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.
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.
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.
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.