Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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

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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Make your Gutters look new with Gutter Cleaning

When I say gutter cleaning, the majority of people think about removing leaves and other yard debris from gutters. While that is important to periodically clean out your gutters, your gutters themselves may need cleaning from time to time.

Gutters, like all other outdoor surfaces, are susceptible to dirt, grime and stains. They can hold water and yard debris so it’s surprising that they too get dirty, but the majority of gutter stains don’t come from that. The most common dirt or streak you notice on a gutter is black. That is most likely tar and asphalt from the roofing shingles running down onto the gutters.

Just like your other outdoor surfaces, the longer you wait to clean the gutters the worse they look and harder they are to clean. The black streaks that occur on gutters and can move down to your siding is a tough stain, something that is best left to the professionals.

At Renew Crew, we use our three step process to clean gutters, leaving them looking like new.

First we apply our proprietary foam cleaner. The foam sticks to the surface instead of dripping down right away like liquid. That cling allows the foam to work into the tough stains. And, if dripping does happen don’t worry, the cleaner is environmentally friendly and won’t damage surrounding plants.

After the foam has time to loosen the stains and dirt and grime, we rinse off the gutters with a light pressure wash. The pressure wash is strong enough to get everything off the surface, but minimizes the risk of any damage to the surface itself. Inexperienced power washers, for instance, may use too high of pressure that can strip or cut the gutters.

The last step in the Renew Crew process is the most important, protecting. Our protectant will keep your gutters looking cleaner, longer, stopping dirt and grime from settling into the surface of your gutters.

It’s truly surprising how big of a difference clean gutters can make. You may not notice your gutters on a daily basis, but you will notice the difference after Renew Crew has been there. The whole house will look brighter (especially if you have white gutters).

If you have questions on professional gutter cleaning, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office.

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Professional Pressure Cleaning Services: Providing Deep Cleaning Jobs

Home interiors may not pose the same cleaning challenges as outdoor living areas like decks or patios. After all, your interiors are more protected from the elements and may require less maintenance than outdoor rooms. On the other hand, impurities like dirt and mold accumulate much faster on your roof, deck, fence, siding, and concrete driveway than in your dining room, living room, and even kitchen.

Smart homeowners know better than to use ordinary cleaning implements to rinse away dirt from outdoor living areas. Manual scrubbing with harsh detergents may not remove all that deep-seated filth that has accumulated on exterior surfaces through the years. In fact, vigorous manual scrubbing can gouge these surfaces and leave them vulnerable to damage. For a truly effective and trouble-free deep clean, you might want to consider professional pressure cleaning services offered by companies like Renew Crew.

According to Jon Nunan’s article for HomeAdvisor.com, homeowners may want to consider pressure washing to clean outdoor areas. Conventional cleaning methods—such as forceful hand scrubbing, for instance—are rather ineffective against stubborn dirt and stains. The solution, obviously, is to apply more power without harming affected surfaces—a task that is only possible with the use of a pressure washer.

Pressure washers are the preferred tools for handling difficult cleaning tasks in buildings, parking areas, and other big structures. On the domestic front, homeowners use pressure washing equipment to rid driveways of grease and oil stains, or even graffiti. Moreover, pressure washing is used to clean other areas like decks, fencing, and pavements.

Homeowners must use pressure washing equipment with care due to the high pressure generated by the directed blast of internally heated water. Such a water spray is often discharged at five gallons per minute, with forces of up to 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. Due to the potential dangers involved, pressure washing is typically best left in the hands of professionals who are trained in controlled pressure cleaning techniques.

Meanwhile, pressure washing companies like Renew Crew also offer quality concrete sealing to prevent cracks and splits that allow vegetation to grow and damage concrete surfaces. The sealant will last depending on the effects of heat and other environmental conditions in the area. Ultimately, if you want to enhance the appearance of your outdoor spaces, you might want to hire reputable pressure cleaning firms that can help your deck, fence, siding or concrete pavement last longer than their average service life spans.

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Why Professional Deck Cleaning and Maintenance Make Perfect Sense

Some of the most beautiful homes in the country are built with wooden decks in various styles. Wooden decks are very popular extensions to living spaces and serve multiple uses. For instance, decks provide convenient outdoor venues for entertaining friends, bonding with the family, or simply enjoying some quiet time.

Unfortunately, decks are also constantly exposed to the elements and will inevitably succumb to discoloration and deterioration. The accumulation of dirt, as well as moss or algae growth, can affect the deck’s surface and make it more susceptible to damage. Luckily, regular deck cleaning from companies such as Renew Crew can help maintain this outdoor structure and prolong its service life span.

In this connection, an article posted on HouseandHome.com provides some advice on the best materials and finishes that can help your natural wooden deck last longer. The article suggests that the best natural decking consists of low-maintenance cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated pine. All other decking materials would need to be sealed every year. Of course, nothing beats proper and regular maintenance to help your deck look good and new all year round.

Although natural wood decking can face the elements without undergoing major changes, keep in wooden planks don’t always age uniformly. Fortunately, consumers these days can opt for composite decking—a combination of wood and plastic—that resists insect damage, moisture, fading, and rotting quite well. While composite decking is easier to maintain, it can also be relatively more expensive than natural wood varieties.

Meanwhile, if you do opt for natural wood decking, keep in mind that you’ll still need to strip and re-stain it as needed. In addition, you’ll have to carry out periodic power washing to get rid of unsightly mold and stubborn stains. You can go the DIY route, but nothing beats professional deck cleaning services from reputable companies.

The best professional deck cleaning service routine starts with the application of an eco-friendly pre-soak foam to soften wood fibers and lift embedded dirt for easier rinsing. Next comes precision pressure washing that washes away stains without harming the wood. Companies like Renew Crew conclude the process with the application of a UV-blocking polymer mix that penetrates the wood to provide long-lasting protection against the elements.

Regardless of your preferred decking material, it is crucial that you carry out the necessary maintenance steps to prevent irreparable damage. This way, you can enjoy your deck for many years and even boost your home’s curb appeal and resale value, should you decide to sell it in the future.

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Outdoor Clean Up Tips for Fall

The weather is turning cooler and you may be spending more time indoors, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect the outdoor areas of your property. Spending some time working outdoors will make it easier for you in the spring when you want to go back outside.

Clean up the yard. As leaves and acorns begin to fall, it’s important to go around your yard cleaning them up in a timely fashion. A buildup of leaves can smother your grass if it isn’t cleaning up.

Acorns, for those people with oak trees, are especially important to pick up quickly. If left, they will crack and begin to root in your yard. What would be an easy chore of raking them up will turn into you pulling at each one individually. Trust me, I have experience in this.

If you have branches that have fallen in your yard, pick them up. If they are dead and dried out, you can put them in your fire wood pile, but if they are wet, consider throwing them out. You don’t want mold to grow around the wood.

Prune your trees and bushes. As a disclaimer here, it is always best to research the plants that you have on your property to see what time of the year is truly best for pruning them. In general, pruning in the fall will help them survive the cold winter months and spark spring growth.

Pruning is important for plant health, as is protecting some of them from the winter elements entirely. Take the time to learn if you need to wrap your plants (in burlap or other breathable fabric) before winter hits.

Pull weeds. This is one of my least favorite yard maintenance tasks, but it is a vital one. Pulling weeds throughout the year is always important, but some weeds will drop their seeds in the fall, allowing new weeds to root into the ground before spring. Pulling any weeds that are on your property in the fall is the best way to keep them away.

Clean off your outdoor living space. Just like you rid your yard of leaves that fall, you should also sweep off your decks, porches patios, driveways and walkways. Leaves and debris hold water and dirt on the surface. If your exterior surfaces aren’t properly protected, that moisture and dirt can embed itself into the pores of the product, not only making your space look bad, but it can also cause damage. Take water for example, when your deck or patio is holding water and then it freezes, it will expand. The expansion can cause cracking and splintering. It’s good practice to clean off your spaces periodically throughout the fall and winter months.

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

Professional Concrete Cleaning Can Ensure Good ROI on Patio Remodeling

Some homeowners undertake home additions to create new spaces for recreation and entertainment. Meanwhile, others see a home addition as a good investment that can increase property curb appeal and resale value. Whatever one’s reason for building a deck, porch, patio, or any sort of outdoor room, it is important to exercise prudence and avoid spending more than necessary.

Consumer guide website Home Flooring Pros agrees that a reasonably priced outdoor patio flooring job can offer a higher return on investment (ROI). Be it a ceramic tile or a concrete floor, one has to keep costs to a reasonable level so that the property price remains competitive. In any case, no matter what type of patio flooring material a homeowner chooses, it is still likely to get dirty and grimy because of continuous exposure to the elements as well as heavy foot traffic. To increase the likelihood of closing a sale, therefore, a homeowner may want to call on a reputable concrete cleaning company that can get rid of stubborn dirt and stains via safe and effective pressure washing methods.

Concrete floors and driveways require special care since these surfaces are liable to crack and harbor vegetation when scrubbed forcefully or subjected to excessive water pressure. One can hardly expect prospective home buyers to be impressed at the sight of a cracked and badly stained concrete patio floor. For damage-free and spotless concrete patio flooring, you can enlist the services of reputable pressure washing companies like Renew Crew.

When it comes to professional concrete patio cleaning, companies like Renew Crew soak concrete surfaces in a special eco-friendly foam to get rid of deep-seated dirt and stains. This step is then followed by a thorough rinsing using high-precision pressure washing equipment. A special sealant is then applied to protect the concrete floor from the elements.

As regards ROI potential, the article points out that a patio remodeling job doesn’t have to be extravagant. An eye-catching, low-cost outdoor patio that’s built well is more likely to attract the interest of potential buyers than one that jacks up the property price way over the local average. So before you start remodeling your patio, you might want to check out neighboring properties for sale to get an idea about the most suitable options for flooring materials.

In case you don’t yet see the need for a patio reflooring it would be to your advantage to carry out the necessary finishing touches that can help make your home more presentable before it appears on a real estate listing. To this end, you may need to carry out a thorough cleaning job that will likely entail pressure washing. If you’ve got zero experience with pressure washing and would rather not risk ruining your patio floor, then you might want to leave this task to the professionals.

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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.

DIY vs. Professional Power Washing: Consider Safety, Reliability, and Cost-Efficiency In Making Your Choice

Power washing your home is a maintenance activity that’s best done regularly, particularly if you are thinking of selling your property. Foxnews.com features tips on power washing your home as detailed by home improvement expert Matt McMillan. Before going into any details, McMillan emphasizes the need for safety.

A lot of accidents have happened as a result of improper do-it-yourself power washing practices, McMillan narrates. He believes a DIY job is appropriate only when it can be conducted from the ground, and ladders of any kind are not to be used. If you can’t do the job from the ground, you’ll need to get the services of a professional reputable power washing company.

In addition to safety concerns, the article also points out other factors you should watch out for. One of these is understanding the power of each equipment nozzle and how this can affect the results of the washing. Power washing nozzles fall under four sizes, each one releasing a particular amount of pressure which may or may not be appropriate to the surface you are cleaning.

Power washing your vinyl siding requires a nozzle with less strength than what is needed for a stone siding, for example. Too much pressure can damage vinyl or wood, while too little may not provide the power necessary for a thorough cleaning. Mr. McMillan says that determining the right nozzle size may take some experimentation.

Certain detergents can also help make power washing jobs easier and faster, along with the proper choice between hot or cold water. Once again, there are several kinds of detergents to choose from, depending on the kind of surface that needs to be cleaned. Some reputable power washing companies such as Renew Crew, however, use their own proprietary cleaning solvents that enable much more thorough and longer-lasting results than commercial detergents.

Still another factor that needs to be considered is the power source, which can either be natural gas, kerosene, and the like; or electricity. Fuel-powered washers are generally more mobile than electric ones, as they do not need to be plugged in to a power source. However, they can generate a lot of noise, as well as fumes which may be harmful to one’s health.

While a do-it-yourself power cleaning job is entirely viable, all the different critical elements that need to be considered to achieve good results point to the benefits of hiring a professional power washing crew instead. The costs involved in hiring professionals are typically higher than in a DIY job, but the results that you get can be much more satisfactory and cost-efficient. More importantly, hiring professionals for the job can better guarantee your safety and that of your family’s.

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