~ Awnings FAQ~


Common Questions:


Q. What kind of awning should I buy?
A. This depends on what you are trying to achieve. If it's just sun protection over a deck, terrace, or patio, a retractable awning will meet your needs. But if it's full weather protection for this kind of outdoor space, or you want to create an "outdoor room," a fixed-frame awning is the better choice. For shading inside parts of your home, window awnings are very effective. These come in two styles: manually operated, rope pull-up and mechanically activated, vertical-arm retractable.

Other types of custom-made awnings, such as free-standing canopies, also are available to satisfy almost any shading and aesthetic requirement. Mills & Co. can design an awning to meet any need or desire you may have.


Q. What are the differences between retractable and fixed-frame awnings?
A The differences reflect style and function. The great advantage of retractable awnings is "shade on demand." You use the awning when you need it for sun protection; otherwise it remains re-tracted. Another big advantage of retractables is the minimal annual maintenance. Possible disadvantages include higher initial cost and limited function (wind and rain can damage this type of awning, which must be retracted in inclement weather).

The big advantage of fixed-frame awnings is that they protect against all kinds of weather. They also can be configured to form a kind of ourdoor "room." However, they require annual maintenance (including removal in the fall and re-installation in spring), and they are always "there" for constant, uninterrupted shade.


Q. Why should I get an awning instead of a deck or patio umbrella?
A. An awning is more durable, for starters. And it can shade a much larger area. It can be designed and constructed to meet your home's unique configuration. An umbrella is highly susceptible to wind damage and must always be handled  manually.


Q. How should I care for my awning?
A. Maintenance is critical. In autumn, at season's end, check for wear, for tears or holes, and mildew. If there is any damage, have the fabric repaired before you store it for the winter. If the braid along the front edge of the valance has frayed, replace it. Consider having your awnings hand-washed by a professional who will use cold water and a mild detergent and will reapply a water-proofing finish to extend the fabric's life. Check the hardware: fasteners, cables, joints, welds, and contact points where the frame is mounted against your house or porch. If there is any hint of rust or corrosion, clean and recoat the area. And on fixed-frame awnings, replace the lacings annually. Best of all: Call Mills & Co. to satisfy your needs!


Q. How long will my awning last?
A. This depends upon its location. Endless direct sunlight, tree sap, and smoke (from your outdoor grill) are the worst enemies of your awning's fabric. In general, the stitching is the weakest link and will need to be replaced first. With proper maintenance, one can usually expect seven to ten good years from acrylic fabric. The hardware usually carries a limited lifetime warranty and, as a rule, can be reused with new fabric.


Q. How can I prevent fading of my awning fabric colors?
A. Sunbrella(R) and other quality acrylic fabrics carry a limited, five-year warranty against fading. As a rule, fading is not a severe problem, even in full sun. And most awnings fade uniformly, so the effect is hardly noticeable. But given their function and location--out in the sun and the weather--awnings will fade, and eventually you will have to replace the fabric.


Q. What about rust and corrosion of the frame, cables, and other metal parts?
A. To minimize corrosion, it is essential to use the proper materials up-front: stainless and galvanized steel and anodized aluminum.

At Mills & Co. we use only corrosion-resistant materials. After installation, proper care and maintenance are essential.


Q. How can I purchase an awning from Mills & Co. by mail or phone?
A. Because of the custom nature of awnings--measurements to fit a specific location--and their installation requirements, we only work on-site, directly with local and regional clients. In this way we can assure the level of quality that has always characterized our work.

Geographically, our "region" spans the East End of Long Island: from Wading River to Orient on the North Fork and from Eastport to Montauk on the South. If you live in this area, we welcome your inquiries. Usually we can provide a rough estimate by phone, but we prefer an on-site visit to make precise measurements for a firm quotation.


Canvas makes it better, and Mills makes it best.  Since 1880--serving you today!
Wm. J. Mills & Co.
1.800.477.1535 (In the US)
1.631.477.1500 (International)
Website: http://www.MillsCanvas.com