Frequenty Asked Questions
quick answers to great questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Based on years of experience and thousands of questions, our FAQ section is a great place to get familiar with Screen Logic products and services (large door screens and many others).
- Housing - Extruded aluminum canister which stores the roller assembly and mechanisms of the screen
- Motor - A tubular motor with various options for the controlling the rolling up of the mesh when activated
- Roller - Located inside the housing for storing the mesh when the screen is retracted
- Mesh - The material comes in a wide variety of colors, fabrics, and materials depending on whether the consumer is looking for insect or solar protection or added privacy.
- Track - Made of extruded aluminum and keeps the screen in place when in use and guides the weight bar easily up and down.
- Weight Bar - Provides the gravitational force to lower the screen and ensures a taut surface when the mesh is in the “closed” position
- Bottom Seal - Provides the final “seal” to the Screen Logic enclosure; various height and material is used depending on the surface to which it meets (e.g. cobblestone may require a pile (think brush) material or a 6” seal where smooth surface marble may need only a 1.75” seal depth.)
This is a typical need for many people. There are several ways to solve this. You could choose a tighter screen weave blocking most of the air flow while controlling insects. You could utilize a clear-view weather curtain to block 99% of the wind and it would also keep the insects out. Often the choice is to go with a dual roller system either via 2 housings or integrated and virtually unnoticed until utilized in a built-in pocketed system as part of the structure.
Depending on the manufacturer you can order a custom colored housing. This will take additional time (often 3-4 more weeks) to coordinate, but can make a big difference in the final appearance of your home.
The housing can often be mounted at the back, top, or sides of the opening depending on the circumstances of the specific application being utilized.
Depending on the application, yes. There needs to be a way to remove part of the covering for servicing the unit. There are several ways to hide the access point into the system. A good technician can review the options relative to your unique circumstances.
There will always be a metal extrusion on the sides so that the screens will stay in place to keep the bugs out. If the tracks are applied before the exterior finish of the building the metal can be contained at the back of a groove making it way less noticeable. Up front design review will give you the most acceptable solution in new construction applications.
Depending on your design you could mount the housing to the inside or outside just above the opening. Often the mounting point will be up tight to the soffit on the exterior or to the ceiling on the interior. Besides keeping your opening size as big as possible you’ll want to consider which looks better relative to an indoor or outdoor mount.
- They are typically square relative to the overall height and depth. Three typical sizes are 4” x 4”, 5 1/ 2” x 5 1/ 2”, and 7” x 7”.
- Another key point relative to the housing and roll size deals with the speed in which the mesh will drop and retract. Smaller tubes/housing will move slower. It is recommended when doing one area that all sizes of housing remain the same size to keep roll speed uniform.
Typically the size of the housing is determined by the height and sometimes width of the opening being covered. Larger housings equal larger diameter rolls which allows for a greater width and height of mesh supported in the opening.
- This first depends on your opening size as the wider the opening the bigger the roll will typically need to be.
- The next consideration is that some mesh or clear-view weather curtains can become very heavy and require a bigger roll.
- In applications where 2 or more roles are utilized will require more room than just a single role.
- Often the screen manufacturer will have detailed drawings on their website for you and your designer/builder to utilize.
- Don’t forget to plan for accessibility for servicing the system. Someone will need to get their hands up into this space and ideally so without having to remove the roller.
- There will need to be a power supply (some are low voltage and other are 120 voltage motors) installed to wire it directly or use an outlet to just plug it in. If one is not available, then a licenses electrician will need to install an outlet.
- The source for power for the motorized system can be either left or right mounted (as you face the housing).
The cavity height is significantly taller for archways compared to square openings as a result of the curvature. To determine the height, you’ll need to accommodate the component dimension including the weight bar and bottom seal to make sure it retracts completely out of sight.
- It can be surface mounted on either the inside or the outside of the opening depending on appearance and installation of the track application. Ideally the space will allow for full retraction of the system so that it does not impeded the opening.
- It can also be built-in (integrated) via a few options. Depending on how the opening is constructed a false soffit can be built. This soffit can be either a 2 or 3-sided design depending if there is a header or not framing in the opening.
- If it is going to be built from scratch as in a new home or having a roof added to the existing space, you can have 1 or 2 or 3 motorized systems installed above the opening. Adequate clearance must be maintained to not only allow for installation but for possible service in the future.
- Depending on the project, new construction or retrofit, the installer will review options available to solve your needs. There are several possible combinations using ideas from all the items above.
Most manufacturers have a custom color option if needed to match the exterior of your home making the housing less obvious.
- If you put the system above the header you can maintain your entire opening as the retractable system will be fully drawn above the opening maintaining your entire view/opening.
- If the system is mounted below the header it will take up about 10” +/- of the opening but can look closer to a built-in system.
- The above header can also be installed on the interior of the space. Appearance from either the inside or outside will be your main criteria for choosing which way to go. Sometimes the construction of the wall will dictate which side allows for the easiest and most effective use of the side tracks.
- The housing can vary from only about 4” x 4” to as large as 7” x 7”. The idea is that a bigger housing holds a bigger roller which allows for more screen cloth to be held. The width of the opening will dictate the size you use as the bigger the roller the stiffer the materials used to make sure that there is no sag over the width of the opening.
- Typically you’ll want to match all the rollers to the largest one needing to be used. The reason for this is the larger roller will deploy the screen cloth faster than a smaller diameter roller. It is often more appealing to have the screens come down at the same time and at the same speed.
- That is a great question and is dependent on a few things. First, one housing from one company maybe be an inch or more different than another company. As mentioned above the width of the opening will dictate the size of the roller as the wider the span the larger the roller needed to stay straight under the forces of screen cloth and gravity.
- Another concept to consider is combining more than one roller into this system. You may need to solve issues with Sun and Wind requiring 2 different systems to solve that. You may have a very light bug screen to maximize views while keeping the buggers out. You may want all 3? Looking at a worst-case scenario you could need a system with 2 rollers mounting one on top of the other making for a narrow but tall opening. Maybe you want to keep as much height of your opening as possible, so you integrate the 2-roller system side by side making the integrated system wider but not very high to keep the opening size as tall as possible.
- You can also solve the bug issue with a horizontal retractable screen plus add for sun and wind with 2 rollers inside a soffit.
- If you can access this cavity from the side you can often keep the space narrower if that helps. As you can tell it really depends on several circumstances.
This can be more challenging compared to starting from scratch relative to new construction where the tracks would have been installed before the stone mason completed his work. Since the stone is irregular you really can’t apply the channels on top unless there is a reasonably small variance between stones. Stone can be stripped off and then cut to fit as it is put back into place on either side of the guide track. Another possible solution is to apply a post behind or in front of the stone columns for the main purpose of supporting the tracks. Since screen can be as wide as 30 feet you could span a couple of columns or more depending on the spacing between each of them. Ultimately a consultation and field measure would be best to really look at your application closely and discuss the possible options.
There is a third-party testing criteria that can give you a fair comparison of the finishes on the market today. AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) has several levels of paint finish and they are numbered 2603, 2604, and 2605. In general terms the higher the number the longer the finish will last relative to checking/cracking, chalking, and fading. So, a 2605 warranty is typically 10 or more years in this area vs 2603 which is typically 1 year. If your system is located inside your space the sun will not have the impact that an exterior system will have where the sun beats on the paint every day and could allow for a lesser finish. The cost goes up as the expected longevity does.
- There are basically 2 base materials utilized in the making of screen cloth. One is polyester and the other is fiberglass. Once these materials are produced, they will be either coated by extrusion (a film is applied as the lineal of the material runs through a coating machine) which is now polyester is done. Fiberglass yarns are dip treated to protect them.
- The coatings on the base material is there to protect them from ultraviolet degradation and color fading. This coating also helps in the area of making them sewable, weldable, corrosion resistant, and gives them a high strength to weight ratio.
- The major difference between polyester and fiberglass (core yarns) mesh types is relative to the strength each of them has. The test run to determine strength includes: Pull Tensile Strength, Tearing Strength, Ball Bursting Strength, and Abrasion Resistance. Polyester core fabric is superior.
- There are typically 3 main categories of screen cloth which are dependent on the purpose under which they are being used. They are Insect, Solar, and Privacy. These 3 categories vary in the area of “Openness Factor” which is basically what percentage of the sun’s light penetrates the mesh.
- Insect mesh - can block upwards of 55% of the UV rays (Light is basically the same thing) with a variance in density (holes to mesh amounts). If you have issues with the very small bugs often referred to as no-see-ums, this cloth is superior to standard sized insect mesh.
- Solar - can block up to 75% of the UV rays (light is the same concept) when using more standardized mesh. Premium Solar can reach 80% blockage of UV rays.
- All of the above have different desired outcomes but one must also consider that "openness" factor also impacts ventilation. The less openness the less pass-through ventilation you will experience. This can be helpful in cooler weather keeping the interior warmer or vice versa for an air-conditioned climate in the summer as it will keep in more of the cool as well.
- There are basically 3 areas effected by screen mesh color. Heat Gain (aka shading coefficient which is the amount of heat stopped at the surface of the mesh), brightness, and glare.
- Lighter colors will give you more reflectance which then amounts to less heat gain. The light colors will also have a higher level of daylight which is really saying more penetration of light to the inside. As a sidebar to these properties of a brighter mesh surface, it can cause more reflectance off computer screens and effect your eyes by a phenomenon called “bare light bulb syndrome”. If your concern is to have the clearest visibility possible then the light colors are harder to see though due to the high level of light. At night you will be virtually unable to see out if you have interior lighting work with reasonable brightness.
- Dark colored mesh will provide a better view through the mesh to the outside. Dark colors will absorb light and heat. This color transmits less light and as a result will have a lower surface brightness
- GREENGUARD Certification is one way to look into the VOC (Volatile Organtic Compounds) concerns you have. They have the most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions into indoor air.
- Antimicrobial protection is another component to help keep indoor air quality at its best. This will work continuously to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause stains, odors, and product deterioration. This protection is infused into the mesh for lasting protection that will not wash off or wear away for the lifetime of the fabric.
- Note: Certain mesh fabrics have this while others do not. These benefits will be cloth specific per manufactures that do this kind of work.
- A Clear Vinyl with a colored vinyl surround is a great solution to this concern. This 0.02 thickness material allows you to control the temperature in your outdoor space without obstructing your view. When not needed these can be retracted out of the way.
- This system can also help with rain and wind concerns.
- Since the clear vinyl panels are pressed and polished into sheets as big as 50” x 107” they give you a larger area to look outside through. These sheets can be put side by side with several roll down systems to adequately encompass your entire space.
- Since these panels are pressed there are no hazy blueness, fish-eye appearance, dimples, or distortions as viewed from the inside out.
- Light intensity such as daylight from the outside or bright lights at night from the inside can bring to your attention through reflectance that the material is not flat. This lack of flatness will be made evident in this kind of lighting application.
- There are concerns that must be taken into account during the winter as vinyls will shrink in the cold. Often manufacturers of this material will not warrant against cracking under these conditions as a hard impact, such as a snowball may cause the material to split or crack.
- If the clear vinyl is lowered during warm weather and kept down as the temperature drops it will not be possible to retract the system until the weather warms back up again. Often customers will lower the plastic in the fall and then resume regular retraction again in late spring when the temperature is more moderate.
- This edging allows for some flexibility of the material during the temperature changes and allows for a larger system to be manufactured to enclose larger expanses of openings.
- This material will allow for the welding process to take place at the edges for the guide tracks to hold the material securely in place.
- This material is available in a large selection of colors allowing you to match or accent many finishes in your outdoor space.
- With the application of a “translator” into the network it will accept the signal from your smart home system, interprets the action, and sends information to the appropriate motor to respond.
- Note: The use of a Somfy motor is UL listed, FCC registered per coding, and IP (International Protection) rated 44 for outdoor weather-ability required for electronic components.
- With Somfy, infrared only allows a distance of 30’ to work if in a line of sight. Line of sight means you have nothing between you and the receiver.
- The Somfy Radio controlled system will allow a range of about 90’ in line of sight or around corners. It could be reduced to 65’ even if there is a 2’ thick concrete wall in between.
- Depending on the number of motors to be operated and customer preference a multiple channel control can be utilized. This would allow for different elevations of the patio to be operated independently.
- Note: There are metal and plastic boxes available. The range is diminished when using a metal box vs a plastic box when the remotes are wall mounted.
Depending on the system, anchorage, exposure, screen cloth or clear vinyl will determine the extent of wind that it can withstand. The most that can typically be handled is about 75 mph. Consult Screen Logic or your installing contractor for all the criteria and warranty allowances.