How to Replace Screen In Storm Windows

If your home or apartment is fitted with the older style "storm windows", with the slide up glass and screen sections, you might need to replace a torn screen. With a few supplies and a little time, this is a task you can easily accomplish.

All the tools and supplies you need are available at your local home improvement store.

  1. Remove screen from the storm window. Depending upon the particular style and design of your storm windows, the removal process of the screen segment will vary. Carefully take the screen section out, and bring to your work area.

  2. Look at the screen frame to find the rubber beading which holds the screen material on the frame. Normally, that beading is one-piece, with the two ends meeting at one of the corners of the frame. Find those ends, and carefully lift an end with a small screwdriver so you can grip a section firmly with your hand. Carefully pull the beading from its groove, all around the frame. Once removed, pull the old screen material out of the groove.

  3. Measure the height and width of the outside of the screen frame. Using scissors or tin-snips, cut the new screen material to the outer dimensions of the outside frame. Lay the frame on a flat, solid surface, and place the new screen piece on the frame.

  4. If the rubber beading you removed is still in one piece and still seems in good condition, you can likely re-use that, and save the cost of the new beading. To assist with replacing the beading back into the groove with the new screen, apply a small amount of WD-40 or other light lubricant to the beading; wet a paper towel or rag with the lubricant and simply pull the beading through the wet part of it.

  5. Beginning in one corner of the frame, set the screen at the corner, place the beading over the screen and the groove, and push an end of the beading down into the groove with the screen under it using either the roller tool. It might require strong pressure to get the beading started, but once it is in the groove, the rest will be somewhat simpler, using the roller tool.

  6. Holding the screen in place against the frame, proceed to press the beading and screen into the groove with the roller tool, making sure to pull the screen taut in the same direction you are installing the beading. Note: The roller tool is typically equipped with two rollers; one at each end. One roller has a concave-grooved edge for helping to press the beading down into the groove in the frame. The other roller has a smoother edge for helping to press the beading more deeply into the groove in the frame.

  7. Working your way all around the frame, and pulling the screen taut while pushing the beading into its groove, using both ends of the roller tool as needed should result in a neatly installed, new-looking screen, which should last for a long time. Note: Even if you use the old beading, it will likely stretch some as you press it into the groove. Simply trim excess with scissors or razor knife.

  8. Once the beading is securely pressed into the frame, trim excess screen material by carefully cutting the screen with a utility knife. Note: For best results, hold the blade of the knife flat against the new screen with the point facing the outside of the frame; the blade tip should rest just above the rubber beading and against the frame material. Pull the blade along that edge so the screen cuts neatly below the frame surface but still above the beading.

  9. Tip

    Try taping the new screen piece onto the frame to help hold it in position while reinstalling the beading. Note that installing the beading and screen necessarily "pulls" the screen, so tape may pull free at times. If the old rubber beading feels or looks dry or cracked, replace it. Otherwise, simply lubricate it, and it should be ok to reuse.


    Follow all manufacturers' guidelines and recommendations for use and handling of tools, products or equipment. Use extreme caution while working with sharp tools such as utility knives or scissors. Aluminum screen material can puncture skin; wear adequate protection on hands, arms, etc. to protect against that.