Outdoor House Maintenance

Get More from your Porch this Winter

One of the many features that make Royal Oak such a popular place to live is its interesting collection of old homes.

And no matter which architectural style these homes boast, many also have those charming screened in porches – either outside the front door, off the back or upstairs off the bedroom (there they are known as sleeping porches).

But when the weather turns cold, these indoor-outdoor rooms don’t seem quite so charming. Most often, the furniture is packed up for a good nine months out of the year only to be brought out and enjoyed for those few, cherished months of summer.

Well, there is a way to get more use out of your screened in porch, says Mike Frentz, and not only will the room be usable during the winter months, but it will look good too.

Winterize with Flex-O-Glass
Frentz and Sons Hardware carries a product called Flex-O-Glass. Unlike Visqueen, which has a milky sheen to it that makes it hard to see through, Flex-O-Glass is a crystal clear plastic that makes it the perfect solution for winterizing.

Coming in rolls from 3- to 4-feet wide, Flex-O-Glass is so clear that there is very little distortion when you look through it and when you put it up, it won’t look like your room is under construction. Better yet, it’s inexpensive – the 3-feet wide sheets cost $1.00 per foot while the 4-feet sheets cost $1.50 per foot.

Application is easy and whether you put it up on the outside or inside of your porch depends on what your goal is, Mike says.

If you want your porch to look better from the outdoors, hang the Flex-O-Glass from the inside frames of your porch. Likewise, if you’re more concerned about how it looks from the inside, hang the plastic outdoors.

One way to attach the Flex-O-Glass to the screen frames, Mike says, is with a staple gun or with a hammer and tacks. But his favorite is a clear packaging tape.

“You need to make sure you use a good quality tape like Scotch brand, though,” he says. “It’s stickier and will stay better, but it also comes off without pulling the paint off with it.

These solutions work well for screens with wood frames, but obviously you won’t be using a staple gun on a screen frame that is made of aluminum. You can still use tape to secure the plastic if you want, Mike says, but be advised that it won’t stick as well to metal when the temperatures get cold.

Whether your screen frames are wood or metal, just make sure that they are very clean before you apply the tape.