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Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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

Cleaning and Sealing Pavers Correctly

Pavers and other hardscape materials continue to grow in popularity in the outdoor living industry. With so many shapes, sizes, colors and finishes it’s not surprising people love them. They do withstand the elements pretty well, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need periodic maintenance. At Renew Crew, we provide eco-friendly paver cleaning and sealing to keep your space looking great.

It’s not surprising that walkways, driveways and patios get dirty. Being outside all the time, they withstand a lot of elements, both natural and manmade. If they aren’t sealed, the surface can be very porous and absorb whatever falls on it. Some substances, like oil, dirt and mold simply cause staining while others can cause damage to the material. Salt and other snow melting agents can work away at pavers while rain that’s absorbed and then freezes can cause substantial cracking and crumbling. The good news is that you can protect against this with paver cleaning and sealing.

Paver sealants, like deck stains, close off the surface so that the elements sit on the surface and don’t settle into the material. It will, however, begin to wear away over time and should be reapplied throughout the lifetime of the structure.

If your pavers are looking tired and weathered you can bring them back to life with professional paver cleaning. At Renew Crew, we applied an eco-friendly cleaning product that won’t hard any surrounding grass or plants. Once the cleaning products works its magic, we rinse the surface with a pressure washer. While pressure washers can be rented from your local home improvement stores, we suggest hiring a professional when it comes to pavers. They are very susceptible to cracking and if you aren’t sure how to use the washer well, you may cause serious damage to your structure.

When the surface dries, a member of our team will return to the home and apply the protectant. Our team offers a number of finishes for you to consider including color enhancing, wet looks and natural matte finishes.

If you are in need of paver cleaning and sealing, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office.

Does your concrete patio need a makeover?

When the weather is nice, I can be found outside with my husband, friends or dog. It’s the perfect place to relax, however, I don’t like it when the space looks less than stellar. Whether the grass isn’t mowed, the shrubs need trimming or the deck or patio needs cleaned, I can’t fully relax until everything looks great.

At our old house, we had a concrete slab for a patio outside our family room. It was the perfect size for a few outdoor chairs and grill but like all outdoor surfaces, it needed regular maintenance. Concrete is a very porous material and absorbs dirt and water and other materials, oftentimes leaving deep set stains. Water can be one of the most harmful materials this time of year. If the water freezes after it sets in the surface and expands, it can cause cracking and crumbling.

This job from our pressure washing company in the Lake Gaston area is a great example of the difference patio sealing and cleaning can make. As you can see in the before picture, there are stains on the surface and the color is very uneven. To update the space, the homeowners hired Renew Crew.

Renew Crew used its proprietary products to make the patio look brand new. A patio cleaner was applied to the surface to loosen dirt, grim and mold. Unlike other outdoor cleaners, Renew Crew utilizes eco-friendly products that won’t harm the surrounding lawn, bushes or flowers.

After the cleaning is finished, the entire space is rinsed and given time to dry. Once it’s dry, a protective layer is used to seal the surface and improve the color and appearance of the concrete. The concrete sealants are available in a number of colors and finishes to choose from, but it’s very important that the space isn’t simply cleaned, but also sealed. Without a protectant, the surface pores are left open and will begin to absorb moisture and dirt right away.

If you have a concrete patio or other outdoor surface that needs cleaning and sealing, please contact your local Renew Crew office.

Cleaning Concrete in your Backyard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Stop Floor Chipping and Cracking with Protective Concrete Sealing

Concrete is considered a solid, durable construction and building material, but it does have its limitations. For example, the strength of concrete is not as high as other options, allowing for the possibility of cracking far more often than one would like. Additionally, this type of material has a tendency to shrink with age, complicating the structure of buildings requiring exact alignments.

House owners that must contend with these kinds of damages should be aware that preventing this damage is not in their control. Concrete is known for this. There is, however, a solution! A protective concrete sealing can be applied by homeowners to make your surfaces secure. This sealant will help restore concrete surfaces, and keep the material from getting any worse.

Sealants for concrete will prevent stains, cracks, and corrosion by protecting the surface. A wall of sealant creates a water-tight layer, blocking dirt, water, and other materials from ruining your building materials. These sealants can also assist the surface of concrete in fighting stress, such as cracks or chips, and also prevents against weathering.

Moisture is the most notorious enemy of concrete, able to affect the concrete’s temperature from the inside. The switching of hot and cold temperatures can create warping or tears in the material. Concrete in cold climates must endure the freezing and thawing of material, contributing to shrinkage and also inviting the moisture to sink deeper into the concrete.

Dirt, oil, grease and other chemicals are also enemies of concrete, staining and damaging the material with their own tactics. Those stains can seep deeply into the concrete, making it very difficult to get it out. Cleaning of these stains can cause issues such as chipping, since rough force is required to remove the stains, not counting the harsh chemical makeup that will affect your surfaces.

Hiring capable pressure washing companies like Renew Crew is the best option for cleaning and protecting your concrete surfaces. With an array of supplies such as a pressure washer, safe chemical solutions, and sealants, homeowners can obtain a smoother and “like-new” look to their concrete surfaces. Additionally, these surfaces will be resistant to weather and every day use issues.

Despite the seemingly tough exterior of concrete, this material can certainly fall prey to nature’s elements. Monitoring the condition of concrete surfaces and calling professional business to repair and maintain them is a requirement for homeowners who want to keep great-looking concrete surfaces. This material is used every day, and should be given the care that it merits.