Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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

How to Choose a Deck Sealant

If you’re anything like me, the number of choices you have to make at a home improvement store can overwhelm you. The decision becomes infinitely more difficult when you don’t know anything about whatever it is you’re purchasing. Who knew there were so many kinds of white paint?


We often get questions on how to pick the right deck sealant. If you’re in the market for a product like this, here are some questions to ask yourself.

Do you like the look of wood? Do you enjoy seeing the wood grain and knots? If so, a semi-transparent protectant many be a good option for you. At Renew Crew, the vast majority of our clients choose a semi-transparent wood sealing product. It does breathe color back into the wood, but you can still see the details in the wood. There are still color choices like natural, cedar and brown and a pressure washing company like Renew Crew can help you decide which is right for your home.

If you want something that covers the material more consistently, you’re in the market for a solid deck sealant. Solid protectants look more like paint and sometimes have a slight sheen to them.


Is it eco-friendly? A lot of the wood sealants and protectants perform well, but few are eco-friendly like Renew Crew’s. If you are at all concerned with the surrounding landscaping or ground, look for an eco-friendly product that won’t harm it.

What does it say it protects against? Not all wood sealants work the same way. Take a look or ask what types of things it is protecting against. Most products will repel water, moisture, dirt, dust and grime from working its way into the wood’s surface, but there are other harmful elements out there. The sun’s UV-rays can cause a lot of damage to wood, drying it out and bleaching it. Renew Crew’s deal sealing product repels against those harmful rays.

If you have questions on cleaning and sealing wood surfaces, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office. We’ll work to leave you with an outdoor space that looks great.

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.

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.

Outdoor Update and Upkeep Ideas for Fall

With football, pumpkins, apples and changing leaves, what is there not to love about the fall? It’s my favorite season. As we transition from summer to fall, here are some of Renew Crew’s update and upkeep ideas for you to consider this season.


As the leaves change, add some the colors of autumn to your outdoor décor. There are so many options that will make your home look more welcoming to friends and family. An update that’s easy but beautiful is to add a few pumpkins and bunches of mums to your front porch. Mums are available in yellows, oranges, and deep reds that look great! If you want something more involved, find a place to get some hay or dried cornstalk to dress it up.

With the fall comes early nighttime darkness. To provide sure footing and increase the safety and security of your property, you can invest in outdoor lighting. Just a few path lights can make a world of difference along the walkways leading up to your home. Our sister company, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, provides beautifully designed, installed and maintained landscape lighting systems.


While making updates to your front porch and adding lighting will make your home look better, outdoor maintenance is still important in the fall. In fact, it can be more important than other parts of the year. Fall is known for its beautiful changing leaves, but those leaves can cause issues when not dealt with properly. As they fall, leaves will begin to puddle moisture and dirt. If they aren’t swept off walkways, driveways, decks and patios, it can lead to deep stains. Sweeping off your outdoor living structures as well as picking up any sticks throughout the season will pay off in the long run.

When it comes to cleaning your outdoor surfaces, in many ways fall is the perfect time to do it. During the fall and winter, a lot of natural debris can come in contact with your outdoor surfaces and settle in its pores. At Renew Crew, we clean surfaces, but we also protect them. That protection is important in the winter as it will stop a lot of the dirt and grime from getting into your decks and patios, leaving you with a great looking space come spring.

If you are interested in pressure washing and protecting your outdoor surfaces, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Wood Siding Requires TLC too

When it comes to being outdoors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it’s not surprising that outdoor surfaces need a little TLC from time to time. While power washing wood, concrete, vinyl or other outdoor surface with help aesthetically, it’s also important for the condition of the material.

This commercial building in the Charlotte area has a lot of wood siding. It’s beautiful with its rustic color and texture, however it was in need of attention. The wood had begun to dry out in the sun and grey. If you aren’t sure if your wood surfaces need cleaning and sealing, greying is one sign that it may be time to hire a pressure washing company. Another sign is if water is being absorbed into the surface instead of beading away.

When water settles in wood surfaces it can lead to mold and mildew. Mold and mildew, when not tackled appropriately and in a timely fashion can lead to deteriorating wood conditions.

With this structure, DIY was not an option. The height of the surface required the attention of professionals. Renew Crew of Charlotte was hired to clean and protect the surface. We were able to use our 3-step process to bring this wood back to life!

The first step is to spray the surface with our environmentally friendly wood cleaning foam. The foam is incredibly effective and is perfect for vertical surfaces. Instead of running down the wall like a liquid would, it adheres to the wood and penetrates deep into the surface.

After the cleaning solution is given a chance to work its magic, it is time to rinse the surface with the pressure washer, getting rid of the dead wood fibers, dirt and grime.

The last step is to apply the wood protectant and sealant. Renew Crew’s semi-transparent wood sealant comes in a number of colors but still allows the wood grain and knots to be appreciated. Because of the height of this space, Renew Crew of Charlotte had to use a roller instead of a sprayer.

If you have wood that needs some TLC, 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!

Renew Crew Enhances Franchise Recruitment Website

All of us at Renew Crew, America’s most trusted pressure washing company, are happy to announce the enhancement of RenewCrewFranchise.com, our franchise recruitment website.

RenewCrewFranchise.com aims to educate potential candidates on our business and franchising in general and help them to evaluate if it is a viable way for them to achieve their personal, lifestyle and financial goals. The site walks interested parties through 5 clear steps.

Step 1 is all about you. In these 5 pages, we’ll help you to evaluate if investing in a Renew Crew location is the right next step for you. We’ll cover some questions to ask yourself, how Renew Crew can help you to achieve your goals, why franchising works, if Renew Crew is specifically a good fit for you and some frequently asked questions.

You’ll learn more specifics on Renew Crew and its parent company, Outdoor Living Brands (OLB), in Step 2: About Renew Crew. First off you’ll learn about OLB, our family of companies, and our Code of Values. Then we’ll cover Renew Crew’s position as a market leader and our business model. Finally, you’ll hear from our clients in a number of testimonials.

Step 3 covers the training and support available to all of our Renew Crew franchisees, because franchising is all about being in business for yourself but not by yourself. Our training and support teams cover marketing and lead generation, accounting, sales and operations. Our franchisees will explain in their own words how the corporate support staff is here to help you grow your business.

Step 4 covers Renew Crew’s available markets and investment considerations. Currently, there are over 350 viable territories left in the United States. We’ll discuss what type of an investment a franchisee is expected to make as they enter and grow their business.

Lastly, step 5 discusses next steps to learn more about the Renew Crew opportunity. Each one of our franchisees goes through a discovery and qualification process where you learn all about us and we learn about you to see if we make a good fit.

Please learn more about Renew Crew at RenewCrewFranchise.com!

Deck Cleaning Revives Space

A few days ago I visited a friend who had recently repainted her guest room. The previously dark beige room is now a light blue-grey. It’s amazing the difference that it makes. The room is lighter and more inviting than before. Updating the surface of a room, home or exterior space can breathe new live into an area. And deck cleaning is no different.

Yesterday I came across some pictures from our Renew Crew of Lincoln team of some recent deck cleaning and sealing projects they’ve done and the transformations are incredible!

Take this deck for example. It looks as though the deck has been previously stained, but the color is now showing its age. It’s uneven and fading as well as chipping in key places like the railings and steps. Dean and Heather Ritchey, who provide deck cleaning and sealing in Lincoln, removed the existing stain and deep cleaned the entire space. Using a foam cleaner, they were able to remove any built -up dirt and loosen any dying wood fibers. After the deck was dry, they applied a semi-transparent protectant to the wood.

Doesn’t the space look more inviting? The color is even throughout all of it. Renew Crew’s protectant will stop water and dirt from settling back in the wood and will repel the sun’s harmful UV rays.

This next project from Lincoln is smaller, but still makes a big impact. Unlike our first example, the deck didn’t have a previous colored stain on the surface. Instead, the natural wood deck looked weathered and grey as wood that isn’t protected dries out and loses its color over time. The same three-step process was used on this deck to revive its color and quality.

And look at it now! It looks bright and new. The wood grain is now more easily appreciated with the protectant that the Ritcheys used.

If you have questions on how professionally cleaning your deck will enhance the space, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office.

How You Can Easily Add Some Curb Appeal to Your Home this Month

Happy National Curb Appeal Month! That’s correct, August is dedicated to helping homeowners increase their home’s curb appeal. Updating the exterior of your home to make it look better doesn’t have to be a big process. You can make it as strenuous or expensive as you’d like. If you aren’t sure where to start with your property, here are some ideas:

Landscaping. It’s normal for trees, bushes and flowers to grow during the spring and summer, but sometimes they get a little unruly. Trimming and pruning your landscaping can make a big impact on the curb appeal of your home. Regularly mowing the lawn also makes your home look well kept.

Pick up. With thunderstorms or outdoor play with kids and dogs, it’s normal for debris to be present on your property. Walk around and pick up an sticks, leaves, acorns and throw them away. If your kids are known to leave their toys outside, considering getting a storage bin that they place everything in when they are done for the day. Having a clean yard at the end of the day will make your home look more inviting.

Cleaning. Whether it’s your siding, walkways, steps or gutters, outdoor surfaces get dirty over time. Regular cleaning is a part of home maintenance. A pressure washing company, like Renew Crew, can visit your home and revive your outdoor surfaces so they look new again. Renew Crew even takes it one step further by protecting your surfaces from future dirt and grime.

If pressure washing isn’t necessary at this point, make it a habit to rinse off your outdoor surfaces with your garden hose.

Touch Ups. Painted surfaces are known to chip from time to time. Walk around the front of your home and make notes of the areas that may need a few touchups. This may include your railings, doors, mailbox and more. If you don’t have paint on hand, tester pots from your local home improvement store should be enough to fix minor touch ups.

A little effort on your property can go a long way when it comes to increasing your home’s curb appeal and what better month to do it than National Curb Appeal Month!

Cleaning Concrete in your Backyard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should I Clean and Seal my Fence?

Fences may not be an outdoor surface that you “use” like your deck, patio, driveway or walkway, but they still serve a purpose. They define your outdoor living space and property and keep your kids and pets in the yard (or your neighbors out). They, like all your outdoor surface, need regular maintenance to stay looking great.

But why do you need to clean and seal your grey and weathering fence if it’s just a border around your property? Here’s why:

Wood fences withstand a lot of elements being outside. It’s normal for mold, mildew and dirt to build up over time. All of that, plus the wood drying out from the sun’s harmful rays, can weaken the wood. Regular fence cleaning and sealing will make your fence last longer. It will keep the wood from drying out and breaking.

Fences are part of your outdoor landscape. Unless they are completely covered by bushes and trees, you will lookout into your backyard and to your fence. Don’t you want it to look nice? Take this deck for example. While the yard is nice and green, the fence is grey dreary. After a nice and thorough fence cleaning, it looks brand new and much more pleasant to look at while spending time outdoors with friends and family.

At Renew Crew, we recommend not only cleaning the fencing that faces your outdoor living spaces, but also the fence that faces the street and passersby. A clean and sealed fence will increase the curb appeal of your home, making it look like a property that is well cared for.

Fence cleaning requires a great outdoor cleaning product and pressure washing. At Renew Crew, we use environmentally friendly foam to clean wood. Pressure washing is important to removing the built-up dirt and splintering wood, but when done incorrectly, it can also leave marks and gouges in the wood. Hiring a professional to do the work ensures your fence is left undamaged.

Sealing the fence will bring back the color to the wood as well as protect it against the elements.

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

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.

Preparing for your Fourth of July Party

Independence Day is a little over a week away. If you’re hosting an outdoor party, it helps if you think ahead and prepare for the event in advance. While some things can wait until a day or two before the fourth, others can be done at any time, including getting your yard ready. Here’s a quick guide to making your space look great for your guests.

Whether it is from high wind and thunderstorms to dogs tumbling through the bushes, your yard may be in need of some picking up. Go around your property and pick up any debris including sticks and leaf and grass clippings. Not only will a quick clean up make your yard look better, but it will also be safer with less objects for people to trip over.

Your trees and shrubs are in the peak of their growing season and can start to look a little unkept. Trimming up any wayward branches can make your overall yard look neater. We suggest checking a pruning guide for suggestions on your particular plants to make sure you aren’t causing any damage. Plants right around your entertaining areas are the most important as you don’t want them poking or pricking any of your guests!

Add some color to the area with flowers! Your local home improvement store or nursery will have a number of flowering plants that you can place on your deck and patio for everyone to enjoy. Since it is the Fourth of July, look for red, white and blue flowers to bring some patriotic flavor to the space.

If your outdoor furniture needs a deep cleaning, tackle that task ahead of time. Instead of wiping the chairs and tables when your guests are arriving, clean the furniture properly a few days before the party.

Sweep and rinse off your decks, porches or patios to remove any caked on dirt or grime. If you have deep-set stains, contact a pressure washing company like Renew Crew to clean and protect your space. You’ll be amazed by what a thorough cleaning can do.

By taking care of your yard a week or so before your Fourth of July party, you can focus on the food, drinks and company when the day finally arrives.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Tips to Keeping your Deck Looking Great

At Renew Crew, we pride ourselves on providing the best deck cleaning and protecting services. Our three-step process will revitalize your wood deck, leaving a beautiful space where you are happy to spend time outdoors.


Wood, like all outdoor surfaces, require regular maintenance. It is exposed to the elements and will wear over time, however, there are tips that will make your deck look great longer.

Water can impact any outdoor surface when left pooling on the surface. Try to remove any standing water with an outdoor broom if it puddles on the surface. The longer standing water remains on the surface, the more likely it is to seep into the wood surface or leave harsh stains.

Remove any yard debris that lands on your deck. Leaves and sticks are the most common items to fall onto a deck. Sweep them off periodically so the dirt and grime that accompanies it can’t settle into the wood. This is very important in the fall months when leaves are falling for the winter. If left throughout the winter, you may have some harsh stains that will need cleaning.

It’s a best practice to rinse your deck with a mild cleaning product to keep it looking great. For some clients, rinsing with the garden hose will be enough, but if you see that it isn’t really doing anything, try mixing a solution of warm water and a mild dishwashing soap. Apply the solution before and after spraying the space with the hose.

A lot of homeowners invite birds into their outdoor spaces with beautiful bird feeders. While they are nice to see and hear, their droppings wear away at the deck protectants. Move birdfeeders away from your deck and further into the yard.

Even when using these tips, deck cleaning and protecting will be necessary from time to time. When your wood begins to grey and dry out, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office. Our cleaning and sealing process will allow you to enjoy your outdoor living spaces once again.

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.

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture and Accessories

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

Patio Umbrellas

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

Outdoor Cushions

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

Wrought Iron Furniture

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

Powder Coated Aluminum Furniture

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

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

Brick Patio Cleaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Environmentally Friendly Outdoor Cleaning and Sealing

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

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

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

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

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

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

When do I need to Seal my Deck?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips to Cleaning Your Gutters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Cleaning!

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:

Reviving Your Front Walkway

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Your Outdoor Cleaner Kill Your Plants?

If you are like me, you take pride in your yard. My husband and I, when the weather is nice, enjoy spending time outdoors and doing tasks around the yard. There is also that sense of satisfaction when you’ve finished mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes or planting some flowers.

One of my friends recently worked on some of her flowerbeds and then realized her patio needed cleaning. She went to the home improvement store and got some outdoor cleaning solution. At the end of the project, the patio looked great, but the flowerbeds she had worked on were nearly dead, all because of the cleaning solution!

A lot of outdoor cleaning products use chlorine bleach. It’s a great product to kill mold and mildew, but unfortunately it can kill a lot more than that. If it isn’t used properly, it can harm or even kill your landscaping, impacting the surface of the leaves and the growth.

It is very important that if you chose to clean your decks, porches, patios, siding, or other outdoor surface on your own that you follow the directions on the bottle very carefully. Do not just apply the chemicals and clean. They often have to be mixed or diluted before applying them to the space.

At Renew Crew, we use environmentally friendly outdoor cleaning products that won’t harm surrounding grass, bushes, trees, etc. Just because it is environmentally friendly does not mean that it isn’t strong however. The foam cleaner will kill that dreaded mold and mildew, without the harsh side effects and smells. It also loosens embedded dirt and grime from the surface so it can be rinsed away with water.

If you are hesitant to mix outdoor cleaning products, or aren’t exactly sure how best to clean your surfaces, call a professional pressure washer, like Renew Crew. We’ll work to bring your outdoor spaces back to life.

Improve the Safety and Appearance of your Child’s Play set

I clearly remember my first play set. My parents bought a wooden play set for my three older brothers and me. It had a swing set part, a bright green slide and a little house at the top that you had to climb up to go down the slide. It kept me busy for hours, but the second year we had it, the wood started to dry out and I got numerous splinters, ouch!

Play set, like fences and decks and other outdoor wooden surfaces, have to be cleaned and treated periodically to look good. And, in the case of swing and play sets, to keep them from splintering and causing cuts.

Any wood surface that stays outside all year is apt to dry out and fade over time. Heavy rain can lead to moisture, mold and mildew buildup. The sun’s UV rays affect the color and texture of the wood too.

When the sun hits wood, it starts to heat and dry. Wood that has some sort of protectant on it will hold the moisture, but as it dries, the wood will lose its warm color and turn grey. Not only will it look less than inviting, but it could also cause injury. Wood decks, fences and play sets will start to crack as the wood dries. Wood that is breaking down can cause some cuts and splinters if kids aren’t careful.

At Renew Crew, we use our 3-step cleaning and sealing process on wooden swing sets. The first step is applying a foam cleaner to the wood. The foam is environmentally friendly and won’t damage surrounding grass, flowers or trees, but is tough enough to loosen embedded dirt and dead wood fibers.

After the wood “cleaning product” does its job (normally around 10 to 15 minutes), we use a pressure washer to rinse the play set. The pressure is kept at a level strong enough to properly clean, without marking or gouging, the surface.

Lastly, we protect the wood from further damage and dirt with our sealing protectant. This very important layer will repel water from soaking into the wood and acts as a shield from the sun’s harmful rays.

If you have questions on cleaning and protecting your outdoor play sets and swing set, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Getting Your Deck Ready for Spring

This winter has been abnormally harsh for many parts of the country. I know that I am counting the days until the temperatures rise and I can spend time outdoors again. It’s about this time of year that I take note of my outdoor spaces and think about how I intend to use them this spring. Here are some tips for getting your deck ready for spring.

Clear off your deck and see how it’s looking. Outdoor living spaces go through a lot of wear and tear being outdoors all the time. And, unfortunately, many of us don’t take care of them properly in the off-season. Clear off any debris that is sitting on your deck and see how the space looks. If it’s already looking worn, call a professional pressure washing company to restore your space. I recently saw this before and after from our Renew Crew of Northwest Arkansas and instantly recognized how much better the space looks!

At Renew Crew, we more than pressure wash your deck, we protect it too!

Take inventory of your outdoor furniture. It may just be me, but when I pack up my outdoor furniture in the fall, I don’t always write down what I need to repair or replace. Go out and see what you have and what you need. You may need a new chair or table, or you may just need some polish or wax to make your patio furniture look great. Write down whatever it is you’d like or need and pick it up the next time you are out running errands or at a home improvement store!

Call any professionals you may need now instead of later. Pressure washing companies is just one example, but you may find yourself in need or some help to enhance your outdoor living space come spring. For example, if you plan on hosting some outdoor parties that you see going into the dark hours, call an outdoor lighting company (like our sister company Outdoor Lighting Perspectives) to install some deck or patio lights. Or, you may need a landscaper to come out and do some yard work. Calling ahead will ensure you are on their schedule.

Give your grill the once over. Making sure that your grill is in good working order will make it easier to fire up those hamburgers and hot dogs come spring and summer. Go outside and see if the grill needs to be cleaned or repaired. Trust me, it will save a lot of frustration if you think about this ahead of time!

We at Renew Crew hope these outdoor living and deck tips help improve your outdoor living experience this spring.

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.

Clean Up Your Commercial Property and Make it Welcoming for Customers

This past summer, my husband and I went on a short road trip to a town not too far from us. We went to a brewery that we had always hoped to visit that was known not only for their beer, but food. There was a large outdoor patio with tables for eating. Walking up, I couldn’t help but notice how dirty the outdoor space was. It was so filthy that we ended up leaving before order anything to eat, it just wasn’t a welcoming space to eat.

If you are a business owner or property manager, it’s important to take note of all components of a commercial property throughout the year, both inside and outside. First impressions matter when it comes to client satisfaction. They have to feel comfortable and welcome in a space. Here’s what to look for:

Landscaping. Make sure all of your landscaping is well kept and clean. Mulch shouldn’t be flowing out of beds and clients shouldn’t have to duck under any rogue tree branches. Weeds should be pulled to keep everything looking its best.

Paint. Paint isn’t known to last forever. Overtime, as it is exposed to temperature fluctuations, sunlight and other outdoor elements, it will fade and chip. Make note of anything that may need attention in the next year or so. Being proactive about it will allow you to plan any big financial updates you may need to make.

Lighting. If your business is ever open when it is dark outside, outdoor lighting is the easiest way to make your property more welcoming. Clients will feel more comfortable approaching your place of business if it is well lit. All walkways leading to and from entrances, as well as signs, should be lit. If the property is dark, potential clients may be hesitant to approach.

Cleaning. When it comes to the outdoor areas on your property, it’s important to have surfaces professionally cleaned periodically. It is truly amazing what pressure washing can do, even to spaces with stains and dirt build-up.

At Renew Crew, we work with a lot of commercial properties to make them look new again. Unlike other pressure washing companies, we clean AND seal outdoor spaces. Sealing the surface will keep it looking clean longer by stopping dirt, pollen, and other elements from embedding in the surface.

If you have any questions regarding cleaning outdoor surfaces, 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.

Foam Cleaner Instead of Liquid

A few weeks ago I posted about the different wood cleaning products that are available on the market. Some are super strong, but can be harmful while others aren’t strong enough for all of your cleaning needs. Renew Crew’s foam cleaner is the best way to get your outdoor surfaces, not just wood, looking brand new.

Several years ago (pre-Renew Crew) my brother “cleaned” the siding on his house. I say “cleaned” because I’m not exactly sure what it did (it didn’t look any cleaner to me). He sprayed some liquid cleaner on the siding which to me looked like it just ran down the side of the house without doing any cleaning. This is one of the reasons Renew Crew uses foam cleaner.

Renew Crew’s proprietary cleaning solutions come in foam form instead of liquid. We find that using foam allows it work deeper into the surface than liquid. Take this dirty deck for instance. It has greyed in areas and has mold and mildew built up on it. There a lot of cleaning to be done. Whatever cleaning solution is used, it has to dig deep into the surface, loosening embedding dirt and dead wood fibers and killing the mold and mildew.

Here is a picture of the fence mid-project. It has been foamed with our wood cleaner. You can see that the foam is sticking to the horizontal surface allowing it work its magic. Yes, it will drip down (it doesn’t defy gravity), but it takes longer to do so, giving it time to do its job. Liquid cleaners don’t do this. They drip down on horizontal surfaces or sometimes puddle on vertical ones. That’s why you may see projects that don’t look even in cleanliness or color.

With any outdoor cleaning product, even environmentally friendly ones likes ours, the surface does need to be rinsed. In most cases, a pressure washer is used because it provides the strength to get rid of everything that is rooted in the surface. We at Renew Crew suggest having a professional pressure washing company do this, especially if you aren’t familiar with using a power washer. It can not only damage your outdoor surfaces, but it can also be dangerous for the person using it if not handled correctly.

Here is the same fence after it has been cleaned and protected. Doesn’t it look great? The rich wood color is back without the dirty mold and mildew.

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

What should you clean your deck with?

At Renew Crew we pride ourselves on being the outdoor surface cleaning experts. Our environmentally friendly products leave our clients’ space clean and they don’t harm the surrounding vegetation. We’re often asked about the other deck cleaning products on the market and what makes us better.

Bleach is the most common cleaning product out there for wood. It is a strong product that does kill any mold or mildew that is built up on your exterior surface, but it bleaches the wood, giving it an unnatural color. The chemicals in bleach will continue to lighten the wood for weeks after the cleaning. When wood is cleaned with bleach a finishing product is often needed. Additionally if it gets into the dirt or onto the plants, it can harm them.

There are also detergents that look similar to dishwasher detergent that is made for outdoor use. Several different detergents are used outdoors with varying levels of success. Some make the deck look cleaner, but don’t help with the mold and mildew buildup, while others can be quite strong. Sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite are both known to eat away at the wood if left on too long. They can also add to the graying color.

If you search on the internet, you can also find a variety of recipes for DIY deck cleaners. They are also available at your hardware or home improvement stores. Knowing that they are made for DIYers and not professionals, they tend not to work as well (if it was too strong it would make ruining the deck pretty easy).

Renew Crew’s environmentally friendly deck cleaner is strong enough to remove dirt and grime, kill mold and mildew, and loosen dead wood fibers, but won’t eat away or damage your deck. Additionally, it won’t leave any lasting effects on the trees, bushes and flowers that surround your outdoor living space.

The best way to ensure that you don’t harm your deck in the cleaning process is to hire a professional deck cleaning business to do the work for you. From utilizing the right products and properly using the necessary equipment, a professional will be familiar with what they are going.

Please contact your local Renew Crew office if your deck is in need of some cleaning.

Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Living Lover

Christmas is just a week and half away; do you have all of your shopping done? Me neither. As we at Renew Crew are happy to be in the outdoor living industry, we wanted to offer you some ideas for the person on your list that loves the outdoors. We hope it helps!

If your friend of family member likes to cook or dine outdoors, consider a set of outdoor dishes as a gift. A few years ago that may have meant some plastic or paper plates, but outdoor dining has come a long way. Dishes are now not only made for the outdoors, but they are beautiful too. You are sure to find something in a color or design that the recipient will enjoy.

Sometimes people just want something beautiful for Christmas. Outdoor accessories are not only pretty, but unexpected as it isn’t necessarily the time of year to think about outdoor living. From a great planter to statue, outdoor accessories are a nice way to dress up a space or add a pop of color.

Outdoor living all about using the outdoor areas of your property as an extension of your home. The most used spaces are those that actually feel like rooms outdoors, that’s why a great outdoor rug is a nice gift to consider during the holidays. It will take that chair set on the deck or patio and make it into an outdoor living room. Outdoor rugs are available in a number of sizes and colors. We suggest reading reviews or at least researching materials to ensure that the rug you purchase won’t mold easily or the colors won’t bleed.

One of the best parts about the spring and summertime, for me at least, is the food. I love cookouts. From steaks and fish to hot dogs and hamburgers, I’m happy with everything that is thrown on a grill. If you have someone like me on your list, consider finding a nice grill kit to make for better cooking. There are sets that have anywhere from 5 to 20 different tools, but here are the ones you should make sure your gift includes: a spatula, tongs, fork and knife, temperature thermometer and grill brush for cleaning.

You know that we at Renew Crew are passionate about cleaning outdoor surfaces, but there is one tool that helps to keep it that way, a nice hose nozzle. A nozzle with a few different pressure options makes cleaning your decks, fences, patios, porches and other outdoor surfaces easier between pressure washing.

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

Cleaning your Wood Surfaces Correctly

From fences to decks, many homeowners have a wooden exterior surface. While they are great to have for entertaining and enjoying friends and family, they do require some maintenance. We are often asked the best way to keep your decks and fences clean. Here’s our guide.

Wood inevitably needs to be deep cleaned. It is outside all year-round! For deep cleaning, it is best to have a professional pressure washing company clean your exterior surface. A professional has the experience to ensure that your structure isn’t damaged in the cleaning process. At Renew Crew, we have a different way of doing things that the regular power washer.

The normal pressure washer uses harsh chemicals to kill the mold and mildew on wood and then uses high-pressure wash to clean. At Renew Crew, we have a three-step process that is much better!

Instead of using harsh cleaning chemicals, we use environmentally friendly foam to clean the wood. The foam is applied to all the wood surfaces and works its way into the wood, killing the mold and mildew and loosening all the dead wood fibers.

The foam doesn’t need too much time to work its magic. Once it is ready, we use a low-pressure wash to rinse everything away. In this step, the wood starts to look new again.

The last step in the process is protection. The normal pressure washing company stops at cleaning, Renew Crew doesn’t. Our proprietary polymers keeps the wood looking better longer by blocking the dirt and grime from working into the wood’s surface. It even blocks UV-rays.

Once your exterior wood surfaces are professionally cleaned, there are a few things that you can do to help your Renew Crew Clean look last. Periodically through the year, take a hose to the surfaces to wash off anything that is sitting on the wood. Pay special attention to the bottom of the fence that is closer to the ground. Dirt tends to bounce up onto the vertical surfaces. In the fall, sweep off the deck when leaves and other yard debris start to accumulate.

If you have any questions on wood surface cleaning, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Easy Tips to Dress Up Your Home for Christmas

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the decoration. I’m that person who has everything up the weekend after Thanksgiving and drives around town looking at all the lights.

If you are struggling to come up with ways to decorate your home for the holidays, here are some ideas for you to consider.

Lights. With the days getting shorter and the nights darker, lights are an integral part of any holiday display, but you don’t have to go crazy. Pick a few areas of your property or home that you want to pop at night. One thing to keep in mind is safety, nobody wants to be injured during the holidays. For example, instead of going up a ladder and hanging lights from the roof, stay inside and put string lights around each window for some definition.

Use what you have. Many homeowners already have something on their front porch, like a bench, chair or a planter. Instead of removing them for the holidays, dress them up! For example, if you have a planter on your front porch place some greenery at its base and place some outdoor ornaments on top for some pops of color. Wrap a bow around the planter itself to make it look like a present.

Garland and wreaths are synonymous with the holidays. Placing a wreath on the door instantly dresses it up and garland is a nice additional touch. If you have columns, consider place garland around it, or along railings on your front porch. If you want to add a little sparkle, grab some glittered pinecones from the local craft store and stick them in the branches or tie bows sporadically throughout the garland.

Choose what you love. Some of my favorite memories come from the holidays. Incorporating your favorite part of the season into your outdoor holiday décor is the best way to ensure that you love it. For example, I grew up in Maine and loved going sledding with family and friends after big snows. A few years ago I found an old sled that I bought to lean next to my door for the holidays. I tie some mittens with a few sprigs of holly to it and it’s perfect. My best friend hangs bells on her front door instead of a wreath because it reminds her of the Santa bells she used to hear.

The number one advice we at Renew Crew can give for your holiday decor is to make sure you love it. Have fun and we are sure you will come up with something festive to add to the holiday cheer.

Keep Your Walkways and Outdoor Living Spaces Safe this Winter

November means the beginning of the holiday season and the cold winter months in many parts of the country. As you prepare for friends and family to come visit this season, make sure that all your traveled pathways are safe in the cold weather.

We all know that ice and snow causes bricks and concrete to become slippery, but they aren’t alone. All outdoor living spaces, decks, porches, patios, etc. will become slippery over time due to mold and mildew. Mold and mildew build up on exterior surfaces when they aren’t properly sealed in a regular fashion. When it becomes cold and wet outside, surfaces can be slippery.

The best way to remove mold and mildew from exterior surfaces is to have them professionally cleaned. At Renew Crew, we are dedicated to not only cleaning, but also protecting, exterior surfaces with our environmentally three-step process: clean, rinse and protect. The last step is the most important in our opinion. Without protecting your outdoor surfaces, you will have to clean it more frequently than you would with protection.

As we go into the winter, now isn’t the perfect time to clean and protect your outdoor surfaces. Some parts of the country are too cold for some of the products. If you are having company this holiday season, we suggest trying one of these methods to ensure your guests don’t slip and fall.

Ice Salt. De-icing salt is one of the most common methods of not only melting ice, but also providing general traction on otherwise slippery surfaces. Make sure to read the packaging carefully to make sure it is safe for the structure material (some may damage certain surfaces for instance) and what surrounds it. There are also specific ice melts that are safe for pets and children if you have any furry or little ones playing outside on the space.

Sand. Sand is a great option for slippery surfaces that don’t require melting of ice and snow. It doesn’t have a melting agent, but it does provide grip. Scattering sand on the slippery areas of a walkway, deck, etc., or areas where you know there is mold and mildew, will give visitors more traction to decrease the chance of slipping.

When temperatures warm up again, make sure to take care of the mold and mildew on your outdoor surfaces. It will not only make your outdoor spaces look great again, but it will also make them safer in the long run. If you have questions, please reach out to 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.

Foundation Cleaning done Right

There are parts of everyone’s home that may not get the love that the others do. For me, that has been the foundation. It’s not something that I pay attention to on daily basis, but recently I took the time to look and it looked terrible.

When you think about it, it isn’t surprising that foundations get as dirty as they do. They are exposed to all the natural elements and more. Being next to the ground, dirt, grass and a number of other outdoor elements are constantly being thrown at your foundation.

Like all other outdoor surfaces, foundations too need regular maintenance. At Renew Crew, our 3 step process will make your foundation look great without causing harm.

The foundation of the home is essential to the structure and stability of the house. This is one area that we as a professional pressure washing company must recommend that you do not do yourself. Pressure washers can create cracks in the foundation when not handled properly, so please hire a pro.

The first step in our foundation cleaning process is applying environmentally friendly foam cleaner. Most outdoor cleaning products are made with harsh chemicals that can kill your grass and plants and even seep into the soil beneath. Our environmentally foam cleaner won’t harm any of the surrounding plants, but is still strong enough to loosen embedded dirt and kill mold and mildew.

Rinsing the foundation is the second step. We utilize a low pressure washer to get rid of all the dirt, grime, mold, mildew and more. This is when the natural colors of the brick or concrete foundation will come back to life. Many homeowners don’t realize just how filthy the surface was until it is clean again and this is where you see the difference.

The last step is the lasting protection. Once the surface is dry, a layer of protectant is applied, closing the surface pores, stopping the elements from making their way in again.

If you are looking for a professional pressure washing company, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Decorating Your Front Yard for Fall

Fall is my favorite season. The weather, the colors, the pies, it’s an overall wonderful time of year. As you look to dress up the front of the home for the holidays, we at Renew Crew want to offer you some ideas.

Mums are definitely the flower of the fall and can fit into many décor ideas. Whether you get them in a yellow, orange or a deep red, they are sure to enhance your front yard. One of our favorite ways to display mums is to a get a few different colors and sizes and place them together.

Consider adding different textures. Textures are a great to enhance any space, inside or out. There are a few textures that work really well for fall. The first is burlap. The warm colors of burlap complement the warm reds and yellows of fall perfectly. Place your flower and plant pots into a burlap bag or wrap them in burlap to add a beautiful layer of texture.

The second texture to consider is straw or hay. Putting a few hay bales on your front porch is a great way to dress your home up for yard. If full bales seem like a lot to you, placing a little bit of hay or straw underneath your other decorations (like your mums for instance) will still add something special to the space.

It isn’t autumn without a few pumpkins. They are the icon of the season after all. When picking pumpkins, get a few of different sizes to use throughout your space. In the last few years pumpkins of different colors having been gaining popularity. White pumpkins are great to mix in with the colors and textures of the fall.

Gourds, like pumpkins, are synonymous with fall, but they are primarily used inside the home, but they work just as well outside. Due to their variety of sizes, shapes and colors, gourds are some of the most versatile decorations.

The last design element is also synonymous with fall. What is fall without leaves? It’s a best practice to rake and remove your leaves as they fall in the autumn months. When they aren’t removed promptly, they can suffocate grass or can cause dirt buildup on decks, porches, patios, and walkways. Removal doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the leaves however. Using them as a base in planters is a great way to bring fall to the front porch.

As you look to decorate your outdoor living spaces this fall, chose what you like most. Whether it is a fall wreath, planters or other outdoor décor, the key is that you like it! Have fun!

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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.

Soft Washing and Renew Crew’s Alternative

From time to time we receive a few questions from homeowners on a method of cleaning outdoor surfaces called soft washing. We at Renew Crew don’t offer soft washing due to our company’s goal of cleaning and protecting all surfaces in the most environmentally friendly way possible and soft washing, in most cases, doesn’t reflect our goal.

So what is soft washing? Soft washing uses strong chemicals to clean exterior surfaces instead of cleaner and water pressure like we do. Many soft washing companies use industrial strength bleach called sodium hypochlorite to clean the surfaces. This type of liquid bleach is twice as strong as household bleach. We at Renew Crew pride ourselves on not using bleach on exterior surfaces because it is known to kill most living things, including plants and we don’t want our work to negatively impact a clients’ landscaping. Some soft washing companies will have an extra person on each crew to continuously rinse everything so the plants won’t be affected.

Bleach also doesn’t clean away the mold and mildew on the surface, it just kills it. After learning this, it reminded me of when I had my roof cleaned several years ago. The service provider told me that they would kill everything on the roof, but it would stay on the surface until a heavy rain. Knowing what I know now, he used a soft wash method. While the mold and mildew were killed and a lighter color on my roof (my house smelled like a pool for a week), it didn’t look clean until two weeks later when a heavy rain finally washed it away. At Renew Crew, we use a low gauge pressure wash to rinse away everything on the surface not only to make it look better, but it also allows us to know that everything is gone before we go on to protect the surface.

The biggest differentiator between Renew Crew and other pressure washing companies is that we take our cleaning to the next level by protecting the surfaces from the harsh outdoor elements. We aren’t confident that we can do that in an environmentally way by soft washing the surface.

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

A Labor Day barbeque to celebrate the end of summer

Next weekend is Labor Day, the symbolic end of summer. Kids will be going back to school and nights will begin to get shorter. Bid farewell to the 2013 summer nights with a great barbecue! Here are some ideas to get your planning started.

Prepare what you can in advance. One of the hardest things about hosting friends and family is that you are busy! Your loved ones are there to spend time with you, so think about what you can prepare the morning (or night) before the party begins. One of our favorite dips, for example, is better when it sits for a few hours before eating. All you need is a can of black beans (rinsed and drained), 9oz of corn, 1 chopped tomato, 1/3 chopped red onion, 1 chopped scallion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice from two limes, and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Mix everything together and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips. It’s a great summertime salsa that can accompany most dishes!

Have a game. While I enjoy sitting outside on a nice day enjoying the company of friends and family, sometimes having something to do makes a get-together a little more interesting. Consider having some type of game set up on your yard that guests can enjoy throughout the day. Or, if you enjoy a little competition, make some sort of championship out of it. Games like bocce, ladder ball, corn hole and lawn darts all make for great games and can be modified for different ages!

Keep the decorations simple. It’s Labor Day, so personally I say bring on the red, white and blue, but that doesn’t mean your outdoor décor needs to be overly complicated. Large super centers as well as grocery stores will have numerous options for napkins, plates and cups. If you have a blue and white checked table cloth, use some red napkins and cups and you are perfectly patriotic! If you want to throw in some stars and stripes, buy some of the mini paper flags and stick them in the surrounding garden, or even in the dessert!

Have something sweet. Speaking of dessert, it’s a must for any party. One of my all-time favorite desserts for a barbecue is the s’more. If you don’t have a fire pit or charcoal grill, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this delectable treat. You can make mini fire pits just for the barbeque! Go to your nearest home improvement store and pick up a few small terracotta pots. Line them with foil and place a few pieces of coal inside and there you have it, the perfect place to roast some marshmallows.

Spruce up your space. We all want our homes to look great when we have company over, but sometimes our outdoor spaces don’t get the attention they may deserve. Go outside and take a look. Does your grass need to be mowed? Do you have some branches that would be better if trimmed back a little bit? Is your outdoor living space clean? Sweep off any loose debris that may be covering your space. If you have some more embedded dirt, consider hiring a professional pressure washing company to clean your deck, patio, etc. We at Renew Crew, do more than pressure wash with our 3-step process and would be happy to answer any questions you may have on the best way to make your outdoor spaces look new again.

Happy Labor Day Everyone!

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.

Bring the Color Back Into Your Outdoor Spaces

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

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

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

to this,

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

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

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

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

Renew Crew is Coming to Nashville and Pittsburgh

We are so happy to announce that Renew Crew is coming to Pittsburgh and Nashville! Owners David Perlmutter and Sam Francescon are currently in the Richmond, Virginia headquarters for training.

Unlike normalpressure washing companies, our owners and technicians go through thorough training before they go out to clean any exterior surface. Pressure washers are powerful machines that have the ability to both clean your deck, fence, patio, siding, etc. and damage it. What many homeowners don’t understand is that when used incorrectly, a high powered pressure washer can create cracks, breaks and gouges in your outdoor living spaces.

During training, every new Renew Crew owner spends a week being trained on all aspects of the business. Parts of numerous days are spent outside in the field cleaning and sealing outdoor surfaces with two members of our franchise support team. They clean and protect all kinds of outdoor materials to learn the exact process that provides our clients with great results and ensures no damage is done to your property.

Our outdoor surfaces are exposed to a lot: foot traffic, rain, sun, yard debris, and more. It’s not surprising that over time they can start to look less than stellar. Just because it looks bad, however, doesn’t mean that it needs to be replaced. In many instances the structure of the project is perfectly sound, it just needs a spruce up. That’s where Renew Crew comes in. Our three-step process will make all the difference…

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

Why Hire a Pressure Washing Company?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Much More than a Deck Sealant

We at Renew Crew often get questions regarding our deck sealant and what makes it better than the rest that are on the market. The answer: it’s much more than just a sealant, it’s a protectant. Our protective deck sealant does have a staining factor, but it also protects the wood from further damage. What a lot of homeowners may not understand is that the sun’s rays are harmful to wood decks. They dry them out and turn the wood grey. Our wood protectant stops the sun’s rays and reflects them away from the wood.

While we have 9 color choices for our Renew Crew deck sealant and protectant, the majority of our jobs use two colors that we refer to as cedar and natural. Why with nine colors do we primarily use two? It’s because of the versatility of these two protectants. And just because it’s two colors doesn’t mean it has only two finishes. Let’s take a look at these jobs from Eric McVey, who provides deck cleaning in Northwest Arkansas.

Both of these two projects were finished with our cedar protectant, but the color doesn’t look exactly the same, does it?

The deck has a more subtle look while the fence is a deep reddish brown, that’s because the cedar color isn’t necessarily a specific color, instead it enhances the natural characteristics of the wood itself. If it’s applied to a redwood deck, it will bring out the natural red colors in the wood, while it will bring out the deep brown colors on a darker wood.

Here’s an example of the natural protectant. The decking was done with the natural product while the pergola was finished with cedar, which is a little darker. In both cases you can admire the natural grain of the wood. Water beads up on its surface as opposed to soaking into the wood just like some other stains, except it has a much more natural look. The vast majority of our clients prefer this over a blanketed color.

For those clients that do like something that is more uniform, we do have a variety of protectants that are always a standard color, but it does cover the wood grain. Take a look at this deck sealant from Renew Crew of Northwest Arkansas for an example. The color is consistent throughout, which is just what the client wanted and it looks great! It’s just a different finish which totally depends on your tastes.

If you have questions on any deck cleaning or sealing products, reach out to your local Renew Crew office. They will surely be able to help you with your outdoor cleaning needs.

Fourth of July Entertaining – bring on the red, white and blue

Next week is one of our favorite holidays here at Renew Crew: the Fourth of July. It’s not only because we get to celebrate this great country, but also because so many of the activities happen outside where we love to be. If you are entertaining for the Fourth, here are some ideas for you to consider.

Think patriotic. From dishes to décor, include red white and blue wherever you can. While most party and grocery stores will have patriotic table cloths and napkins, the possibilities are endless. If you have kids, have them make red, white and blue garland out of construction paper. It’s easy, but looks great. All you have to do is cut construction paper into strips. Create interlocking links by curling each paper strip into a circle and stapling into place. Hang it along your deck railing or up in the surrounding trees.

Another way to go patriotic is with the foods you have. Not only can you do blue and red berries in white dishes, but if you have a cake, think about incorporating the right colors. Here are some great ideas from Party Bluprints and Krissy’s Creations.

Have a great drink. Any hot barbecue needs a refreshing drink, right? One of my favorites is sangria because it screams summer due to the fruit. Here’s a wonderful recipe that my mom gave me: Slice an orange, a lemon and a lime. Place in a pitcher and mix in a bottle of red wine (a few tablespoons of Grand Marnier is a great addition). Add 7-8 tablespoons of sugar and stir for a few minutes while it dissolves. Add 8-10 sliced strawberries and stir again. Cover it up and let put it in the refrigerator for at least 10 hours (the longer it sits the better!). If you want a little bubble, add a little bit of sprite or soda water as you serve it. Yummy and refreshing!

It’s game time. This depends on who you have joining you, but consider having a game or two on hand for people to play as the party goes on. We suggest having something that takes 4-6 people so people can go in and out as they mingle and munch of snacks. It gives people something to do if the party is an all afternoon affair.

Clean it up. No one wants to celebrate the 4th in a dirty space. While Renew Crew is happy to do any deep outdoor surface cleaning you need on your property, you don’t need to have a pressure washing company to make your space look great for guests. Sweep off and spray down with a hose any decks, porches or patios that may be used for entertaining. A simple sweep can make your space look so much better without any yard debris! Then take a damp cloth and wipe down all of your outdoor furniture, getting rid of any dust, pollen or dirt that may be sitting on it. If you have outdoor cushion, spray them down with the hose the night or morning before the party, allowing them time to dry.

From everyone here at Renew Crew, we hope you all have a wonderful Fourth of July.

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.

Carpenter Bees in Your Wood Siding?

Carpenter bees are found throughout much of the southern and eastern United States. They resemble bumblebees except they have smooth and shiny bodies instead of hairy bodies. They also lack the pollen baskets on their legs that bumble bees have. They are not usually serious pests, although their tunnels can be damaging if the bees infest the wood annually to nest.


When carpenter bees nest they do so in wood and create tunnels in and out. The original entry hole is perfectly round and approximately a half inch in diameter. The tunnel turns at a right angle after penetrating the length of the bee’s body and runs across the grain of the wood.

Carpenter bees don’t usually create any structural damage despite their tunneling in wood, but that doesn’t make them any less annoying. Males are known to be aggressive when they are in their spring mating season, which may ruin your outdoor relaxation, but, don’t worry, the males can’t sting.

I for one don’t enjoy the thought of bees tunneling into my wood siding, deck, porch, fence, et cetera, but what can we do to prevent or treat them? Carpenter bees don’t tunnel into just any wooden surface. In general, they go after untreated, unfinished wood. Making sure that your wooden outdoor structures are finished and sealed is a great way to keep carpenter bees at bay. At Renew Crew, every time we clean and pressure wash a deck or any other wooden surface, we follow it up by protecting it. Our protective finish not only deters carpenter bees from tunneling, but also stops dirt and grime from settling in the surface.

If carpenter bees are already tunneling in your decks or fences, you’ll need an insecticide to get rid of them. The best method for bees is to use a dust type insecticide that can be shot into the tunnel holes. You’ll want to apply the dust in the spring months before the adults become active. If you wait, make sure to use the dust at night, reducing your risk of agitating the female bees. Angry female bees are known to sting to protect their nests.

So what do you do if you have tunnels in your wood that you would like to cover up? The first thing to do is to block and seal the nest holes so that future bees don’t find them (carpenter bees will use empty nests before creating new ones). Wood putty will work well to fill any holes. Once the deck is treated, the holes should be less noticeable. For instance, at Renew Crew, our protective finish will camouflage any preexisting holes and deter bees for the future!

If you have questions about maintaining wood structures, 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.

Cleaning Your Patio Makes a Big Difference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does Concrete Need to Be Sealed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Spruce Up that Wooden Bridge for Spring

There is a beautiful college in my area that I love to walk around with my dog. A lake is the center point of the school. A small island sits in the middle of campus, connected by two wooden bridges. Over the years, I’ve noticed the wood turn grey and a light green from mold in a few places. For a school that takes great pride in its appearance, its bridges are in need of some TLC.

Just like any other exterior wood surface, wooden bridges need to be maintained regularly. Due to their close proximity to water in many places, they sometimes need to be cleaned and sealed more often than a deck. Take this example from our Johnson County location for example.

This cart path bridge on a local golf course was in bad shape. Over time the wood weathered and turned grey. Additionally, the bridge got both foot and cart traffic, which embedded dirt in the surface. In the middle of such a gorgeous space, it stood out as sub-par (like what I did there?).

Using our deck cleaning process, the Renew Crew of Johnson County team was able to bring the bridge back to its originally beautiful state. Since this bridge traverses a creek, the property owners were nervous about the products contaminating the water and killing any of the fish and animals that live within it. Most wood cleaning products do have harsh chemicals in them that could harm plants and animals, but ours don’t. Renew Crew’s proprietary wood cleaner and protectant is environmentally friendly and won’t damage or hurt plants and animals that may come in contact with it, making it perfect for cleaning bridges. The finished product looks great and leaves its surroundings as is.

Decks, bridges, walkways, patios and other outdoor surfaces need to be regularly cleaned, especially on commercial properties. Commercial properties usually have more traffic than residential and thus the seals can wear away more quickly and the dirt can start to dig into the materials. If your property needs some attention, contact your local Renew Crew location.

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.

Cleaning Oil from Concrete – How do you do it?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions

We can’t expect anything to stay clean when it spends the majority of its useful life outdoors. It needs regular maintenance and cleaning to stay in top shape. One of the questions we get over and over again is how to clean outdoor cushions. Here’s what we’ve found useful:

Know your fabric. The first thing to do when cleaning your outdoor cushions is look at the tags and find what they are made of. Most outdoor cushions will have cleaning instructions right on them. It’s always best to follow the written instructions for your cushions.

Get them ready for the outdoors. Even though outdoor cushions are made to withstand some of Mother Nature’s elements, getting them ready each spring is the best way to ensure they continue to look great. You should always store your cushions in a dry place during those months they aren’t being used. When it is time to take them out for the spring, rinse them down with the hose to get rid of any dust that may have settled on its surface.

Rinse them down regularly. At Renew Crew, we believe to key to outdoor surface cleaning is regular maintenance. As opposed to patio, siding or deck cleaning that only needs to be done once a year or so, your outdoor cushions need to be cleaned regularly during the season to keep the fabrics in good condition. Take the hose to them once a week to get rid of any dirt, grime or pollen.

Get rid of stains as they occur.
With barbecues and outdoor parties, it’s hard for anything to stay spotless for too long. The key to getting the most out of your outdoor cushions is to clean as the messes happen. Most outdoor fabrics (make sure to check and follow the guidelines for your particular material) can be cleaned with a mild dish soap and water followed by a rinse with the hose. Just like any other fabric, the longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to remove.

Know their limits. Most cushions for outdoor furniture have a water repellent on the surface which means it holds up to rain quite well, but it may need to be reapplied from time to time. If you see that water isn’t beading up on the fabric like it used to, cover the cushions when it is raining or move them indoors until you have the water repellent reapplied.

Store. When summer has left and the weather turns cooler, move your outdoor cushions inside. Leaving them outside all year round will lead to fading and stains that you may not be able to get rid of.

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.

The 5 Ps of Exterior Maintenance

At Renew Crew, we are committed to providing our clients with clean exterior services that look like new, but there is more to creating the best outdoor areas that a home can have. To ensure homeowners are properly maintaining their properties, here are our 5Ps.

Plan. From cleaning to landscaping, outdoor maintenance can be both an investment of time and money. Homeowners need to plan for the financial implications of updates, as well as what time they may need to schedule so everything is done effectively.


Perform tasks on a regular basis to reduce seasonal wear and tear on your home’s exterior surfaces. Large projects are needed less frequently when issues or messes are dealt with on a regular basis as opposed to left alone to get worse.

Peruse the exterior of your home and outdoor living spaces. Most homeowners don’t walk around their property on a regular basis looking for things that may need to be fixed or updated, but you should. Taking the time to look at your home from various angles to determine any issues and repairs that need to be addressed is a key component of properly maintaining your home.

Protect your home and the environment by choosing maintenance and repair materials that are sustainable. Household products don’t have to be harsh on your outdoor living spaces or the landscaping around it.

Professional. You can’t be expected to know how to fix everything on your property. Whether its a roofer or a professional pressure washing company, it’s important to know when something is out of your skills set and it’s time to call a professional.

The home, for many owners, is the most expensive asset they have, so it is important to take care of it. It’s recommended to spend 1-2% of the property’s value in maintenance each year. If you need your exterior surfaces cleaned and protected, give Renew Crew a call! We would be happy to help you!

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 is my deck grey?

Homeowners spend significant money adding new outdoor living spaces to their properties and bask in its beauty when first completed. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t understand that wood decks need regular maintenance to maintain that beauty and are surprised when they see their gorgeous new deck turn grey and dreary. At Renew Crew, we’re often asked the question, “why did my deck turn grey?” the easy answer is that it wasn’t properly protected from everything that can affect it.

The sun’s UV rays are a big component to a greying deck. Like the sun burns the outer layers of your skin when left unprotected, it does the same to wood. It dries out and kills the outer layers of the deck, removing its natural pigments.

Decks go through a lot. Imagine how you would look if you had to stand outside through three days of rain and wind. Mother Nature beats up on decks, stripping away at the natural wood. As the wood gets weaker and develops small holes and pores on its surface, pollens, dirt and dust can get embedded, changing the color of the deck.

Water affects deck negatively as well. When the wood isn’t sealed, it will absorb any water that it comes into contact with. Over time, that moisture can lead to not only greeting, but also decay and rot.

Greying decks, fortunately, can be revived and brought back to their original beauty with the right cleaning and sealing. Renew Crew’s environmentally friendly foam penetrates deep into the wood’s surface, removing the grey wood and uncovering what is beneath. After the grey had been removed, it’s important to protect the wood for the sun, elements and dirt moving forward. Our protective finish will do just that. Take a look at the video below to see for yourself.

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.

Deck Restoration with Deck Pressure Washing Services

Washing your deck might sound like a needless task. After all, isn’t that what the rain is for? However, just like you clean the floor inside your home, outdoor decks needs to be cared for. Proper deck washing lengthens the lifespan of your deck and improves its appearance.

Pressure washing isn’t as easy as it looks though. Done incorrectly, it will chew up decks, kill expensive plants, and damage home siding. Power washing a deck properly takes a skilled hand with the right cleansing agents.

Have the Experts Do It

With all the Do-It-Yourself projects outlined online for adventurous people, it’s easy to forget that some projects need to be done by certified, experienced specialists. **Deck pressure washing is definitely one of those projects. You’re welcome to diagnose your own illnesses too, but we’d recommend a doctor who has studied and done it before. Just the same, trust your deck cleaning to a company with a successful history in the business: ReNew Crew Clean. We’ve done it before, and we know how to do it right.

How We do Deck Pressure Washing

ReNew Crew Clean’s revolutionary 3-step process involves washing the deck surfaces with our proprietary cleansing solution that is designed to lift debris, dirt, and the dead grey wood from your deck. Next, we wash all that away with pressurized water: strong enough to remove the unwanted wood and dirt, but soft enough to leave the lower layers undamaged. Finally, we spray the whole deck again with a sealant to protect against future weathering effects and UV rays, ensuring your deck will last longer and look better.

Happily Cleaned and After

After power washing, you’ve got a beautifully restored deck that’s free and clear of dirt, debris, and dead wood. We’ve placed a protective seal over the good-looking, healthy wood that’s now the top layer of your deck. It will be more resilient to rain and snow and the fading effects of burning UV rays.

That’s what we do at ReNew Crew. At the end of the day, we’re happy because we have another satisfied customer, and you’re happy because you’ve got a deck that looks like a million bucks, but for much less. Everybody wins, and that’s how we like it. If you’re interested in happiness, call ReNew Crew Clean today.

Sealing your Deck is an Important Part of Protecting your Space

We talk a lot on this blog about outdoor surface cleaning and the renewing your backyard structures. A key component that shouldn’t be overlooked, however, is the final step: sealant. Decks must be properly sealed to stop harsh natural elements from penetrating into the wood.

So what happens if you don’t seal your deck? The number one problem is moisture. As water is absorbed by wood, it leads to rot and decay. Dirt and debris can also build up in the deck’s surface if it isn’t protected in some way.


Most decks need to be sealed every year or two. If you aren’t sure if your deck needs to be sealed, drop some water on its surface and observe. There are two outcomes, beading or no beading. If the water beads up on the surface of the wood, your deck may not need to be sealed yet. If, the wood takes in the water, it’s time to seal.

Sealants are available in a wide variety of colors and finishes, but some are better than others. Make sure to ask what it will look like and how long it will last. At Renew Crew, our protective finish is the finishing touch on our deck cleaning process. Our environmentally friendly finish will seal the wood surfaces’ pores so that water, dirt and grime can’t make its way in and ruin your structure. Additionally, the Renew Crew finish has special polymers that enhance and prolong the beauty of the wood. It even fights off UV rays that can dull or discolor wood decks.

If you have questions regarding sealing your deck, please contact your local Renew Crew.

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.

Renew Crew Welcomes New Franchisees

We are happy to announce our newest franchisees that have joined the Renew Crew team. This week welcomed new offices in Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina and Michigan. They will be providing deck cleaning and sealing in their respective markets starting soon.

Renew Crew is a franchise company based out of Richmond, Virginia. When a new franchisee joins our team, they come to Richmond for a weeklong training process. They are thoroughly trained on all aspects of the business including marketing, sales, products, best practices and more. One of the largest parts of training is hands-on where outdoor living spaces are cleaned and protected.

Our new locations are: Renew Crew of Greenville, Renew Crew of Charlotte, Renew Crew of Southwest Michigan, Renew Crew of Montgomery County and Renew Crew of Greater Columbia.

If you are interested in learning more about Renew Crew, our three-step process and how it can leave your outdoor spaces looking like new, please contact your local Renew Crew office or visit us at RenewCrewClean.com.

Winterizing Your Outdoor Living Space

At Renew Crew, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the cleanest outdoor surfaces they can have. Whether it’s a deck, siding, patio, gutter or walkway, we try our best on bringing your surfaces back to life, however there is more to keeping your outdoor living spaces clean that you can do at your home.

This is the time of year where homeowners pack away their outdoor furniture and accessories for the winter, but it’s not enough to put them in storage and leave them until next year. Taking a little extra time now while make sure you are pleased with everything in the springtime when it’s time to use everything again. Here are some tips for winterizing your outdoor living space:

Figure out what can stay outdoors and what needs to be stored. Some homeowners think that if it’s meant to be used outdoors, it can stay outdoors all the time without damage. That isn’t the case. For example, plastic furniture tends to turn brittle if left outside all year round, so it’s important that it is taken out of the elements in the winter months.

Vacuum and spot clean any outdoor cushions or rugs. The longer dirt sits on any fabric, the more likely it is to stain. Dust, pollen and dirt will build up over the summer, so take the time to vacuum and spot clean everything before storing them for the winter.

Don’t cover or seal any furniture, accessories or rugs that are damp. Dampness leads to mold when not handled properly. Make sure everything is completely dry before covering or sealing it.

Do some research and see if anything should be treated before the winter. For example, teak is a dense wood that repels bugs and rot very well and can stay outside all year round. It is best, however, if it is treated with an oil before the harsh winter elements. Similarly, it’s important to wax aluminum furniture periodically for it to last longer.

As the winter continues, brush off anything that gathers or falls on outdoor furniture. For example, as the snow or ice melts and leaves puddles on your covered furniture, go out and knock off the standing water. It will keep your covers in better shape and stop anything from getting to your furniture.

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 Gutters for a better look

As leaves fall off the trees and onto yards and homes this time of year, it’s important to spend some time cleaning out the gutters around your roofline. When leaves and debris build up in gutters, rainwater can’t move properly away from your house and can penetrate under roof shingles. Additionally, when water sits in a gutter it becomes the perfect place for insects to breed and nest. Yuck!


At Renew Crew, we pressure wash gutters to improve their appearance and make them last longer. When gutters aren’t properly cleaned and maintained, a buildup can occur in the gutter, weighing them down and weakening the coating, decreasing their life. Dirty gutters can also result in water streaks down the front of the gutters and sometimes onto the house’s façade. Renew Crew’s trained technicians wash away that build-up and leave your gutters looking like new. Depending on the trees on your property and how often you clean out your gutters, pressuring washing gutters may be needed every year or two.

Here are tips on cleaning out your gutters effectively and safely:

*Team up. Make sure you have at least two people helping with the project. One to clean the gutters and one to hold and steady the ladder.

  • Wear the appropriate items. Shoes with rubber soles with some good traction are important. As the gutters are cleaned out, built up moisture will come out too. As the project continues, the ladder may become wet. Rubber soles will keep you from slipping. Debris in the gutters can be ridden with bacteria as insects, animal droppings and mold, so wear gloves to protect yourself. Lastly, eyewear is a must, especially as you use a hose. Debris, leaves, etc. may come lose as you clean and you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t go in your eye.
  • Secure a bag or bucket to your ladder. Holding a filling bag or bucket in one hand and using the other to clean your gutters leaves you without a hand to steady yourself. Secure the bucket or bag to the ladder so you have one hand free.
  • Don’t use metal scoops. Whatever you use to clean the debris out of your gutters, don’t use a metal object. The metal of the scoop can damage the metal of the gutter itself.
  • Hose it down. After you’ve cleaned the large debris from the gutters, rinse it down with your garden hose. While it won’t remove all of the built up grime, it will wash away the smaller debris and show you if missed any clogged portions of the gutter.

If you have questions regarding cleaning or pressure washing gutters, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

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.

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.