Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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

Get Your Cabin Ready for Summer

It’s just about that time of year, when you escape to the water, mountains or other getaway for the weekend. I remember vacationing with my family at a lake in Maine in a cozy log cabin for a week each summer. Since then, I’ve always loved the look of log cabins, but never knew the necessary work it required.

Log cabins, like any home require regular maintenance. With harsh outdoor elements and normal wear, a home needs to be clean and sealed, however it may be even more important for wood cabins. As wood is exposed to the suns’ rays, it will begin to loose its beautiful color and dry out. At Renew Crew, we can revitalize your log cabin with our wood cleaning and protecting.

Take this project from Renew Crew of Lake Gaston for example. As you can see, the log cabin needed an update. The wood has started to grey in areas leaving the color inconsistent throughout the surface. Renew Crew came out to preform its three-step wood process.

The first step in log cabin cleaning is to foam the entire service with a wood cleaning product. Unlike other pressure washing companies, Renew Crew uses a foam product so that it can really work its way into the service. Liquid cleaning detergents tend to run down vertical spaces before it can loosen dirt and dead wood fibers.


After allowing the wood cleaner to work, the surface is rinsed with a low-pressure washer. The water pressure will rid the surface of the dirt, grime and fibers. It’s in this step when you will notice the difference professional surface cleaning can do.

The last step is arguably the most important: protection. After the log cabin has dried completely, Renew Crew applies a protective layer that will stop water and dirt from getting back into the wood’s pores. Additionally, it will reflect the UV-rays from the sun so it won’t dry out as quickly. While the protection factor is important, the application will also bring back the color of the wood. Renew Crew has a number of different color protectants for our clients to choose from.

If you want to look at a beautifully clean log cabin this summer, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office.

Pressure Washing Tips for Great Results

As an expert pressure washing company, we at Renew Crew know how to use a power washer properly, but we realize a lot of homeowner’s would rather try it themselves than hire experts. If you are a do-it-yourselfer looking to clean your outdoor spaces, pressure washing is an effective way to do it, but it can also be dangerous. Please use these pressure washing tips for great (and safe) results.

First and foremost, be safe. The water released from the machine is very strong and can easily cut your skin and cause bleeding. To make sure you are safe, wear closed toe shoes and pants. Additionally, dirt, grime and more come spraying back at you when using a pressure washer and trust us, you don’t want that in your eye. Eye protection is an absolute must in the world of pressure washing. Wear goggles or glasses the entire time you clean your deck, porch, patio, walkway or other outdoor surface.

Read the directions. I must admit, I all too often jump into projects without all the knowledge that I need, but when it comes to pressure washing, reading the directions is important. The directions will give you an idea of how to use the machine, what to expect, etc. Not only will that keep you safe, but also your outdoor surfaces. You don’t want to gouge your deck or crack your patio!

Choose the right nozzle. There are a number of nozzles that go on the top of the pressure washing hose. They range from 0 to 40 degrees and affect the pressure released from the hose. The lower the degree number, the stronger the spray will be. Depending on the type of surface you are cleaning and the amount of dirt you need to remove, you’ll want to use specific nozzles. Read the instructions for recommendations.

Check the pressure carefully. Power washers carry that name for a reason: they’re powerful. When used improperly, they can easily gouge and crack your outdoor surfaces. Check the pressure level in an area that is on the side. Start with the nozzle further away and move closer. Starting too close will increase the chances of you doing damage.

If you have questions or concerns regarding using a pressure washer, we suggest just hiring a professional. Our trained staff at Renew Crew will leave you outdoor spaces looking great!

What Color Should I Stain my Deck?

When it comes to sealing your deck, the color and finish options are endless. From shiny to matte, it’s all available. Here are some questions to consider as you look to re-stain your deck:

The first question to ponder is whether you prefer a semitransparent or solid wood stain. Solid wood stains have a similar finish to paint, masking the wood grain. They normally show wear more quickly than semitransparent, but it does provide a nice even color throughout the space. Semitransparent wood stains protect against moisture and dirt, but don’t cover up the wood grain like a solid stain.

After you’ve decided on a semi-transparent or solid wood protectant, the color is important. You’ll want something that complements and doesn’t clash with the finishes of the house. Consider what will go well with the façade or trim of the home.

Solid wood stains are available in an endless about of colors so you are sure to find something that works well. At Renew Crew, we have semitransparent wood protectants in a variety of colors, but our three most popular are the natural, cedar and brown finishes. Each of them have a matte finish. Here is an example of two homes that use different color finishes, one natural and one brown:

The homeowners on the left opted for the natural wood protectant as they wanted to see and appreciate the grain, knots, etc. of the wood. The home on the right, needed the darker brown color to go with the darker trim colors of the home. You can see in the picture that around the garage door they have a darker wooden frame.

This fence was finished with the cedar finish. While the base of the cedar is red in texture, it can look different on different wood as it brings out the natural reddish tones in the wood.

If you have questions on pressure washing and protecting wood, please reach out to your nearest Renew Crew location. Our trained professionals will work with you to get your outdoor living spaces looking great and will help you to pick the right finish for your property.

Dock Cleaning that Won’t Harm the Water

There is nothing like enjoying a beautiful day or night out on the lake. That is until you notice that your dock is greying and it feels rough and cracks under your steps. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the dock needs to be replaced. Docks can be cleaned and renewed and you can do it safely!

Because docks are installed over water, they have to be carefully cleaned and protected. A lot of outdoor cleaning products include harsh cleaning chemicals that can harm the water below, killing fish and other aquatic animals.

At Renew Crew, we don’t use harsh chemicals that will harm lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. Our dock cleaning products are environmentally friendly, allowing it to be cleaned and protected while the dock is installed and in the water.

Docks should be cleaning and protected periodically to keep them looking and feeling great. Once the cleaning solution is applied to the surface, it will begin to loosen the greying, dead wood fibers. The entire space is then pressure washed to get rid of all the dirt and grime, leaving the wood looking like new.


After the dock is cleaned, it then has to be protected. Obviously the deck is exposed to moisture, which means it can lead to mold and mildew. Our environmentally friendly wood sealant will protect the wood from water and bring the rich wood color back to your space.

Instead of spending the summer on an ugly, weathered dock, reach out to your nearest Renew Crew office. As the leading pressure washing company, we can make sure that you enjoy the summer on a beautiful dock.

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture and Accessories

Renew Crew is a leading pressure washing company and the outdoor surface cleaning experts, but we realize that you may have more that needs to be cleaned outdoors, like patio furniture and accessories. While it is a best practice to follow your manufacturers cleaning suggestions, here’s a guide to outdoor cleaning that could be helpful.

Patio Umbrellas

Umbrellas, not surprisingly collect a lot of dust, pollen and mold throughout the season. It needs to be cleaned periodically to stay looking great. If your canopy is detachable, remove it and spread out over a tarp. If the canopy is permanently attached, carefully open up the umbrella and lay on its side on the tarp. Using your garden hose, spray it down to loosen dust and dirt. Prepare a bucket of warm soapy water with a mild soap, like dish or laundry detergent, and scrub each section. When finished scrubbing, rinse it off again with the hose and lay out in the sun to dry.

Outdoor Cushions

If your outdoor cushions need some cleaning, mix together 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap and 1 teaspoon of borax to 1 quart of warm water and put in a spray bottle. Spray the cushions down on both sides liberally and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the cushions with your garden hose and place them on their side to dry.

Wrought Iron Furniture

To clean wrought iron furniture, it is important that you first remove any algae that may have accumulated with a soft brush. Wipe the surface down with a clean rag and a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Rust and other hard stains may need to be lightly sanded and wiped clean. If the color is uneven, check to see if the manufacturer offers a touch-up paint kit.

Powder Coated Aluminum Furniture

Please use caution when cleaning powder coated aluminum furniture. If the finish wears off, it could erode. Prepare a bucket of warm soapy water using a mild detergent like dish soap. Use a lint free rag to wash the surface and rinse with cold water.

We hope this helps you create a clean and inviting space this spring and summer!