A lanai is a great place to start your day with a nice cup of coffee and some sunshine or a space in which you can journal, relax with a glass of wine, visit with friends, or simply have some afternoon tea.
Many people who own a lanai are not sure how often they need to replace the screens. The answer to that is about every three years on the low end, but many screens can last up to two decades before they need to be replaced.
Some people confuse a lanai with a screened-in porch.
The lanai actually originated in Hawaii, and the word itself dates all the way to the 19th century to describe a porch that is normally located at the back of a house, apartment, or condo in which the roofline of the structure extends over a foundation that is normally constructed out of concrete, pavers, or stone.
The walls are aligned with screens so that you can enjoy the weather without being bothered by bugs or mosquitoes. It is a wonderful space, but it does require some amount of maintenance.
How Often Should Lanai Screens Be Replaced?
There are many factors that help to determine how long your lanai screens will last, including the types of screens that are being used, how well they’ve been maintained, the size of each screen, and the amount of exposure to elements as well as the type of weather they are exposed to.
For example, lanai screens being used in Florida may last longer than lanai screens being used at an Ohio home since the ones in Ohio are exposed to the harsh weather-related elements of the cold, icy winter months while the ones being used in a Florida home are not.
Since your lanai is basically your outdoor sanctuary area, the screens are an important barrier to you and things like rainwater and pesky flies. The types of materials that were used to create your lanai screens and how well they are maintained will reflect how long they will last.
You can use the information below to help you maintain your screens in your lanai so that you can enjoy them and not worry about the screens not lasting long enough before they need to be replaced.
Types of Lanai Screens
Basically, it does not matter what type of screen is used in your lanai since the replacement will ultimately be up to you, the owner of the dwelling. There are some factors, though, that will impact how often and how soon a lanai screen will need to be replaced.
These factors can include the type of screen that is being utilized, the amount and type of exposure to the elements outside, the size of the screens, and how often maintenance has been conducted on the screens.
If the materials used to construct your screens are on the cheaper side, your screens may need to be replaced every three to five years since they can affect the maximum life of the screens, but if they are more expensive screens, they can last anywhere from six to 20 years.
Below is a detailed list of the different types of lanai screens available on the market today.
Polyester Lanai Screens
The longevity of a lanai screen made with polyester mesh can be more than a decade, and it usually has a 10-year warranty attached to it. This mesh can even last up to two decades before needing to be replaced.
This type of lanai screen is a great barrier to insects and even ultra-violet rays from the sun and will not lose its color very much over the years. It will also help to prevent algae and mildew from growing.
Aluminum Lanai Screens
Aluminum lanai screens are very lightweight, which means they provide great airflow while still preventing insects from annoying you while you sit and relax on your porch. This type of screen has a simple design and can be cleaned by just using soap and water.
These screens are also very strong and durable, so once they are installed, they will not droop down or pocket. This type of screen should last at least five to ten years with proper maintenance.
Since aluminum will become oxidized over time, if you live in a coastal area, this may not be the best screen choice for your particular lanai.
Since fiberglass mesh is used in the construction of many different types of screens, it rates very high when it comes to strength and durability. Fiberglass mesh gives you a good amount of flexibility that you do not receive when you use an aluminum screen.
A drawback with fiberglass mesh lanai screens, though, is that they can tear or rip more easily due to the increased amount of flexibility. On the plus side, though, the fiberglass mesh can be ordered in a variety of colors to compliment your lanai the way you need them to when it comes to your screens.
Mesh fiberglass screens usually last about eight to ten years before they need to be replaced.
Florida Glass Lanai Screen
A Florida glass lanai screen is very similar to a fiberglass mesh lanai screen, but it adds an extra element for homeowners. This type of screen usually includes a plastic laminate that is attached to the interlaced mesh of the screen, which can be tinted to increase your privacy while decreasing the amount of visibility through the screen itself.
This can really come in handy if your lanai is part of a pool enclosure. Many times, this extra barrier may be great to use at the bottom of an enclosure to keep borders and edging around the lanai more clean and free of shavings from hedges, grass, or mulch.
Fiberglass 20×20 Mesh Lanai Screen
Depending on the location of the area you live in, you may want to opt for a fiberglass 20×20 mesh lanai screen. This type of screen will keep out the tiniest of pests, many that you can barely see, such as gnats, sand flies, and flying midges.
This type of mech screen works especially great in areas that are swampy or in a marshy area where these tiny insects seem to live and thrive. This type of lanai screen is pretty strong and will normally last about a decade if maintained properly.
Solar Lanai Screens
A solar screen for your lanai is made of a type of fiberglass mesh that is designed to block up to 75 percent of the ultra-violet rays that are produced by the sun and can be very damaging to your skin.
The main purpose of solar lanai screens is to give you more shade on your back porch or lanai, which means it will be cooler and more relaxing for you to use.
Proper Maintenance for Lanai Screens
It is extremely important to clean your lanai screens every single year to prevent mildew or algae from growing on them. If you live in an area that has a lot of pollen spores, especially in the springtime, you may want to clean your lanai screens a couple of times throughout the year.
There are many ways to clean a lanai screen, including soaking it with water and using a soft bristle brush and liquid soap, especially on aluminum screens. Sometimes you may want to add some bleach into your water or vinegar that can help kill mold and mildew as well as prevent them from growing.
You can also use a power washer to clean your lanai screens which will speed up the process, but be sure to use a lower setting, so you do not damage your screens.