LESLIE: Joanie in Wisconsin is on the line with a cleaning question. What can we do for you?
JOANIE: Hi. It’s a pleasure to talk to you two.
LESLIE: Thanks, Joanie.
JOANIE: I have a screened-in patio. It spans about 3½ feet wide and about 4 feet tall. There’s a wooden break in the middle, so basically it’s about 8 feet tall. But there’s the span of the screen I need to clean. It’s not the real strong screen, so I don’t want to bow the screen. How do I clean that?
LESLIE: Now, we have a screened-in patio ourselves at my home and the screens are not removable. They do take a beating because we get a lot of wintery weather and just particulates in the air. And whenever I’m doing my weekly cleaning, I’ll take my vacuum attachment with the upholstery brush and just kind of go over it from the interior. And that does a great job, actually, of getting a lot of the muck out and I don’t really have to press too hard. Because like yours, it’s not the most durable screening but it does its job.
And then what I like to do come springtime, when I’m really going to be out there a lot more, is from the inside or outside, depending on if I’ve got furniture out there and how wet I can get it, I’ll do just a soapy water with a soft-bristle brush and lightly give it a good cleaning and a rinse. And that really does a great job of doing it.
And if you want some more step-by-step instructions or maybe if you’re looking to replace it yourself, Tom and I have written a sort of a guide – a bonus chapter to our book – on MoneyPit.com and it’s called “A Fix for Every Season.” And we do have a project in there with Arrow Fasteners about replacing your screens for your screened-in porch or doors. And that might be something you want to tackle come springtime.
JOANIE: OK. Well, I thought of cleaning it with like a sprayer from the inside but I have a wooden base. So I didn’t really want to get that wood wet.
LESLIE: Too well.
TOM: You can get it a little bit wet and not have to worry about it, you know? As long as it doesn’t stay soaking, sopping wet for days on end. But certainly, getting it wet to clean the screen is nothing you should be concerned about.
JOANIE: Oh, thank you very much.