Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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

Keep your Pavers Looking Great

As the outdoor living industry continues to grow, we love seeing homeowners extending their time outdoors. Whether it’s a new outdoor structure, grill or playset, having a space that serves a function outdoors will be used. One of the categories that continues to grow is pavers and hardscapes. From patios and walkways to retaining walls, more and more outdoor living spaces incorporating pavers.

Pavers, like other outdoor structures, require periodic maintenance to keep them looking their best. Take a look at these two examples from our pressure washing company in Victoria, TX.

This project includes a walkway, steps and patio. You can see in the before that the certain pavers looked saturated with some type of stain and were much darker than the others that looked to be bleached out in some fashion. Renew Crew utilized our proprietary 3-step eco-friendly cleaning and sealing process to remove the stains and built up dirt to revitalize the space.

To bring paver colors back to life, Renew Crew has a line of paver sealants with different finishes. This particular one has a matte finish that brings out the natural colors and variations of the stone. Some homeowners prefer a “wet” look, which results in more of a shine and darker color. Sealing the surface is an essential step to prevent further buildup and stains.

This second space is a patio and retaining wall. You can see the hard water stains on the side of the retaining wall and the dark mold or mildew on the top. The structure itself was sound; it just needed some TLC. The paver cleaning and sealing process was used both on the concrete patio and retaining wall, paying particular attention to the areas that were darkest.

The after image shows the difference that a thorough cleaning can do. The color of the retaining wall has been evened out both on the sides and top, making it look inviting and welcoming. I know I’d rather relax in the newly clean space!

If you have questions on cleaning your outdoor surfaces, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Does your concrete patio need a makeover?

When the weather is nice, I can be found outside with my husband, friends or dog. It’s the perfect place to relax, however, I don’t like it when the space looks less than stellar. Whether the grass isn’t mowed, the shrubs need trimming or the deck or patio needs cleaned, I can’t fully relax until everything looks great.

At our old house, we had a concrete slab for a patio outside our family room. It was the perfect size for a few outdoor chairs and grill but like all outdoor surfaces, it needed regular maintenance. Concrete is a very porous material and absorbs dirt and water and other materials, oftentimes leaving deep set stains. Water can be one of the most harmful materials this time of year. If the water freezes after it sets in the surface and expands, it can cause cracking and crumbling.

This job from our pressure washing company in the Lake Gaston area is a great example of the difference patio sealing and cleaning can make. As you can see in the before picture, there are stains on the surface and the color is very uneven. To update the space, the homeowners hired Renew Crew.

Renew Crew used its proprietary products to make the patio look brand new. A patio cleaner was applied to the surface to loosen dirt, grim and mold. Unlike other outdoor cleaners, Renew Crew utilizes eco-friendly products that won’t harm the surrounding lawn, bushes or flowers.

After the cleaning is finished, the entire space is rinsed and given time to dry. Once it’s dry, a protective layer is used to seal the surface and improve the color and appearance of the concrete. The concrete sealants are available in a number of colors and finishes to choose from, but it’s very important that the space isn’t simply cleaned, but also sealed. Without a protectant, the surface pores are left open and will begin to absorb moisture and dirt right away.

If you have a concrete patio or other outdoor surface that needs cleaning and sealing, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Cleaning Concrete in your Backyard

For many homeowners, concrete pavers or stamped concrete is a great option for building a patio, walkway or driveway. It’s easy to work with, stands up well to the outdoor elements and can be designed in many ways.

Stamped concrete is a major player in the outdoor living design world. If you’re unfamiliar with this technique, it is when concrete is poured and then stamped to look like another product. Often times it is stamped to look like stone or brick. Color can also be added to the concrete to add visual interest and to make it look even more like the stamped pattern.

The downside of using concrete is that is extremely porous when it isn’t properly sealed. Water, dirt and dust can seep into the surface and cause issues. Water, for instance, can make its way into the concrete and then freeze when temperatures drop. When the water freezes it expands and causes cracking and crumbling throughout the structure.

Cleaning and sealing concrete will not only keep your outdoor surface looking great, but will keep it in good condition.

Concrete, because of the porous nature, absorbs a lot of liquid that can cause a lot of staining. It’s important to have it professional pressure washing periodically to remove any stains and dirt. At Renew Crew, we pay particular attention to any oil or other deep set stains before applying our overall cleaner to the entire season.

The sealing step is what will keep your concrete looking great. Just like wood, the color of concrete will fade the longer it is left out to absorb the sun’s ray. A good concrete sealant brings the color back into the surface as well repel water and other elements.

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

Revitalizing Your Front Walkway

With traffic going in and out of the home, it isn’t surprising that dirt and dust can build up on a walkway. Over time, even the most beautiful brick, stone, concrete or tile will look dirty, cloudy and muted. When it is cleaned and sealed properly, however, it can be brought back to life.

This walkway in the Kansas City was cleaned and sealed by Renew Crew of Johnson City. What used to be a colorful walkway of browns and reds turned to a muted gray. The clients told us that it had been professionally clean previously, but it just got more and more cloudy.

Renew Crew’s three-step process removed the cloudy film and revitalized the space as a whole. Our environmentally friendly walkway cleaner penetrates deep into the surface, loosening the elements sitting on the surface. Once the foam works its magic, the entire space is pressure washed. Each of our pressure washers is trained in the best practices ensuring that your outdoor surface is left clean without any damage.

The last, and arguably the most important step, is protecting the space. Cleaning outdoor surfaces opens up all the pores of the material be it wood, concrete, stone, tile or other surface. Without protection, there is nothing stopping more dirt and grime from settling right back in. On this project, it was important to the homeowners that the color be brought back to the space. With that in mind, Renew Crew of Johnson County recommended and applied a wet look protectant. While it isn’t slippery like wet surfaces can be, it has the shine and color that sometimes moisture highlights.

Now, instead of welcoming friends and family on a drab front walkway, these homeowners have a warm and vibrant space they can be proud of.

If you have questions on how best to clean and protect your outdoor living spaces, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office. Whether it’s a deck, walkway, siding, gutters or other outdoor surface, we’re happy to provide you with a free quote and recommendations on how to revitalize your outdoor spaces.

Reviving Your Front Walkway

When my husband and I bought our first house we knew there would be work involved, but we were surprised by how much in some respects. The house was in tip-top shape when we walked through it with our realtor (many times), but it was quite different when we moved in, especially the yard and front walkway.

The front walkway was one of the things I loved most about our house. It was concrete and brick and was flanked by short hedges of ivy. When we moved in, the ivy was in desperate need of some pruning and then we noticed that the walkway needed some TLC. Weeds and moss were growing between the bricks, there was caked on dirt in certain areas, and the concrete parts were definitely not their natural color.

Walkways are sometimes the first introduction your visitors have to your property and they should look great! If you are looking for ways to revive your front walkway, there are two things to help 1) weeding and 2) cleaning.

If you are like me and had some gnarly weeds growing in between your bricks or pavers, it’s time to weed. I know, it’s not a fun task, but it is necessary. Spend the time to get rid of the weeds at the root. Yes, at one point I was using a knife to get make sure that I got those stragglers from the base.

After weeding, it’s time to clean! This is where I suggest calling a professional pressure washing company like Renew Crew. Depending on the condition and age of your walkway, you could potentially make things worse. Using a pressure washer incorrectly can very easily crack and gouge your pavers and bricks.

Renew Crew uses our three step process to clean, seal and protect your front walkway. Our cleaning will wash away the vast majority of dirt, grim and stains, leaving your walkway looking great for visitors. The protect step is very important if you want to keep your walkway looking great. Most pressure washing companies don’t go to the effort to protect your space, but Renew Crew isn’t most pressure washing companies. Please contact us if you have any questions on revitalizing your outdoor living surfaces.

Cleaning Your Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are a great addition to an outdoor living space. They can be used as borders, railings and additional seating if needed. With their various finishes they can also be a decorative detail that brings an entire space together. Just like any other outdoor living structure, however, they need cleaning.

Retaining walls are built to withstand the elements, but that doesn’t mean they don’t show their wear over time. If they aren’t sealed properly, the stone or concrete it is made of will start to absorb moisture and dirt as well grow mold and mildew.

Recently, our pressure washing company in Austin cleaned and sealed a retaining wall, bringing it back to life. As you can see in the before image to the right, the wall was looking dirty and grimy. Hard water stains were showing down the front creating darker streaks in areas. The tone and color of the wall wasn’t consistent as it had originally been when built.

Renew Crew of Austin came out to clean and protect the wall. Our environmentally friendly outdoor cleaner was able to applied to the stone, paying careful attention to the many nooks and crannies that are visible to passersby.

After allowing the foam cleaner to dig deep into the surface, the wall was power washed to rid it of all the build up. After allowing the wall the dry, a layer of protectant was applied to keep future stains away. Most pressure washing companies will clean a surface, but don’t follow it up with protection,. That’s the most important part in our mind! If you don’t have a sealant of some kind, you have to go through the cleaning process more often, costing you more money.

You can see in the after picture how clean and consistent the stone looks. This is just one of Renew Crew’s protectant finishes. With the retaining wall example, the owner wanted something light in color and natural. Some clients, however want something a little deeper in color. This walkways, as you can see, is darker in color and the color variations of the stone are a little more noticeable. There are a number of different finishes that Renew Crew office apply to driveways, walkways, patios, retaining walls and more.

If you have questions on cleaning retaining walls, stone, or pavers in general, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Fighting Winter Blahs? Think Outdoors!

If you love spending time outdoors, winter may be a difficult time of year. If you are like me, you are counting dow the days until temperatures rise and you can enjoy extended time outdoors without freezing! Here are some tips to get your through the next few weeks.

Get inspired with garden catalogs and magazines. Beautiful photos of outdoor spaces and landscaping may cheer you up and hold you over until your own blooms come back to life. Some of our favorite publications are Better Homes and Gardens, Garden Design, and Gardening. Rip out pages of your favorite spaces and place them in areas of your home where you will see them frequently, like your refrigerator or coffee table.

Visit your local Home and Garden Shows. Home and garden show organizers know their audience can’t wait until spring, that’s why they happen in the cold months. These helpful shows have everything from deck builders and pressure washing companies to local nurseries and patio furniture stores. Walking up and down the aisles of the show will inspire you with great ideas and will get your mind off the cold temperatures outside.

Bring some green outdoors. One of the most difficult parts of winter is everything turns grey and brown and dies. The green and life is gone! Go to your local nursery and pick out some plants to have inside. A burst of life on your desk or in your living room will remind you that spring is coming. If you aren’t quite a green thumb, succulents and cacti are the easiest plants to take care of.

Put something on the calendar. For me, it always helps to have something to look forward to. Whether it’s a barbecue you want to host or a hike you want to go on with friends, put it on the calendar!

Plan out your spring projects. Planning some of your projects now will give you a head start on spring. Create a list of things that you want to do to your outdoor space and list out things that you can get done now and things you have to wait on. If an outside company is required, reach out to them now. For instance, if you need a deck or patio cleaned, call your local pressure washing company, they may be able to do the work now so you can enjoy a clean space all spring and summer! If they can’t, they can get you on their calendar.

At Renew Crew, we encourage our clients to reach out to us whenever they need outdoor surface cleaning. The earlier we can get you on the schedule, the earlier you can enjoy your space. Please reach out to your local Renew Crew office if you have any questions.

Why Seal Your Concrete?

Concrete is one of the commonly used materials for outdoor surfaces. It’s strong and can last a long time if properly maintained. Unfortunately, we at Renew Crew find that a lot of homeowners aren’t taking care of their concrete driveways, walkways and patios properly. They aren’t sealing their concrete.

Whenever we come out to a property to pressure wash concrete, we make sure to finish the job by applying a protectant to the surface. For those people who have ever wondered why it is important to seal your concrete, here the answer:

Concrete, although strong, is very porous. Without some type of sealant, concrete absorbs whatever settles on its surface, leading to unattractive stains. Some of the most common stains are engine oils and fluids, hard water stains and rust. Those stains, even when power washed, can be permanent.

Acid rain, according to the EPA, affects large parts of the U.S. While it has adverse affects on many parts of the environment, it also affects concrete surfaces. It not only dissolves colors in the concrete, it also erodes it. Concrete normally has a smooth finish, but if acid rain penetrates the surface, it will begin to fall apart and crumble.

Rain and ice can cause damage to your driveways, walkways and patios if the concrete is not sealed properly. When rain falls on concrete, it can settle into the material if there is nothing protecting it. Overtime, that can cause erosion, but it becomes a larger problem if the rain then freezes to ice, expanding. The water expands and takes up more space as it freezes, leading to unnecessary cracking. And don’t think about putting any deicing chemicals on it, because that can damage the concrete as well.

Have you ever seen patios or walkways that have weeds and grass growing in the cracks? That happens more frequently when the concrete isn’t sealed.

At Renew Crew, it is often the aesthetics of the concrete that spurs the call. Over the years, dirt, grime, sand and everything else will embed into unprotected concrete, which makes it look bad. Luckily, our outdoor cleaning can get your spaces looking like new again.

Protecting and sealing concrete is a necessary step in outdoor and home maintenance. If you ever have a pressure washing company come out to your property to clean your concrete, make sure that they will also seal it. If it isn’t sealed, you will need to have it cleaned, and replaced, more often.

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

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.

Bring the Color Back Into Your Outdoor Spaces

We all like things that look new, right? I know I do. Faded clothes don’t get worn as much. Outdated spaces are underappreciated. And old outdoor living spaces look dirty. Color is a huge part of the appearance of your outdoor living space. Bringing renewed color to a deck, porch or patio make you want to sit outside more and enjoy your existing spaces.

By its natures, outdoor living spaces are exposed to harsh elements like rain, snow, dirt, dust and the sun’s ray. You may not think of the sun as an enemy to exterior surfaces, but it is. The heat from the sun dries out both wood and concrete. The wood fibers will turn grey and begin to splinter, while the concrete will look faded and dry.

At Renew Crew, we can breathe new life into all of your exterior surfaces. You’ve seen how our wood cleaning and protecting process can take an old deck from this:

to this,

but you may not be aware the difference that concrete sealing can do.

We have several different finishes for patio pavers, with the most popular being the natural look or the wet look. All concrete protectants should bring the color back into your stone. Take this stone walkway for example; it doesn’t look terrible (this was after it was cleaned, but before it was protected), but it does look flat. There is very little color variation on the surface.

Now look at the after picture. This walkway was finished with our “wet look” concrete sealant and protectant. Do you notice the richness in the color? The homeowners (and their visitors) can now appreciate the deep greys of the walkway. Although the pictures were taken at different angles, I personally think the deep color makes the landscaping’s greens and pinks pop. Overall I think it has a deeper look than before.

If your outdoor living spaces are looking tired, dry and just plain “blah,” contact your local Renew Crew office. Our trained technicians can make your decks, porches, fences, patios and other outdoor living spaces look new again.

Strip Stubborn Floor Stains with Effective Concrete Cleaning

Concrete is a resilient material used in building, a course material, and is a major component in many architectural and outdoor structures. Buildings made from concrete last for decades, even centuries, and can withstand most weather conditions. In addition, concrete is easy to produce, as aggregate material and cement takes little resources and energy to bind together.

Though its advantages are many, especially in construction industry, this material has a very obvious flaw. The surface of concrete is very porous, making it difficult to get stains such as oil or grease out. There is, however, a solution: concrete cleaning services can be obtained from pressure washing businesses such as Renew Crew.

Despite how smooth this material may appear, concrete is porous, and therefore it can soak up dirt and liquids. Stains from grease, colored liquids, mildew and oil will be visible for many years because of its permeable nature. The color and filth itself will be there, posing not only aesthetic issues, but health-related ones.

To strip ground-in stains such as these, deep cleaning is necessary. Some cleaning products, however, come with risks. To avoid risky products, the only option would seem to be chipping off the stained portions of your concrete! Just below that is the option to spend hours scrubbing those stains into submission, leaving you with a sore body, and an only semi-cleaned driveway.

There are options for comprehensive cleaning that won’t damage the surfaces of your concrete material. Hiring a professional pressure cleaning company to complete this seemingly impossible task is the right choice. With pressure washers that shoot specified streams of pressurized water, warmed and combined with cleaning solutions, these professionals can easily get your concrete back to its beautiful pre-stain glow.

Don’t have nightmares about trying to scrub set-in stains off your driveway, let a professional pressure washing company strip the dirt and grime away with ease. Your concrete will gleam, and you won’t have even the slightest hint of damage.

Why Hire a Pressure Washing Company?

Although I wouldn’t consider myself a do-it-yourselfer, I try to tackle what I can around the house. Painting? No problem. Re-caulking a tub? You got it. Refinishing furniture? Sure. But when it comes to projects that have to do with the structure or safety of my home there is no way that I am even going to attempt. For me, that includes hiring a pressure washing company when needed.

A lot of homeowners and possible DIYers don’t understand the damage that a high pressure washer can do to your property if not done properly. Gouging of wood and brick (especially older bricks) is not only unpleasing to the eye, but can cause safety issues like splitting and splintering of wood. In the case of siding, it can result in water getting underneath the siding.

Not only can improper use of a pressure washer damage your property, it can also be unsafe! A pressure washer can very easily cut any skin it comes in contact with and even worse it can shoot water into the wound causing further, more serious issues.

For me, hiring a pressure washing company is worth the investment to ensure my space is properly and safely cleaned.

Our Renew Crew franchisees are much more than the typical pressure washing company however. What makes use different, you ask? Let me tell you. In short, it is our products and process. The typical power washing company uses chlorine or bleach based products to clean your surfaces. That product can easily damage, and in some cases kill, any grass, plants, or bushes that it comes in contact with. It usually comes in liquid form and doesn’t work its way into horizontal surfaces easily. Renew Crew’s product is an environmentally-friendly deck cleaning foam that won’t hurt your plants. Additionally, it isn’t liquid. It’s a foam that is able to stick to all surfaces, loosening dirt and buildup from outdoor surfaces.

After allowing the foam to work its magic, we are able to use a much lower amount of water pressure to rinse the surface clean, removing dirt, grime, mold, dead wood particles and more. The risk for damaging your structure is minimal (and all of our technicians are well-trained).

The last large difference between Renew Crew and the other guys is that we don’t stop at just cleaning your outdoor structure. We will then go on to protect it. While cleaning a surface will leave it looking new, if it isn’t sealed and protected, it won’t continue to look that way for long. Our protectant will keep your outdoor surfaces looking newer longer.

If you have additional questions on Renew Crew or the importance of professional pressure washing, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office.

Leave Not a Stain behind with Professional Concrete Cleaning

Concrete happens to be one of the most preferred construction materials owing to its strength and sturdiness. Because it combines the hardness of stone with the malleability of clay, it is the ideal building material for a wide range of purposes. However, one of the biggest difficulties associated with concrete is that it is painfully hard to clean.

Concrete is very porous and hence, has a high absorption index, which makes it susceptible to all kinds of stains. Stains resulting from spilled engine oils and other fluids can be almost impossible to get rid of, no matter how much scrubbing, hosing, and rinsing you do. You may resort to using very harsh chemicals or even try scraping away a layer of it. Because the fluid has been absorbed several layers deep, these methods also may be rendered in vain.

Power washing takes this pain out and makes your concrete cleaning tasks much easier. This unique process removes stains and absorbed fluids effectively while causing no scraping or chipping of the concrete itself. Specially prepared, powerful, and eco-friendly detergents are applied to the stains and allowed to soak for a while. After that is done, a pressure washer takes over the task of releasing high-pressure, concentrated jets of water on the stained but detergent-dislodged spot, pushing the fluid remnants out. Once all of the undesired contents are out and the concrete is clean and dry, a specially prepared sealant is applied to the treated area to prevent any further damage.

The efficiency and power of pressure washers is beyond doubt. However, with great power come greater precautions. If handled by untrained hands, the pressure of the jets from a pressure washer can cause more damage than good. They can chip away or erode the concrete or wood, causing damage. That is why unless you have been specially trained to handle these powerful equipments, please leave it to the professionals to do this.

Stains from oil, tires, rust, and several other agents can be unsightly and nearly impossible to remove. If you have any such stains on your floor and wish to get rid of them but are apprehensive about being able to use a pressure washer, leave it to the experts. Pressure cleaning professionals can do an excellent job of getting the stains out safely and effectively, without damaging anything. Cleaning professionals such as Renew Crew can get all of this done in no time and all you are left with is clean, protected concrete.

Pressure washers are excellent for cleaning decks, driveways, and cladding. It is, however, imperative that you let the professionals handle the heavy and powerful equipment and avoid taking a go at it yourself. Professionals like Renew Crew make concrete cleaning easier, safer, and much more effective for you.

Concrete Sealing: Effectively Mend and Control Cracks in Concrete

Concrete is one of the most preferred building materials that is not just strong, sturdy, and malleable but also has a very organic, stone-like look and feel to it. It can easily be molded into any desired shape and can be used to make a variety of structures.

With all of those upsides, of course, come the downsides too. Over time, because of excessive foot traffic or vehicular traffic – or simply by the effect of time – concrete structures develop a number of cracks, fissures, and crevices. No matter how structurally sound when constructed, concrete, by its very nature, is highly prone to wear and tear. Everyday erosion and abrasion can turn the hardest structures into congregated rubble over the years. The only way to effectively avoid this is by regular concrete sealing.

Concrete undergoes a steady cycle of expansion and contraction in the summers and winters, respectively. This constant shift causes the internal bonds to break, causing the concrete to crack and damage. The damage also happens as a result of two concrete slabs expanding against each other, applying pressure.

Concrete sealing, or filling the gaps between concrete slabs using a special sealant, is the most effective way to prevent – or at the least, delay – the damage. The sealant, also known as expansion joint, is a specially fabricated material that acts as a buffer between two concrete slabs, keeping them from pushing against each other, thus causing subsequent damage. Building contractors usually use this sealant to prevent damage. However, over time, the sealant also can develop cracks in it. That is when immediate attention is required to curb the damage right there. The sealant lining must be replaced straightaway, or the cracks will expand into the concrete slabs and cause irreversible damage.

It is best to have the best, industry-leading professionals such as the Renew Crew take care of the entire process for you to avoid any troubles in the future. They will leave strong and durable concrete work. Not just concrete slabs, these contractors can also use deck-sealing agents for wooden decks, which also undergo the expansion and contraction cycle.

To sum it up, materials as hard as concrete can crumble under the forces of time if not taken care of appropriately. Make sure you keep an eye out for any kind of damage, inspect your concrete pavements regularly, and get in touch with expert professionals like Renew Crew as soon as you encounter a problem that needs repair. This way, you will be able to keep your concrete structures stronger and more durable.

Cleaning Your Patio Makes a Big Difference

I love the look of a new patio or outdoor project. The edges are crisp, the material is clean and you just want to spend time outside and enjoy it. Over time however, the natural elements take their toll. The stone and brick get dirty and it shows its age. Some homeowners may not realize the transformation that can take place with professional surface cleaning, so when I saw these pictures from our Renew Crew of Johnson County location, I knew I had to share them.

Take a look at this brick patio. You can see that dirt has worked its way into the surface, giving the entire surface a dingy look. Instead of the vibrant red that it once was, the color is now a bland reddish grey.

Renew Crew was able to clean the brick with a product-specific cleaner followed by pressure washing the patio. Now the color is back to its original state and the dirt has been lifted.

Here’s another example, with a concrete and stone patio. As we discussed in a previous post, concrete is incredibly porous when it isn’t properly sealed. In this before picture, you can not only see that it is dirty, but there is also green mold on the surface. It’s normal for an outdoor surface to have mold on it at times and nothing that Renew Crew can’t help.

This patio looks so much better after power washing the concrete and stones. All of the colors and texture of the stone can really be appreciated now that filthy film is washed away. And the green mold? Yup, it’s gone.

These two jobs are great examples of what thoroughly cleaning outdoor surfaces can do. The before look like spaces that aren’t properly cared for and ones that you may not want to sit and enjoy on a nice day. The after is just like new. It goes to show that just because some looks bad at the time, doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. There is no harm in having a professional power washing company come out and take a look at your outdoor structures and let you know if they can renew the space. While our clients are thrilled with the cleaning job that we do, we take it one step further and PROTECT the space. If you want to keep your decks, porches, patios and other outdoor surfaces looking great, they need to be properly protected and sealed. Renew Crew’s protective layer stops dirt, dust, water and grime from settling in the materials’ pores.

If you have questions on cleaning and protecting patios, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office.

Does Concrete Need to Be Sealed?

I admittedly was unaware of all things home maintenance until I actually owned a home. Growing up, my neighbor was meticulous about maintaining his property perfectly. Whether it was sweeping sidewalks, mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes or a number of other outdoor projects, he was outside nearly every night doing something. One thing that he did every four months was reseal his concrete walkway and driveway. At the time it seems pretty extreme to me (my parents were more on the once a year path), but now I understand the importance of concrete sealing.

Concrete is a strong material that can stand up to a lot of use, but it is also a very porous material that requires sealant to last. Whether it is oil or water, concrete sucks it up when it is not properly sealed. Oil will settle in the concrete and stain your walkway or driveway. Moisture settles in concrete as well and can damage the integrity of the material, especially in colder climates. When the moisture freezes, it expands and cracks the concrete.

When my husband bought our current home, the concrete patio in the backyard was in bad shape. Knowing what I know now, I’m sure it was because the concrete wasn’t sealed properly on a regular basis, allowing moisture and dirt to settle and expand within its pores until it started to crumble.

Sealing concrete is an important component of outdoor maintenance. Depending on the area, the concrete should be cleaned and sealed once a year on average. Before sealing it, the concrete should be thoroughly cleaned and given time to dry. If it isn’t dry, moisture may be locked in when sealed and cause damage as it expands and contracts.

At Renew Crew, we provide concrete cleaning and sealing to not only make your concrete last longer, but also look better. While some embedded stains may be too difficult to erase entirely, our cleaning solution and light pressure washing will wash away most dirt that has built up over time. After cleaning the concrete, we come back to seal it. The sealant, which is available in several finishes, will close open pores on the surface, stopping dirt, oil, water, etc. from penetrating concrete.

If you are in need of concrete cleaning and sealing, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Commercial Pressure Washing Makes Property Look New Again

A few weeks ago a few friends and I took advantage of a warm spring day and visited a local brewery. This particular brewery opens up its parking lot on nice days and lines it with picnic tables for people to sit and enjoy. It’s a great spot, but I can’t help but think of how dirty the tables and the parking lot are by the end of the weekend (blame it on the job). To keep the place looking nice and professional, they have to invest in commercial pressure washing from time to time.


Commercial pressure washing is an important party of property maintenance, especially on properties that service food and drinks. Spills on an outdoor patio are inevitable. While one spill that you pick up right away may not make that much of difference, over time spilled food and drinks combined with normal outdoor dirt and grime will build up, making the space look less than stellar. I wouldn’t want to sit and enjoy lunch on a patio that has caked on food on it, would you?

At Renew Crew, we provide commercial pressure washing surfaces that go beyond the normal power washing company’s services. Most power washing companies begin and end with the power washing, we don’t. We not only do our best to remove all the built up food and stains (some stains are too deep to remove), but we also protect the space against moving forward.

The process of cleaning and protecting a commercial outdoor surface is slightly different depending on the surface itself, wood, concrete, stone, etc., but in all cases it requires three steps. The first is applying the cleaning formula. For wood surfaces, we use a proprietary foam that digs deep into the surface and loosens the embedded dirt. For concrete surfaces, the cleaning solution isn’t a foam but still digs into the surface.

After allowing the outdoor cleaning product to work its magic (and it kind of is like magic, take a look at the video to see for yourself), we use a low pressure setting on our washer to rinse away all of the dirt and grime. Our pressure setting isn’t high enough to gouge the surface which can happen with pressure washers.

The last step is protection. Our sealants will seal any open pores on the surface and protect the property’s exterior surfaces from dust, dirt and spills.

Commercial pressure washing, depending on the property and its use, needs to be done on a regular basis. In some cases that means multiple times a year. If you have questions regarding cleaning your outdoor surfaces, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Outdoor Maintenance Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

At Renew Crew, we are proud to rejuvenate our clients’ outdoor surfaces. Whether it’s a deck, patio, porch, siding, gutters or other exterior surface, it needs regular maintenance to make it last longer and keep it looking nice. Depending on the material and amount of wear and tear, outdoor surfaces needs to be professionally power washed every 1 to 2 years, but that’s not the only maintenance that needs to be done in your outdoor living spaces.

There are a few tools that we recommend every homeowner have to keep their outdoor living spaces clean between Renew Crew visits:

The first tool is a good hose with pressure nozzle. Not only should your outdoor structures be rinsed off periodically, but also your outdoor furniture and outdoor cushions. Outdoor cushions, for instance, should be washed with a hose on a weekly basis and any spill that happens outside should be promptly rinsed away to minimize the possibility of it staining.

An outdoor broom is an important tool for outdoor surfaces (and no one wants to use the same broom on their kitchen floor as their patio, right?). Leaves and other outdoor debris inevitably land and settle on our outdoor surfaces. When it isn’t removed properly, that debris can hold standing water and dirt, giving it a change to penetrate into the surface. An outdoor broom is an easy way to clean off your horizontal outdoor surfaces.

A high-quality grill brush is a necessary tool for any outdoor chef. When a grill’s rack isn’t cleaned regularly charred food particles build up. That can affect the taste of future meals. A grill should be brushed down after every use to keep it in the best condition. There are hundreds of grill brush options out there, but at Renew Crew, we suggest one with stainless steel bristles. The steel makes for easy cleaning, but will also last longer than other grill brushes.

One of the tools that I didn’t think I would use very often in my backyard, but I now use regularly is a pair of small hand shears like these. This is particularly important for those homeowners whose outdoor living spaces border bushes or trees. Our azalea bushes, for instance, abut our built-in bench. I was always being stuck in the back by a stray branch until I got the shears. The small hand shears are great for snipping any vegetation that may be coming into your space, but doesn’t need a full trim quite yet.

My last tool is really a product that anyone with metal outdoor furniture needs: wax and a lint-free cloth. Metal outdoor furniture can dry out and chip pretty easily over time. When you notice that the chair, bench or table has seen better days, rinse it off and then apply a coat of wax. It will bring back the shine and protect it from chipping.

There you have it, Renew Crew’s list of outdoor maintenance tools that every homeowner should have. If you have any questions or a space that needs professional pressure washing, reach out to your local Renew Crew office. Remember, it’s not just clean, it’s Renew Crew Clean.

Cleaning Oil from Concrete – How do you do it?

Last year my neighbor had his driveway redone with concrete pavers. It looked great when it was finished, perfectly clean. That is, until his son came home to visit. His son unfortunately didn’t realize that his car (that he parked on the brand new driveway) was leaking oil and left several noticeable stains on the concrete surface. Needless to say my neighbor wasn’t thrilled with what he saw.

Whether it happens on an outdoor surface, article of clothing or a piece of furniture, we all know that messes and stains occur from time to time. And depending on how serious it is, they may or may not be removable. At Renew Crew, we generally clean most outdoor surfaces with an overall product, but when it comes to cleaning oil from concrete, it’s a whole other ballgame.


Oil is a nasty product. It easily penetrates deep into porous exterior surfaces and is difficult to remove. When we come out to clean a concrete surface, our technicians pay particular attention to stains like oil to give them unique attention before cleaning the rest of the surface. Much like clothing stains, stains on concrete surfaces need to be “pre-treated.”

There are specific exterior cleaners for different types of stains. At Renew Crew, we use an oil and grease remover on concrete. It is poured directly onto the stain where it loosens and encapsulates the oil and grease. It dries into a powder allowing us to remove it without any scrubbing or rinsing.

After the stains are treated, we go on to clean the rest of the surface for a more even look (we don’t want one part of the space to look great and the rest dirty after cleaning oil from concrete). Our concrete cleaner digs deep into the surface loosening built up dirt and grime. A low power pressure wash then washes everything away and the final sealant step helps to protect the space from future dirt.

It’s not always possible to remove every stain from an outdoor surface. Similar to clothing, some things you can’t get rid of, no matter how much you clean it. We try to tell to point out the areas of the space we aren’t sure we can clean entirely prior to the job being started so out client knows what to expect.

If you have questions on how to clean stains from patios, driveways, decks, fences and more, please don’t hesitate to call your local Renew Crew office.

Cleaning Concrete the Right Way

Ever since Renew Crew joined the Outdoor Living Brands family I’ve looked at my outdoor surfaces differently. What I never considered dirty (it’s just worn people), I now look at with disgust. The change from new concrete pavers along our walkway to the dingy looking ones I have now was so gradual I didn’t even notice!

A lot of homeowners don’t even know that you can clean concrete, but properly cleaning and sealing it will not only keep it looking new, but also protect it from the elements and make your pavers last longer. Using the right concrete cleaner is a key component of restoring your outdoor surface without damaging the plants and ground around it. Most cleaners have bleach that can hurt grass and plants. At our house, our walkway is bordered by low hedges. It would be difficult to clean our pavers without any of the cleaning solution getting on our hedges and I don’t want them to die.

At Renew Crew, we have a different method of cleaning and sealing concrete. An environmentally friendly cleaner that won’t harm the surrounding natural elements as it is applied to the concrete surfaces. After allowing the product to loosen the dirt and grime, it is rinsed with a low pressure cleaner. High pressure, that can damage concrete, isn’t needed because of the strength of the cleaning product.

After the walkway, driveway or other concrete space is cleaning and dried, a protective sealant is used to stop dirt from penetrating deep into the surface again. If there are some tougher stains, special stain removers can be used in addition to the normal concrete cleaner.

The whole process can take your pavers from this:

To this!

Sign me up.