One item that we were asked to help out with at a recent job was to replace the screening that had been in place behind a Client’s attic gable vent windows.
Typically, the screening that is used behind these windows when they come from “the factory” is not necessarily the most impenetrable type of screening.
It is usually pretty thin screening and most often not really fastened in the most ideal fashion.
We get quite a number of calls asking for our help to come up with a solution for replacing the screening in a manner in which it is a bit more solidly in place and also a bit more robust with regard to what it would offer, for protection from potential intrusive visitors (bats, squirrels, birds, etc.).
My “go to” solution in these cases has always been hardware cloth.
Hardware cloth is a smaller, strong & durable, mesh-type product sold in rolls at both local hardware stores and at the big box stores.
Think chicken wire on steroids.
I prefer hardware cloth to chicken wire because hardware cloth is sturdier than chicken wire and its “holes” are much tinier.
It would be very challenging for any rodent to get to the other side of hardware cloth, assuming it is properly fastened.
There are several uses for this material.
I usually use it when attempting to keep rodents from getting in to a certain area.
In addition to the earlier example, I also have used it in the past to keep varmints from digging into the bottom of a shed.
I have seen folks use it to keep animals out of their gardens, I’ve seen it used on deer fencing, and I have seen it used to help patch holes in walls.
Because it is such a strong material, I have seen people get creative with it and use it for such things as making fruit/vegetable baskets out of it, making bird feeders, and even to create wall-hung storage racks (the strength of the areas around hardware cloth’s holes are ideal for hanging things from).
It certainly is a very diverse building material.
When working with hardware cloth, be sure to have a good pair of wire snips, gloves, and some stronger plier-type tool (to help in handling/bending it).
If using it to keep rodents out from somewhere, to help in keeping the tiniest of creatures out (if that may be a concern), double back the hardware cloth with some version of a smaller type of screening; the outermost layer should be the hardware cloth itself, as this would be the stronger of the two layers.
I believe hardware cloth is an awesome product!
I stumbled across it years ago at a local hardware store and every time an opportunity pops up to use it, I am sure to do so without hesitation.
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