Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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Increased Curb Appeal When Looking to Sell

When my husband and I were looking to purchase our first home, I was excited to visit different properties to see if I could envision us there. The outside of the home became an important piece of the puzzle as we went from house to house. While some homes were beautiful on the outside, there were others that I knew I didn’t like as soon as we pulled our car up to the front. When looking to sell a house, there are a few exterior cleaning projects that will make your home look great.

Last week we talked about cleaning vinyl siding. If the front of your home is siding, make sure that it is properly cleaned, removing the dirt and exposing the color below. Particular attention should be paid to the areas right below the roof line where some stains will accumulate.

Driveways and walkways in front of the home can make a huge impact. Take this house for example. If I had cropped the picture to not include the driveway, it looks great, a beautiful brick home. The driveway makes it look much dingier than it really is. Driveways, not surprisingly, get very dirty. Between dirt from the car tires, oil leaks and daily traffic, keeping a driveway perfectly clean is nearly impossible. Most of those stains, however, are removable. Take a look at this after photo. The home looks brighter and cleaner for people who visit the property.

I was surprised to find how much attention I gave the front stairs of the homes that my husband and I looked at. Why? Our realtor came to all of the houses with us and would have to get into the lock box and unlock the front door. During that short few minutes, we would be standing on the front stairs waiting. Cleaning the front stairs will make your home look better than if there is caked on dirt on all of it. Wouldn’t you rather picture yourself sitting on these after picture stairs than the first? I know I would.

Lastly, take note of any fences you have towards the front of your property, especially those that have gates that potential buyers have to walk through. Ridding it of all the embedded dirt and mold and having a new protective seal will make it look so much more welcoming.

At Renew Crew, we pride ourselves on making a huge visual difference on the property through the deep cleaning and protecting of all your outdoor surfaces. When preparing your house for sale, make sure not to only focus your efforts on the inside of the home. The outside is just as important, if not more. It is the first impression that people get of hopefully, their future home.

Preparing Your House for the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner, which means it is the season of cheer and company. Growing up, I must say, that my house always looked its best in November and December. Why? Because it was always filled with expected and unexpected visitors and my parents always wanted the house to look great.

Preparing the house for the holidays didn’t just happen inside the house. Yes, my mom was a cleaning fiend that time of year, but we all took notice of the outside of our home as well. The yard was always picked up, walkways brushed and house cleaned when needed. Yes, I said the house itself was cleaned. We had vinyl siding and just like any other outdoor surface, it required periodic maintenance.

Vinyl siding is the most common choice when it comes to siding. It is available in so many styles and colors and is very durable so it isn’t surprising that it is used so often. It does however, get that dull, weathered look over time. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be replaced, it just needs to be cleaned. If you are like my family and have visitors during the holidays, now is the perfect time to clean your vinyl siding.

At Renew Crew, we use the same three step process that we do on all of our projects on vinyl and the difference is amazing! Take a look at this siding before we visited. You can see that the dirt and dust has settled on the surface.And now look at what it looks like. Quite the difference a thorough cleaning can make.

The first step is foam the siding thoroughly. We use foam siding cleaners because it clings to the surface more than a liquid based cleaner. Liquid cleaner runs down vertical surfaces before it has the chance to remove dirt or kill mold and mildew. Additionally, our cleaner is environmentally-friendly, so our clients don’t have to be worried about surrounding plants or trees.

After the foam has the chance to work, killing and removing whatever was on the siding, we use a pressure washer to wash everything away. Vinyl is durable, but a pressure washer is strong. We’ve had calls from homeowners that have made the mistake of pressure washing their home before, just to use too much pressure and crack the siding. It is always better to have a professional come out and pressure wash any of your home’s outdoor surfaces.

Lastly, we apply a protectant to the vinyl that will keep it looking better longer.

After cleaning your siding, your home will be ready for your holiday decorations and your visitors to arrive. If you have any questions regarding outdoor surface cleaning, please call your local Renew Crew office.

Foundation Cleaning done Right

There are parts of everyone’s home that may not get the love that the others do. For me, that has been the foundation. It’s not something that I pay attention to on daily basis, but recently I took the time to look and it looked terrible.

When you think about it, it isn’t surprising that foundations get as dirty as they do. They are exposed to all the natural elements and more. Being next to the ground, dirt, grass and a number of other outdoor elements are constantly being thrown at your foundation.

Like all other outdoor surfaces, foundations too need regular maintenance. At Renew Crew, our 3 step process will make your foundation look great without causing harm.

The foundation of the home is essential to the structure and stability of the house. This is one area that we as a professional pressure washing company must recommend that you do not do yourself. Pressure washers can create cracks in the foundation when not handled properly, so please hire a pro.

The first step in our foundation cleaning process is applying environmentally friendly foam cleaner. Most outdoor cleaning products are made with harsh chemicals that can kill your grass and plants and even seep into the soil beneath. Our environmentally foam cleaner won’t harm any of the surrounding plants, but is still strong enough to loosen embedded dirt and kill mold and mildew.

Rinsing the foundation is the second step. We utilize a low pressure washer to get rid of all the dirt, grime, mold, mildew and more. This is when the natural colors of the brick or concrete foundation will come back to life. Many homeowners don’t realize just how filthy the surface was until it is clean again and this is where you see the difference.

The last step is the lasting protection. Once the surface is dry, a layer of protectant is applied, closing the surface pores, stopping the elements from making their way in again.

If you are looking for a professional pressure washing company, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Safety Guaranteed by a Professional Pressure Washing Service Provider

In early August of this year, the Surrey Comet’s Alice Foster reported on an incident in Surrey, England, which should serve as a cautionary tale for all business owners that choose to take on the do-it-yourself route when it comes to their regular cleaning operations. A pub worker named Jason Smith mistakenly poured an anti-scaling agent (which removes dirt and grime buildup) down a urinal along with some bleach. This mixture led to the accidental formation of poisonous chlorine gas.

Smith immediately realized his horrible mistake when he saw vapor coming out of the urinal. Unfortunately by that time it was already too late and he had inhaled the toxic fumes. The pub worker’s experience serves as a reminder to those who take on the task of cleaning their homes or business premises without knowing the dangers involved in mixing chemicals. If you need to get rid of stubborn dirt and grime on your driveway, deck, or siding, you should hire a professional pressure washing service provider that knows what they are doing and uses only eco-friendly cleaning agents.

It wasn’t long after his brief exposure to the harmful gas that Smith felt his eyes stinging and his lungs burning. Luckily, Smith had the presence of mind to leave the premises to call emergency services. It was eventually discovered that the unsuspecting employee had just been exposed to the same substance that killed thousands during World War I.

Even if Smith managed to escape certain death, he still suffered serious effects due to toxic exposure. His chest pains subsequently persisted for three days after the incident. If he had elected to stay on and completed his task, he would have likely suffered from pneumonia, vomiting, or possibly succumbed to the poisonous gas.

Business owners must therefore do everything possible to protect employees and customers from accidental exposure to toxic substances. It will never be worth it to risk the health and lives of others when carrying out routine cleaning tasks. It is highly advisable to enlist the services of reputable commercial pressure washing companies like Renew Crew that use safe and effective proprietary cleaning products.

Rather than rely on DIY cleaning measures or leave complex cleaning tasks in the hands of untrained staff, business proprietors must prioritize safety above everything else. When it comes to commercial pressure washing, a trusted company like Renew Crew uses only safe and environmentally responsible products to get rid of filth. They will also rinse and protect newly cleaned surfaces with a special protective sealant.

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How the Right Professional Pressure Washing Company Can Preserve and Protect Your Garden Plants

Power washing or pressure washing is often done to strip paint from wooden walls or sidings in preparation for a painting job. This procedure can also remove dirt, mold, and mildew that might have accumulated over the years on your home’s exterior surfaces. While power washing has a lot of benefits, Amy Rodriguez (in an article for homeguides.sfgate.com) reports that a possible downside is the destruction of plants through exposure to power-wash chemicals.

The most common cleaning agents used in power washing are bleach solutions and detergents. Bleach solutions can turn into salts and detergents can cause brown spotting. Both of these can kill plants. Fortunately, some reputable pressure washing companies like Renew Crew have formulated their own proprietary solvents which they guarantee to be safe for plants.

People that prefer to conduct a power washing project on their own need to consider the effects of the cleaning agents they plan on using. Both bleach solutions and detergents have to be diluted using the right water-to-solvent ratio to be effective while still preventing damage to the surface that is being cleaned, as well as the plants surrounding the house. Although these chemicals are manufactured to be safe for plants and animals, they may trigger certain reactions that may end up permanently destroying the plant.

Bleach solution runoffs can raise garden soil salinity, which will make it difficult for plants to absorb water. To avoid this, Ms. Rodriguez recommends watering your plants prior to pressure washing, so that the bleach solution becomes even more diluted after it reaches the ground. Watering the plants after the washing will also help rinse bleach residues away.

Detergents need to be much more diluted than bleach solutions, yet they can still cause brown spotting when they come in contact with the leaves of certain plants. Watering the plants before and after pressure washing may also help prevent plant death. You will need to perform a thorough rinsing after the washing to make sure all traces of detergent are washed off the leaves.

Runoffs and over-sprays can also happen when you are pressure washing your siding. To prevent contact between the chemicals and your garden plants, Ms. Rodriguez suggests removing all plants within the area to be washed. If this is not possible, covering the plants with plastic is a good alternative.

Although you can take the necessary steps to protect your plants from possibly harmful pressure cleaning chemicals, the better alternative would be to employ the services of a reputable pressure cleaning company that cares about your plant’s survival. The safe option is to hire a company like Renew Crew that uses proprietary and eco-friendly cleaning solutions to ensure utmost protection for your plants. These professionals will take the right precautionary steps to protect your plants, while saving you from a lot of back-breaking work and preparation.

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Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions from Top Pressure Washing Companies

Back in June, the Scientific American’s EarthTalk responded to a query from a reader named Betsy in regards to hazardous cleaning product alternatives. Betsy is a mother of young children and she expressed concern over the toxicity of commercial household cleaning supplies. EarthTalk then proceed to list the various chemicals homeowners should avoid.

The article cites input from the Organic Consumers Association, which states that some soaps, detergents, bleaching agents, scourers, and specialty cleaners may pose certain health risks. Homeowners who go the extra mile to keep their home spic-and-span by carrying out DIY pressure washing on decks and patios may be actually exposing their families to toxic substances. That is why it may be beneficial to call on experienced and dependable pressure washing companies like Renew Crew, which uses eco-friendly cleaning solutions.

The article also states that household cleaning products are responsible for 10% of toxic exposure cases in the United States. In addition, most of these cases involve kids under the age of six. This is something concerned mothers like Betsy will undoubtedly find alarming. Fortunately, you can count on a trustworthy pressure washing company to remove stubborn dirt and stains from your deck, patio, and siding while keeping your kids, pets, and plants safe from dangerous toxic exposure.

Make sure to pick companies that use eco-friendly and chlorine-free products. Chlorine is one of the most common yet often overlooked toxic cleaning chemicals. It can cause poisoning when inhaled or ingested. Although chlorine effectively removes mold and mildew from any surface, you may not want to use chlorine-based products on a wooden deck since it can bleach your wood planks.

EarthTalk also suggests keeping an eye out for scented cleaning products. Some fragrances merely mask toxins and could end up triggering respiratory irritation, headache, allergies, or asthma attacks. Reliable cleaning companies like Renew Crew place more emphasis on the actual cleaning power of their proprietary products. Their solvents dislodge stubborn dirt and mildew, while protecting surfaces from moisture, dirt buildup, and ultraviolet (UV) rays.

A clean environment is a healthy environment. Unfortunately, some well-meaning homeowners who wish to keep their households spotless may in fact be compromising their family’s health. They don’t realize the dangers of using cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals, particularly when they are cleaning their home’s exterior surfaces. For your peace of mind and family’s health, it is advisable to hire established pressure washing firms that utilize environmentally sound cleaning products and practices.

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Safe and Effective Pressure Washing Services: A Task Best Left to the Pros

In June 2012, Chicago Tribune resident columnist Tim Carter responded to a query from a reader in San Jose named Peggy that was thinking of renting a pressure washer to clean her deck, patio, and driveway. Peggy was particularly concerned about her siding, which consisted of a combination of wood and vinyl. She was also worried about how to ensure the safety of her husband and their beloved pets.

Carter replied that when it is used properly, a pressure washer can be a convenient and beneficial tool. A power washer releases high-pressure jets of water from a nozzle to remove dirt, grime, mud, and dirt from any surface, which eliminates the need for vigorous scrubbing. However, such a powerful machine can also cause serious damage if the wrong angle or power setting is used. Homeowners need to be cautious when using a pressure washer. Better yet, they can hire a professional pressure washing service that guarantees a heavy-duty clean with minimal risk or damage.

Pressure washing is especially useful for cleaning concrete patios and driveways. Concrete is highly durable and weather-resistant, yet according to the Chicago Tribune columnist, even something as strong as concrete is no match for extremely high-pressure jets of water. When it comes to safe pressure washing of concrete surfaces, it is best to rely on reputable companies like Renew Crew that are trained on the appropriate techniques.

The water stream from a pressure washer is likely to cause greater damage to less durable materials like wood and vinyl. Fortunately, professional pressure washers know exactly how to pressure wash a wood deck without ruining it. Companies like Renew Crew will go even a step further by coating wooden decks with a protective sealant that keeps dirt, moisture, and ultraviolet rays from wreaking havoc.

The columnist also calls attention to the dangers of having pets and kids around when using a pressure washer. Dogs are ultra-sensitive to the forceful sound of a pressure washer’s engine and may mistakenly try to attack the spray. The high-pressure water spray can cut into your dog’s skin or cause permanent blindness. Regardless of whether you opt for do-it-yourself or hire professional pressure washers, make sure that your kids and pets stay indoors for the duration of the power cleaning operation.

There is no denying that a pressure washer can eliminate dirt, grime, and gunk from any sort of surface, as long as you keep safety in mind. Carter also points out that with great power comes great responsibility, and that a slight misstep can lead to severe damage. Rather than go the DIY route and be sorry later on, you might be better off leaving all pressure washing tasks to the trained experts.

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Professional Concrete Cleaning Can Ensure Good ROI for Patio Remodeling

Some homeowners undertake home additions to create new spaces for recreation and entertainment. Others might see a home addition as a good investment that can increase their property’s curb appeal and potential resale value. Whatever your reason for building a deck, porch, patio, or any sort of outdoor room, it is important to exercise caution and avoid spending more money than necessary.

Consumer guide website Home Flooring Pros agrees that a reasonably priced outdoor patio flooring job can offer a higher return on investment (ROI) when it is done right. Be it a ceramic tile or concrete floor, homeowners should keep costs at a reasonable level so that the property’s price remains competitive. No matter what type of patio flooring material a homeowner chooses, it is still likely to get dirty and grimy because of heavy foot traffic and continuous exposure to the elements. To increase the likelihood of closing a sale, a homeowner can hire a reputable concrete cleaning company that will get rid of stubborn dirt and stains using safe and effective pressure washing methods.

Concrete floors and driveways require special care since these surfaces are likely to crack and harbor vegetation if they are forcefully scrubbed or subjected to excessive water pressure. You cannot expect prospective home buyers to be impressed at the sight of a cracked and badly stained concrete patio floor. For damage-free and spotless concrete patio flooring, you can enlist the services of reputable pressure washing companies like Renew Crew.

When it comes to professional concrete patio cleaning, companies like Renew Crew soak concrete surfaces in special eco-friendly foam designed to get rid of deep-seated dirt and stains. This step is then followed by a thorough rinsing using high-precision pressure washing equipment. A special sealant is then applied to protect the concrete floor from the outdoor elements.

A patio remodeling job doesn’t have to be extravagant to have a high ROI potential. An eye-catching, low-cost outdoor patio that is built well is more likely to attract the interest of potential buyers than one that jacks up the property price way above the local average. You should always check out neighboring properties to get an idea about the most suitable options for flooring materials before you start to remodel your own patio.

In case you don’t yet see the need for new patio flooring, it would be to your advantage to perform any other finishing touches that can help make your home more presentable before it appears on a real estate listing. You will most likely need to carry out a thorough cleaning job that probably includes some outdoor pressure washing. If you have no experience with pressure washing and would rather not risk ruining your exterior surfaces, then you are better offer leaving this task to the trained professionals.

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Professional Pressure Cleaning Services: Providing Deep Cleaning Jobs

Your home interiors may not pose the same cleaning challenges as outdoor living areas like decks and patios. Your interiors are better protected from the elements and should require less maintenance than outdoor rooms. Impurities like dirt and mold accumulate much faster on your roof, deck, fence, siding, and concrete driveway than they would in your dining room, living room, and kitchen.

Most homeowners know that they cannot use ordinary cleaning tools to rinse away dirt from outdoor living areas. Manual scrubbing with harsh detergents won’t remove all the deep-seated filth that has accumulated on exterior surfaces through the years. In fact, vigorous manual scrubbing can gouge these surfaces and leave them vulnerable to damage. For a truly effective and trouble-free deep cleaning, you might want to consider professional pressure cleaning services offered by companies like Renew Crew.

According to Jon Nunan’s article for HomeAdvisor.com, homeowners may want to consider pressure washing to clean their outdoor areas. Conventional cleaning methods are rather ineffective against stubborn dirt and stains. The proven solution is to apply more power without harming affected surfaces. That is a task that is only possible with the use of a pressure washer.

Pressure washers are the preferred tools for handling difficult cleaning tasks in buildings, parking areas, and other large structures. On the domestic front, homeowners use pressure washing equipment to rid driveways of grease and oil stains, or even graffiti. Pressure washing is also used to clean other areas like decks, fencing, and pavements.

Homeowners must use pressure washing equipment with care due to the high pressure generated by the directed blast of internally heated water. Such a water spray is often discharged at five gallons per minute, with forces of up to 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. Due to the potential dangers involved, pressure washing is typically best left in the hands of professionals that are trained in controlled pressure cleaning techniques.

Pressure washing companies like Renew Crew offer quality concrete sealing to prevent cracks and splits that allow vegetation to grow and damage concrete surfaces. How long the sealant will last depends on the effects of heat and other environmental conditions in the area. Ultimately, if you want to enhance the appearance of your outdoor spaces, your best bet is to hire reputable pressure cleaning firms that can help your deck, fence, siding or concrete pavement look its better and last longer than their average service life spans.

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Why Professional Deck Cleaning and Maintenance Make Perfect Sense

Some of the most beautiful homes in the country are built with wooden decks in a variety of stunning styles. Wooden decks are very popular extensions to living spaces because they can serve multiple purposes. For instance, decks provide convenient outdoor venues for entertaining friends, bonding with the family, or simply enjoying some quiet time outside.

Unfortunately, decks are also constantly exposed to the elements and will inevitably succumb to discoloration and deterioration. The accumulation of dirt, as well as moss or algae growth, can affect the deck’s surface and make it more susceptible to damage. Luckily, regular deck cleaning from companies like Renew Crew can help maintain your outdoor structures and prolong their life span.

An article posted on HouseandHome.com provides some advice on the best materials and finishes that can help your natural wooden deck last longer. The article suggests that the best natural decking consists of low-maintenance cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated pine. All other decking materials need to be sealed every year. Of course, nothing beats proper and regular maintenance to help your deck look new and vibrant all year round.

Although natural wood decking can face the elements without undergoing major changes, keep in mind that wooden planks don’t always age uniformly. Consumers these days can opt for composite decking (a combination of wood and plastic) that resists insect damage, moisture, fading, and rotting quite well. While composite decking is easier to maintain, it can also be relatively more expensive than natural wood varieties.

If you do, however, opt for natural wood decking, keep in mind that you’ll still need to strip and re-stain it as needed. In addition, you will have to carry out periodic power washing to get rid of unsightly mold and stubborn stains. You can go the DIY route, but nothing beats professional deck cleaning services from experienced providers.

The best professional deck cleaning service routine starts with the application of eco-friendly, pre-soak foam to soften wood fibers and lift embedded dirt for easier rinsing. Next comes precision pressure washing that will cleanse away stains without harming your wood. Companies like Renew Crew conclude the process with the application of a UV-blocking polymer mix that penetrates the wood to provide long-lasting protection against the elements.

Regardless of your preferred decking material, it is crucial that you carry out the necessary maintenance steps to protect your investment and prevent irreparable damage. This way, you can enjoy your deck for many years, while boosting your home’s curb appeal and resale value if you decide to sell it in the future.

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Decorating Your Front Yard for Fall

Fall is my favorite season. The weather, the colors, the pies, it’s an overall wonderful time of year. As you look to dress up the front of the home for the holidays, we at Renew Crew want to offer you some ideas.

Mums are definitely the flower of the fall and can fit into many décor ideas. Whether you get them in a yellow, orange or a deep red, they are sure to enhance your front yard. One of our favorite ways to display mums is to a get a few different colors and sizes and place them together.

Consider adding different textures. Textures are a great to enhance any space, inside or out. There are a few textures that work really well for fall. The first is burlap. The warm colors of burlap complement the warm reds and yellows of fall perfectly. Place your flower and plant pots into a burlap bag or wrap them in burlap to add a beautiful layer of texture.

The second texture to consider is straw or hay. Putting a few hay bales on your front porch is a great way to dress your home up for yard. If full bales seem like a lot to you, placing a little bit of hay or straw underneath your other decorations (like your mums for instance) will still add something special to the space.

It isn’t autumn without a few pumpkins. They are the icon of the season after all. When picking pumpkins, get a few of different sizes to use throughout your space. In the last few years pumpkins of different colors having been gaining popularity. White pumpkins are great to mix in with the colors and textures of the fall.

Gourds, like pumpkins, are synonymous with fall, but they are primarily used inside the home, but they work just as well outside. Due to their variety of sizes, shapes and colors, gourds are some of the most versatile decorations.

The last design element is also synonymous with fall. What is fall without leaves? It’s a best practice to rake and remove your leaves as they fall in the autumn months. When they aren’t removed promptly, they can suffocate grass or can cause dirt buildup on decks, porches, patios, and walkways. Removal doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the leaves however. Using them as a base in planters is a great way to bring fall to the front porch.

As you look to decorate your outdoor living spaces this fall, chose what you like most. Whether it is a fall wreath, planters or other outdoor décor, the key is that you like it! Have fun!

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