written by: Marina Hanes•edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi•updated: 2/28/2010
Unlike PVC, fiberglass can't be reformed into something else, which is why it's important to start reusing fiberglass screen when you can. Fiberglass screen is a durable material that is commonly used for window and door screens, but you can get even more creative with it.
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Why Is Fiberglass Not Eco-friendly?
The reason why fiberglass is used in windows is because it's a highly durable material that can withstand environmental elements such as rain, fluctuating temperatures, etc. In order to make this material, a process called pultrusion is used. During manufacturing, the fiberglass is thermoset, which means a chemical reaction takes place to form the fiberglass. In comparison to PVC, the production of fiberglass can't be reversed, so reforming fiberglass is impossible. Since recycling this product isn't possible, it's imperative to find methods of reusing fiberglass screen so that more of it doesn't end up in landfills.
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Tips for Reusing Fiberglass Screen
Fortunately, you don't have to be a professional window installer to reuse fiberglass screen. All you have to be is an open minded individual looking to live a greener lifestyle.
Practical Ways to Reuse
A common way to use this material again is to repair any window screens or doors with it. If you have a large hole in the screen, cut out a piece of fiberglass screen that will cover the opening. Then sew the cut out portion onto the window or door screen so its secure. To ensure that the sewed section doesn't come apart, add a coat of clear nail polish to seal it. Repairing your screen this way will save you money and prevent you from using new material.
Some other practical ways for reusing fiberglass screen include:
Plant Screen - Add a section of fiberglass screen to the inside of pots to prevent the soil from leaching out.
Insect Screen - Install extra fiberglass screen to outdoor playhouses, dog pens, pools or porches.
Strainer - Use the mesh pattern to strain out larger things from liquids or keep your shoes on it while you're rinsing off the dirt.
Creative Ways to Reuse
Below are some unique ways to put that extra fiberglass screen to good use:
Easter Basket- Use different colored threads to sew an Easter basket. You can create a design by threading through the mesh.
Dry Homemade Paper - Ensure that your homemade paper is flat by using the fiberglass screen as a mold or as a rack to dry the pulp on.
Drink Coasters - Cut out a circular or square pieces of screen and crotchet a personalized pattern so your guests have something unique to place their drink on.
Storage Bags - Sew the fiberglass screen together and create durable bags to hold shoes or pet toys.
The more you experiment with reusing fiberglass screen, the more you will realize it can be used for so many different crafts and home repairs.