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.

Updating an Event Space in Kansas

A few weeks ago I was reading one of my favorite lifestyle blogs. They were writing about a house they had recently purchased. The home had original wood window frames that just weren’t maintained properly. Over time, the wood had grown mold and mildew and began to deteriorate. It was a good representation of why wood needs to be cleaned and maintained properly.

As luck would have it, a few days after I read that blog I saw a project from our pressure washing company in Kansas City that illustrated proper wood care. Philip and Wayne Howe of Renew Crew of Johnson County were hired for an issue at a popular event space, the Heritage Center in Olathe, KS. The roof of the structure has a series of flat roof dormers built with wood. Every time it rained, water would roll off the top and under the other side, leading to ugly stains.

Renew Crew of Johnson County used our 3-step wood cleaning process to tackle this job. For this difficult to treat area, the Renew Crew wood cleaning foam was incredibly important. A liquid cleaner wouldn’t have been able to dig deep into the wood before it dripped right off the dormer (it’s upside down!). The foam clings to all surfaces allowing it to drill into the wood’s pores, loosening deep-set stains and removing dry wood fibers.

Once the foam was given the opportunity to work, the wood was rinsed with a low pressure washer to remove everything.

Leaving the wood as it was after the rinse would have improved the appearance of the dormers, removing the stains, but it would leave them susceptible to the same issues if it weren’t protected. Renew Crew applied a natural wood semi-transparent sealant that keeps water from absorbing into the surface again, preventing stains.

Isn’t the difference amazing? Now the Heritage Center looks like the premiere event space in Olathe yet again.

If you have wood, concrete, siding or gutters than need to be cleaned, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Have and Outdoor Shower? Make Sure you Clean it!

My aunt and uncle built a new house just last year. They are big into the outdoors and can be found biking, hiking or kayaking pretty much daily when the weather is nice. Instead of traipsing through the house while dirty, they decided to install an outdoor shower at their home. The shower itself was beautiful when it was first built, but it’s already showing its age. A recent job from our pressure washing expert in Richmond reminded me of this predicament.

Tim Wright was recently brought to the client in Chesterfield that needed to have their outdoor shower cleaned and protected. Wood outdoor showers are beautiful, but its isn’t surprising they require regular maintenance. Not only are they vulnerable to the elements, just like other outdoor surfaces, but they are arguably exposed to even more.

It’s normally for any wood surface to start to grey as it’s in the sun more and more. Additionally, when the wood’s sealant starts to deteriorate homeowners will notice an increase of mold and mildew. Soap and shampoo residue can add to the issues of aging wood when the sealant is weak.

Tim and his Renew Crew – South of the James team, which services Chesterfield, Midlothian and the surrounding areas, tackled the outdoor shower and brought back its color and life with our 3 step process:

1. An eco-friendly wood cleaning foam is applied to the wood’s surface. The foam is exceptionally effective because it can work its way into the pores loosening dirt and grime before just streaming off like liquid can.
2. Once the foam has done its job, the surface is then pressure washed to rinse everything away. Wood is noticeably cleaner during this step.
3. The final step is to protect the wood. Without protection, wood is susceptible to additional dirt and grime. Our eco-friendly wood protectant enhances the wood’s color and stops moisture, dirt and UV rays from settling on the surface.

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

Cleaning and Sealing Brazilian Hardwood

In the decking industry, Brazilian hardwoods have become a popular option for decks. Exotic woods naturally repel bugs, fungus and rot so chemicals don’t need to be used to treat it. It’s a “greener” option than many treated woods. The colors vary and are stunning options for a beautiful outdoor living space. Their benefits do not mean Brazilian hardwood doesn’t have to be maintained. Dirt and grime can settle on the surface of the wood. Unfortunately, sometimes do-it-yourself maintenance doesn’t always work out.

Our Renew Crew of Victoria location was recently contacted by homeowners who had tried to clean their hardwood deck themselves with less than stellar results and needed experts.

Oil is one of the recommended products for exotic hardwoods to keep them looking great and performing well. The homeowners had tried to use DIY cleaners and oils from the local home improvement store. The cleaning products and oil, as you can see, left them with a deck that still wasn’t clean. The color is uneven and you can still see the green mildew and dirt in areas. After trying multiple times to do it themselves, the homeowners hired Renew Crew, the local pressure washing experts, to clean and protect their deck.

Because of the layers of oil, a slightly different process was needed to clean and seal this hardwood deck. Normally, Renew Crew uses an eco-friendly deck cleaning foam to penetrate a wood surface. Due to the oil, the foam wasn’t able to easily work its normal magic. Renew Crew had to use a chemical based deck wash to get rid of all the built-up dirt.

After applying a deck wash, Renew Crew pressure washed the deck to bring the wood to a clean, even color.

Sealing and protecting a deck is the most important step in the deck cleaning and renewing process. Without it, dirt, grime and moisture will once again work its way into the pores of the wood. Additionally, the sun’s rays will dry out and bleach the wood. Renew Crew applied an eco-friendly deck sealant. Due to the dark nature of the Brazilian hardwood, a natural shade of protectant was used. Doesn’t it look great?

If you have questions on cleaning and sealing your deck, 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!

Brighten your Home’s Façade with Gutter Cleaning

Gutter cleaning is an important part of outdoor maintenance, however, most homeowners focused solely on the inside of the gutters. But cleaning the outside of your gutters makes your home look brighter and well kept.

I have to admit, when I first purchased our home, I never even looked at the outside of my gutters. As a new homeowner, I knew I needed to periodically clean out any leaves or other debris that may clog my gutters, but when it came to the outside of the gutters, they were completely ignored. It wasn’t until I really paid attention that I realized how dirty they were!

When you think about it, it’s not surprising that the outside of gutters get so dirty. Tar and debris from your roof shingles will streak down and stain the outside, dirty water may roll over the surface and they are constantly vulnerable to Mother Nature’s elements.

Cleaning your gutters is one home maintenance task that we recommend a professional pressure washing company tackle for you as there are some safety concerns. Gutters are high off the ground and you’ll need the right equipment to reach the area (you don’t want to clean on an unsteady ladder). Additionally, gutters can easily be cut or dented if a pressure washer isn’t used properly.

At Renew Crew, our trained gutter cleaning and protecting technicians will make your gutters look great, and keep them looking that way! First we apply a deep penetrating cleaning foam to the entire gutter. We use environmentally friendly foam because it sticks to the surface longer than a liquid, allowing it to loosen dirt and stains.

After the foam does its job, we rinse it all away with a pressure washer. After this step, you’ll be able to notice the difference clean gutters can make!

Lastly, we apply a clear protectant to the gutters. The protectant will keep dirt and stains from setting into the surface again.

If you have questions regarding professional gutter cleaning, or any other outdoor surface, please call your local Renew Crew experts.

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.

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!

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.

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!

Spring Deck Cleaning

One of my least favorite chores is spring cleaning, but I’m always happy when it is done. You can breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve cleaned things out and can enjoy the nice warm months.

For my family, spring cleaning took place both inside and outside the home growing up. We used the time to get our patio and deck ready to be used once again. Decks can build up a lot of dirt and grime over the course of the winter, so it’s important to pay special attention to your deck! Here’s my guide to Spring Deck Cleaning.

First thing is to clear off your entire deck. Removing everything, furniture, grills, etc. will give you a better place to start the cleaning process. You really don’t know how dirty certain spots may be until you clear it off completely.

After the deck is empty, use an outdoor broom and sweep it, and I mean really sweep it! Not only do you want to remove leaves or any other yard debris that may be on your deck, but applying a little pressure will also help to loosen any caked on dirt.

Once the debris has been removed and the deck swept, hose it down. Spraying your deck with your normal backyard hose (with the highest pressure your normal nozzle provides) will clear away some of the loosely embed dirt.

When your deck is dry, you’ll be able to really see the shape your deck is in. If it was recently cleaned and sealed, your job may be complete! If your deck still looks tired, you have two choices: hire a professional pressure washing company or do it yourself.

At Renew Crew, we obviously believe your best choice is to hire a company. Do it Yourself deck cleaners can work well, but they can also be harmful if not used properly. Additionally, if you aren’t familiar with using a pressure washer, you can do some damage to your deck. A trained professional will take the utmost care of your property and will leave your deck ready for spring and summer.

Renew Crew’s three-step process uses environmentally friendly deck products to both clean and protect your space. The protection step keep your deck looking great! Check it out for yourself:

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.

Remove that Mold and Mildew before it gets Dangerous

Have you ever walked around your home and noticed some spots that just don’t look right? Are they white, gray or black? If so, that’s mold and mildew, a natural evil of the outside world. While it is natural, it can cause some health concerns if left to its own devices.

If left outside, mold and mildew aren’t a major concern (except that it looks awful), but it can work its way inside your home even if it is on your siding outside. Spores get in through cracks, windows and doors. It can cause some health problems (especially for the elderly and young) including headaches, difficulty breathing and asthma. To avoid this, pay attention to what is happening on the outside of your house as well as in.

Mold and mildew grow best in moist and shady areas. On your property, you may have sections that you could describe that way, but others may not be as easy to recognize. Overflowing gutters can cause a lot of moisture on your siding as it rolls down as well as around your laundry dryer exhaust.

The first step in protecting you and your family is to be observant and take action as soon as you see any mold and mildew on your siding. If you catch it early and it is present in an easy to reach spot, you may be able to clean it off yourself.

Make it a habit to spray down your siding a few times a year to get rid of any, dirt, mold and mildew that is loosely attached to the surface.

Do not ever paint over built up mold and mildew. You are just locking it in and it can continue to grow and cause damage.

Pressure washing siding should be done periodically if mold and mildew are a problem on your property. Due to the strength of a pressure washer, we suggest having a professional pressure washing company. Damaging siding with a pressure washer will just cause more issues instead of fixing the mold and mildew one.

At Renew Crew, we use our three-step process to clean and protect vinyl siding. Our pre-soak foam will kill the mold and mildew and loosen it from the surface before pressure washing it all away. When the surface is clean and looking new, we will add a protectant to keep it that way! This is an important step that makes the work last that the typical pressure washing company doesn’t do.

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

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.

Protect Your Cabin from the Elements this Off-Season.

Now that Labor Day has passed, summer vacationers are closing things up and preparing their cabins, docks and boats for the winter months. As you winterize this fall, make sure to protect your outdoor surfaces now, so they look great next year.

Mother Nature can be tough and if the Farmer’s Almanac is correct, this winter is looking to be a long, cold one. Moisture on outdoor surfaces like wood and concrete can lead to more serious problems like mold and rot over time if not professionally protected on a regular basis.

I recently saw this cabin cleaning project from Renew Crew of Lake Gaston and Kerr Lake and thought about how important it was that the home was cleaned and protect now rather than later.

This cabin, though beautiful, had clearly seen better days. The sun had dried and greyed the home’s surface over time. My guess is that the second floor was an add-on that only became obvious when the wood began to age. If the homeowners had waited longer to call Renew Crew, it would have looked even worse, but now it looks great.

Keith and Kim Quinn of Renew Crew of Lake Gaston used our proprietary three-step process to clean and protect this cabin. Our environmentally friendly wood cleaner works better than most others on tall vertical surfaces like this because of its consistency. While most cleaners are liquid, ours is foam. The foam clings to the surface, allowing it to work its magic before running down the side of the house.

I wish I had been there as the cabin was rinsed. The difference must have been amazing. The bottom half would have started to look similar in color to the top during this step.

The last step of the Renew Crew process, and what makes us different than the typical pressure washing company, is protection. Cleaning without protection will make your outdoor surfaces look better, but leaves them vunerable to the same issues as before. Our protectant will make the wood look more vibrant and will block it from moisture, dirt and harsh UV rays.

If I had a cabin that was looking a little worn like this one, I would look to have it cleaned and protected prior to the harsh winter that is being reported. Please reach out to your local Renew Crew office if you have any questions on outdoor surface cleaning.

Lichen on Your Wood Deck? Get Rid of it.

Are you not sure what that green, crusty looking stuff on your deck is? Most likely it’s lichen, a combination of fungi and algae. If you don’t like the look it is giving your outdoor structure, do yourself a favor and get rid of it!

Lichen is found in most parts of the country and is made 90% of fungus and 10% algae. Normally it has a green/grey color but it can be yellow, red or even blue depending on the type of algae. Lichen normally grows in damp, shaded areas. With most of the growth occurring in the spring and fall, it can grow on both horizontal and vertical surfaces.

Lichen won’t damage your deck, fence or other wood surface. Alga is photosynthetic meaning it creates its own energy through sunlight. Because it can make its own energy, lichen doesn’t need to take nutrients from whatever it is growing on. That’s why you will often see lichen on structures that aren’t alive, like wood decks or stone walkways.

Just because lichen isn’t damaging the structure of your space, doesn’t mean that you should definitely keep it. Because of its grayish/green color, lichen can make your outdoor spaces look old and weathered. Additionally, it holds moisture and become unsafe to step on. It can be extremely slippery depending on its size and the amount of lichen in the area.

Take a look at this deck with built in benches in Johnson County, Kansas. Doesn’t it look terrible? The bench doesn’t look like a nice place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, does it? I know I wouldn’t want to sit on that for fear of my clothes turning green. While some homeowners may have taken the amount of lichen as a sign they needed to replace decking boards, or even the entire structure, this homeowner luckily called Renew Crew of Johnson County. Renew Crew’s three step deck cleaning process not only got rid of the lichen, but also the mold and greying wood fibers from the entire space.

Talk about an after shot! The deck looks brand new! Lichen doesn’t need a harsh cleaner or chemical to kill it, but our environmentally friendly deck cleaner is able to eliminate the lichen and loosen any dirt as well as any dead grey wood fibers. The foaming cleaner clings to the surface allowing it to do its job and loosen the organism’s grip on the deck.

After allowing the foam to penetrate, Renew Crew uses a low pressure wash to rinse everything away. If you were watching the process, this is where you would see the largest difference.

The last step in our process is applying a protectant to the space that stops the wood from looking weathered again too quickly. For this project, Renew Crew of Johnson County used our Cedar color finish.

If you have questions regarding cleaning your decks, or any other outdoor surface, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Hold Your Hoses: Steps to Take before You Do Deck Cleaning

Many homeowners assume that pressure washing is a do-it-yourself job. While a few cases can be, there are definitely times when hiring a professional is the best option. These can include the cleaning of the exterior sidings, and even the concrete driveway. Whether by a professional, or yourself, proper deck cleaning methods should be taken, and there are a few ways the area should be correctly prepped.

Inspect the deck.

Cleaners such as Renew Crew should have one primary concern: to ensure the object being cleaned is safe. Inspection of the deck is a very important first step, especially if the deck is 20+ years old or elevated. In case of an elevated deck, the foundations need to also be inspected by knowledgeable authorities.

In conjunction with this step, an expert will have to determine the type of material the deck was made of. This is important information because it will help choosing the right cleaning method. For instance, using pressure washers on unvarnished wood can be a mistake as this can cause splinters to fly, injuring anyone nearby. In general, this material is tough to work with, and should be treated with care. Using incorrect water pressure can cause damage that will be irreparable.

Clear the deck.

Loose objects such as chairs and tables should be cleared from the deck when cleaning commences. Anything that could move or fall over during the cleaning process should be relocated to a safer space. Your thorough power washing can only occur when obstacles are removed, and the deck is free of interruptions to the process.

Clean the deck.

Now that everything has been removed from the deck, pre-cleaning can start. This involves sweeping off dust and dirt and removal of branches, leaves or rocks. Anything that could come in between the deck and the pressure washer should be taken care of. Using water to accomplish this may hinder the process of professional pressure washer cleaning, so stick to the broom for this step.

Though professional cleaners can easily complete this step, homeowners who take that first step give the impression that responsibility is something you value. Additionally, completing this step ahead of time clears the way for professional cleaners to get right to work, if you are choosing a company like Renew Crew for your needs. By prepping the deck for cleaning, the task can be completed more quickly and certainly more thoroughly than you planned in the beginning.

Enjoy the Shade under a Beautiful Structure

I spent this past weekend with some of my girlfriends having a girls’ weekend. With perfect weather, we spent the majority of our time chatting outside and enjoying one another’s company. We went to a nearby park for a picnic under a gazebo. While the scenery (and conversation) were great, I couldn’t help but notice the condition of the gazebo (blame the job). Over the years, the sun and heat had dried out the wood, turning it grey. The benches around the sides had a bunch of stains from things being dropped on it. The bones of the gazebo were fine it seemed, but it definitely needed a makeover.

Homeowners and municipalities pay a lot of money for wooden outdoor structures and when they are first built, they look wonderful, but if they aren’t maintained properly, they can become an eyesore. Wood is naturally porous and as the sun dries it out, it not only turns grey, but it allows dirt, dust and whatever is spilt on it to work its way into the surface. Just like decks, gazebos and other structures have to be cleaned and sealed.

At Renew Crew, our three step wood cleaning process works wonders on gazebos, especially compared to the typical pressure washing company. Cleaning a gazebo is more difficult than a deck because it has so much vertical space. Normal pressure washing companies use wood cleaning products that just run down vertical spaces without getting deep into the surface. Renew Crew’s environmentally friendly wood cleaners is a foam, not a pure liquid. The foam clings to the post surfaces and loosens the grey wood fibers and general grime.

Once we’ve allowed the wood cleaner to penetrate the wood, we use a low pressure washer to rinse and wash away the dirt. It’s during this process that you begin to see how different your gazebo can look after it is cleaned. You can see all of the grime just wash away.

If we left after cleaning your wood structures, like so many power washing companies do, you’d be calling us back sooner than you’d like. Cleaning the wood gets rid of all the dirt and grime, but it doesn’t make the wood less likely to stain again. That’s why we have a wood protectant that we use on every deck structure. Our proprietary wood sealant brings the vibrant color back into the wood. It protects against the sun’s UV rays and closes up the now open pores to all the natural elements.

Depending on your weather and use, wood structures, be them gazebos, decks, fences, pergolas, etc., should be cleaned and sealed every one or two years. If you have any outdoor surfaces that need cleaning, make sure to call 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.

Spring Cleaning: Power Washing to Maintain the Integrity of Outdoor Spaces

With the arrival of the warm weather of spring, it’s time, once again, to begin enjoying deck and patio spaces. Before appreciating the outdoors, however, it’s important to ensure that these living spaces are properly maintained. During the winter, unsightly stains and debris tend to accumulate on decks and patios. Additionally, the effects of moisture damage, including mold infestation, can be even more detrimental to the quality of a deck or patio.

When performing spring cleaning on outdoor areas it may tempting to rely simply on a broom and garden hose, but typically decks and patios that have weathered winter conditions require a more in-depth cleaning process. The performance of DIY cleaning on a deck or patio can further damage the structure and its surfaces. Instead, it’s recommended that homeowners contact a professional power washing contractor, such as Renew Crew. A professional service will have the ability to remove not only stains but also fungi and mold that may be difficult to remove utilizing DIY methods.

Concrete

Concrete can provide a stubborn surface to clean and maintain, for even the most seasoned do-it-yourselfer. Power washers provide a great alternative to the standard garden hose because they are an effective and safe cleaning method that utilizes and distributes cleaning solutions through a fan spraying action.

Wood

Wood is another surface that requires specialized techniques, particularly after winter. In order to properly clean wood, a special cleaning solution is traditionally applied through the use of a pump sprayer. Power washing professionals typically ensure the nozzle tip of the sprayer is at least 12 inches from the wooden surface at all times.

Power washing is an incredibly effective way to clean and maintain wooden structures, such as patios and decks, but if done improperly it can lead to damage, including splintering wood. If an outdoor wooden structure is compromised due to cleaning methods, the homeowner may have to sand the structure and reapply the deck sealant.

Because of the risk associated with cleaning a deck or patio on one’s own, it’s recommended that a homeowner contact a reputable power washing company, like Renew Crew. In addition to professional washing services, these companies also offer quality deck sealing. A professional service provider will be able to restore and protect outdoor spaces in order to maximize enjoyment and peace of mind.

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.

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.

Exterior Maintenance Makes Apartment Complex More Appealing

A friend of mine has plans to move about an hour away this summer. A few weeks ago she asked me to go visit some possible apartment complexes with her. As we visited and toured each place, we noticed how important the exterior was. We actually left one complex because it didn’t seem to be well maintained. When I received the pictures below from Renew Crew of Southwest Michigan, who provides fence and deck cleaning in Kalamazoo and the surrounding areas, the importance of exterior maintenance for a complex was perfectly illustrated.

Ken and Julie Wuerfel of Renew Crew of Southwest Michigan met the property managers of a Kalamazoo apartment complex at their home show in March. Each apartment has its own deck off the back of the unit. While structurally sound, the decks had seen better days. The harsh Michigan elements had taken their toll and turned the once beautiful decks grey. The weathered decks, as a result, didn’t give the first impression that the apartment complex was looking for, so they had Renew Crew come and clean them.

Last week, Renew Crew sent their team out to clean and protect the apartment decks. As you can see from the pictures, some of the decks are two or three stories high. While this can be an issue for some outdoor cleaning products, Renew Crew’s foam works incredibly well on vertical surfaces. The normal harsh cleaners are liquid-based and drip down vertical posts quickly without working its way into the surface. Our environmentally-friendly wood cleaning foam, however, clings and is able to penetrate deep into the wood.

Once the foam had been applied, the decks were pressure washed to rinse away the now loose grey wood fibers and dirt that had been embedded in the surface. It’s during this step that viewers can really see the difference.

To keep the wood deck looking great, the team applied a sealant and protectant to the deck a few days after the cleaning.

Seeing the before and after, I would be much more impressed by the after picture if I were looking for a new place to live. Outdoor maintenance is imperative for apartment complexes and that doesn’t stop at the landscaping. When the complex looks great, it makes it more appealing to prospective tenants, but also shows those already living there that the property is cared for and well managed.

If you have questions regarding outdoor cleaning and protecting, please contact your local Renew Crew.

Getting rid of Pollen

Spring has officially sprung. How do I know you ask? Besides the flowers starting to bloom and grass beginning to grow again, the yellow/green layer of pollen on my car, sidewalk, house and deck is a surefire give away that spring is here. Gross.


I hate pollen. It gets everywhere and turns everything a blah shade of yellow. When the pollen attack is at its highest, it can be very difficult to keep your outdoor surfaces clean. While there isn’t much you can do from it settling on large surfaces like decks, sidewalks and patios, you can keep your outdoor furniture pollen free if you make the effort. For example, rinsing off my deck and sidewalk with the hose will get rid of the loose standing pollen, but it’s much more difficult to rid my outdoor cushions of it. It works its way into the fabric and just when it seems clean, I stand up and my shorts are yellow. Yuck. That’s why in the early spring when pollen is at its highest, I cover my patio furniture and store my outdoor fabrics when they aren’t being used. Then, when I want to use them, I know they are clean and pollen free.

Pollen does a good job of embedding itself into porous surfaces, including older woods that haven’t been treated in a while. Having a professional pressure washing company clean your outdoor surfaces will loosen embedded pollen (and dirt and general muck) and wash it away, however, the surface needs to be protected against future pollen attacks if you want to just rinse it away with a hose. Most pressure washing companies stop at cleaning your outdoor surfaces, Renew Crew goes one step further. We protect your surfaces.

Renew Crew’s deck, patio, siding and other outdoor surface protectants seal off newly cleaned structures, closing up the pores within it. Those pores are where dirt and dust (and pollen) like to settle, making your outdoor areas look dirty.

If your outdoor surfaces are looking less than stellar, reach out to your local Renew Crew to talk about your outdoor surface cleaning options.

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.

Log Cabin Cleaning, making your home look brand new

This past weekend, my husband and I joined friends for a weekend in the Virginia mountains. Our friends have a cabin that is only a few years old. Their family wanted something that had a “woods” feel, and decided that a cedar log cabin was the perfect way to go.

Isn’t it nice? The rich reddish brown color is beautiful, but of course with my line of work, my mind goes to what it will look like 5 years down the road as the initial protectant wears away. The house sits on large plot of land that gets a lot of direct sunlight and eventually, the UV rays from the sun will penetrate the wood’s surface and it will start greying.

While the sun is a big reason why wood turns grey, the log homes usually get dirty due to dirt, dust and mud. As the wood protectant wears away, whenever there is a big rain or wind storm, dirt and dust can make their way into the surface of the structure.

Log homes, like any other type of home, require maintenance. At Renew Crew, we recommend that cabin owners invest in log home cleaning once a year or every other year. Regular wood maintenance will keep the home looking new longer and will bring back that deep wood color.


So how do we do it at Renew Crew? Our three step process of course! The first step is to apply a pre-soak foam. The thick foam will penetrate deep into the wood surface loosening any built up grime as well as grey wood fibers. We love the texture of the environmentally friendly wood cleaner because it sticks to the wood and on a vertical surface it’s really important that the cleaner has time to do its job.

The second step in the Renew Crew process is rinsing the structure. We utilize a low pressure washer that will wash away all the grime without damaging the wood. High pressure washing has been known to result in large gouges in wood surfaces when done incorrectly which no one wants.

When all the wood is clean and dry, the last step in the process is the protective sealant. Who wants to clean a log cabin and not protect it, right? Not me. Our protectant covers any pores where dirt likes to embed itself. It not only will repel water and dirt, but also UV rays, as UV damages wood just like it does to skin.

If you have questions on log cabin cleaning, or general outdoor surface cleaning, visit our website at RenewCrewClean.com or contact your local Renew Crew office.

Clean up your Dock before Summer Hits

A good friend of mine has a lake house where in the summer many weekends are spent relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather on the lake. A few weeks before the real season begins, we make the trip to the house to clean it up for the season. Inside, we stock up on the essentials, dust and straighten up. Outside there is much more work. It entails pulling out furniture from storage, clearing any debris that may have fallen and general upkeep. Over the years some areas of the property have shown its age, including their dock. While it’s not necessarily time for it to be replaced, it needs to be cleaned.

Power cleaning a dock is a necessary maintenance chore, but it’s also one that needs to be done properly. The products that you use on a deck may not be good for cleaning a dock. Many wood cleaners include harsh chemicals that can harm the water, and the living organisms, under the water.

Renew Crew’s environmentally friendly dock cleaner is safe to use over both fresh and salt water. It won’t harm any of the plants or fish. Just like we do with a deck, we use a thick foam to dig deep into the wood surface, loosening up any built up dirt, mold and grime. A low pressure wash will get rid of that dirt, leaving your dock looking new for the summer.

Check out the before and after on this dock!

Professional power cleaning will make your dock look just like new. If you have questions on the process, please contact your local Renew Crew location.

Deck Cleaning Before and After

Throughout this blog we’ve discussed how Renew Crew is much more than a pressure washing company. We’re the exterior surface cleaning experts. I must admit that when I first heard how amazing the finished product is, I was skeptical. That was until I saw it in person. I spent a day with our local Renew Crew office to see the entire process from start to finish and it was incredible. To show you, here are the before, during and after photos from the deck cleaning process.


The deck that was being rejuvenated was a small wood deck with some stairs to the back yard. It had seen better days. The color was uneven and grey and subtle green all over. At one point in the recent past the homeowner had to replace a decking board and the new board stuck out like a sore thumb with the more weathered boards surrounding it.

To get started, our Pre Soak foam was sprayed onto all of the wood surfaces. Since our cleaning formula is environmentally friendly and doesn’t include any bleach, the technician didn’t have to worry about foam being sprayed on any of the surrounding vegetation. The consistency of the cleaning product is pretty thick allowing it to work its way into the wood, loosening the embedded dirt and grime before it dissipates.

By the time the deck and stairs were completely covered with the Pre Soak foam, it was time to start washing it away. This is what I would like to refer to as the magic stage because IT IS INCREDIBLE. Renew Crew utilizes a low pressure washing setting that is just enough to rinse away grey fibers and dirt without damaging the wood. The rinsing is done along with the wood grain to make sure it looks even across the entire surface.

Once the deck was completely dry, a Protective Sealant was sprayed on the deck. It gave the deck a beautiful rich color and that board that stuck out like a sore thumb? It’s not so obvious anymore. The difference is night and day. And take a look at the grass at the base of the stairs? It’s still as green as ever!

If your deck, or any other outdoor surface, needs to be brought back to life, please contact your local Renew Crew.

Deck Cleaning Companies with Great Customer Service Rise to the Top

Last week I had the opportunity to spend some time with Renew Crew’s founder, Stan Krempges. We discussed the business and what makes it different than the other deck cleaning companies out there. While the environmentally friendly products and low pressure washing is a key part of the business, it was customer service that Stan really emphasized: Renew Crew cares about their customers.

I don’t like having service companies in my house. To me, it’s a necessary evil. It’s probably because I’ve heard so many horror stories of salespeople taking advantage or contractors leaving things worse than when they arrived. Renew Crew doesn’t think that way.

The typical deck cleaning company may not treat your property the way they should; Renew Crew on the other hand does. We take great care of our customers. So how do you know which company to choose? Consider asking some of these questions to see who the best fit is for you:

  • What insurance does the company carry? If your property is damaged of someone from their staff is injured, your homeowners insurance shouldn’t have to take on the cost.
  • What is your guarantee? We want our customers happy and guarantee it.
  • How long have you been in business? Expertise is important. Be wary of companies who haven’t been in business as long as their guarantee.
  • Can you have some references? Any company who is proud of their customer service will have a list of customers for you to call and talk to.

Why Hiring Pressure Washing Companies Makes Perfect Sense

If you wouldn’t hire an attorney to fix your car or ask a fry cook to do your taxes, why would you hire anyone but a professional to work on your home and deck? People hire professionals to do what they are trained for, and we dedicate ourselves to being the ultimate professionals at pressure washing decks and patios.

Pressure Washing Companies: Excellent Expertise

Most chemicals available off the shelf get the job done in the moment, but can cause damage to decks overtime. Additionally, these harsh agents can ruin nearby plant life, poison pets, or even harm your family. Hiring a company with a background in pressure washing ensures you have an experienced employee doing your cleaning, not just somebody with a pressure washer. They know what they’re doing, and know how to clean decks and driveways without damaging the concrete or nearby plant life.

The ReNew Crew Clean Way

We become professional by doing what we do often. Accountants account. Cooks cook. Pressure washing companies pressure wash. What most customers don’t understand is, they don’t just want a pressure wash—they want a cleansing renewal. Hosing down your kid when they get muddy is just one step to getting clean. There’s still more to do. The same goes for decks. We’ve found the best way to get decks clean is:

  • using a special foam to lift dirt, dead wood, and other debris
  • rinsing away all the undesirables with the foam
  • sealing the deck with UV- and weather-resistant sealant

A Wholesome Approach

A standard power wash consists of blasting the wood so hard you blow the grey wood chunks right off it. Now you’ve got chunks missing from your deck, and it’s still no cleaner. A ReNew Clean is a more wholesome approach. We’re always looking for better ways of doing business. That’s why we decided to create a deck cleaner that did what it was supposed to do: clean decks, and nothing else. It’s a special non-toxic cleansing agent that gets the job done just as well as commonly-used chlorine or other harsh chemicals, but with none of the destructiveness.

Whether your porch or deck is wood or concrete, we’ll happily take the job and renew it to its former glory. We do it our way because we’ve found it to be the best way to get the job done, and that’s what professionals do.

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.

Does your house look dirty? Clean it!

I grew up in a house with beautiful grey vinyl siding. Every year my dad had it cleaned even though I could barely notice any dirt. He always told me that it was because he wanted to be ahead of the problem before it got too bad and the house looked dirty.

Three years after my parents sold the house we drove by to see it, for memories sake. I was heartbroken by what I saw. The house looked awful. The new owners had made some changes to the landscaping that was odd, but the big difference was dirt that had built up on the vinyl siding. It was awful. At that moment I knew my dad was right about his commitment to cleaning the siding (although I’ll never admit it to him).

Pressure washing vinyl siding is important with respect to keeping your home looking nice and making the siding last longer. That being said, it is important to have a professional do it so as not to damage the siding. Pressure washing is named that for a reason, it has a lot of pressure. If you aren’t familiar with the machine and how it works, it is very easy to gouge dents and holes into siding which could lead to moisture and mold build up underneath.

At Renew Crew, we use a foam on the side that loosens built up dirt and grime. Seen here, the foam sits on the vertical surface just for a few minutes.

Once the foam has had a chance to work its way through the dirt, we use non-damaging pressure to remove the foam and dirt. Look how effective it is.

Vinyl siding should be pressure washed on a regular basis depending on the outdoor elements. Call your local Renew Crew office to receive a free estimate.

Cleaning Up after Sandy

Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the Northeast this weekend and impacted a large part of the country. As we begin recovering from the damage, everyone here at Renew Crew is thinking of those affected by the storm.

Cleaning up after Sandy will take weeks for some areas and months for others. As some of your exterior surfaces may not look their best after the high winds and rain, Renew Crew wanted to offer some clean up tips.

*Brush off your decks, porches, patios, walkways, etc. to start the exterior cleaning process. Not only will get the leaves and branches off the surfaces, but an outdoor brush may be able to remove a large amount of the dirt that was swept onto it. When it’s swept off, you’ll be able to see if you need professional help.

  • If you don’t know how to use a pressure washer, don’t try. Call a professional. A power washer, when not used properly, can not only harm your outdoor surfaces, but you. Power washers are strong machines. When used correctly, they can have great results, but when done incorrectly, it can gouge your wood decks leaving clear lines where the power hit it. More important than your deck, however, is you, and pressure washers can cause serious injury. They can cut through the skin VERY easily and can push water (or chemicals if you are cleaning with them) under your skin.
  • Unfortunately after some big storms, some people try to take advantage of those people whose mindshare may be heavily divided. Make sure you are working with a reputable, licensed and insured company and not someone who popped up out of nowhere. That way, you you’re your outdoor spaces will be treated and cleaned the way they should be.
    If you have questions regarding exterior cleaning, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Getting More Out of Your Outdoor Living Spaces

When my husband and I bought our house, it already had a small deck on the back off the kitchen. Unfortunately after updating other parts of the house, we didn’t want to spend another $10,000 on a new deck when the one we already had one that was structurally sound. That’s when we realized that we just needed to get it cleaned and refinished.

That’s the idea behind Renew Crew, to get more time out of your outdoor living spaces before replacing them. Every deck, patio or walkway is going to show some wear as time goes on, especially in areas of the country that have harsh winter elements. Wood will fade and stains will happen. Renew Crew’s deck cleaning and sealing process will rejuvenate your outdoor spaces making them look new again.

Our Pre-Soak foam penetrates deep into the outdoor surface loosening and lifting embedding dirt. For especially difficult stains a specialized product may be applied to make sure we get the majority of the spot out.

After rinsing your deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living space with non-damaging pressure, Renew Crew seals the structure with a product that protects the space from dirt, grime and the natural elements. Our deck sealing product has special polymers that block those and UV rays that often fade your deck to grey.

Here are some great before and after pictures to show you what a different Renew Crew can make:

It’s More than Clean, It’s Renew Crew Clean

Welcome to the Renew Crew blog. Renew Crew is America’s most trusted Outdoor Surface Cleaner. We’re much more than a pressure washing company, we clean and protect your outdoor surfaces so they look better longer. We clean wood decks and fences, concrete paver patios, walkways and driveways, siding and gutters.

The idea behind Renew Crew started over 20 years ago with our founder, Stan Krempges. He was looking for a product that would effectively clean his outdoor surfaces. When he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he decided to create it. Thus, Renew Crew was born.

Our proprietary three step process is unlike most pressure washing companies. Most companies use bleach based cleaners that can damage the surrounding vegetation and their high-power washers can gouge surfaces. Renew Crew’s Pre-Soak foam is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. It clings to the wood, loosening dirt and killing mold and mildew. The bleach-free foam won’t hurt any bushes, trees or grass that may surround your outdoor living spaces.

The second step in our process is the Renew Crew Power Clean. Non-damaging pressure is used to rinse the space and release any dirt and grime. It will make your spaces look like new without any scratching of surfaces which is common amongst power washing.

Lastly, we have our protective finish. Most pressure-washing companies don’t provide any service that protects your outdoor living spaces after they clean it. We do. Our seals repel against natural elements and cover any pores that dirt likes to settle in.

Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. Take a look at our three step process here:

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