Larson Retractable Screen Door Troubleshooting: Everything You Need To Know

Imagine the warm embrace of a gentle breeze as it whispers through your home, bringing with it the refreshing scents of nature and a sense of freedom. Larson retractable screen doors are the gateway to this blissful experience.

A Larson retractable screen door offers the perfect blend of functionality and convenience, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air and natural light while keeping bugs and pests at bay. However, like any household feature, these doors can encounter issues that hinder their smooth operation.

But fear not. In this article, I will take you through all the issues and the reasons calling for a Larson retractable screen door troubleshooting.

Larson Retractable Screen Door Troubleshooting

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or simply looking to understand the basics before seeking professional help, this section will equip you with the knowledge to identify and resolve these issues efficiently.

Issue 1: The Screen Door is not Opening or Closing Properly

One common problem encountered with Larson retractable screen doors is difficulty in opening or closing the door smoothly.


  • Broken Spring: A broken spring disrupts the door’s ability to open and close effectively.
  • Jammed Track: A jammed track can impede the smooth movement of the screen door along its designated path.
  • Loose Roller: A loose roller can lead to instability and misalignment of the screen door, hindering its smooth operation.


  • For a broken spring, replace the damaged spring with a new one to restore proper functionality.
  • Clear any obstructions or debris within the track to enable smooth operation.
  • Tighten the loose roller to regain proper alignment and functionality.

Issue 2: The Screen Door is not Sealing Properly

Another issue that may arise with Larson retractable screen doors is improper sealing, allowing bugs and other pests to enter the home.


  • Torn Screen: A torn screen compromises the door’s ability to keep pests out effectively.
  • Damaged Weatherstripping: Damaged weatherstripping can render the door ineffective in keeping insects out.
  • Misaligned Door Frame: A misaligned door frame can prevent the screen door from achieving a secure and tight closure.


  • Replace the torn screen with a new one to maintain a bug-free environment.
  • Replace the damaged weatherstripping to restore the door’s ability to provide a proper seal.
  • Realign the door frame to ensure a secure and tight closure.

Issue 3: The Screen Door is Rattling or Making Noise

Rattling or noisy operation is a potential problem that may occur with Larson retractable screen doors.


  • Loose Roller: A loose roller can cause the screen door to produce rattling noises.
  • Worn Bearings: Worn bearings responsible for the smooth movement of the roller can generate noise during door operation.
  • Damaged Track: A damaged track can create noise when the door slides along it.


  • Tighten the loose roller to eliminate rattling noises.
  • Replace worn bearings to ensure quiet and seamless door movement.
  • Repair or replace the damaged track to restore smooth and silent operation.

Issue 4: The Screen Door is Not Level

When a Larson retractable screen door is not level, it can result in binding or improper closure.


  • Uneven Floor: An uneven floor can cause the door to sit at an angle, preventing it from achieving a level position.
  • Warped Door Frame: A warped door frame can disrupt the screen door’s level and hinder smooth closure.
  • Misaligned Door: A misaligned door can prevent the screen door from sitting level.


  • Level the floor beneath the door to ensure proper alignment and operation.
  • Repair or replace the warped door frame to restore the screen door’s level.
  • Adjust and align the door correctly to enable proper closure and alignment.

Issue 5: The Screen Door is Difficult to Operate

Difficulty in operating the Larson retractable screen door can arise from various factors.


  • Stiff Spring: A stiff spring can make it challenging to open and close the door smoothly.
  • Heavy Door: An excessively heavy door can pose challenges when opening or closing it.
  • Wrong Design: Poorly designed doors can have flaws in their mechanisms or functionality, making them easier to operate.


  • Lubricate the spring mechanism or replace it with a more flexible spring to alleviate difficulty in operation.
  • Consider installing a lighter door or exploring different door types that are easier to operate if the door is excessively heavy.
  • If the difficulty in operating the screen door is due to a poorly designed door, replace it with a more user-friendly and well-designed alternative.

Issue 6: Mesh Tangles or Tears

The mesh on your retractable screen door can become tangled or torn, which hampers its ability to function correctly. This can occur for various reasons, such as excessive force, improper handling, and wear and tear.


  • Excessive Force: Applying excessive force when opening or closing the screen door can lead to the mesh getting tangled or snagged.
  • Improper Handling: Incorrect usage or mishandling of the screen door, such as pulling on the mesh instead of using the handle, can cause the mesh to tangle or tear.
  • Wear and Tear: Over time, the mesh can naturally experience wear and tear due to constant use and exposure to the elements.


  • Gently untangle the mesh or use a soft brush to smooth it out if it is minor.
  • For minor tears, repair using a patch kit or adhesive designed for screen repairs.
  • If the mesh is severely torn or damaged, it may be necessary to replace the entire screen. Contact a professional or refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

Issue 7: Latch or Lock Issues

Latch or lock issues can compromise the screen door’s functionality, security, and convenience. Common issues include misalignment, sticking or jamming, and faulty components.


  • Misalignment: The latch may not align properly with the strike plate, preventing it from fully engaging or causing it to get stuck.
  • Sticking or Jamming: Debris buildup, improper lubrication, or damaged internal components can cause the latch or lock mechanism to stick or jam.
  • Faulty Components: Wear and tear can lead to broken springs, worn-out bolts, or damaged locking mechanisms, resulting in ineffective or unreliable operation of the latch or lock.


  • Inspect the latch and strike plate for visible damage, misalignment, or debris. Clean the area and ensure proper lubrication.
  • Tighten any loose screws or bolts to improve alignment and functionality.
  • If the problem persists, consider replacing the latch or seeking professional assistance for further diagnosis and repair.

DIY Maintenance Tips For Your Larson Retractable Screen Door

Your Larson retractable screen door provides a refreshing breeze, acts as a barrier against insects, and lets natural light flood your space.

To ensure its longevity and optimal performance, I have compiled a comprehensive guide of DIY maintenance tips that will keep your screen door in top-notch condition for years to come.

Regular Cleaning

One of the simplest yet crucial maintenance tasks for your Larson retractable screen door is regular cleaning.

Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the screen mesh, hindering its functionality and diminishing its aesthetic appeal.

Grab a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment and gently remove any loose particles from the screen.

A mild soap solution and a soft cloth can work wonders for stubborn stains. Remember to rinse thoroughly and allow the screen to dry completely before retracting it.

Lubricate Moving Parts

To ensure your screen door’s smooth and effortless operation, it’s important to lubricate the moving parts periodically.

Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the tracks, rollers, hinges, and other areas where metal components come into contact.

This will reduce friction, prevent rust formation, and promote seamless door gliding.

Avoid using petroleum-based lubricants as they can attract dust and dirt, leading to potential clogging.

Check and Tighten the Hardware

Regularly inspect the hardware of your Larson retractable screen door to ensure everything is securely fastened.

Over time, vibrations and regular usage can cause screws and bolts to loosen.

Use a screwdriver or wrench to tighten any loose hardware, including hinges, handles, and latch mechanisms.

This simple step will help maintain the structural integrity of your screen door and prevent any unwanted rattling or instability.

Inspect and Replace Weatherstripping

The weatherstripping on your Larson retractable screen door plays a vital role in sealing gaps and preventing drafts.

Periodically inspect the condition of the weatherstripping and replace it if you notice signs of wear, tearing, or deterioration.

Weatherstripping is readily available at hardware stores and can be easily replaced by removing the old strip and installing a new one according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Properly sealed weatherstripping will enhance energy efficiency and keep insects and debris at bay.

Adjust Tension

Over time, the tension of the retractable screen door may need adjustment to ensure proper functionality.

If you notice that the door is not retracting or closing smoothly, it may indicate that the tension needs to be adjusted.

Most Larson retractable screen doors feature a tension adjustment mechanism that can be accessed using a screwdriver or Allen wrench.

Refer to the user manual or contact the manufacturer for specific instructions on adjusting the tension to achieve optimal performance.

Protect During Harsh Weather

During severe weather conditions, such as storms or heavy snowfall, protecting your Larson retractable screen door is advisable to prevent damage.

If possible, fully retract the screen door and secure it in a closed position to minimize exposure to the elements.

Additionally, consider installing a storm door or providing temporary protection, such as a tarp or cover, to shield the screen door from harsh weather conditions.

How To Install A Larson Storm Door Retractable Screen?

Installing a Larson storm door retractable screen can be a great way to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your home’s entryway.

You can easily tackle this installation project with the right tools and a systematic approach.

Step 1: Preparing for Installation

Required Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Pencil


  • Use a measuring tape to determine the width and height of your door opening.
  • Note down these measurements, as they will be crucial for selecting the correct storm door size.
  • Select a Larson storm door that fits your door opening based on the measurements.
  • Consider factors such as door type (in-swing or out-swing), style, and any additional features you desire.

Step 2: Removing the Existing Door

Required Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Start by examining the existing door and its attachments.
  • Look for any screws or fasteners holding the door in place. Remove any screws that secure the door to the door frame using a screwdriver.
  • Once the screws are removed, focus on the hinges. Most doors have hinges that connect the door to the frame.
  • Locate the hinge pins, which are the metal rods connecting the door and the frame through the hinges.
  • To detach the door from the hinges, gently tap the hinge pins out using a hammer.
  • Start with the bottom hinge pin and work your way up.
  • Place the hammer against the bottom of the hinge pin and tap it upward until it loosens.
  • Continue tapping until the pin is entirely removed.
  • Repeat this process for each hinge pin.
  • With all the hinge pins removed, you can now carefully lift the door away from the frame.
  • Pay attention to the weight and size of the door to prevent any accidents or damage.

Step 3: Preparing the Door Frame

Required Tools

  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Level


  • Thoroughly clean the surface of the door frame where the storm door will be installed.
  • Remove any dirt, debris, or old caulking that may hinder the proper adhesion of the storm door.
  • Inspect the door frame for any loose screws or nails.
  • Use a screwdriver to tighten any loose screws or replace them if necessary.
  • Ensure that the door frame is secure and stable before proceeding with the installation.
  • Use a level to check if the door frame is plumb and level.
  • Place the level vertically against the sides of the door frame and horizontally across the top.
  • If the door frame is not level, make adjustments as needed by loosening or tightening the screws holding the frame in place.
  • If the door frame is not plumb or level, you may need to make additional adjustments.
  • This can include shimming the door frame to ensure a proper fit for the storm door.
  • Use shims to fill any gaps or uneven areas, and make sure the frame is aligned correctly.

Step 4: Installing the Larson Storm Door Retractable Screen

Required Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Tape measure


  • Carefully position the Larson storm door frame into the door opening, ensuring that it fits snugly and aligns properly with the door frame.
  • Using a screwdriver, insert screws into the pre-drilled holes provided on the storm door frame.
  • Securely tighten the screws to anchor the frame in place. Ensure that the frame is securely attached and stable.
  • Align the hinges on the storm door with the corresponding hinge locations on the door frame.
  • Once aligned, secure the hinges in place using the provided screws.
  • Ensure the hinges are firmly attached to ensure smooth movement of the storm door.
  • Use a drill with the appropriate drill bits to create holes if necessary. The door closer mechanism helps ensure controlled closing and latching of the storm door.
  • Adjust the tension of the door closer mechanism as needed.
  • This adjustment ensures that the storm door closes securely without slamming shut.
  • Use a screwdriver or drill with the appropriate drill bits to secure the hardware in place. Ensure that the handle and latch operate smoothly and securely.
  • Check the alignment of the storm door and the function of the latch and closure mechanism.
  • Make necessary adjustments to ensure proper alignment, smooth operation, and a tight seal when the door is closed.
  • After completing the installation, test the storm door’s operation by opening and closing it multiple times.
  • Ensure that the door moves smoothly along the hinges, latches securely, and provides a proper seal when closed.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can successfully install a Larson storm door retractable screen.

Taking the time to secure the frame, align the hinges, and properly install the door closer and hardware will result in a functional and aesthetically pleasing storm door for your home.

Bottom Line

With the comprehensive knowledge and troubleshooting tips provided in this guide, you are now equipped to overcome any hurdles that may arise with your Larson retractable screen door.

From addressing issues with door operation and sealing to handling rattling or misalignment, you have the tools to restore functionality and enhance your home’s comfort and security.

Remember, regular maintenance and proper care are key to prolonging the lifespan of your Larson retractable screen door.

By following the DIY maintenance tips and understanding the installation process, you can ensure that your screen door remains in optimal condition.


What causes a screen door to stick?

One of the main reasons for a screen door sticking is the accumulation of dirt and debris in the track.

Over time, dust, pet hair, and other particles can gather in the track, hindering the smooth movement of the door.

To resolve this issue, you can use a crevice tool on a vacuum cleaner to remove the built-up material.

Additionally, gently scrubbing the track with a stiff brush will help eliminate any stubborn residue.

How do you adjust the spring tension on a door closer?

To adjust the spring tension on a door closer, follow these steps:

  • Locate the screw on the top of the door closer. It is usually marked with an arrow or a “+” and “-” symbol indicating the direction of adjustment.
  • Using a screwdriver or an appropriate tool, carefully turn the screw.
  • To increase the spring tension, turn the screw counterclockwise (in the direction of the “+” symbol or arrow). This will make the door close faster and with more force.
  • To decrease the spring tension, turn the screw clockwise (in the direction of the “-” symbol or arrow). This will slow down the door closing speed and reduce the force applied.
  • Make small adjustments at a time and test the door-closing action after each adjustment to ensure it meets your requirements.
  • Continue experimenting with the screw, turning it in different amounts until you achieve the desired level of tension for the door closer.

How long do retractable screens last?

The lifespan of retractable screens can vary depending on the quality of the materials and the frequency of use. However, most retractable screens can last for 10-15 years with proper maintenance.