The dropping temperatures as fall welcomes winter don’t mean you can’t enjoy your screened-in porch. This outdoor space can be ideal for having your late morning coffee or afternoon chat with friends or family members. However, how will you keep the snow away and maintain a cozy ambiance?
Here are 6 ways to keep snow out of your screened-in porch:
- Use heavy-duty vinyl curtains.
- Install drop-down panels.
- Use plastic or vinyl insulation sheets.
- Seal the gaps.
- Install premade patio enclosures.
- Upgrade your porch.
Nothing beats the coziness of a closed porch on those chilly winter days. In this article, I’ll explore various ways of keeping the snow at bay. You don’t want to miss out on any detail, so let’s get started!
1. Use Heavy-duty Vinyl Curtains
Installing vinyl curtains is a cost-effective and easy way of keeping snow out of your screened-in porch. These outdoor curtains will block snow and other weather elements (such as wind) while allowing some light to penetrate. However, they’re not as aesthetic as most people would love them to be, as they may make your porch look like a diner.
If your porch’s appearance is a concern, you can also go for insulated outdoor curtains. These are available in various colors and patterns. However, most of them are opaque, meaning that you won’t be able to enjoy the outdoor view after installing them.
Another disadvantage of using vinyl or other outdoor curtains is that they won’t keep the cold away. In this instance, it is recommended to also invest in a heat source if you want to enjoy your porch even when the temperatures are harsh and low.
Installing curtains on your porch is a straightforward procedure. After measuring your porch’s dimensions (length and width), fix the curtain rod brackets on your ceiling (and floor). Then, connect the curtains to the rods using grommets or the integrated sleeves.
2. Install Drop-down Panels
Drop-down panels are the best option if you’re looking for a long-term solution to keeping snow out of your screened-in porch. Most of these panels are either made of vinyl or acrylic and effectively protect your porch from harsh weather elements. However, unlike outdoor curtains, drop-down panels are costly.
You can install vinyl or acrylic panels yourself or seek a professional’s services. Although these drop-down panels are attractive, be mindful of the fact that they’re opaque and will block your outdoor view.
On the bright side, once installed, you don’t have to worry about removing them since your porch will now be a three-season room.
3. Use Plastic or Vinyl Insulation Sheets
If you still want to enjoy the scenic view of your outdoors, vinyl sheets are a good alternative. These clear sheets allow light to get into your porch and help heat it a bit during the warmer winter days.
Additionally, vinyl sheets significantly insulate your screened-in porch from the adverse effects of snow. Moreover, they’re affordable and easy to install.
However, it’s crucial to get thick and long-lasting vinyl sheets because low-quality ones can’t withstand strong weather elements.
Before shopping for vinyl sheets, measuring your porch’s size is advisable since these insulation sheets are sold in rolls. You will have to cut them into pieces based on your porch’s dimensions.
A Velcro tape comes in handy, as it binds the vinyl sheets to the porch screening. You can also use a staple gun to fix the sheets.
4. Seal the Gaps
You can’t keep snow out of your screened-in porch if the door, the windows, or the walls have gaps. Sealing these openings is a crucial step in enclosing your porch. Moreover, it will also help in preventing the entry of cold air.
Checking for gaps should be part of your regular maintenance, especially before the onset of winter. If you inspect your porch, you’re most likely to encounter some gaps on the door or the area near the sealing. Additionally, you might notice some cracks in the windows.
So, if some gaps are present, the best option is to seal them. Silicone and plastic sealants will effectively close the cracks on your porch door. You can also use caulk to seal the gaps near the ceiling. However, some people opt for weatherproof sealants to conceal these openings.
5. Install Premade Patio Enclosures
If installing vinyl sheets seems cumbersome, why not purchase premade patio enclosures? Unlike vinyl sheets that come in rolls, these paneled enclosures are customized to fit specific porch sizes, so you don’t have to go through the struggle of cutting them according to your porch size.
Premade patio enclosures also don’t require a staple gun for fixing. Most of them comprise aluminum screen mesh for additional protection. To fix them, you only have to hang them or add a screened frame around your porch and roll the screen on it.
Patio enclosures are made from different materials, including glass, aluminum, acrylic, or vinyl. However, glass patio enclosures are more expensive than other options. Additionally, they’ll require wood or aluminum structures for installation.
6. Upgrade your Porch
Temporary approaches to winterizing your screened-in porch could be time-consuming or costly in the long run. If you intend to use your screened-in porch all year round, it’s better to convert it to a three or four-season room.
This will hurt your pockets (but just this once), as you only have to do regular maintenance after that.
Upgrading your porch to a four-season room will require the expertise of a contractor. Since the porch already has a firm structure, all you need is to add doors or windows if it doesn’t have any. You’ll also have to install a bottom sill plate, exterior sheeting, and a house wrap, among other fixtures.
You can also convert your screened-in porch into a four-season room as a DIY project.
If you don’t want to limit your screened-in porch to warm-weather use only, you need to winterize it. Therefore, you can apply several approaches to keeping snow out of your porch. The most effective methods include the following:
- Using heavy-duty vinyl curtains
- Installing drop-down panels
- Using vinyl insulation sheets
- Sealing the gaps
- Installing premade patio enclosures
- Upgrading your porch