Screens with Pins

Hey everyone

I just landed this sweet commercial gig doing their windows monthly. It’s a new office building and has alot of residential style double hungs. They all have the full size (covers both panes) screens that are locked in by the pull pins.

Does anyone have any tricks for getting them off from the outside? I’ve occassionally used the end of my 1in razor to push the pins back and get them out but I don’t think it’d be quick enough to do that twenty some times. I’m thinking maybe a paint can opener… or some other Mr Sanchez trick?

I can go inside if I must, it would just be nice if I didnt have to.


I would go in and pop them the way they should be done first. then once you clean the windows turn the screens around so you can pull the pin from the outside on future visits. Another option is to use a 5in1 putty knife and put in between the frame and screen, gently push the pin out while tweaking the frame. if done gently you can get them out. It does take some time though. I honestly would just go inside and pull all screens at one time. To me any time you have to pry or bend a screen to get it out you may looking at damaging some. may cheaper cost and time wise to just go in. just my 2 cents

On many occasions, my 1 1/2 inch flexible putty knife allows me to compress pins for exterior removal.

I would ask the customer first before reinstalling the screens backwards. Although we all know screens are not there for security (unless they’re actual security screens), some customers may think it is a security risk if the screens are backwards.

I agree about going in to remove the screens. Even if it does take a little longer, the risk of damaging a screen is lower. Also climbing up and down ladders with screens could pose a safety issue.

Larry, try an angled putty knife sometime. More leverage and takes away the knuckle busting threat. I wouldn’t steer you wrong.


If I have to be on a ladder when removing screens I use a screen clip so I can let the screen hang from the ladder until I’m done.

Same here. The putty knife has just enough flex to not break them.

Screen Clip??:confused:

I use the pliers on my leatherman, just cause I have it on my belt.

i have to agree about going inside…are you cleaning the interior too or just outs? Have an employee go in and pop them out. I usually charge for removing/replacing screens and some of my customers opt to remove themselves because of that. But those are all residential accts, not sure if commercail would want to bother with that.

I believe you 'cause that’s what you said about the healing powers of bacon.

Screen Clip
Screen Clip with clasp: Just connect one end to your tool belt or on a ladder and clip on any screen while cleaning windows. Excellent tool and easy to use. Prevent screens from being damaged while up high.

Can you always get the Leatherman pliers to fit in the space between the window frame and the screen frame?

If you are going to take them off from the outside I would go with a 5n1. I prefer the stiffness of a 5n1 to a flexible putty. To lessen the risk of bending the frame, don’t try to get it out with one movement. Put the tool on the pin and move it, then if it hasn’t popped out put a finger on the pin(you would be holding it through the screen) to hold it so you can reset the tool. Its hard to explain without any visuals.

I wouldn’t risk the integrity of the screen.

Then again, I don’t have a visual (Guinness-impaired or otherwise.)

Yea, you can sneak the nose in there, grab the pin to leverage the spring, and pry the frame at the same time.

My flexible putty knife barely fit in the snug space on a home yesterday with a full set of alarmed screens. I’m not sure my 5-in-1 would have fit… I used the putty knife only to reinstall ground-level screens with pins.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm bacon

It is easier to repair the screen than it is to try to repair a bent frame, if you have to remove it from the outside. My first choice would be to go in and release the pins that way.

My prefered tool is my pocket knife. Pressure against the pin and a slight twist are generally enough to set the screen free. As to the reinstalling the screens backwards…I do this on scheduled repeat customers and have never had any of them say anything. If they should complain, it would be easy enough to go flip them around.

[I]“because glass looks its best when you can’t see it”[/I]