Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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

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!

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.

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.

Evening Out the Color of Your Wood

Outdoor living structures have to withstand a lot being outside in the elements all year round. It isn’t surprising that sometimes they have to be updated or parts have to be replaced.

I was recently walking my dog around the neighborhood when I noticed a fence that had had some work done. The majority of the fence was a greying wood. It was probably installed several years ago. In the middle of the space, however, was a section of brand new wood boards. They were clean as can be and had obviously been replaced a short time ago. The replaced section made the rest of the fence look even worse than it was.


New wood boards stand out when installed next to boards that have been out in the elements for years, just take a look at this deck to the left. There is a way, however, to update the old boards so they are close in color and look to the new. First, the old wood has to be thoroughly cleaned. A wood deck cleaner will loosen the dirt and grime that has built up on the wood over time. Additionally, and more importantly in the case evening out the appearance of the structure, a good deck cleaning product will loosen the dried out, greying wood fibers.

Once the cleaner has worked its magic, the surface can be pressure washed. The pressure of the water will rinse away the dirt and dead wood fibers. During this step, you’ll notice the difference in the wood’s appearance. It will begin to look similar in color to the new wood boards. It helps if the new wood is also cleaned too.

The last step is to apply a protectant to both the old wood and the new wood. At Renew Crew, our semi-transparent wood protectants and sealants allow the wood grain to show, but does add some color to the space. This picture shows the same deck as above and you can’t tell which board is new and which is old!

If you need to have the color of your deck or fence evened out, please contact your local Renew Crew.

Revitalizing Your Front Walkway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

What Color Should I Stain my Deck?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dock Cleaning that Won’t Harm the Water

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

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

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

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


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

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

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture and Accessories

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

Patio Umbrellas

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

Outdoor Cushions

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

Wrought Iron Furniture

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

Powder Coated Aluminum Furniture

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

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

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:

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.

Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The food, the family, it just doesn’t get better to me. If you are looking for some ideas to for the perfect meal, you’ve come to the right place. From the Renew Crew family to yours, we hope you enjoy.

If you are hosting friends and family this Thanksgiving, we understand that the day can be a little hectic, so keep the appetizer simple. These bite-sized goodies are delicious and easy!

Brie and Sweet Chili Cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of mini filo cups
  • Wheel of brie cheese
  • Sweet chili sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the filo cups on a cookie sheet. Cut up the brie and place small squares of cheese in each cup. Spoon just a bit of the sweet chili sauce on top (if you like spice, add more). Stick in the oven for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!

Potatoes are a must on Thanksgiving, but I’m a big fan of cooking what I can before and heating it up on the special day. Holiday mashed potatoes are the best because they are absolutely mouthwatering, but they have to be prepared at least a day in advance.

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 12 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • salt & pepper

In a large mixing bowl, beat potatoes until lumps are gone. Add cream cheese and butter until completely mixed. Stir in the sour cream, then the milk, eggs and onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Beat until light and fluffy. Place the mixture in a greased casserole dish and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until slightly brown at top.

What would Thanksgiving be without dessert? Whoopie pies are one of my favorite desserts for special holidays. I make them a day or two in advance and they are perfect.

Whoopie Pies

For the cake mixture:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
  • 2 sticks of butter, melted
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Place tablespoons of mixture on baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes at 350.

For frosting:

  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ c Crisco shortening
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T milk

Frost the whoopie pies while they are still slightly warm and wrap individually in saran wrap.

From everyone here at Renew Crew, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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.

Leaves, Acorns and Sticks, Oh My!

As a girl from the great state of Maine, I love the fall, especially the fall foliage. The bright yellows, reds and oranges make me very happy, but do you know what doesn’t make me happy? When they all fall to ground and have to be picked up. A necessary evil is how I would describe it.

Last fall I would have described my yard has a disaster area. Not only were leaves covering every inch of our property (we have a ton of mature oak trees), but acorns were dropping like crazy (you’re welcome squirrels). Along with the falling leaves and the acorns, we also had sticks that would come down from the trees when the wind blew strongly.

While I would much rather sit on the couch and watch Shark Tank all day, cleaning up the yard in the fall is a very important task when it comes to outdoor maintenance, especially when it comes to your outdoor surfaces.

As beautiful as they are, leaves can carry and hold a lot of dirt, especially when they are on the ground. If you let them sit on your outdoor surfaces, they can become dangerous and cause stains.


The nights are getting longer which mean it gets darker earlier. You may not be able to see clearly as you travel to and from your car at night. This is where your yard debris, when not removed in a timely fashion can become a hazard. Leaves not only become slippery when wet (not to mention when they are covered with frost in the mornings), but they cover up what lies beneath, increasing your chances of slipping and falling.

Leaves, acorns and yard debris can make your outdoor surfaces dirty. They can puddle in the rain and hold a lot of dirt, dust, etc. If they aren’t swept off the deck, patio, driveway, walkway and other outdoor surfaces, the dirt elements will have more time to work its way into the material, leaving stains and spots.

Acorns can cause more lasting damage if they split open and try to work it’s way to the ground. We actually found one acorn on our property that had rooted in between two pavers. Luckily for us it didn’t cause any damage to the paver, which it could have, but instead it was just difficult to remove.

At Renew Crew, we suggest sweeping off your outdoor living spaces once a week until the leaves are no longer falling. If you do leave your yard debris to settle only to realize you need a professional pressure washing company to clean it, please call your local Renew Crew office. We are much more than your typical pressure washers. Not only do we clean the surface with our environmentally friendly products, but we also protect your surfaces against more damage.

Preparing Your House for the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner, which means it is the season of cheer and company. Growing up, I must say, that my house always looked its best in November and December. Why? Because it was always filled with expected and unexpected visitors and my parents always wanted the house to look great.

Preparing the house for the holidays didn’t just happen inside the house. Yes, my mom was a cleaning fiend that time of year, but we all took notice of the outside of our home as well. The yard was always picked up, walkways brushed and house cleaned when needed. Yes, I said the house itself was cleaned. We had vinyl siding and just like any other outdoor surface, it required periodic maintenance.

Vinyl siding is the most common choice when it comes to siding. It is available in so many styles and colors and is very durable so it isn’t surprising that it is used so often. It does however, get that dull, weathered look over time. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be replaced, it just needs to be cleaned. If you are like my family and have visitors during the holidays, now is the perfect time to clean your vinyl siding.

At Renew Crew, we use the same three step process that we do on all of our projects on vinyl and the difference is amazing! Take a look at this siding before we visited. You can see that the dirt and dust has settled on the surface.And now look at what it looks like. Quite the difference a thorough cleaning can make.

The first step is foam the siding thoroughly. We use foam siding cleaners because it clings to the surface more than a liquid based cleaner. Liquid cleaner runs down vertical surfaces before it has the chance to remove dirt or kill mold and mildew. Additionally, our cleaner is environmentally-friendly, so our clients don’t have to be worried about surrounding plants or trees.

After the foam has the chance to work, killing and removing whatever was on the siding, we use a pressure washer to wash everything away. Vinyl is durable, but a pressure washer is strong. We’ve had calls from homeowners that have made the mistake of pressure washing their home before, just to use too much pressure and crack the siding. It is always better to have a professional come out and pressure wash any of your home’s outdoor surfaces.

Lastly, we apply a protectant to the vinyl that will keep it looking better longer.

After cleaning your siding, your home will be ready for your holiday decorations and your visitors to arrive. If you have any questions regarding outdoor surface cleaning, please call your local Renew Crew office.

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.

Semitransparent vs. Solid Wood Stains

When it comes to the Renew Crew proprietary 3-step process, we are firm believers that the most important step is the last one, protection. Without a seal to protect the wood deck or fence, it will get dirty again more quickly. We are often asked about our wood stain and why we go with a semitransparent seal as opposed to a solid wood stain.

When it comes to protecting your outdoor living space, ultimately the look and finish that you like is most important.

Solid wood stains look and act like a paint. The color is even across the entire space, but they hide the beauty of the wood. The wood grain and knotting cannot be appreciated under a solid wood stain. If you like that consistent look, it may be a better choice for you.

Solid wood stains, do have some downsides. They do tend to show wear more quickly than a semitransparent seal. The areas of the space that are most travelled will show over time. Also, depending on the product, it can be difficult to remove for future cleaning and sealing.

One of biggest threats to wood is the sun and its UV rays. That’s why we don’t consider a clear sealant. Clear sealants don’t provide the UV protection that is necessary for long-lasting protection, greying your wood quickly.

At Renew Crew, we realized the best sealant is a semitransparent one. The semitransparent seal allows the polymers to penetrate deep into the wood for a good seal that will last. It blocks the sun’s rays and stops moisture and dirt from working their way into the surface.

Wood, to us, is beautiful. We like to see the beauty of it through its grain. As much as we can, we try not to cover that up. The semitransparent seal brings color and life back into the wood surface in a natural and beautiful way.

Renew Crew does have several colors of semitransparent seal. The most commonly used colors are the natural and the cedar. While the same color may be used on several decks, it may not look the same on each one. They bring out the natural colors and tones within the wood. So one deck with cedar sealant may look more red than the next. It’s all about enhancing the natural beauty of the wood.

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

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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.

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.

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.

Get Rid of the Nasty Stains and Keep the Driveway Looking Great

Concrete is the most preferred material for driveways owing to its strength and hardness. However, it also has a high absorption quotient that makes it a cleaner’s nightmare. Unsightly oil stains on the driveway are a huge menace, are impossible to clean, and look hideous on the driveway. No matter how hard and long you scrub or hose them, they simply refuse to give in.

Various folks have some really creative but vague remedies for removing such stains from concrete. One of the most remarkable of these is kitty litter. Just put some kitty litter over the stain and leave it there for a few days before you sweep it off. That could take a good part of the stain away. However, even that wouldn’t take away all of it – and even if it did, it would probably be a fairly messy task obtaining adequate kitty litter for all of the stains.

That is why you have to rely on the experts. Some jobs simply need a professional approach. The ideal way to clean obstinate stains from concrete surfaces is to use a pressure-washing apparatus. What this equipment does is, it releases jets of water with extreme pressure, directed at the stain. The sheer force of the jets pushes the dirt away from the pores of the concrete. This achieves maximum cleaning, leaving your driveway as good as new.

Do remember, however, that anything with the words “High Pressure” attached to it needs professional handling. It may not be a good “Do It Yourself” idea. You can get pressure washers for hire at stores. However, unless you possess adequate training in handling pressure washers, you are strongly advised against doing so. If not handled properly, the pressure in these washers can rise up to 50 times more than the average garden hose. Such pressure can easily crack or chip the surface, making things even uglier than the stain. So stay safe, use your cautionary instincts, and call your trusted pressure washing service providers such as Renew Crew.

Not only do the professionals know how to operate the pressure washer skillfully, but they also use just the perfect amount of a cleaning solvent that loosens the stain particles and aids the process. After the cleaning is done, they apply a sealant over the treated area to prevent further staining or damage and give the entire area a refurbished, “good as new” look,

Stains aren’t a good thing anywhere. They look ugly and lower your property’s aesthetic appeal. Get rid of them effectively and keep your driveway and other surfaces clean with expert pressure cleaning services such as Renew Crew.

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.

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.

Homeowner Need to Know: Pressure Washing Siding

Vinyl siding is popular because of its durability, flexibility, and high level of performance. It is a popular alternative to wood, aluminum, and fiberglass siding. It tends to require less maintenance, but careful and strategic cleaning should be executed regularly to prevent damage or loss of beauty. One of the most popular preventative maintenance measures is pressure washing vinyl siding, but it is best left in the hands of a trained professional.

There are many reasons why a homeowner should hire professional cleaners such as Renew Crew. One of the most powerful arguments in favor of hiring professionals is they know exactly what equipment and cleaning agents to use to do the job right. Their fees are well worth it. In addition, there are certain steps that should be taken before cleaning to prevent damage when pressure washing siding. Most homeowners are unaware of the preventative measures that should be taken when cleaning.

All Vinyl Siding Products are Not Created Equal

Vinyl siding comes in varying levels of quality and durability. Some siding is durable enough to stand up to power washing, and some will sustain damage from pressure washing. Since most vinyl siding is installed under warranty, it is good idea to double check to see if certain cleaning agents or techniques would void the warranty. Be sure to share your warranty with the cleaners so they know how to proceed.

Removing Ugly Mildew

Vinyl siding can be a prime environment for mold and mildew which is most often seen in areas that are frequently exposed to moisture – such as those that get hit with spray from sprinklers or runoff from gutters. A lot of homeowners assume bleaching will remove the stains, but forget the harsh chemical may damage the siding. Companies that specialize in pressure washing vinyl siding use professional strength (and non-toxic) chemicals with fungicides to gently remove mildew.

Preventing Color Loss

Pressure Washing SidingMost vinyl siding looks beautiful for about 15 years if properly maintained. Homeowners damage their investment and decrease their home’s curb appeal by carelessly using bleach or other chemicals, or excessive pressure and scrubbing. Professionals, such as those from Renew Crew, know exactly how much pressure and which chemicals to use to provide effective, safe, and non-damaging cleaning when pressure washing siding.

It is easy to damage your vinyl siding with a well-intentioned but poorly executed cleaning! If your siding is dingy and dirty, it is probably best to leave the task to professionals.

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.

Save Time and Energy with Professional Deck Pressure Washing

With maintenance, care, and attention to detail, most things in and around the home will last a long time. However, when surfaces are ignored, they gather dirt and grime, losing their attractive appearance and even sustaining damage. This is especially true with concrete driveways and wooden decks. Unless you stick to a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule, a do-it-yourself cleaning could actually cause more damage to the surfaces in the process.

Homeowners need to remember they can hire deck pressure washing professionals to maintain cement and wooden surfaces. Unlike homeowners, professionals use powerful eco-friendly chemicals and the right tools to clean damaged surfaces. Professionals are highly experienced with pressure washing and employ sophisticated techniques and professional cleaning agents to remove unsightly buildup from wood and concrete surfaces. One of the best parts about hiring a professional is that they usually guarantee their work – they are pros at making your home look like new. Professional cleaners also offer other benefits:

Manage Mold

Thorough deck cleaning manages mold. Over time, surfaces become safe havens for dangerous mold, especially wood decks and patios. As moisture builds up within, it creates a perfect environment for mold to grow. Mold then becomes airborne and can cause a range of health problems including respiratory diseases. It also contributes to the decay and breakdown of a surface.

Restore Dingy Decks

Both cement and wood surfaces take on a dingy weathered look over time – especially wooden surfaces. Professional deck cleaning should include expert pressure washing and sealing services to restore a surface to its original beauty. With wooden decks, cleaning companies such as Renew Crew seal the surfaces with polymers to protect against UV rays and moisture accumulation in the future.

Maintenance Saves Money

Regular pressure cleaning is an effective preventative maintenance measure for wooden and cement surfaces. For wood, the cleaning and sealing works to maintain the integrity of the wood. For cement, cleaning helps to remove stains and seal cracks so that unwanted vegetation and mold cannot grow. Regular maintenance prevents the need to replace wooden and cement surfaces prematurely, saving money over time.

Patio and deck cleaning is an arduous task. Few people do the job right when they do it themselves. Companies such as Renew Crew provide safe, effective, and economical pressure cleaning services.

Why to Hire Professionals for Cleaning Concrete Patios and Porches

If you are hosting an important party or special social occasion, you may want to do more than a light cleaning – especially if you will be hosting the event on your patio. Of course, you are more than welcome to attempt to scrub away dirt, debris and build up, but the results will be less than satisfying and it is hard work. It is a better idea to hire professionals that are experts with cleaning concrete patio spaces. Here are some reasons why it is advantageous to hire professionals:

Proven Results

If you spend a little time looking online or talking to friends and family, you will find many interesting ideas on how to clean concrete floors on your own. Some people swear by baking soda, others claim that a mix of ammonia and water will get the job done. Nothing a homeowner can do will clean concrete as well as commercial pressure washing and you will wonder why you bothered to try.

The Right Cleaning Agents

Another concern is the type of chemicals. There are often plants, pets, and family members to consider when using chemicals. Lots of things can go wrong when chemicals are in use.. This is why it is beneficial to hire professional cleaners like Renew Crew. Renew Crew uses powerful nontoxic chemicals that clean effectively without harming anything.

Time – Saving

If you are thinking about cleaning your patio in advance of a party, you have better things to do then scrub cement. Even if you do not have a party to plan, you still have better things to do! Professional cleaning services prevent you from having to spend any of your precious time on such a tedious, strenuous task.

Protect with Sealants

Concrete patios are especially durable, which is why many people choose them. Over time, concrete will lose beauty because it is porous and can get damaged by regular use. Even well-meaning homeowners can do damage to concrete patios by misusing chemicals. It is difficult to restore concrete on your own, but cleaning professionals who specialize in commercial pressure washing techniques can restore its beauty and preserve it using a polymer sealant.

Professional cleaning services allow you to focus your precious time and energy on things that matter, rather than strenuous scrubbing. Pressure washing specialists such as those at the Renew Crew are your best bet when it is time to clean your patio.

How to Keep Concrete Floors Looking New with Concrete Cleaning Services

Homeowners often take great pride in keeping their home’s floors clean and sparkling. They use mops, brooms, deck brushes, and various other tools to keep the inside of the home clean. Unfortunately, many overlook exterior surfaces until it is too late. A similar situation is often seen outside the home, where beautifully manicured gardens outline deprecated concrete surfaces like patios, driveways, walkways.

It is easy to forget about these surfaces we walk on every day – that is until it becomes a problem or an eyesore. Unfortunately, at this point cleaning and maintaining becomes a major task. It is a good thing that homeowners have the option of hiring professional concrete cleaning specialists to restore and beautify their exterior concrete surfaces.

While it can be tempting for homeowners to try to do it themselves, the results are typically lacking. While basic washing will remove built-up dirt, fungus, and mold, washing will do little to remove the grime that has worked itself into the concrete. In most instances, DIY cleaning is best reserved for maintenance, not restoration.

Concrete is porous so over time grime, dirt, and other contaminants work themselves deep into concrete. Surface washing will simply not do. In fact, even after a day of intense scrubbing it may look just as dirty as it did before! The only way to get satisfying results and restored concrete surfaces is to call professionals who specialize in pressure washing.

Most professionals follow a three-step process to restore and clean ugly concrete surfaces. These pressure cleaning specialists will begin by applying a special, non-toxic solution that helps isolate these deeply embedded impurities. Then they use water pressure to blast the dirt away and remove impurities from within the concrete. Once it has fully dried, they will apply eco-friendly sealants to help protect and preserve the concrete.

The special concrete sealing process is what maintains the surface into the future. Companies such as Renew Crew specialize in using pressure washing techniques and eco-friendly chemicals to restore your concrete to like new condition. Regular pressure washing and occasional spot cleaning will go a long ways towards maintaining your concrete surfaces’ luster and beauty.

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.

Segovia - Deck Pressure Washing Tips for Responsible Homeowners

Deck Pressure Washing Tips for Responsible Homeowners

“Let’s go out on the deck.”

The mere sentence conjures up images of sunshine, fresh air and good times shared. But what if, after uttering the sentence, you step out onto your deck with a lively group only to find that winter has taken its toll – the wood is gray, dirty and in desperate need of some TLC.

Deck Pressure Washing and Other Maintenance Tips

While it needs little maintenance throughout the year, don’t let your deck’s spring cleaning fall by the wayside. The first and most important thing you can do for your deck is a deck pressure washing, which deep-cleans your deck lickety-split and keeps it cleaner longer.

Make sure your deck is decked out for spring by following these additional maintenance tips:

  • Clear the deck of debris. Leaves and branches contain moisture – a known enemy of wood. The wind can only sweep away so much, so get out that broom.
  • Wipe up stains as soon as they present. Wood is porous and will take on whatever you spill on it.
  • Check for rusted or loosening fasteners and/or nails, especially in high foot traffic areas.
  • Better yet,* invest in corrosion-resistant nails and fasteners*.
  • Check deck railings for strength and safety, including splintering. Having to produce a pair of tweezers will cast a gray cloud over your gathering.
  • Apply cleaners and sealants to your deck. A sealer not only protects your deck from the elements, it prolongs your deck’s beauty and longevity. Deck pressure washing before applying products insures the best seal.

Power Washing: A Spring-Cleaning Essential

As much as you like your deck, so do dirt, mold and mildew. Power washing not only frees up clingy unwanted elements that cause rotting and decay, it also restores the look of the wood to its former days.

If deck pressure washing sounds like too much of a hassle, hire a specialist, who will not damage your deck and landscaping like DIY power washing can. Also, make sure the company uses eco-friendly products. Renew Crew cares so much about safety that we developed proprietary environmentally face cleaners and protectants specifically for exterior wood.

Pride of Ownership

A well cared for deck is an asset. Like all assets, decks need tending. Maintaining the quality, cleanliness and luster of your deck will not only add value to your home, it will enable you and yours to enjoy it to its fullest, and to say with pride, “Let’s go out on the deck.”

Segovia - Get Your Home Ready for Springtime Revelries with Professional Power Washing for Siding Surfaces

*Ready Your Home for Spring – Power Washing Siding*

There is a season for everything. Spring is the season of renewing, recharging, and refreshing both you and your home, indoors and out.

The siding of your home protects your residence from the elements throughout the year. It is stylish and practical, and requires little maintenance. But winter weather drabs, dulls and fades surfaces. Nothing cleans your home’s exterior better than power washing siding.

Pressure Washing Advantages

Cleaning the large surface of the exterior of your home is a big job entailing many important details.

By Power washing siding, grunge and grime is blasted away. Strong water streams eradicate the deepest dirt, keeping your siding cleaner longer, without damaging it. Applying the right amount of water pressure and angle are key, and poorly executed DIY methods often results in damaging your siding.

Whether your outdoor surface is vinyl, stucco, Hardie, painted wood or brick, it’s best to hire a pressure washing specialist. Renew Crew will deep clean your siding without harming it, and apply an eco-friendly sealant that fends off the negative effects of winter weather, pollutants and UV rays while boosting the shine of your siding.

The Benefits of Hiring a "Pressure Washing Professional":http://www.renewcrewclean.com/services/why-diy/

Are you familiar with hose diameter? Water flow rate? Spray angles?

While DIY is always an option, renting a power washer does not include a skilled technician who knows his tools well. Effectively power washing siding requires the application of exact water streams specific to each material. It also deep cleans without gouging your siding and causing damage to foliage.

A skilled technician also knows how to:

  • remove unsightly stains from your siding like chalky oxidation without damaging it.
  • repair and seal problem areas.
  • avoid streaking and reduce the cause of mildew buildup behind siding.
  • set the correct temperature so that your siding will not crumple, shrivel up or warp.
  • avoid neck strain and falls and other ladder danger that could cause you much grief.

Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Hire a professional who knows the intricacies of power washing siding and will guarantee his work.

Put Your Home’s Best Face Forward

Smell the flowers. Hang a bird feeder. Host a BBQ and let refreshed and renewed siding make that all important first impression. The professionals at Renew Crew are more than able to ready your home for spring. Call them today.

Quality Deck Cleaning Solutions from a Reputable Pressure Washing Company

A deck is more than the center for your outdoor fun. It’s also where leaves, branches and other wayward bits of nature gather. Once pristine wood becomes suddenly covered, and you find yourself often trudging outside to scrape the mess away.

However, there is now a simpler—and far more effective—option for you to choose: a quality cleaning solution from a reputable pressure washing company, like Renew Crew.

Finding a Solution: What to Expect From a Pressure Washing Company

No deck is immune to time, with each day adding layers of grit and grime. Removing these layers requires a quality cleaning solution, but finding the right one can prove challenging if you aren’t certain what to look for.

A long-lasting clean is only achieved through:

A TRUSTWORTHY PROVIDER

Finding someone to clean your deck is easy. Finding someone who will clean your deck correctly, however, isn’t. A business may promise strong results but fail to deliver, wasting both your time and your money. It’s important, therefore, to seek out a reputable pressure washing company, like Renew Crew. Do thorough background checks, insisting on proof of insurance and customer testimonials.

SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES

Your deck is a collection of planks and memories, so choosing a company that specializes only in concrete patios, pavers or other hardscapes is a problem… and a potentially costly one. Any quality cleaning solution must be tailored to decking. Be certain that all formulas, pressure washes and polymers are suitable for your needs, rather than the needs of your entire neighborhood. A one-spray-suits-all method won’t work.

THOROUGH SYSTEMS

A flawless clean isn’t earned with soap and a hose; it requires thoroughness. Pressure washing should involve:

  • Gentle Foam Formulas — Foam formulas soften the wood, easing away layers of dirt, mud and other sources of discoloration. They wash away quickly and leave planks smooth.
  • Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning Solutions — Solutions sink deep into the grain, eliminating harmful microbes (like mold or mildew). They should be non-chlorine based to protect every deck against bleaching or fiber-stripping.
  • Polymer Mixes — Polymers should be the final step of any system, sealing decks against the elements, like the wind, rain or ultraviolet rays.

Professional Care From a Pressure Washing Company

To achieve a quality solution you need a quality provider. Choose a pressure washing company, like Renew Crew, that offers specialized care and reliable results for your home.

Contact Renew Crew today and transform your deck.

Using Professional Pressure Washing Services

It’s a deceptively simple task: cleaning a deck, removing the many layers of dirt and crumbled leaves. A little soap and hard work should be enough to accomplish this. A few minutes of your time will yield great rewards.

What follows, however, is a series of frustrations—including an overturned bucket, a flood of suds and a struggle for dominance against a hose (which the hose won). Your deck isn’t clean. It’s just wet… and so are you.

You need professional pressure washing services, like the ones provided by Renew Crew.

A Stronger Alternative: Professional Pressure Washing Services

Your deck is forever under attack, with the elements stripping away the color and texture of each plank.

Professional cleaning services help to counter that. Signature techniques—such as pre-soak foam formulas, pressure rinses and polymer sealants—undo the effects of the sun, wind and rain. Meticulous systems penetrate deep within the grains, restoring every inch and protecting against future damage.

This is not something you can achieve with a damp rag and an afternoon.

The Advantages of Professional Pressure Washing Services

Professional treatments are undeniably valuable. Washing services, like the ones offered by Renew Crew, do more than merely clean your deck, however. Instead they’re helpful to you.

SAVE TIME

Your schedule is hectic. Trying to find the time (or the energy) to scrub down a dirty deck isn’t always possible. Professional pressure washing services spare you the need. Their techniques quickly remove grime and grit, enabling you to reap the rewards instead of wasting hours.

PROTECT YOUR HOME

Standard services will clean your deck. However, they’ll also harm your home, with their chlorine-based formulas causing peeling, cracking and more. Renew Crew eliminates this concern, utilizing environmentally-safe foams and treatments. These are gentle against the grain, carefully lifting dirt away and sparing you the aggravation (and cost) of a ruined deck.

PROMOTE FUTURE CARE

A true clean is one that lasts. Renew Crew provides that, offering you ways to shield your deck against future worries. Effective polymers protect the wood from ultraviolet rays, branches and more. Deck pores are tightly sealed, reducing chances of bacterial build-up. This makes outdoor maintenance far simpler.

Choose the Pressure Washing Services of Renew Crew

Every deck deserves professional treatments and Renew Crew offers them. Choose our pressure washing services to save time, protect your home and promote future care.

Transform your deck without straining your patience.

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.

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.

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 Three-Step Washing Process Applied by Pressure Washing Companies

You put so much time, money, and thought into your home—why stop caring for it after you own it? Gutters and siding fade, concrete stains and cracks, and unless they are properly looked after, your property could end up looking bad and reflecting poorly on you.

Luckily, we’re in the business of making sure that doesn’t happen. As one of the leading pressure washing companies in the nation, our three-step washing process is designed to not only remove stains and prevent chipping and cracking, but also protect your patio, deck, and siding from ultraviolet radiation and future stains.

The Key to Proper Power Washing

Bleach is a popular chemical for washing exterior surfaces, since it kills almost anything it touches. However, this means that your flowerbeds and other vegetation can be at risk. While that may be a risk some pressure washing companies are willing to take, we’re not. That’s why a Renew Crew clean involves our special, eco-friendly cleansing foam. It’s bad news for mold, stains and concrete-invading vegetation, but it’s safe for the plants you want to keep around, and pets, too.

We spray our foam on the surface to be cleaned, and let it lift dirt and stains away. Then, we use our power washing prowess to gently rinse the stain-laden foam away. We use water pressure settings designed to get the job done without damaging the treated surfaces.

Finally, we treat the newly clean surface with a special coating that’s UV-resistant. This polymer coating prevents fading and provides protection against future stains. No cure is permanent, but we’ll be happy to repeat the process when you’re ready for us to come again.

Concrete and More

We’re one of the pressure washing companies that doesn’t just treat concrete. If your fencing, siding, or even gutters need some work, our three-step process can restore them to their former glory as well.

Gutters are notorious for gathering gunk, and most people accept it as inevitable that gutters will stain and fade. However, with Renew Crew on the job, this just isn’t so. Our proprietary foam can take out stains with ease, and the pressure wash that follows can be a well-needed “system flush” for your gutters. Finally, that same polymer coating we talked about earlier can be used to get your gutters gleaming in a way you hadn’t thought possible.

Just like those gutters, house siding can stain from plant life, weathering effects, and unforeseen elements. Never fear—a ReNew Crew clean conquers all! By choosing ReNew Crew out of all the other pressure washing companies, you’re choosing the best. So make the right choice, and call today.

Keep Concrete Surfaces Clean and Beautiful with Professional Pressure Washing Service

To some, concrete is simply what the patio, driveway, or deck is made out of. However, concrete isn’t just some element mined in a faraway land. Concrete is a carefully combined mixture of:

*crushed rock or limestone aggregate

  • sand
  • cement
  • water

Combined, these elements form concrete, a sturdy surface that can handle being stepped on, driven over, and beat on by the weather for several years. However, concrete doesn’t last forever; eventually, it wears out and starts to crack, unless you take proper care of it. Take it from us, it’s easier to prevent damage than replace concrete, and much less expensive, too. That’s why investing in a good" pressure washing service":http://www.renewcrewclean.com/about/pressure-washing-services-processes/ is such a great idea—the return is worth it!

The Necessity of Pressure Washing Concrete

Left on its own and ignored, concrete can soon become discolored from unaddressed stains like motor oil or other chemicals. As houses and concrete settle, cracks can develop from normal straining. Vegetation can begin growing through those cracks, widening them and making them worse. This is where hiring a quality pressure washing service comes into play: timely and proper concrete cleaning can save yours from destruction.

The Ups and Downs of Aggregate

Concrete that uses aggregate is rough and hardy, and provides great traction so you don’t have to worry about slips and falls. However, its bumpy, rocky surface can be hard to clean. Renew Crew’s proprietary cleansing works around this problem by seeping into normally hard-to-reach spots in the concrete and lifting dirt and debris out. Pressure washing concrete is safe—both for the environment and your concrete—and extends the lifetime integrity of your surfaces.

Likewise, homeowners often want unintended stains removed but want the original staining on concrete walkways or patios to remain unchanged. As a pressure washing service that’s devoted to customer satisfaction, we achieve this balance by rinsing away our eco-friendly cleaner with water pressure that is high enough to remove the dirt, but low enough that it doesn’t score the concrete or fade inherent staining.

Clean Concrete is Happy Concrete

If stains and damage aren’t taken care of, they will get worse. A timely visit from our pressure washing service can save you thousands of dollars and restore your concrete’s original shine and vigor. If you want to lengthen your concrete’s lifespan and make it look great at the same time, call ReNew Crew today.

Keep your Premises Looking Brand-New with Professional Pressure Washing Services

Well-loved homes beam with warmth, making them inviting places for friends, family and even potential future buyers. Few things you can do to your house will make it shine as brightly as a thorough pressure washing. Siding, gutters, foundations, sidewalks, porches and decks accumulate dirt, molds and mosses as they age, giving them a worn-out appearance. Although you can rent a pressure washer from your local hardware store, many homeowners lack the knowledge to operate one properly without causing property damage.

Beautify Your Home with Pressure Washing

Whether your home needs a facelift or just a maintenance cleaning, pressure washing is a job best left to the professionals. Professional cleaning companies like Renew Crew own all the right equipment to ensure that the job is completed quickly and safely. Our technicians have the experience required to give your home a spotless shine without accidentally gouging soft surfaces like concrete or wood, or ripping vinyl siding from your home.

Pressure washing your home is a delicate art that can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage if performed incorrectly. Additionally, when homeowners underestimate the force of the water stream, injuries from power washers are not uncommon. Why waste a weekend, risk damaging your home or a trip to the emergency room when you can call the professionals at Renew Crew and get the job done in no time?

Pressure Washing Chemicals Aren’t Created Equal

Many of the pressure washing chemicals available to the homeowner are caustic or harmful to landscapes and lawns, but the proprietary formula used by Renew Crew is safe for your garden and plants. After all, a sparkling house surrounded by dead and damaged shrubs and flowers is not a welcoming sight. Damaged plants may take months to recover, if they survive the chemical cocktail bath at all, forcing you to carefully pamper or remove landscaping that may have taken years to mature.

Avoid the potential pitfalls of a DIY power washing by calling Renew Crew first. The technicians at Renew Crew will do all the work while you spend your valuable weekend relaxing in your hammock, catching up on your favorite television series or reading the newest best-selling novel. Whatever you choose to do with your free time, you can trust that Renew Crew will clean your home with the same tender, loving care that you would. Contact us for a free quote today!

Keep Your Wood Deck Beautiful with Professional Deck Pressure Washing Services

Icy winters and hot, humid summers take their toll on decks — leaving formerly smooth, wooden beauties rough, grimey and populated with mold and mildew colonies that may lead to rot. Even the toughest of hardware store sealant can only defend your deck from this kind of beating for a short while before requiring reapplication.

The Benefits of a Professional Deck Pressure Washing

You certainly can rent a pressure washer from your local hardware store, but these often well-used machines can damage your deck or cause injury to the user if they are not carefully set; many deck pressure washing chemicals available to the homeowner contain chlorine or other harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to your children, pets and plants.

Professional deck pressure washing takes the guesswork and anxiety out of deck cleaning, especially if your deck is made from softer woods, like cedar or pine, that dent and damage easily. Companies like Renew Crew use trained technicians with well-calibrated equipment to ensure that your deck looks like new after each cleaning. While the pros are hard at work, you can use the time to play with your kids in the yard or take your dog for a walk. Before you know it, your deck with be sparkling and you will avoid wasting a weekend fighting with a borrowed machine or hurting yourself or your property.

Our Coatings Bring Out Your Deck’s Natural Beauty

After a thorough cleaning with landscape-friendly chemicals, your deck pressure washing professionals at Renew Crew will apply a hard polymer deck coating designed to protect the wooden surfaces from rain, ice, sun and traffic. These coatings often last much longer than those you can purchase at the hardware store, which may be little more than oil-based water repellents or stains, because they penetrate deeply into the wood. A longer lasting coating means fewer washes and less sealant, saving you money over the life of your deck and freeing up more time for family barbeques.

You will be proud to host summer parties on your new deck, if only to show off its smooth, restored finish. Once thoroughly cleaned and properly sealed, simple maintenance like sweeping away leaves and cleaning up spills is all that your deck will require between occasional resealing. Professional deck pressure washing can be a surprising value. Contact Renew Crew for a free estimate and let us show you how clean your deck can be!

How Pressure Washing Concrete Surroundings Increases the Value of Your Property

Just like washing a car before selling it, cleaning your home’s concrete surroundings can pay off in big ways. Sure, you can say “All it needs is a good wash,” or you can showcase a looks-like-new driveway or patio, free of ugly stains or bothersome plant growth. Cleaning up the patio, driveway, or other concrete areas around your home can send the message that you take great care of your property.

There’s a fine line between pressure washing concrete and permanently staining or damaging it and surrounding areas. If you think stains can affect home value, imagine what chipped concrete does.

It’s Just Like Having Your Teeth Cleaned

You wouldn’t clean your teeth just once a lifetime, and your concrete shouldn’t be much different. Just as plaque can build up and damage your teeth, unattended stains, growth, and damage can wreak havoc on your patio or driveway. Don’t worry—we’re not suggesting you pressure wash your concrete twice a day. However, having these surfaces pressure washed regularly has many benefits, including:

  • The structural integrity of your concrete isn’t put at risk
  • It decreases the likelihood of serious problems that are easier to prevent than repair
  • Your home and surrounding areas stay clean and attractive year-round, instead of suddenly becoming beautiful overnight

While brushing your teeth every night helps, you also have a dentist work on your teeth. Consider us the dentists on concrete—we know how to really get it clean and ensure it stays that way.

Pressure Washing Concrete: A Small Investment that Pays Big Dividends

When potential buyers look at a home, they are looking things as they are at the moment. A driveway covered in oil stains or a patio that’s full of cracks can take big bucks off the selling price. However, a few dollars spent now could bring in extra cash later. If you’re looking to sell your home or just want to spruce it up a bit, a Renew Crew Clean is the way to go. Our specialists will get right to work cleaning concrete around your home to erase years of wear and tear. Our approach is to use cleansing agents and water pressure that cleans concrete but doesn’t damage it. To maximize the value of your property, call ReNew Crew today.

How Quality Pressure Washing Service Can Enhance Your Home

When done right, pressuring washing can be the difference between a stylish home and one in need of some work. No one wants to entertain guests when the patio is stained and worn. With a quality pressure washing service, you can have your deck area transformed into a clean and welcoming scene for your upcoming event. With the right service, it’s easy!

Showing Off Your Deck Area

People are often surprised by the difference a power wash can make. They don’t take a long time, but the before and after looks are worlds apart. Imagine hosting a family event or a party with friends, only to have them see a stained or cracked deck, rotting or mildewed supports, or other eyesores. Done by the right company, a quick and thorough service can take care of all those problems and earn oohs and aahs from your guests.

The Nitty Gritty of a Pressure Washing Service

When choosing a service, examine the size of the company. A larger company doesn’t automatically mean better service, but it does mean they have a reputation to protect. Also, it shows they have satisfied enough customers to support their growth. Those are good indicators.

Beware of “weekend washers,” or people who bought a pressure washer so they could make a few extra bucks on the weekends by hosing down your deck or driveway. While they might seem like a cheap option, they don’t always have the professional know-how to deliver a quality washing job. Choosing a professional service ensures top-notch quality and means you’ll be able to find them for repeat service or if you have questions or concerns.

ReNew Crew Quality

We pride ourselves on our 3-step process that can take any worn-out deck or patio and have it looking like new in time for your guests to arrive—and don’t think we’re limited just to the backyard. We’ll happily pressure wash house siding, fencing, and more. Combining our friendly and experienced specialists with our professional equipment and special proprietary cleaner, we have what it takes to deliver all-over quality every time. For ultimate service and a custom-fit price, contact ReNew Crew today. Let us take the pressure off your shoulders—and put it into our washing service.

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.