Screen door in home - ClearView Retractable Screen Doors: 5 of Your Most Common Questions Answered

1. Which Is Better For a Retractable Screen Door: A Latch or a Magnet Closure?

We get this question a lot. Like, a LOT. There’s no shortage of misinformation out there about the best mechanism for closing a retractable screen door.  

With a solid, rigid door that swings or slides, a latch or lock makes sense and it’s what we’re all used to seeing. The latch mechanism works together with the door’s structure to provide a complete barrier between spaces. When it comes to screens, there’s a place for that. But ClearView Retractable Screens are designed to provide a near-seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. They are meant to maximize airflow and to roll away into near invisibility when they’re not in use. Because of this roll-away feature they are also not attached on the top and bottom. This allows the screen to be safely stored away in a housing to the side when not in use.  

We at Screen Experts have multiple options for latching your screen. Our most common solution is our rare earth magnet, also known as our Super Magnet. Your ClearView Retractable Screen only requires one single magnet. Yes, you heard correctly, just a single magnet is strong enough to handle our often windy conditions in the Calgary area. The secret to our system is using just one magnet at the handle level. This makes detaching it easy. In most cases with the Clear|view Retractable Screen you can just let go and let it slide safely back on its own.  

We also have an optional, internal physical latch available. This can be useful for customers who wish to limit access through that door by young children or friendly neighbours. 

2. Why Not Use a Latch With Your Retractable Screen Doors?  

Some companies use latch systems. So why don’t we?  

Retractable screens were designed to break away when (not if) they get run into. Because, on occasion, something or someone may run into our customers’ screens. Maybe it’s a guest or an excited pet–it does happen. And when it does, the mesh on a Clearview Retractable Screen will bow out at the top and bottom. This is a good thing. The magnet will disengage, and the unit will slide back, in a controlled manner, into its housing. Damage to the mesh, the damper and the rolling mechanism will be far less serious.  

By contrast, when a person or pet runs into a retractable screen that’s closed with a latch mechanism, the latch holds the mesh in place across the doorway. The mesh can’t retract; it gets pulled further than it’s able to extend and it dislodges from the tube inside the housing. Have you ever seen a bubble or fold on the bottom of a retractable screen? This is not a good thing, but it is totally preventable if the screen is built with the proper technology. After a collision on many other brands, often the mesh will not be aligned properly and may bubble or fold, causing wear, especially with continued use. So, counterintuitively, a retractable screen that can release is better than a retractable screen with a latch.  

Clearview Retractable Screens are also the only retractable screens that have an additional layer of protection against the damage caused when a screen is run into. Compared to our competitors, we provide a standard 55-inch mesh on the roll. Our competition only has 42 inches standard. Across the span of a typical front door, we have an additional 19 inches of mesh to absorb a collision, compared to the 6 inches other brands provide. No wonder our screens last longer! Without that extra mesh, a collision with a screen door often leads to greater damage where the mesh is secured to the tube inside the housing.  

3. Is It Dangerous For a Retractable Screen to Retract When It’s Run Into?  

Other versions of retractable screens have one speed when detached: SNAP! Those screens fly back with great force unless the user slows the retraction with their hand. An “unplanned opening” of those retractable screens is loud and jarring at best, but it can also be dangerous if a hand, or head, meets the hand bar as it crashes back into the housing.  

Only Clearview Retractable Screens has the patented Soft Close technology to eliminate this danger. An unexpected opening of a ClearView Retractable Screen will not snap back. The mesh will always return to the housing in a controlled manner. So, a screen collision from a pet or an unsuspecting guest need not be jarring, embarrassing, or dangerous.  

4. Will My Pet Be Able to Escape Through a Retractable Screen Door? 

As with any retractable screen, because they are not attached on the top and bottom animals could either crawl under or open them. Our animal companions come in all shapes and sizes. Some want to escape, and some are happy to stay close to home. At Screen Experts, we install doors in a LOT of homes with pets. In fact, most of our customers’ homes have pets. We love animals too and we want our customers’ furry friends to be safe and secure. 

There are options for how to find the best screen door for your pet’s size and personality. A regular mesh with reinforced edges, from ClearView Retractable Screens, works great for calm pets who are not looking for an escape route. A pet mesh is great for larger dogs who may get excited and end up crashing through the screen. This mesh actually stretches temporarily, giving great longevity to the mesh in very active households. 

For customers wanting the maximum in security and airflow (with a beautiful screen door and an unobstructed view), our Vista Security Screens are a wonderful solution. These doors swing on a hinge, but they maintain a low profile that looks great and will keep pets in (and intruders out!). Check them out here. Some of our customers even keep their Vista Security Screens open all night long!  

Ultimately, you the customer know your pets’ personalities best. We will work with you to find the best screen solution for your household’s needs.  

5. What if My ClearView Retractable Screen Does Not Retract Smoothly? 

All retractable screens need periodic maintenance. On the retractable screens that snap back, lack of maintenance can cause damage to the mesh and in some cases a costly repair. This is much less likely to occur with ClearView screens because of the soft-close technology, but they still require cleaning. The good news is that with our ClearView Retractable Screen there is a simple tell when maintenance is required. You may notice that your screen has begun to retract too slowly or not as smoothly as when it was first installed. There’s no cause for alarm and it’s a feature of our patented Safe Glide Technology.  

Simply follow our instructions with a couple of minutes of easy maintenance.  

Here is a link to the blog post about keeping your screen running smoothly. Once your track is clear of debris, a light coating of silicone spray (NOT WD-40!) will have your screen back in business and running smoothly. Just remember, only use silicone spray. A spray such as WD-40 leaves a film that attracts more debris and will cling to the mesh as well. You will end up with a sticky mess. 

At Screen Experts, we also have an exclusive technology to add reinforced edges to the mesh for greater strength and longevity. This exclusive edging gives you one additional layer of protection for the mesh in your screen. ClearView Retractable Screens are the only retractable screen on the market to provide optional sealed edges on our mesh. A heat-sealed specialty tape protects the raw edge of the mesh from fraying. Together with our soft close damper system and occasional cleaning of the tracks, ClearView Retractable Screens have proven to be long-lasting and durable. We have so many satisfied customers! 

We're Here for You 

Feel free to give us a call with any questions you may have. Customer service is important to us at Screen Experts, and we want you to have many years of enjoying your ClearView Retractable Screen.