What Is A Retractable Screen And Why Are They So Great?

by Randy Deering | Jun 03, 2016

American’s love innovation. Throughout our history we see how Americans have embraced ideas, products and technology that have improved the standard and quality of living. It doesn’t have to be earth-shaking. It can be anything. From smart phones to flat screen televisions, central air conditioning or even GPS systems in our devices. The list goes on and on. If you have a product innovation, or create something that improves people’s lives, the consumer will buy. It can even be something as simple as creating a better way to screen windows and doors that makes a home more comfortable and safer for a family.


What Is A Retractable Screen?

In the simplest form, retractable screens do what the name implies, they retract.   Essentially retractable screens roll up into a protective housing, becoming virtually invisible when not in use. The best retractable screen systems can be retro-fitted into a door or window almost seamlessly so that they are hardly noticeable. The housings, which fit within or around a window or door frame, blend seamlessly. When the door or window is opened, the screen unrolls to protect against flying or crawling insects while still allowing the homeowner to enjoy fresh, natural ventilation. When it’s time to close up, the screen retracts back into its housing until it is needed again.  Retractable screens offer many advantages:

  • Retractable screens make it easy to screen any existing entry door, both in-swing or out-swing.  For French Doors they are the perfect screening solution.
  • With a retractable screen the homeowner can enjoy the view through the window or door rather that an obscured vision through a traditional flat screen.
  • Since the screen is retracted when not in use, the fabric is protected from harmful UV rays, dirt and weather.  As a result retractable screens will significantly outlast traditional flat screens.
  • There is no need to remove and store away the screens in the winter.


Sheer Screen Advance Outside Doors Open 


Are all Retractable Screens the Same?

Just like there are different styles, quality and designs of windows and doors, not all retractable screens are the same. Take a fresh look; today’s retractable screens are vastly different than those of just a few short years ago and are now made to cover openings for windows, doors, and specialty areas.  


Some things to look for in a quality designed and manufactured retractable screen are:

  • A system that features a compact and attractive screen housing and a system that operates smoothly.
  • A system with retracts smoothly and at a controlled pace, not one that slams back.
  • A system that uses insect pile in the top and bottom rails to help keep bugs completely out and handles that feel good and make the screen easy to operate.


Why Are So Many Door & Window Makers and Retailers Now Offering Retractable Screens?

Retractable screens are the best screening solution.  Screens are needed to protect families from flying and crawling pests that often bite, sting and critters that are unsanitary.   Many of these pests also transmit diseases such as Zika, West Nile Virus and others.  For the door and window maker, retractable screens are an impressive feature that gets attention and one that helps to differentiate door and window products. For example, with decorative entry doors the retractable screen is a great way to screen an expensive, beautiful, decorative door without the screen detracting from the natural beauty of the design.


Olympic Retractactable Screen

What Does The Future Hold For Screens?

Screens are not simply a luxury, they have moved to a status of necessity.  Zika and West Nile Virus and other diseases are affecting our world and homeowners want and expect protection from the door and window products that they purchase. Consumers also prefer unobstructed views and retractable screens do this since the screen is hidden away until needed.