Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

It's more than clean, it's Renew Crew Clean

Brick Patio Cleaning

I love brick patios and walkways. They are such a classic look outdoors, but they definitely need to be maintained. Bricks are porous in nature and will absorb whatever falls on its surface if not properly protected. This job from our pressure washing company in Johnson County Kansas is a good example of how bricks can be brought back to life with some cleaning.

When Wayne and Phillip Howe of Renew Crew went to this property, it looked like this. As you can see there are areas on the patio that are green and yellow. This is most likely where water pools when it’s raining. Over time, as the brick sealant wore off, it started to absorb the water and what fell on the surface afterward. The greenish-yellow substance on the surface could be mold, mildew, pollen or a combination there of.

The walkway leading to the patio wasn’t as bad, but definitely could use some TLC. What should be a bright red color was muted with some uneven color in certain areas.

Renew Crew of Johnson County used our brick cleaning formula to loosen the embedded grime off the surface and then pressure washed it away. When pressure washing brick, it is very important to know what you are doing. Because brick is so porous, that water (coming in at a high speed) can easily get into those pores and create chips. That’s why we recommend hiring a pressure washing company if you aren’t used to it. The investment in a professional is much better than having to replace part of your patio.

After cleaning the bricks, a protective layer is applied to keep away future moisture, dirt and grime. Without the brick sealant, water would seep right into the surface the next time it rains.

Doesn’t the patio look new again? The homeowner can now rinse the space off with a hose when needed. It is not until the dirt and grime stays after a rinse that the professional cleaning and sealing will be needed again.

If you have questions on cleaning and sealing brick patios and walkways, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Environmentally Friendly Outdoor Cleaning and Sealing

When it comes to outdoor surfaces, they can get mighty dirty. With caked on dirt, grime and mold, you may think that you need a harsh bleach or chlorine-based surface cleaner to truly get it clean, but that isn’t the case. There are environmentally friendly outdoor cleaning options as well.

The majority of outdoor cleaning products do contain bleach which does an effective job cleaning surfaces and killing mold and mildew. While it kills mold and mildew, it also kills other things as well, like shrubs, flowers and grass. Whoever is applying the chemicals have to be very careful as not to overspray.

At Renew Crew, we use environmentally friendly products that work just as effectively as harsh chemicals, but don’t kill the surrounding landscaping.

The first time I went to see one of our pressure washing companies clean a deck, I have to admit I was surprised by how it was applied and how well it works. When the outdoor cleaning spray was applied to the surface, there was some overspray that got one some bordering shrubs. I thought the technician would be nervous and remove it right away, but when I asked, I was told that it wouldn’t do anything to shrubs, and when I checked at the end of the project, the shrubs were perfect.

Just like the cleaning products, Renew Crew’s sealing and protecting products are environmentally friendly too, and we take our protection seriously! Whenever you clean and pressure wash your decks, patios, driveways and other outdoor surfaces, you need to have them sealed and protected, otherwise the dirt and grime comes right back! Not only does a sealing agent stop water and dirt from embedding in the surface again, but it also blocks the sun’s rays from bleaching out the color of the space.

If you have questions on the best ways to clean and protect your outdoor living spaces, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

When do I need to Seal my Deck?

Decks, like any part of your home, require maintenance to stay in the best shape possible. We are often asked questions about sealing your deck and how you know you are in need of it.

There isn’t a magic number that we can provide that can place your deck sealing on a normal schedule. Different materials and properties require it at different intervals. Here’s what to look for:


Peeling or Uneven color. Decks that are painted or have a color stain are easier to evaluate with respect to re-sealing your deck. When the color starts to chip and peel, that’s the first sign of needing another layer of protectant. You’ll notice this first and foremost on the most traveled areas of your structure.

Dry wood. When a deck has a more natural sealant or protectant, it can be harder to tell whether it needs upkeep. You can notice when the wood is drying out in two ways. First, if the wood is taking on a greyish color, it needs to be cleaned and sealed. This happens more often with decks that get a lot of direct sunlight. The other way to tell is if the wood is absorbing water. A properly protected deck should bead water instead of absorbing it into the surface.

Mold or fungus. The opposite of having a dried out deck is having one that gets too much moisture. Decks or fences that lie in shady, humid areas will begin to grow mold, fungi and mildew over time. When it isn’t efficiently dealt with, it can damage the wood.

Whenever you need to reseal your deck, you should have it cleaned first. The best way to ensure it is done effectively and doesn’t damage your structure is to hire a professional deck cleaning company. By cleaning the deck, you will be sure to get rid of all the mold, mildew and dead fibers before you lock them in with a layer of sealant.

When choosing a protectant or sealant, you’ll want something that blocks moisture and dirt from getting into the surface. Additionally, some protectants, like Renew Crew’s, block harmful UV rays from drying out your wood.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Tips to Cleaning Your Gutters

Temperatures are warming up which means homeowners are moving outdoors and working on the outside of their home. One of those chores is cleaning out your gutters. Even if you removed loose leaves and debris in the fall, you may want to consider taking another look as debris continues to fall and build up in the winter months.

Here are Renew Crew’s tips to cleaning your gutters:

1) Protect yourself. Before getting your ladder in place protect yourself with both gloves and glasses or goggles. Gutter debris can include animal droppings and rotting plant material. You’ll want to wear gloves to protect your skin from dirt and bacteria. Eyewear is important as loose particles will come out and could land in your eye as you are cleaning your gutters.

2) Wear rubber shoes. The debris in your gutters could be moist and may result in wet ladder rungs if not careful. Wear rubber soled shoes to minimize the possibility of you slipping.

3) Check your ladder. Ladder safety is important. At Renew Crew, we recommend a ladder that leans up against the home and not an A-frame. Before climbing all the way up, lightly bounce on the first rung to gauge its security.

4) Use a scoop. There are several reasons it makes sense to purchase a gutter scoop. First, you won’t have to stick your hands (even if they are gloved) in the dirty debris that may be in your gutter. Secondly, the scoop can hold more than your hand can and third, you can purchase an extender so you don’t have to move your ladder as much. We recommend a plastic scoop as metal can scratch or even cut your gutters if you aren’t careful.

5) Hose it out. Once you’ve removed all of the debris, use your regular garden hose to remove some of the caked on dirt and check your downspouts. A normal spray nozzle attachment should provide the pressure that you need. Be careful as you spray.

6) Don’t forget the outside. When we think cleaning gutters, we focus on cleaning out what is inside the gutter, but the outside may need some cleaning too. The gutter debris as well as roof tar can cause streaks on your gutters. At Renew Crew, we recommend hiring a pressure washing company to handle the outside of your gutters. Often the stains are pretty strong and a pressure washer is necessary. If you aren’t used to using one, you can easily cut a hole in your gutter. Our trained technicians use an environmentally friendly cleaner to cut through the grime, leaving your gutters looking great.

Happy Cleaning!