Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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

Cleaning and Sealing Pavers Correctly

Pavers and other hardscape materials continue to grow in popularity in the outdoor living industry. With so many shapes, sizes, colors and finishes it’s not surprising people love them. They do withstand the elements pretty well, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need periodic maintenance. At Renew Crew, we provide eco-friendly paver cleaning and sealing to keep your space looking great.


It’s not surprising that walkways, driveways and patios get dirty. Being outside all the time, they withstand a lot of elements, both natural and manmade. If they aren’t sealed, the surface can be very porous and absorb whatever falls on it. Some substances, like oil, dirt and mold simply cause staining while others can cause damage to the material. Salt and other snow melting agents can work away at pavers while rain that’s absorbed and then freezes can cause substantial cracking and crumbling. The good news is that you can protect against this with paver cleaning and sealing.

Paver sealants, like deck stains, close off the surface so that the elements sit on the surface and don’t settle into the material. It will, however, begin to wear away over time and should be reapplied throughout the lifetime of the structure.


If your pavers are looking tired and weathered you can bring them back to life with professional paver cleaning. At Renew Crew, we applied an eco-friendly cleaning product that won’t hard any surrounding grass or plants. Once the cleaning products works its magic, we rinse the surface with a pressure washer. While pressure washers can be rented from your local home improvement stores, we suggest hiring a professional when it comes to pavers. They are very susceptible to cracking and if you aren’t sure how to use the washer well, you may cause serious damage to your structure.

When the surface dries, a member of our team will return to the home and apply the protectant. Our team offers a number of finishes for you to consider including color enhancing, wet looks and natural matte finishes.

If you are in need of paver cleaning and sealing, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office.

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.

Extend Your Outdoor Living this Fall

Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. Football season has started and kids are going back to school. The end of summer and beginning of fall, however, doesn’t need to mean the end to your outdoor living season.

Fire and heating features are growing in popularity. Just this year, the American Society of Landscape Architects named fire features to be one of the most popular components to outdoor living. Whether it is a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, some type of heating mechanism prolongs the months of the year you can utilize your outdoor living spaces. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to huddle around a fire pit with friends, a glass of wine and some s’mores.

Fire and heating features can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. As long as they provide some heat, you can be outside even if the weather turns cool. Some homeowners prefer something more permanent like a custom designed and built outdoor fireplace or fire pit, while others want something more mobile, like a portable propane heater or fire pit from the local store.

If you have a permanent fire feature on your property, you may not realize that just like your patio or deck, it too should be cleaned periodically. It’s a good best practice to remove ash and dust regularly and rinse everything with your garden hose. A hose will remove any loose dirt or spider webs that may settle over time (it’s spider season people!).

Every year or so, you may need to take outdoor cleaning to the next level and higher a pressure washing company. Because many outdoor fireplace and fire pits are made with pavers or concrete, they’re naturally porous. Dirt, dust, ash, and water can seep into the surface. You may also notice the typical mold or mildew that can build up. At Renew Crew, we use eco-friendly products to kill and remove all of that grime and bring your outdoor surfaces back to life.

If you have questions on how to clean your fire features, please contact your local Renew Crew. We’ll work with you to make your space look new again so you can enjoy a clean space this fall.

And lastly, Happy Labor Day!

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.

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.

Spruce up Your Property before Putting it on the Market

It isn’t uncommon for one’s house to look its best right before putting it on the market. All of the aesthetic updates that you had been procrastinating on all of sudden are at the top of your list. With the housing market on the rise, now is the perfect time to get your home in tip-top shape and on the market.

First impressions are not only important in life, but also in real estate. A potential homebuyer has to be able to picture themselves living there. I remember when my husband and I were first looking for a home four years ago, the house had to give me a good impression outside to really sell me on the inside. The exterior of your house and the surrounding property is the first impression, so it has to look great!

Here are some ideas on things to do to your property to make it ready to sell.

Clean the roof. It’s normal for a roof to show dirt over time, but you want it to look nice and clean when the house goes on the market. Roof cleaning makes a big difference when it comes to the appearance of your home.

Repaint your front door. If you have an older home with an older front door, make sure it looks great for potential buyers as it’s the first thing they will often see up close. A new coat of paint could make all the difference.

Trim your bushes. You don’t want any buyers to come to your house and think “this is going to be a lot of work.” Cut down your grass and bushes to make it look like an easy to maintain property. Make sure nothing is blocking the windows, stopping the light from coming in.

Clean your windows. No one likes to clean windows (unless that person is crazy), but it’s important to do so before buyers come to your home. For those hard to reach windows, there is outdoor window cleaner that you attach to your hose and you just spray it on.

Mulch. Mulch goes a long way. It can make everything look cleaner and more organized when properly done. Mulch underneath bushes and in flower beds to make the yard look cared for.

Clean your Decks and Patios. A dirty deck or patio doesn’t give the best first impression to a potential buyer. Look at your outdoor surfaces and evaluate whether or not they need to be professionally cleaned and sealed. At Renew Crew, we transform greying, weathered decks that look like they are past their prime back into beautiful spaces that anyone would be happy to enjoy. Some of your structures may be difficult to clean on your own, so consider hiring a professional pressure washing company.

If you have questions regarding outdoor surface cleaning, please reach out to local Renew Crew office.

Get your outdoor space ready for summer

Memorial Day is this weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer when the weather gets warmer and our yards start to call our names. Your outdoor living space is an extension of both your home and personality. It should reflect that in every way from the decor and plants you use in the surrounding areas. Now is the perfect time to get your outdoor living space ready. In this article I will give you some tips on how to get your garden/flower beds ready and how to make sure that any other feature that you have in your outdoor space is ready for family and friends to enjoy.

Some people believe that having plant life around your property is difficult to maintain and keep looking lush summer after summer but it’s not all that difficult if you just follow a few simple rules. The first rule is to remove any dead plant life from the beds. This will automatically improve the look of your area. The next thing you need to do is do some trimming and pruning of all your plant life that requires it. The trimming will make your plants happy and also make them look healthy. Then pick up some mulch, some people place small bits of compost in it for extra nutrients but it’s not necessary. The simple addition of mulch to your space will make each bed pop and also provide your plants protection from weeds. The final tip to manage your plant life is do not over plant or over clutter your beds. When you overplant, plants will not grow or get the proper nutrients they need to look stunning all summer long. Also don’t forget to water regularly plants need water too!

The next item I will cover is the 3 P’s of outdoor item care. The first “P” is Prepare; you can prepare all of your outdoor items such as furniture, fabrics, umbrellas, and grills with a simple scrub brush accompanied by some soap and water. This will remove all of the grim that was caked on during the winter and will also give your items a fresh look and smell. The second “P” is Protect; you should always cover up your items when they are not in use and especially your grill. Your grill will take abuse from weather and eventually will break down much faster if left uncovered. This is also true for your outdoor furniture, the less abuse they take the longer they will be around. The third and final “P” is Prevent; you should put away in storage any items that you are not using for the winter, “if applicable”. This will reduce the wear and tear winter puts on your beloved outdoor living space items.

These are just a few tips to help make your outdoor living spaces the best they can be. At Renew Crew, we help our clients renew the surfaces of their outdoor spaces. Whether it’s a greying deck or a stained concrete patio, we can help your outdoor living spaces look better. Please contact your local Renew Crew office to learn more about patio and deck cleaning and protecting.

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 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.

Outdoor Cleaning in the New Year

I’m not great with New Year resolutions. The overarching themes are hard to stick with for 12 months so I take a more tactical approach. At the beginning of the year I make a to-do list for myself. I then have the next 365 days to accomplish them. While some are easy, some are bigger projects that may take months to finish. This year, my husband and I have decided to place more importance on improving our yard.

We’ve owned our home for the past three and half years. The yard we were drawn to when purchasing the home has unfortunately been a bigger job than we thought. This year we are recommitting to getting the yard in tip-top shape. We’ll be removing trees and bushes, clearing out space for more grassy areas, and enhancing our outdoor living spaces.

Our house has two main outdoor living areas: a deck off of our kitchen and a concrete patio off our family room. Both spaces need some TLC.

The deck isn’t very big but has seen better days. It definitely needs a good cleaning and pressure washing to get rid of some of the built up dirt since the last time we cleaned it. Renew Crew’s cleansing foam is environmentally friendly and won’t harm the beautiful azaleas that are around the deck, which is a major plus for us. Additionally, our washing method is different than a lot of other pressure washing companies. Other companies use a high amount of pressure that can be damaging to some woods, but because the Renew Crew foam penetrates deep into the wood, we don’t need as much pressure.

Cleaning isn’t the only thing our deck needs. We have a great privacy fence that has built in planters. My goal is to plant flowers and herbs in the planters to fill it out and bring more greenery in the space.

As for the patio, it, like the deck, needs to be thoroughly cleaned and sealed. We usually have drinks and food on the patio with friends, so it can get messy. We, by the end of the year, want that space to just be more welcoming.

So there are a few ideas I have for my 2013 to-do list but I’m sure more will be added through the New Year.

Keep Your Outdoor Spaces Looking Cleaner Longer

At Renew Crew, we’re happy to help homeowners clean and rejuvenate their outdoor living spaces with our environmentally friendly cleaning process, but we do get questions from clients who wonder how they can keep that space looking cleaner longer. Routine maintenance or cleaning is key. If you want your space to look nice, here are some simple things to keep in mind.


Clean off debris. Leaves, branches and other natural debris are common, especially in the fall and winter months. If you don’t remove them, especially piles of leaves, dirt and water can sit right there on your outdoor spaces, penetrating deeper into your patio, deck, walkway and more. Have you ever picked up a leaf and noticed the clear mark it leaves on a space? That stain becomes more apparent the longer it sits.

Clean up as messes happen. When I spill something on my living room rug (I’m clumsy), I clean it up right away. I don’t want anything noticeable on my carpet. I admittedly am not as good when it comes to spills outside. I guess there is a part of me that thinks the rain will wash it away, and judging from a lot of outdoor living spaces I’ve seen, I’m not the only one with that mindset. Cleaning up messes as they happen however, will keep your outdoor living spaces looking nicer. Now, I don’t mean doing a deep deck cleaning every time you spill a little coffee, but I do mean wiping it up.

Rinse off your spaces periodically. Mother Nature’s grime will get on your exterior surfaces. Take a hose to your deck, porches, patios, siding, walkways, etc. from time to time and wash away what you can. While, it may not be perfectly clean, it will wash away any loose dirt.

Every year or two, depending on how clean a space is kept most homeowners will need professional exterior cleaning. If you have questions regarding the best way to clean your outdoor surfaces, contact your local Renew Crew office.

Don’t Think you Need to Maintain your Brick Home? Think Again.

At Renew Crew, we know the importance of regular maintenance on your outdoor living spaces. No material can sit outside for years without maintenance and look brand new. Last week, the Springfield News-Leader did a story on maintaining your brick home and why it’s important to clean and protect it.

My husband and I have been living in our 1950s brick rancher for a few years. When it was being inspected, my husband asked about the cracks in some of the mortar. The home inspector told us that if the cracks are in the mortar, it’s due to the normal expansion and contraction of the home, which is completely normal. He did, however, tell us to make sure to clean and protect it against dirt, elements and vegetation that make settle in the cracks if left alone.

Depending on the length a stain has been on your home, it may be impossible to remove entirely. Cleaning brick and concrete involves several steps:

Before a brick or concrete cleaner is added to your home, walkways and driveways, an experienced outdoor surface cleaner will walk the space to see if there are any stains that need special attention. For example, driveways may get some rust or oil stains. Those stains need specific types of removers to loosen and remove the stain.

After deeper stains have been handled, a general cleaner is used to clean the rest of the surface. The cleaners works down into the surface removing the dirt and grime that builds up over time. When talking to your outdoor cleaning company, make sure to ask them how the color of the material will be affected. While a strong cleaner is needed to remove the ground-in dirt, it shouldn’t discolor the brick or pavers.

Cleaners open up the surface of outdoor materials, priming them for the final step, the protectant. Renew Crew’s water-based protectants are rolled on top of clean brick or pavers to lock out harsh natural elements. There are several finishes that our clients choose from, the natural look, color enhancing, wet (for a glossier finish) and tinted protectants for those that want a different color on their outdoor living spaces. A high-quality protectant will last a few years before needing to be reapplied.

If you have questions regarding cleaning and protecting your decks, fences, patios, sidings or gutters, contact your local Renew Crew office.