Bug Protection For Your Screened-In Porch
If there’s a way into your screen porch, you can bet that pests will find it. In a well built screen porch, the door should be the potential way a pest can find it's way into the room.
In order to be effective protection against bugs, a screen porch must be completely enclosed, but if your porch wasn’t well built from the start, it is often the deck floorboards that were overlooked. Traditional decking has a 1/8” or 1/4” gap between boards, more than enough room for mosquitoes or other bugs to crawl through.
Here are the three most effective ways that you can build or update a structure to provide more complete protection from creepy-crawlies.
1. Add a deck screen during construction
If you are building a new structure using traditional decking, installing the screen is simple. Lay down the screen fabric on top of the joists, and then place the deck board on top to hold it in place. The screen is sandwiched between the bottom of the decking board and the top of the joists, providing an effective barrier. Some systems, like the SCREENEZE screening system,
2. Screen it from underneath after the fact.
If you have an existing structure with deck floorboards, you don’t have the option of placing the screen in between the joists and the boards since they’ve already been installed, so the installation is a little more complicated. Instead, you need to add individual screen panels between the joists, which is a more time and labor intensive process, but in the end, provides an equally effective protection against bugs by adding a screen under the deck.
3. Opt for porch boards to protect against bugs.
If you’re building a completely new structure, the ideal option is to avoid using traditional decking altogether. Instead, consider porch boards, which use a tongue-and-groove system that creates a completely solid surface. There are no gaps for bugs to take advantage of, and while screens may eventually rip over time, the porch boards don’t have that potential issue. They provide a sturdier and more lasting wood barrier against bugs.
A screen porch should be a safe haven from bugs. If you still have bugs finding their way in, taking the time to determine where they are coming from is the best first step. The floor is a great first place to check, but you may also find gaps in other areas. Once you’ve identified the issue, an experienced porch and decking professional can help you determine a solution that will keep them out.