A screened porch can be a perfect hangout spot with family and friends. It mimics the freeness of being outside without having to worry about bugs buzzing in your ears.
However, one of the downsides of screened porches is that they can be prone to getting dirtied easier than the rest of your house.
This is in part simply due to the design of a screen porch. Instead of solid barriers such as walls and windows providing separation between indoors and outdoors, there are mesh screens.
Screened porches may also serve as a transition space for those that are going between the house and the yard. The back and forth traffic is likely to bring in dirt and debris.
The amount of dirt that finds its way into a screen porch can result in a daunting cleaning process. So, you may need to get a bit more creative when cleaning when compared to a place such as your living room.
In this post, we’ll explore how to keep dirt out of a screened porch. And, while the fresh air is nice, we’ll also look at how to keep pollen out of a screened porch to help keep allergies at bay.
Let’s hop in!
How to Keep Dirt Out of Screen Porch
Trying to clean a screened porch riddled with dirt can be a real pain. As a proactive measure, preventing dirt from getting in is typically the easier approach.
Here are a list of measures you can take to keep the dirt out and your porch clean:
Place Doormats at Entrances
Placing doormats at the entrances of your screen porch is one of the easiest ways to keep dirt out. This is often why many choose to have door mats at entry points into the house.
These mats will trap dirt and debris before it gets tracked inside. There are many styles of doormats, but those that are washable will be easiest to clean and maintain their effectiveness.
You can also place outdoor rugs inside your screen porch. These not only provide a comfortable surface, but they also help trap dirt and prevent it from getting into the floorboards or between gaps.
Encourage Shoe Removal
Establishing a no-shoe policy is one of the most effective ways to keep dirt out of a screen porch. While it’s convenient to keep shoes on when walking from the porch to the backyard, this is a sure-fire way to track dirt around.
While you can encourage everyone to remove their shoes before entering the porch, designating an area near the entrance for shoe storage can help make it more convenient.
Aside from keeping the space cleaner, this option can also provide a more relaxed atmosphere inside.
Install a Door Kick-Plate
A door kick-plate is a panel that’s installed around the door’s base. It serves to prevent dirt from getting in through these small crevices. On top of that, it’s mostly made of aluminum, which won’t rust or corrode when exposed to water.
If the porch’s door is the primary source of dirt, a kick-plate will help keep it clean. It’ll also keep all kinds of pests and bugs out.
Install an Air Curtain
A more technology-driven solution may be to install an air curtain or air door at the entrance of your screen porch.
These devices create a stream of air that acts as an invisible barrier, preventing insects, dust, and debris from entering when the door is opened. This is particularly useful if you frequently host gatherings or have a high foot traffic area as it will minimize the impact of the door being opened.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Particularly if you notice bugs crawling inside your screen porch, this likely indicates gaps that could also allow dirt to blow inside.
Perform a thorough inspection around the space to seek out any gaps or cracks in the screens, walls, or floor. Repair any damage and seal these openings to prevent dirt from seeping or blowing inside.
Consider installing weatherstripping around the edges of doors and windows to create a tighter seal. This will help reduce the amount of dirt and dust that enters through gaps.
Maintain the Surrounding Landscape
Keeping the surrounding landscaping well maintained can also help reduce the amount of dirt that enters the screen porch. This includes regular trimming of bushes and trees to minimize leaves and twigs from finding their way inside.
Clean the Surrounding Areas
Routine cleaning of the pathway that leads to the screen porch will help keep dirt from being tracked in as well. Sweeping or hosing down the adjacent walkway or patio is a simple activity that can go a long way.
This proactive approach will minimize the amount of dirt that can be blown into your porch by wind or foot traffic.
How to Keep Pollen out of Screen Porch
During the midst of spring and summer, pollen becomes unavoidable throughout the air. As the pollen particles make their way inside the screen porch, it could trigger those pesky allergies.
While some of the approaches to keep dirt out of the screen porch can also help with pollen, there are some additional methods to consider. Here’s how to keep pollen out of the screen porch.
Keeping the inside of the screen porch clean is essential to minimize the buildup of pollen inside.
Start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor to remove any loose pollen particles. Pay close attention to corners and crevices where pollen tends to accumulate.
Wipe down the screens and surfaces with a damp cloth to remove any residual pollen and keep the air as clean as possible.
As part of the cleaning process, you should also shake off any cushions or furniture in the screen porch as pollen tends to cling to them. Consider using washable and removable cushion covers that can be easily cleaned to prevent pollen from lingering.
Consider installing pollen-resistant screens on your screen porch. These screens are specially designed with smaller mesh openings that effectively prevent pollen particles from entering while still allowing fresh air to flow through.
If looking for convenience, there are even some magnetic screens that install without needing any tools. They come in various sizes to fit nearly any window.
Close Doors and Windows
During peak periods of pollen, you should consider closing screen doors and windows. This will help reduce the ingress of pollen.
You can check local pollen forecasts and be mindful of days when pollen counts are particularly high.
For those with severe allergies, you may want to consider placing an air purifier inside your screen porch to provide continuous filtration of air. This will help remove pollen and other particles from the air.
Depending on the size of your screen porch and the capacity of the air purifier, you may need more than one to maximize effectiveness.
If you have plants or trees near your screen porch that produce large amounts of pollen, consider pruning or relocating them to minimize the pollen exposure.
Consult with a local gardening expert to identify low-pollen or pollen-free plants that can be planted around your porch to reduce pollen levels in the immediate vicinity.
Turn on Your Ceiling Fan
Turning on your ceiling fan on your porch won’t magically keep all the pollen away. However, it’ll prevent it from settling around and causing your allergies to wake up.
As a bonus, it’ll also provide you with a nice breeze!
A misting system will protect you from exceedingly hot days and irritating pollen particles that always find their way in. Its main job is spraying a water mist on your porch, which can prevent pollen and dust from settling on any surface.
It’ll also keep any annoying bugs and insects out. However, it requires constant maintenance and can be a more expensive option
Florida Glass Screen
Florida Glass is a type of fiberglass mesh that has a layer of vinyl lamination for extra protection. It is also manufactured under other names, such as Phifer Glas-Shield.
It’s specifically manufactured to provide privacy and prevent debris –such as pollen– from coming in. With a Florida glass screen, you can enjoy bathing in the sunlight, yet the pollen and rain will be kept outside.
The downfall with Florida glass is that it is a solid barrier that will prevent that nice breeze from coming through the porch. In some instances, you can strategically place this Florida glass at the lower panels while using traditional mesh screens in the upper panels –this can allow for nice airflow through the space.
Otherwise, if you live in a region with high pollen activity, you may consider using the Florida Glass to convert your screen porch into a sunroom.
How to Clean Dust and Pollen off Your Screen Porch
Although the methods listed earlier will help keep dust away from your porch, they won’t prevent it completely. That’s why you should regularly clean your screen porch from all the accumulated pollen and dust.
Here are some tips:
Hose off the Surfaces
You can use a hose or pressure washer to rinse away dust and pollen from the screen porch.
Work your way from top to bottom, ensuring that you cover all surfaces.
Screens made from fiberglass mesh are susceptible to trapping dust. To clean them, you should carefully pass the vacuum over your screen surfaces. However, don’t overdo it because vigorous vacuuming can cause tears in your screen.
Also, vacuum all other surfaces in the porch, such as furniture and floors.
Scrub the Screens
In addition to vacuuming the screens, you may opt for a deeper cleaning that involves scrubbing.
This can be performed either with the screens installed or temporarily removed.
Simply prepare a bucket with warm water and dish detergent. While bleach may also be useful in some instances, take care to ensure it doesn’t damage the screen or its frame.
Use a soft-bristle brush or sponge to carefully wipe the screens in circular motions. Avoid applying too much pressure that could damage the screens.
Rinse the screens with clean water afterwards and then gently dry with a towel. Allow them to air dry before reinstalling them.
Mop the Porch Floor
Dust most commonly settles on floors, so you shouldn’t forget to clean your floors after your screens and furniture. You can do so using a mop and a bucket of water with soap.
After mopping the entire porch, leave it for a few hours till it’s completely dry. Then, return your furniture to where it was.
Screened porches are great if you want the feeling of outdoors without the bugs. However, they can be challenging to keep clean due to their proximity to the outside environment.
If you want to keep dirt out of your screen porch, there are a variety of strategies you can employ. Some are simply just implementing a no-shoe rule, while others are more tech-driven such as an air curtain.
And while keeping dirt out is one thing, there are additional methods you can use to keep air-borne pollen out of your screen porch. Some can be as simple as closing the windows during high-pollen days, or you may be better off adding an air purifier to the room.
While there are numerous ways to keep dirt and pollen out, maintaining a cleaning routine may be the best way to keep staying that way!
Husband and father of three (actually, four if you include the pool). I’m an avid DIY-er and weekend warrior that enjoys taking up new projects around the house to help us maximize leisure right at home. I enjoy researching and sharing various tips, tricks and knowledge to help others make their home an oasis.