Your porch or patio is an excellent way to expand your usable living space and improve the value of your home, but enjoying that porch or patio is hard to do when mosquitoes are crashing the party.
If you find yourself battling mosquitoes on your front porch, you’re not alone. Christopher Ingraham researched and posted the following chart, based on Google searches related to mosquitoes.
Interestingly, if you live in a coastal or Southern region, you’ll likely be fending off mosquitoes and bugs for 4-6 months; if you live in the midwest states, chances are you’ll be fighting mosquitoes for at least 2-3 months; and if you live in a dry region, you’ll have a burst of activity for just 1-2 months. (Generally, mosquito season starts when the temperature reaches above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.)
No matter where you live, mosquitoes can make it hard at times to enjoy the outdoors while reading a good book, playing your guitar, or enjoying a meal with friends.
After 15 years in the mosquito prevention business, we’ve seen some really good and some really bad products. Here’s an analysis of some of the most popular ways to screen in an outdoor space.
Traditional framed screen porches have become a popular solution for screening in a porch. This type of screening generally involves 4×6 ft framed sections throughout your porch.
Detailed Architecture: If your porch has ornate lathed or tapered columns, you’ll end up framing around them, which may detract from the look of your porch.
If you live in areas like FL or HI where biting insects are a permanent problem, it makes sense to seek a permanent solution, but if you live in cooler climates where bug season is short, it may make sense to explore some of the other removable options before investing in permanent screening.
This product is relatively new to the market and operates similar to window curtains in your home. Rather than retract up and down like motorized screens, these curtains will retract from side to side and can be pulled back into decorative swags.
Flexibility: Because these curtains aren’t framed into the porch, they are easy to pull back or remove. For those not quite ready to commit to a permanent system, mosquito curtains might be a good first step.
Make sure your provider offers robust stainless steel fasteners as these are a frameless system. Some low-quality systems use refrigerator magnets for doorway seal that are NOT effective under breezy conditions. The best systems will use rare earth magnets and rod stiffeners for a far better hold. Mesh made of a more traditional fabric and quality can vary substantially. While these systems are the least expensive way to screen a porch, be careful to examine quality.
The motorized screen option is great for those with a larger budget who don’t want to worry about installation or maintenance. This solution is sure to impress your friends, and could be thought of as the Rolls Royce of porch screening.
Installation is tricky and if you make a mistake either in precise measurements or installation, it’s on you. Motorized screens are the premier option of Porch Screening for those who are not budgeted, and are a great way to impress your family and friends. Most will offer a shade option as well.
Be very careful to examine the quality of the screen material and fastening options. Some products offer cheap screw-in options, and kitchen refrigerator-quality magnets. These systems will easily tear and fall apart quickly in breezy conditions.
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