We’re the experts in outdoor surface cleaning and sealing at Renew Crew. We take great pride in revitalizing our clients’ decks, patios, walkways, gutters, fences, siding and more. Using our eco-friendly cleaning products, we’re able to wash away most, if not all, of the dirt and grime that’s built up over time.
The last step in our process is protecting the surface we’ve just cleaned. By applying a protective layer, we stop the nasty elements we just cleaned from settling back into the wood, vinyl, stone or concrete. Without it, it wouldn’t take long for the surface to go back to the old, dirty look.
While Renew Crew’s protectant helps to keep the surface looking great, there are things you can do the same.
Remove yard debris. Whether it’s sticks or leaves or other type of natural debris, it ends up on your outdoor surfaces from time to time. While it won’t cause stains or build up dirt right away, the longer it sits, the more likely it is to leave marks, especially when wet. Whenever you’re walking your property, remove or sweep off your outdoor surfaces.
Rinse with a hose periodically. Like yard debris, dust, pollen and dirt end up on you deck, patio, walkway or driveway. It is sitting out in the elements! Taking your garden hose to it every once in a while will wash away any of the lose elements, and it will make your space look better instantly. You may not even notice what was sitting on your surface until it’s all gone!
Move and check under objects. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, it is probable that you have objects outside, be them furniture, pots or accessories. You may not even notice that those objects are leaving marks or stains on your outdoor surfaces. Flower pots are one of the most common culprits. The mixture of soil or mulch and the standing water in the saucer underneath calls for stains, but they can be addressed easily! If you see stains, take a look online to see how you can clean them (here’s our guide to cleaning flower pot stains).
If you’re surfaces need a deep clean and sealing, please contact your local Renew Crew office.
In the decking industry, Brazilian hardwoods have become a popular option for decks. Exotic woods naturally repel bugs, fungus and rot so chemicals don’t need to be used to treat it. It’s a “greener” option than many treated woods. The colors vary and are stunning options for a beautiful outdoor living space. Their benefits do not mean Brazilian hardwood doesn’t have to be maintained. Dirt and grime can settle on the surface of the wood. Unfortunately, sometimes do-it-yourself maintenance doesn’t always work out.
Our Renew Crew of Victoria location was recently contacted by homeowners who had tried to clean their hardwood deck themselves with less than stellar results and needed experts.
Oil is one of the recommended products for exotic hardwoods to keep them looking great and performing well. The homeowners had tried to use DIY cleaners and oils from the local home improvement store. The cleaning products and oil, as you can see, left them with a deck that still wasn’t clean. The color is uneven and you can still see the green mildew and dirt in areas. After trying multiple times to do it themselves, the homeowners hired Renew Crew, the local pressure washing experts, to clean and protect their deck.
Because of the layers of oil, a slightly different process was needed to clean and seal this hardwood deck. Normally, Renew Crew uses an eco-friendly deck cleaning foam to penetrate a wood surface. Due to the oil, the foam wasn’t able to easily work its normal magic. Renew Crew had to use a chemical based deck wash to get rid of all the built-up dirt.
After applying a deck wash, Renew Crew pressure washed the deck to bring the wood to a clean, even color.
Sealing and protecting a deck is the most important step in the deck cleaning and renewing process. Without it, dirt, grime and moisture will once again work its way into the pores of the wood. Additionally, the sun’s rays will dry out and bleach the wood. Renew Crew applied an eco-friendly deck sealant. Due to the dark nature of the Brazilian hardwood, a natural shade of protectant was used. Doesn’t it look great?
If you have questions on cleaning and sealing your deck, please contact your local Renew Crew office.
With football, pumpkins, apples and changing leaves, what is there not to love about the fall? It’s my favorite season. As we transition from summer to fall, here are some of Renew Crew’s update and upkeep ideas for you to consider this season.
As the leaves change, add some the colors of autumn to your outdoor décor. There are so many options that will make your home look more welcoming to friends and family. An update that’s easy but beautiful is to add a few pumpkins and bunches of mums to your front porch. Mums are available in yellows, oranges, and deep reds that look great! If you want something more involved, find a place to get some hay or dried cornstalk to dress it up.
With the fall comes early nighttime darkness. To provide sure footing and increase the safety and security of your property, you can invest in outdoor lighting. Just a few path lights can make a world of difference along the walkways leading up to your home. Our sister company, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, provides beautifully designed, installed and maintained landscape lighting systems.
While making updates to your front porch and adding lighting will make your home look better, outdoor maintenance is still important in the fall. In fact, it can be more important than other parts of the year. Fall is known for its beautiful changing leaves, but those leaves can cause issues when not dealt with properly. As they fall, leaves will begin to puddle moisture and dirt. If they aren’t swept off walkways, driveways, decks and patios, it can lead to deep stains. Sweeping off your outdoor living structures as well as picking up any sticks throughout the season will pay off in the long run.
When it comes to cleaning your outdoor surfaces, in many ways fall is the perfect time to do it. During the fall and winter, a lot of natural debris can come in contact with your outdoor surfaces and settle in its pores. At Renew Crew, we clean surfaces, but we also protect them. That protection is important in the winter as it will stop a lot of the dirt and grime from getting into your decks and patios, leaving you with a great looking space come spring.
If you are interested in pressure washing and protecting your outdoor surfaces, please contact your local Renew Crew office.
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.
Happy National Curb Appeal Month! That’s correct, August is dedicated to helping homeowners increase their home’s curb appeal. Updating the exterior of your home to make it look better doesn’t have to be a big process. You can make it as strenuous or expensive as you’d like. If you aren’t sure where to start with your property, here are some ideas:
Landscaping. It’s normal for trees, bushes and flowers to grow during the spring and summer, but sometimes they get a little unruly. Trimming and pruning your landscaping can make a big impact on the curb appeal of your home. Regularly mowing the lawn also makes your home look well kept.
Pick up. With thunderstorms or outdoor play with kids and dogs, it’s normal for debris to be present on your property. Walk around and pick up an sticks, leaves, acorns and throw them away. If your kids are known to leave their toys outside, considering getting a storage bin that they place everything in when they are done for the day. Having a clean yard at the end of the day will make your home look more inviting.
Cleaning. Whether it’s your siding, walkways, steps or gutters, outdoor surfaces get dirty over time. Regular cleaning is a part of home maintenance. A pressure washing company, like Renew Crew, can visit your home and revive your outdoor surfaces so they look new again. Renew Crew even takes it one step further by protecting your surfaces from future dirt and grime.
If pressure washing isn’t necessary at this point, make it a habit to rinse off your outdoor surfaces with your garden hose.
Touch Ups. Painted surfaces are known to chip from time to time. Walk around the front of your home and make notes of the areas that may need a few touchups. This may include your railings, doors, mailbox and more. If you don’t have paint on hand, tester pots from your local home improvement store should be enough to fix minor touch ups.
A little effort on your property can go a long way when it comes to increasing your home’s curb appeal and what better month to do it than National Curb Appeal Month!
Independence Day is a little over a week away. If you’re hosting an outdoor party, it helps if you think ahead and prepare for the event in advance. While some things can wait until a day or two before the fourth, others can be done at any time, including getting your yard ready. Here’s a quick guide to making your space look great for your guests.
Whether it is from high wind and thunderstorms to dogs tumbling through the bushes, your yard may be in need of some picking up. Go around your property and pick up any debris including sticks and leaf and grass clippings. Not only will a quick clean up make your yard look better, but it will also be safer with less objects for people to trip over.
Your trees and shrubs are in the peak of their growing season and can start to look a little unkept. Trimming up any wayward branches can make your overall yard look neater. We suggest checking a pruning guide for suggestions on your particular plants to make sure you aren’t causing any damage. Plants right around your entertaining areas are the most important as you don’t want them poking or pricking any of your guests!
Add some color to the area with flowers! Your local home improvement store or nursery will have a number of flowering plants that you can place on your deck and patio for everyone to enjoy. Since it is the Fourth of July, look for red, white and blue flowers to bring some patriotic flavor to the space.
If your outdoor furniture needs a deep cleaning, tackle that task ahead of time. Instead of wiping the chairs and tables when your guests are arriving, clean the furniture properly a few days before the party.
Sweep and rinse off your decks, porches or patios to remove any caked on dirt or grime. If you have deep-set stains, contact a pressure washing company like Renew Crew to clean and protect your space. You’ll be amazed by what a thorough cleaning can do.
By taking care of your yard a week or so before your Fourth of July party, you can focus on the food, drinks and company when the day finally arrives.
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!
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.
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.
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!
I love brick patios and walkways. They are such a classic look outdoors, but they definitely need to be maintained. Bricks are porous in nature and will absorb whatever falls on its surface if not properly protected. This job from our pressure washing company in Johnson County Kansas is a good example of how bricks can be brought back to life with some cleaning.
When Wayne and Phillip Howe of Renew Crew went to this property, it looked like this. As you can see there are areas on the patio that are green and yellow. This is most likely where water pools when it’s raining. Over time, as the brick sealant wore off, it started to absorb the water and what fell on the surface afterward. The greenish-yellow substance on the surface could be mold, mildew, pollen or a combination there of.
The walkway leading to the patio wasn’t as bad, but definitely could use some TLC. What should be a bright red color was muted with some uneven color in certain areas.
Renew Crew of Johnson County used our brick cleaning formula to loosen the embedded grime off the surface and then pressure washed it away. When pressure washing brick, it is very important to know what you are doing. Because brick is so porous, that water (coming in at a high speed) can easily get into those pores and create chips. That’s why we recommend hiring a pressure washing company if you aren’t used to it. The investment in a professional is much better than having to replace part of your patio.
After cleaning the bricks, a protective layer is applied to keep away future moisture, dirt and grime. Without the brick sealant, water would seep right into the surface the next time it rains.
Doesn’t the patio look new again? The homeowner can now rinse the space off with a hose when needed. It is not until the dirt and grime stays after a rinse that the professional cleaning and sealing will be needed again.
If you have questions on cleaning and sealing brick patios and walkways, please contact your local Renew Crew office.
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.
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.
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:
When my husband and I bought our first house we knew there would be work involved, but we were surprised by how much in some respects. The house was in tip-top shape when we walked through it with our realtor (many times), but it was quite different when we moved in, especially the yard and front walkway.
The front walkway was one of the things I loved most about our house. It was concrete and brick and was flanked by short hedges of ivy. When we moved in, the ivy was in desperate need of some pruning and then we noticed that the walkway needed some TLC. Weeds and moss were growing between the bricks, there was caked on dirt in certain areas, and the concrete parts were definitely not their natural color.
Walkways are sometimes the first introduction your visitors have to your property and they should look great! If you are looking for ways to revive your front walkway, there are two things to help 1) weeding and 2) cleaning.
If you are like me and had some gnarly weeds growing in between your bricks or pavers, it’s time to weed. I know, it’s not a fun task, but it is necessary. Spend the time to get rid of the weeds at the root. Yes, at one point I was using a knife to get make sure that I got those stragglers from the base.
After weeding, it’s time to clean! This is where I suggest calling a professional pressure washing company like Renew Crew. Depending on the condition and age of your walkway, you could potentially make things worse. Using a pressure washer incorrectly can very easily crack and gouge your pavers and bricks.
Renew Crew uses our three step process to clean, seal and protect your front walkway. Our cleaning will wash away the vast majority of dirt, grim and stains, leaving your walkway looking great for visitors. The protect step is very important if you want to keep your walkway looking great. Most pressure washing companies don’t go to the effort to protect your space, but Renew Crew isn’t most pressure washing companies. Please contact us if you have any questions on revitalizing your outdoor living surfaces.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When my husband and I were looking to purchase our first home, I was excited to visit different properties to see if I could envision us there. The outside of the home became an important piece of the puzzle as we went from house to house. While some homes were beautiful on the outside, there were others that I knew I didn’t like as soon as we pulled our car up to the front. When looking to sell a house, there are a few exterior cleaning projects that will make your home look great.
Last week we talked about cleaning vinyl siding. If the front of your home is siding, make sure that it is properly cleaned, removing the dirt and exposing the color below. Particular attention should be paid to the areas right below the roof line where some stains will accumulate.
Driveways and walkways in front of the home can make a huge impact. Take this house for example. If I had cropped the picture to not include the driveway, it looks great, a beautiful brick home. The driveway makes it look much dingier than it really is. Driveways, not surprisingly, get very dirty. Between dirt from the car tires, oil leaks and daily traffic, keeping a driveway perfectly clean is nearly impossible. Most of those stains, however, are removable. Take a look at this after photo. The home looks brighter and cleaner for people who visit the property.
I was surprised to find how much attention I gave the front stairs of the homes that my husband and I looked at. Why? Our realtor came to all of the houses with us and would have to get into the lock box and unlock the front door. During that short few minutes, we would be standing on the front stairs waiting. Cleaning the front stairs will make your home look better than if there is caked on dirt on all of it. Wouldn’t you rather picture yourself sitting on these after picture stairs than the first? I know I would.
Lastly, take note of any fences you have towards the front of your property, especially those that have gates that potential buyers have to walk through. Ridding it of all the embedded dirt and mold and having a new protective seal will make it look so much more welcoming.
At Renew Crew, we pride ourselves on making a huge visual difference on the property through the deep cleaning and protecting of all your outdoor surfaces. When preparing your house for sale, make sure not to only focus your efforts on the inside of the home. The outside is just as important, if not more. It is the first impression that people get of hopefully, their future home.
Fall is my favorite season. The weather, the colors, the pies, it’s an overall wonderful time of year. As you look to dress up the front of the home for the holidays, we at Renew Crew want to offer you some ideas.
Mums are definitely the flower of the fall and can fit into many décor ideas. Whether you get them in a yellow, orange or a deep red, they are sure to enhance your front yard. One of our favorite ways to display mums is to a get a few different colors and sizes and place them together.
Consider adding different textures. Textures are a great to enhance any space, inside or out. There are a few textures that work really well for fall. The first is burlap. The warm colors of burlap complement the warm reds and yellows of fall perfectly. Place your flower and plant pots into a burlap bag or wrap them in burlap to add a beautiful layer of texture.
The second texture to consider is straw or hay. Putting a few hay bales on your front porch is a great way to dress your home up for yard. If full bales seem like a lot to you, placing a little bit of hay or straw underneath your other decorations (like your mums for instance) will still add something special to the space.
It isn’t autumn without a few pumpkins. They are the icon of the season after all. When picking pumpkins, get a few of different sizes to use throughout your space. In the last few years pumpkins of different colors having been gaining popularity. White pumpkins are great to mix in with the colors and textures of the fall.
Gourds, like pumpkins, are synonymous with fall, but they are primarily used inside the home, but they work just as well outside. Due to their variety of sizes, shapes and colors, gourds are some of the most versatile decorations.
The last design element is also synonymous with fall. What is fall without leaves? It’s a best practice to rake and remove your leaves as they fall in the autumn months. When they aren’t removed promptly, they can suffocate grass or can cause dirt buildup on decks, porches, patios, and walkways. Removal doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the leaves however. Using them as a base in planters is a great way to bring fall to the front porch.
As you look to decorate your outdoor living spaces this fall, chose what you like most. Whether it is a fall wreath, planters or other outdoor décor, the key is that you like it! Have fun!
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.
Next weekend is Labor Day, the symbolic end of summer. Kids will be going back to school and nights will begin to get shorter. Bid farewell to the 2013 summer nights with a great barbecue! Here are some ideas to get your planning started.
Prepare what you can in advance. One of the hardest things about hosting friends and family is that you are busy! Your loved ones are there to spend time with you, so think about what you can prepare the morning (or night) before the party begins. One of our favorite dips, for example, is better when it sits for a few hours before eating. All you need is a can of black beans (rinsed and drained), 9oz of corn, 1 chopped tomato, 1/3 chopped red onion, 1 chopped scallion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice from two limes, and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Mix everything together and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips. It’s a great summertime salsa that can accompany most dishes!
Have a game. While I enjoy sitting outside on a nice day enjoying the company of friends and family, sometimes having something to do makes a get-together a little more interesting. Consider having some type of game set up on your yard that guests can enjoy throughout the day. Or, if you enjoy a little competition, make some sort of championship out of it. Games like bocce, ladder ball, corn hole and lawn darts all make for great games and can be modified for different ages!
Keep the decorations simple. It’s Labor Day, so personally I say bring on the red, white and blue, but that doesn’t mean your outdoor décor needs to be overly complicated. Large super centers as well as grocery stores will have numerous options for napkins, plates and cups. If you have a blue and white checked table cloth, use some red napkins and cups and you are perfectly patriotic! If you want to throw in some stars and stripes, buy some of the mini paper flags and stick them in the surrounding garden, or even in the dessert!
Have something sweet. Speaking of dessert, it’s a must for any party. One of my all-time favorite desserts for a barbecue is the s’more. If you don’t have a fire pit or charcoal grill, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this delectable treat. You can make mini fire pits just for the barbeque! Go to your nearest home improvement store and pick up a few small terracotta pots. Line them with foil and place a few pieces of coal inside and there you have it, the perfect place to roast some marshmallows.
Spruce up your space. We all want our homes to look great when we have company over, but sometimes our outdoor spaces don’t get the attention they may deserve. Go outside and take a look. Does your grass need to be mowed? Do you have some branches that would be better if trimmed back a little bit? Is your outdoor living space clean? Sweep off any loose debris that may be covering your space. If you have some more embedded dirt, consider hiring a professional pressure washing company to clean your deck, patio, etc. We at Renew Crew, do more than pressure wash with our 3-step process and would be happy to answer any questions you may have on the best way to make your outdoor spaces look new again.
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:
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.
Although I wouldn’t consider myself a do-it-yourselfer, I try to tackle what I can around the house. Painting? No problem. Re-caulking a tub? You got it. Refinishing furniture? Sure. But when it comes to projects that have to do with the structure or safety of my home there is no way that I am even going to attempt. For me, that includes hiring a pressure washing company when needed.
A lot of homeowners and possible DIYers don’t understand the damage that a high pressure washer can do to your property if not done properly. Gouging of wood and brick (especially older bricks) is not only unpleasing to the eye, but can cause safety issues like splitting and splintering of wood. In the case of siding, it can result in water getting underneath the siding.
Not only can improper use of a pressure washer damage your property, it can also be unsafe! A pressure washer can very easily cut any skin it comes in contact with and even worse it can shoot water into the wound causing further, more serious issues.
For me, hiring a pressure washing company is worth the investment to ensure my space is properly and safely cleaned.
Our Renew Crew franchisees are much more than the typical pressure washing company however. What makes use different, you ask? Let me tell you. In short, it is our products and process. The typical power washing company uses chlorine or bleach based products to clean your surfaces. That product can easily damage, and in some cases kill, any grass, plants, or bushes that it comes in contact with. It usually comes in liquid form and doesn’t work its way into horizontal surfaces easily. Renew Crew’s product is an environmentally-friendly deck cleaning foam that won’t hurt your plants. Additionally, it isn’t liquid. It’s a foam that is able to stick to all surfaces, loosening dirt and buildup from outdoor surfaces.
After allowing the foam to work its magic, we are able to use a much lower amount of water pressure to rinse the surface clean, removing dirt, grime, mold, dead wood particles and more. The risk for damaging your structure is minimal (and all of our technicians are well-trained).
The last large difference between Renew Crew and the other guys is that we don’t stop at just cleaning your outdoor structure. We will then go on to protect it. While cleaning a surface will leave it looking new, if it isn’t sealed and protected, it won’t continue to look that way for long. Our protectant will keep your outdoor surfaces looking newer longer.
If you have additional questions on Renew Crew or the importance of professional pressure washing, please reach out to your local Renew Crew office.
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.