We received a comment on the Plisse retractable door screens page today that included some great questions.
Often customers don’t quite get what makes our retractable screens different (and superior in our modest opinion) from those traditional spring-loaded retractable screens you see in the big box stores and being sold for twice the money from local screen dealers. In my response to Gary below I touch on a couple of these differences – and also mention some exciting news coming this summer!
First, here is Gary’s comment:
Gary A Sedivy • May 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm
Does the screen fabric remain ‘pleated’ when the screen door is closed? Or, does the screen fabric become taut when closed?
How does the pleated fabric seal top and bottom to keep insects (mosquitos or gnats) out?
When using a single screen for a double wide patio door (not sliding) – does the screen stop at the center when you let go of the handle, or does it continue to open?
How difficult is it to replace the screen material if damaged by a pet or grandchild?
And my best attempt at answering his questions:
Thank you for your great questions. When the screen door is retracted the screen fabric is pleated/folded away into the handle (aka housing). When the screen door is in use you pull the handle across the opening and it unfolds the fabric as you pull. When fully pulled across the opening the fabric will still have visible fold lines but the pleats will be stretched out. The fabric fits up into the top rail and down into the bottom rail to create a seal that very effectively keeps all sorts of bugs out. Additionally, the advantage to our pleated retractable screen versus traditional spring-loaded retractable screens is that a slight wind won’t blow the fabric out of the track, opening your home to those bugs you’re trying to keep out.
I’m not sure I understand your question about the single screen for a double door. The maximum width you can use a single Plisse retractable screen for is 50″, anything wider than 50″ (up to aprox. 104″) would need a double Plisse retractable screen. If you’re wanting to use a single Plisse to screen a french style door where only one door opens then the frame would be installed around the open side of the doorway and the fabric would pull across just the opening doorway to make a seal against it’s frame on the center of the doorway. If both doors open but you only want to screen one side we recommend against this as the installation of the Plisse frame around just one of the doors would mean that one of the rails would need to be permanently attached to the other door and you could no longer open it at all. This can be a tricky concept so please feel free to contact us if you have more questions about this – or anything else.
As for what the screen does when you let go of the handle – it does nothing. Our retractable screens do not have springs pulling tension on the fabric so they stay wherever you put them. For instance, if you have a very wide opening and you open the screen half way across the opening to walk through it you can take your hand off the handle as you walk through and it will stay right there. Then, once you are through the opening, you simply pull it back closed. This is a commonly undervalued feature of our non-spring loaded retractable screens.
Lastly, in regards to fabric replacement we are currently preparing to unveil our new Plisse II retractable screen design. There are some very minor updates to the new Plisse design (we’re always working on improving the product however possible) but the big announcement is that the new Plisse II will have the added advantage of being able to replace the fabric without uninstalling the screen. Currently we can send you replacement fabric and if you are mildly handy you can follow the included instructions and get the job done in about an hour. But with the new Plisse II (available this summer) you could replace the fabric in as little as 10-15 minutes.
I hope I answered all of your questions but feel free to contact me directly if you have any others.
Thank you for considering Plisse retractable screens by Screen Solutions inc.
Doug, the Screen Guy
Hopefully some of our other readers have had similar questions and will gain some insight from my response. But if not, or if you still have questions we hope you’ll take a second to send us an email and give us a chance to answer your questions as well.