Screens covered in grout/mortar


I have a CCU where they have 40 windows and screens and they are covered in grout and mortar. I have always had success in scraping off and bits of that stuff from windows by soaping them up and hitting them with a new razor. I have read lately I should is a plastic scraper? Is that better?
The main contractor I work for though has never had mortar or concrete or anything on his screens but a different homeowner just built a house and they have a ton of that stuff on all of their 40 screens. What is the best way to get that off and approximately how much would you charge? I know their is no exact science but I’m getting $700 for the windows alone. They want a price on screens now. Any help would be great. Thanks!


You might try One Restore or Cement Off. I’ve used the Cement Off on windows and it works very well, so it should work on screens without damaging them. Buy a gallon and charge them the entire amount and maybe 2-3 hours worth of cleaning time for 40 screens, you should turn out all right.


Best bet is to rescreen them. 40x$25each=$1000 or discount it to 40x$20=$800.


It’s new construction, I highly doubt they are going to go for that.


Yup play stupid games win stupid prizes. They should have protected the screens at the very least. So $25 per screen for rescreening.

DON’T use a plastic scraper. It catches junk and can cause major problems.


Yeah if you waste time to remove the debris by hand most like will damage the screen and then the contractor will want you to eat the cost of rescreening. @ace22286 if they don’t want to pay to rescreen then pass on messing with them.


Just quote to re-screen. Other wise pass.


I’ve had the same experience, tried to clean the screens best I could without damaging them, I used cement off like @Wagonhound said and it does ok. In the end I choose to rescreen now, takes less time to just rescreen than cleaning them.


Why does this come up every now and again? Bits and particles lodge into the plastic, next scrape - OH CRAP!!

One direction with a razor blade on a soapy window, wipe it off, repeat.


I have scraped with sharp razor for two years now with no issues but as I was searching online for answers to this screen question I came across using a plastic scraper a few times. I always assume there is something I don’t know so when I see stuff like that it makes me wonder what I may have been doing all this time. I’ve never had an issue yet, I should’ve just went with what experience has taught me.


FYI the Aztec Screen Washer works wonders on screens that have paint and grout on them. It’ll make that paint look new. And grout? It’ll make the grout look so clean you won’t believe it.

Take it off? No, that would be stupid. They obviously put a lot of time and effort to paint/grout their screens so why take it off?


Charge $25 per screen to rescreen them, then haul all the screens down to ace hardware and get them done for $15 each while you go work somewhere else.


I wonder what would happen if you let them soak in a child’s deflatable swim pool perhaps on the garage floor inside where it’s warmer. Would everything soften up?

Kinda like soaking crusty dishes that didn’t get cleaned in a dish pan of soapy water to soften them up.

This project should have been done before winter.


Google Back Set concrete remover. Tried to post link, but showed web page. Don’t want to violate ad rules. They claim concrete removal on any surface. 40 bucks a gallon.


Even if there were a product to put in a kiddie pool that would get the crap off screens, I’d probably charge $35 because now you’re dealing with chemicals and who knows what that will do to their lawn when you dump it out. And oh, have to find some place with a kiddie pool in stock.

Or $25 for rescreen.


I told them I was no longer interested in attempting the screens since I dont know how to remove that much hardened debris from them and I am afraid I would damage them further. I let them know its generally best to remove or cover screens to protect them when laying the brick so that next time they wont have this problem. On the plus side they still want me to do the windows and those were partially protected by the screens so maybe there wont be so much debris on them. Still gonna scratch waiver it though because why would you ever not!


Smart! I like this idea


Whenever I come across mortar on glass, I use ACE Hardware toilet bowl cleaner (hydrochloric acid) to dissolve debris first, put the product on a steel wool pad and rub lightly. Remember, particles and sand lodged in your pad may scratch glass, so gentle pressure, let the chemical do the work and change pads frequently. You can use a 1,5” blade to pick up stubborn spots after they are partially dissolved, just don’t go racking across the entire glass, shorter strokes where spots are, as needed. Wipe with dissolved mortar and chemical residues with a towel, check if you got all specks removed and then clean the regular way.
You can use the chemical for screens too, but have to follow with soapy water right after that to neutralize the chemical so it doesn’t discolor the mesh or screen frame.