We get a number of enquiries from people asking about the various mesh screen options available for villas and apartments in Dubai and across the UAE. There are a range of options and it quickly gets confusing. Each option has strengths and limitations. Let’s have a look at some of the options available.
Fiberglass. This is the most common form of fly and insect screen mesh found in the UAE. It is cheap, flexible and when new looks good. The main weakness of fiberglass is its durability. In the hot Middle East environment fiberglass simply does not last. Under direct sunlight the mesh tends to fade. And for those of us with kids, fiberglass doesn’t survive their pushing and pulling. The other weakness of fiberglass is the way it is secured in the frame. To hold it in place, a rubber spline is used. Rubber however, breaks down in the heat and will eventually fall out of its retaining groove. Replacing the fiberglass and rubber is a relatively simple process and may need to be done every couple of years.
Polyester. This mesh looks similar to fiberglass and is around the same cost per square meter. However it has a few subtle differences. It stretches less than fiberglass making it more stable within a screen frame. It also has a high temperature resistance making it suitable for applications in the Middle East. The mesh will still eventually break down particularly when exposed to direct sunlight. A polyester mesh is also held in place by a rubber spline.
Pleated fiberglass or polyester. A contemporary method of employing these two fabrics is to fold the mesh in small sections of about 2cm. This folded mesh is in a zig zag pattern and folds away like an accordion when not in use. This eliminates the need for a rubber spline and offers an unobstructed view when the screen isn’t in use. The main weakness of this pleated system is the folding out and contraction of the mesh is controlled by a nylon string. This string, like the mesh, can break down over time in direct sunlight.
Stainless Steel. This is the toughest mesh available on the market. This mesh offers an extremely long life, security and good looks. This is also the most expensive option as the individual wires are weaved together and the mesh is then powder coated. It is worth noting that due to the complex fabrication method there are many ‘cheap’ stainless steel options that are manufactured in China. Be careful when selecting stainless steel mesh as not all are of the same quality. The main weakness with stainless steel is the slight obstruction of the view. Due to its thickness, any glass behind the screen looks like it has window tinting on it.
Galvanised Aluminium. This is a cheaper form of metal mesh. Itcorrodes easily especially when its coating is damaged. It can be used for normal flyscreen mesh applications and provides a little more strength than fiberglass. Depending on its thickness it is often held in place with a rubber spline so suffers from this weakness.
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In conclusion, there are many mesh options available to you. Sometimes cost is the main factor which drives many people to fiberglass or pleated mesh. If durability, looks and security are your priority then you can’t go past quality stainless steel mesh. The choice is yours.