Screening varies from traditional window screen applications to sun-shade screening. Many companies sell screening systems that allow a homeowner to easily install screens without disturbing their existing porch posts and rails. These systems use spline-type installations, which make screen replacement and repair easy. By adding screens to a porch, the porch can be used in the evening when mosquitoes otherwise might make the porch an uncomfortable setting.
Canvas and Vinyl
A screened porch can be enclosed further by using canvas and vinyl panels. Some awning companies will custom fit a porch with canvas walls and plastic or vinyl windows using zippers, snaps or hook-and-loop fasteners. The canvas usually is weather-protected and can provide some insulation. This type of application can contain the atmosphere of the porch to maintain the temperature of the porch for longer, allowing the porch to be used further into the season.
Canvas and vinyl walls usually are designed so the homeowner can roll them up for easy storage during the off-season. If you select this type of product for your porch, clean the coverings, rinse them and dry them prior to storage. When you roll the clean canvas and vinyl, place the roll inside a plastic wrapping and tape the seams shut. This prevents invasion by bugs or mold or other problems, so when you want to use the canvas walls later in the year, they will be easy to unroll and install.
If you have small children and animals, beef up the lower part of porch screening to prevent damage to the screens. This also is helpful when the porch is elevated. Typically the lower panel is reinforced with a metal mesh so air can pass into the porch, but the fabric cannot be pierced, torn or broken. This reduces the safety hazards of regular screening and the costs of maintenance on the screened or paneled enclosure. Any installation should be done in way in which no animal or small child can become lodged between the panels.