you? No worries. We offer a free on-site consultation to help assess which of our products will suit your needs best. We’ll visit you at home and assess your requirements and deliver a tailored solution. We promise there’s no hard sell either – our main goal is to ensure you get a product you’re completely happy with, a solution the entire family can feel comfortable with.