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The Dangers of a Leaky Roof

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Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison area receives Angies service award

Many household problems can be procrastinated, but a roof leak should not be one of them. Roof leaks occur for many reasons, including improper roof installation, damage, lack of maintenance, or the roofs is at the end of its lifespan.

A leaking roof is not only a structural problem for your home, but can pose many safety and health risk. Here are some of the less-obvious ways a roof leak can have negative impacts on your home.

Attic and ceiling damage

The first dangers of a roof leak are located in the attic area and what is stored in there. If there is not an attic, or depending on how large the leak is, it can have direct damage to the interior ceiling. This could lead to the darkening of the ceiling paint ,or the plaster to bubble and expand.

Inferior mold and mildew issues

One of the more serious consequences of a leaking roof is mold and mildew growth. Mold is able to spread and reach the HVAC system where it is pushed throughout the home, as it can then invade the carpets, furniture and clothing.

The most common type of mold from chronic water intrusion is black mold. The mold can attack wood, ceilings, wall and floor coverings. Mold is difficult to find and get rid of, and can become costly.

Mold can also lead to serious health issues, especially individuals that have high sensitivity. This can cause an individual to have nasal congestion, rhinitis, inflammation and asthma, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Fire Hazard

If electrical wiring is present in the attic or ceiling, a leaking roof can become a fire threat from shorted wires. It is recommended to turn off electricity in the area that is affected by the leak and have a electrician examine the wires.

Higher utility bills cost and wasted energy

Another problem due to a leaking roof is higher utility bills due to negative impacts on insulation. As water intrudes into the attic area, it becomes saturated in the insulation and takes a long time for it to dry out. If the leak is ignored, the chronic water intrusion will deplete the insulation significantly and the home will lose hot and cool air, which will lead to higher cost in utility bills.

Compromised structural integrity

A common consequence from a leaking roof is damage to any of the following: rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing and exterior trim. The intruding water can lead to weakened wood and deterioration, that can cause more serious problems in the future. This can be costly and detrimental to the framing of your home.

A leaking roof has many negative impacts on a home and should be took into action at the first sign. Sunset Ridge Exteriors can help find the leaking point of your roof and repair the problem. If you notice any signs or signals of a leaking roof contact Sunset Ridge Exteriors at (608) - 838 - 2500.

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The Importance of Insulation Control

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DIY tables by Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

Attic insulation is an important element of your housing system, and using the correct amount is crucial to a balanced and efficient roof. Too much insulation can cause ventilation problems, while too little can contribute to heating or cooling issues in the home. The proper attic ventilation will keep attic temperatures evenly controlled and lengthen the life expectancy of a roof.

High attic temperatures during the hot summer months can cause roof shingles to buckle, deteriorate and distort over time. Spray foam on the underside of the roof deck can magnify the effects of heat and problems. Properly installed insulations will protect the home’s living areas from attic heat and save money on cooling costs. Having balanced ventilation, insulation will keep attic temperatures and humidity levels low to help prevent roof problems in the summer.

In the winter, poor ventilation can lead to ice dams and condensation. Without proper insulation, heated air from the inside of the home reaches the attic where it can create condensation on the roof deck and cause water damage to the wood. It can cause snow to slowly

melt on the roof creating ice dams which can impact your roofing system. Having proper insulation in cold weather will keep the warm air out of the attic and help avoid roofing problems. Learn more information about ice dams from our infographic.

R-Value and Climate

“R-value” stands for the insulation’s resistance to the flow of heat. Since R-value does not measure convection, radiation or air filtration, insulation type and thickness should be considered when choosing insulation. The Department of Energy recommends R-values between 30 and 60 depending on climate zones, although almost every zone allows for R-values up to R-60.

When installing a installation for a roof system, more or less is not necessarily better. A roof system works most effective when all areas function together properly.

Installing the proper amount of insulation in an attic requires that a contractor knows the recommended R-value for the climate you are located in and installing the right amount of insulation to meet the R-value.

Having too much insulation can lead to moisture buildup in the attic. This can cause wood rot, mold growth and create leaks that enter the living areas and damage the roof. Staying within the recommendations will combat these problems.

Few Words of Caution

Foam insulations have been an ongoing debate. Some think spray foam is more energy efficient, but some see the dangerous side. While foam insulation can make for a cooler (in the summer) or warmer (in the winter) living space and cut down costs, it negatively impacts attic ventilation. This can ultimately lead to improper air flow and create roofing problems.

Proper attic insulation and ventilation are critical to maximizing the life expectancy and efficiency of a roof. Combined with the components on an Atlas Signature Select® Roofing System offered by Sunset Ridge Exteriors - the roof is designed to help protect the home for many years. Contact Sunset Ridge Exteriors to learn more.

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Impacts from Ice Dams

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DIY tables by Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

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Dare to be Dramatic

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DIY tables by Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

Do you have wood furniture that could use an upgrade? Wood furniture can be dull or lose character through the years of use. Refinishing wood can bring an updated feel to your interior atmosphere. Also, you may create tables from scratch by using you own wood. Here are some techniques to add more character to the pieces.

To add more drama to the wood, use a burn effect. Using a blowtorch, lightly braise the wood with the flame in desired spots. Be careful not to concentrate areas more than the other for a natural look. To make the wood darker, you may repeat this step or you can add a stain to help achieve this.

Another cool look is to distress the wood by applying texture to it. One way to achieve this is by using a chain and penetrate the wood to create indents. By adding indents it will portray a rougher look to add more character to the piece.

Pictured are a few examples. The furniture pictured here was actually raw scrap wood that we had in the garage. A few saw cuts and nails later and this is what it looks like.

Each piece is about $10.00 in labor and a little sweat equity. Give it a try and send us your results.

DIY table with burn effect by Sunset Ridge Exteriors DIY table with texture Sunset Ridge Exteriors DIY table Sunset Ridge Exteriors

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Sunset Ridge Exteriors Recieves Sixth Angie's List Super Service Award

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Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison area receives Angies service award

Sunset Ridge Exteriors is proud to have earned the Angie’s List Super Service Award for the sixth consecutive year and one of the few in the Madison area.

The award honors excellence in service companies and only the top 5% of businesses in each category receive the award. This selection is based on customers reviews and ratings, and allows Angie’s List customers to know our business is one of the most recommended and trustworthy in the area.

For Sunset Ridge Exteriors, the award serves as a reminder of the commitment we make to our customers, to provide outstanding work and always strive to exceed our customer's expectations.

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ScotchgardProtector Helps Keep Your Roof Looking New

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Atlas Designer Shingles featuring Scotchgard Protector

Your roof is a large part of your homes curb appeal. Black streaks caused by algae build-up can make your roof look older than it really is.

Atlas Designer Shingles featuring Scotchgard Protector helps to protect the beauty of your home’s exterior. The shingles contain more copper granules than the ordinary algae-resistant shingle, allowing for a greater protection from black streaks.

Find out more information in the video!

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New Year Projects for your Home

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Home Projects for the New Year The new year is a time to reflect, refocus, and recommit to our priorities. We all have areas we want to improve… our health, our finances, our contentedness, but for now… think of one of your biggest investments: your home. What projects have you considered but maybe put off? What areas are calling for your attention? How’s that honey-do list look? After brainstorming all the what ifs… now consider this question: if _______ were different, my home would be _______ and that would make me feel _______. Picture this happening. What steps need to occur? Sometimes by focusing on the next ONE thing, we can begin to see results! Need some ideas? Here are some of ours...

Refresh your front door

An updated front door can add curb appeal to your home. Replacing the door with a newer style or painting your old door to a new color or stain can make your home instantly more attractive.

Plan a deck do-over

Consider revamping your outside experience this spring by updating your deck. There are many ways that you can take a simple deck and change it to something better. Here are a few possible enhancements:

  • Resurface and restain
  • Repair any loose or broken boards
  • Add lighting
  • Revamp your railing

Make your home more energy efficient

Increasing your home’s efficiency not only saves money but is good for the environment. You can update incandescent light bulbs to LEDs, add a smart thermostat, or upgrade old appliances. Check your windows and doors for drafts or gaps; add weatherstripping or caulking where necessary. You can also learn more about energy efficient windows.

Complete small repair projects before they become big problems

Finally, have your home inspected for any issues caused by seasonal weather or aging. Having a licensed contractor come to look at your home will help you identify any potential areas of concern and help create a plan to address them. For more information about an inspection from Sunset Ridge Exteriors in the Madison area, call 608-838-2500.

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Sunset Ridge Exteriors Achieves Atlas Platinum Certificate

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Sunset Ridge Exteriors in the Madison area receives Atlas Pro Platinum Certificate

Sunset Ridge Exteriors is proud to announce the achievement of the Atlas Platinum certificate, making us one of the top roofing installers in the state. We are one of the few companies to accomplish this achievement in the Madison area and Wisconsin from our countless successful jobs featuring the Atlas Roofing products.

The integrity valued and guaranteed at Sunset Ridge Exteriors ensures that the projects we serve come out complete and in line with our customers needs. Atlas products continue as a strong contribution to the core of what makes up the durability and strength of our roofing services.

Sunset Ridge Exteriors Atlas Pro Platinum Certificate

Thanks to the hard work and dedication from our staff, our loyal customers and Atlas Roofing Corporation who made this possible. Sunset Ridge Exteriors is excited for the upcoming projects in the following year and to achieve many more accomplishments in the future.

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Technology Changing the Industry

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Atlas Roofing Shingles

Technology is making home inspections safer and more accurate. An analysis of your whole roof and even home can now be done with the contractor doing little to no measuring. Analyzing a home through personal measurements can be timely and dangerous to the contractor, and now the process is improving through technology advancements.

Full House Inspection

Hover, an app developed for full house measurement, allows our contractors to save time and receive accurate results for your home. It uses technology capabilities to take multiple photos from a home and scale the measurements from the exterior. The measurements include: roofing, siding, fascia, and windows. With a 3-D analysis of your home and 100% accuracy for the measurements, it will give a multiple page quote for all the aspects Sunset Ridge Exteriors needs to know to give you the best price.

Roofing Inspection

Having a contractor get on your roof can do more damage to it during the inspection. To ensure damage control and accurate measurements, Sunset Ridge Exteriors uses the app iRoofing. Using google earth to accurately measure the roof, it helps for a safe and precise calculation.

Looking into the Future

To assess roof damage, Sunset Ridge Exteriors will soon be doing drone inspections in 2018. This will allow for a safe and easy inspection with video and photos of the areas damaged for the customers and contractors to see.

With the technology advancements happening in the industry, it is allowing for exact and safe inspection for Sunset Ridge Exteriors contractors and homeowners.

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Winter Roof Inspections

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Home in the winter

As the seasons keep changing and winter is soon to come, homeowners should take time to look at the area that has the most protection for their home: the roof. It is recommended to have an annual inspection to assess your roof for wear and tear that could have accumulated from the passing seasons.

As long as you do not have a heavy snow load this winter, having your roof inspected during the season can help catch existing problems that could get worse through time. Schedule an inspection if you notice any of the following problems:

  • Are there any missing shingles?
  • Do you notice any leaks?
  • Are there piles of leaves and debris on your roof?
  • Do the gutters or trim look bent?
  • Have icicles and ice dams formed?

If you notice any of these issues, it is best to have them addressed as early as possible before any larger damage occurs.

Call in the Pros

Do not go on your roof to do a personal roof inspection if you see any signals to issues. Contact expert contractors who know what to look for and how to safely walk on a roof. Sunset Ridge Exteriors offers free inspections for your home.

Having an annual roof inspection done by Sunset Ridge Exteriors can help prolong the life of your roof and catch any starting problems before they turn into disasters. Our inspectors can answer any questions you may have about your roof or the report, and any other concerns you have on your exterior home.

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Benefits of Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows for your Home

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Aside windows

Choosing energy-efficient windows for your home has many advantages and environmentally friendly. These windows come in many different styles and colors to perfectly fit your homes design. Here are some at-home benefits of the windows.

Save Money

Energy-efficient windows help keep the outdoor elements out and eliminates the inconsistent temperatures throughout your home. When you are consuming less energy to heat and cool your home, it will translate into cost saving.

Improved Comfort

People may increase the heat to compensate for cold windows in cold weather, as well as use air-conditioning to counter the effects of warm window surfaces and sunlight in the summer. The inconsistent temperatures in your home may lead to discomfort, and turning to an energy-efficient window can help dismantle this.

Reduce Fading

Surfaces in a home, such as carpet, furniture and wood, can begin to fade when exposed to sunlight. Windows that do not have a coating over the glass can make this more likely to happen. Low-E coated glass is a great alternative to help stop fading while allowing for the greatest amount of sunlight in your home.

Silencing Noise

A benefit of insulative, energy-efficient windows is their soundproofing ability. They have a strong seal that keeps exterior conditions and loud noise out.

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Enter The Ugliest Roof Contest

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The Ugly Roof Contest from Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

Sunset Ridge Exteriors presents The “Ugliest” Roof Contest where you can win up to $1000 credit on a new roof.

Respond to our Facebook post with a picture of your “ugly,” unsightly, or damaged roof. For example, the picture may include curled shingles, black streaks, missing or cracked shingles, old age, or any other damages that may be impacting your roof.

Entries will be taken from October 4th through midnight on October 19th. The top two “ugliest” roofs will be picked by the voting of others on Facebook!

The grand prize winner will receive a $1000 credit for a new roof, and the runner-up will receive a $500 credit for a new roof.

Atlas Roofing Corporation has teamed up with us for the contest!

Click on the link for a chance to win!

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Signs it may be Time to Replace your Roof

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Roof repair by Sunset Ridge Exteriors

Roofs begin to fail through their life expectancy in many ways. There are signs to look for when your roof is getting older and some may be more noticeable than others. Here is a list of potential signs that your roof may need to be replaced.

1. Shingles edges are curling or the shingles are cupped

Curling shingles on a roof

2. Shingles are missing

Missing shingles on a roof

3. Shingles are cracked

Cracked shingles on a roof

4. Shingles are missing granules

Shingle with missing granules

5. Shingles have a build-up of moss, algae or mold

Shingles with moss, algae or mold build-up

Roof with moss, algae or mold build-up

6. The roof is sagging

Sagging roof on a home

7. Your roof is reaching 20 to 30 years has further problems due to old age?

These problems may be minor, but can be a sign of further damage in the future. Call Sunset Ridge Exteriors if you notice any of these signs to have a further inspection on your roofs problems.

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How to Pick the Best Roof Color for Your Home

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House with blue siding and grey roof
Photo by Chris Cook Homes LLC - Search exterior home design ideas

The roof is a large part of your home’s exterior, and deserves a lot of consideration of color and style when looking for a new one. Here are some tips to consider when picking the best roof color for your home.

Shingle Color Coordination

The color of your home's siding and trim should help you decide the color of your roof. Coordinating the color of these elements will help pull the home’s exterior together. Below is a chart of the different shingle colors offered by Atlas Roofing Corporation, and the siding colors they compliment.

Shingle and siding color coordination table

The Style of Your Home

The style of your home can also help lead you into a direction of what color may be best. For example, light siding goes well with a black shingle roof for a traditional look. Also, a dark siding with a dark shingle roof will lead you toward a modern style.

The Area and Climate you Live in

Depending on what climate you live in, certain shingle colors can lead to positive results. For example, if you live in a warm climate a light shingle color can deflect sunlight and keep the temperature down in a home, while a dark shingle color and absorb heat in a cold climate and keep it warmer in the home. These options can help you save money on bills in the future.

You should consider all things when you are choosing your new roof. Check out our design studio from Atlas Roofing Company to see how these colors will look on your home!

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Oh, Hail No

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Recently, in the Madison area, we had a hail storm. If you think you have hail damage, there are a few things you need to do… Lock the doors, pull the shades, and unplug the phone because they are coming for you!

Who are they, you ask? The Stormchasers... You know, the guys from out of state that do nothing but chase the storm damage. BEWARE --- on a recent visit to a damaged neighborhood, there were no less than 10 people pounding on doors offering “to help”. The license plates on their cars ranged from Texas to North Carolina. Not a single one was local, though they will lead you to think they are.

If you believe you have hail damage, please, please:

  • Do not let anyone climb on your roof. You have no idea if they carry insurance in the state of Wisconsin, and you could have a bigger problem if they fall off your roof.
  • Do not sign ANYTHING. They are often looking to do an inspection so they ask you to sign a form. In the small print of the form it often states you must pay them a 30% charge if you don’t use them to address the damage.
  • Do not believe them when they tell you that they will work with your insurance company to guarantee your whole roof gets replaced. It is simply not true. The only person that can determine if you have hail damage is the insurance adjustor from your insurance company, and every company’s definition of damage is different.

So what is the best strategy? Do nothing, that’s right, do nothing... until the dust settles and the chasers leave. You may ask why? I have worked in this industry in Wisconsin for many years, and I have never seen damage caused by Wisconsin hail to be catastrophic. When hail hits, it tends to remove granules from the shingles or may dent shingles. While it may be unsightly, it seldom causes immediate leaks. In fact. it simply promotes premature wear and deterioration that will occur over years. You have ONE YEAR from the date of the storm to file a claim. Do your research and find a local contractor… one that has references and a storefront.

Another benefit is that we work with local adjusters all the time. These adjusters like when a local contractor is involved because we can speak to and point out damaged areas. We also don’t have an emotional connection to the home; I have seen many homeowners “lose it” on an adjuster when they are not told what they want to hear. Let us help you with the hassle. This is just another way Sunset Ridge Exteriors offers you Peace of Mind, Every Time.

Once the adjuster has left, they will provide you with a detailed report on the areas of damage that they have noticed. It is important to review these documents with your contractor. There have been many times when items may not have been accounted for or were simply left out. It is the job of your contractor to sort that out and work with the insurance company and adjuster to make you whole again.

Now let’s get into reading your insurance report. Generally, all insurance policies written in the state of Wisconsin are replacement value policies. The insurance company will figure what that cost is minus the depreciation or decreased value based on age, and cut a check for the balance, or actual cash value. The important thing to remember is that the depreciation is recoverable when the work is complete. They will also make the payee of the check the homeowner and the bank as the primary lien holder. This means that you and your contractor will have to work with your bank to have the funds released for down payment and final payment. You will also have a deductible for your policy that you will have to pay out of pocket. Once your work is scheduled, and again when your work is completed, your contractor should let your bank and insurance company know the detailed scope of work and provide a lien waiver. Some banks and/or insurance companies may choose to do their own inspection upon job completion before providing a final payment.

A common question that is asked is: “Does all the work need to actually be done?” The short answer is usually yes. The insurance company will typically not pay you the recoverable cash value of repairs that are not done; they will also no longer cover additional damage in future storms to the same area.

I hope this information helps, as always, you can reach me at 608-838-2500 or

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Why Ventilation is Crucial to Maximizing the Life Expectancy of a Roof

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Repaired roof

Effective attic ventilation provides year-round benefits for all roofing system types. It protects against damage to material and structure of the roof. In any season, bad ventilation can have negative effects on your roof.

With poor ventilation, summer temperatures can cause a massive heat build-up in the attic. The combined heat and moisture can lead to many problems, including damage to roof decking and shingles, which can deteriorate prematurely and shorten the life expectancy of a roof. Not only can poor ventilation have negative impacts in the summer, but also in the winter.

In the winter, moist warm weather from lower areas of your home can rise into the attic. This leads to the warm moist air condensing to the rafters, nails, and attic side of the deck. This excess water can cause many problems, such as deck swelling, buckling of shingles, and deck rot.

Another problem from poor ventilation in the winter is the formation of ice dams. The warm temperature in the attic combines with the sun’s heat causing the snow to melt and refreeze at the eaves and gutters. This cycle can cause damage to the roofing due to the build up of water. It can build up under shingles, fascia boards, and soak roof decking. Having proper ventilation will help diminish this problem. Proper placement and installation of vents assures a continuous flow of air that moves in the desired direction. This can play a critical role in preserving the life of your roof performance, especially with the change of weather.

Here at Sunset Ridge Exteriors, we practice proper roof ventilation so you home has a durable and long-lasting roof. If you have any concerns about your homes ventilation, call us today to set up a consultation!

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Why Asphalt Shingles are the Best Choice for Your Roof

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Home featuring Atlas shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing material and a great option for nearly anyone who is considering a new roof. Their many benefits include a variety of colors and styles and have an inexpensive cost. Let's take a better look at the many benefits of asphalt shingles.


One of the top advantages of asphalt shingles is they are less expensive than other types of materials. The low cost and many benefits come together to bring the most value out of your money.

Considering style

Asphalt shingles come in different styles including 3 tab, architectural and premium. No matter your homes styles, there is an asphalt shingle that will fit due to the many designs and colors. 3-tab shingles are very common, along with architectural options a close second. Architectural shingles give your roof dimension with the style. The premium also has a variety of patterns that will let you customize your homes roof.

Weather Resistant Options

Weather can have many negative impacts on your roof. Being prepared with a weather resistant shingle will allow you to save damage costs in the future.Atlas Roofing Corporation has a variation of asphalt styles that include weather resistant capabilities.

Working with the Professionals

Here at Sunset Ridge Exteriors, we have expert roofers that can lead you to an asphalt roof option that will fit your homes style. When the right shingle is picked for your home, our experienced installers will make for a worry free installation and an amazing outcome.

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Exterior Door: The Steps of

Choosing a Patio Door

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Alside Patio door

New patio doors can be a great option to update your home with security and style. There are many steps that can go into choosing a patio door, and you want to make sure you pick the right one for your home. You can directly go through a contractor to help you with the process. Here at Sunset Ridge Exteriors, we have great advice and expert employees to help you with every step. Read on to learn the steps in choosing your next patio door.

1. Determine your budget

An exterior door can be more expensive, but each door installation will be different due to the many factors that go into the process. Talking to one of our team members will lead you to a general budget for the total cost.

2. Choose the patio door style.

Sliding patio doors

Sliding patio doors is a great option for saving space. They offer great functionality and style, with an incredible amount of natural light to fill your living space.

Hinged or French

These styles are easy to customize to fit your homes style. French doors both swing, while hinged have a fixed panel. They can add elegance to your home and make for a great option.

3. Decide which patio door material is best for your home.

Vinyl patio door

Vinyl patio doors are built to have a long lifetime through use and weather. This option is less expensive than wood and fiberglass patio doors, and easy to keep maintained. Vinyl doors come in many different colors and designs for an easy match for your home.

Wood patio door

Wood patio doors extract a stylish look that can be painted or stained to your liking. They are more expensive and will require more upkeep to sustain a beautiful look year to year.

Fiberglass patio door

Fiberglass is one of the most expensive patio door material, but it does have many benefits. It requires little to no maintenance, and can bare through severe outdoor weather and elements. Fiberglass doors can be customizable to blend greatly with your exterior home design.

4. Find a pro

If you are all ready to get started, you can find a pro to talk to about the patio doors and installation. Here at Sunset Ridge Exteriors, we have an amazing range of patio doors from Alside. With beautiful patio door options and our experts advice and installation, you will have your dream patio door for your home in no time.

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Keeping Your Deck Safe with an Annual Inspection


Deck on a home

Have you inspected your deck this season?

The summer season brings a lot of use to your deck. Therefore, it is important to check your decking to make sure the area is safe and in usable condition.

Problems with decks can arise from aging, wood failure, or water damage. The extreme change of weather and activities can lead to structural breakdowns overtime. But, what if your deck isn’t that old or you have a long-lasting deck surface? Even so, the substructure of your deck is wood that can rot, and there are many other elements of a deck that can be problematic.

What to Inspect to Keep your Deck Safe

1. Wooded areas

The wooden areas to inspect are the ledger board, support boards, joints, deck boards, railing, and stairs. First, look for small holes that will indicate insect infestation. Then, check areas that are regularly exposed to water. If the wood is soft or spongy, this may be the sign of wood decay and rotting. Water is the number one enemy of wood and can cause deck failure from the exposure of moisture. Once the wood hits a moisture content of 19%, the wood begins the process of rotting. This occurrence is not always visible, so it is important to have a annual inspection.

2. Fasteners

If you have a wood decking surface, look for loose nails to tighten or replace. Also, replace any rusted or corroded fastener. The corrosion of fasteners can deteriorate surrounding wood.

3. Railing

Railings are a main part of safety, and need to be closely analyzed. Make sure that your railing will not give when force is upon it. Also, Make sure height of railing and width between rails are up to safety code. (Tip: Always consult local building codes for the most up-to-date information) Lastly, check the connectors to make sure the are all tightened.

It is important to annually inspect your deck for safety and usability. An expert inspection and repairs by Sunset Ridge Exteriors will ensure you to have an extra safe and usable deck for your summer season. Call us today to learn about our special deck deals.

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Live Colorfully - Exploring Siding Colors


Home with blue siding

There are many siding colors that have different outcomes and appearances, and making a decision can be tough due to the long-term keep. The following is a generalization of different color categories with samples from our siding providers.


Warm hues consist of reds, deep oranges, golden yellows, and browns. These colors feel inviting with a rustic sense.

Left (1) - Sandstone Beige by James Hardie

Middle (2) - Mountain Berry by ProVia

Right (3) - Canyon Drift by Alside


Cool hues align with colors of the ocean and sky. The blues and grays have a calm, classy look, with a nautical style.

Left (1) - Mystic Blue by Alside

Middle (2) - Nautica Signature Collection by ProVia

Right (3) - Boothbay Blue by James Hardie


Light colors of siding are white, soft pastels, creams. They reflect a new and bright look that quickly attracts the eye.

Left (1) - White by ProVia

Middle (2) - Adobe Cream by Alside

Right (3) - Navajo Beige by James Hardie


These tones include all colors with a dark hue. Many popular colors of dark are grays, blues, browns, and reds. They have a modern look that leaves a feel of drama to the exterior.

Left (1) - Charcoal Smoke by Alside

Middle (2) - Sea Slate Signature Collection by ProVia

Right (3) - Country Lane Red by James Hardie


Fresh colors align with the earthy hues. Yellows and greens have a crisp and youthful look.

Left (1) - Juniper Ridge by Alside

Middle (2) - Woodland Cream by James Hardie

Right (3) - Willow Signature Collection by ProVia

Our siding providers offer many more colors and siding options. To explore these options, below are links to the visual help that will further your choice in your homes siding by siding company.

ProVia Visualizer

James Hardie Home color tool

Alside Home Visualizer

The visualizers with help you generalize what colors and brand works best for your home. The Sunset Ridge Exterior roofing specialists will then further your decision and align you with a perfect match and install. Call today for your consultation or book online now.

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Gutters: An Integral Part of Your Home's Exterior

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Roofing in Madison Sunset Ridge Exteriors

Gutters are one of the smaller parts of a home's exterior but have a lot of major needs. A gutters’ purpose is to take rainwater and run it away from the roof and the home’s foundation. This ensures that water does not build up around the foundation of the home, which minimizes the risk of water intrusion in the basement and foundation erosion. If your gutters begin to leak, this water pooling can lead to damage for the house.


One of the most common reasons why gutters leak is because they’re clogged. Leaves, twigs, and debris will force the gutters to become weighed down, which may cause separation in areas between the gutter and edge of the home’s fascia. When this happens, water does not drain off the roof into the gutter properly and instead spills right into the foundation below it.

Bad Joints

Gutters are a system of pieces that connect and work together to move water from the home. The connecting pieces are attached by joints that can begin to wear over time. This can cause leaks in these areas, which may need to be fixed or replaced.

Hardware Malfunction

Gutters are attached to the home by pieces called “hangers”. Hangers can become loose due to excess weight in the gutters or deterioration. This will cause the gutters to separate from the home's fascia and lead to improper spacing, which can contribute to problems.


The most frequent cause of water in your basement and foundation failure is a downspout becoming unattached. It’s worth the time to periodically check to make sure your downspouts are attached and draining water away from your home.

These less obvious components of your home’s exterior can have a lasting detrimental effect on your home if not checked on a regular basis. If you have questions about your gutters, please give us a call. We will gladly give you advice or an estimate for 5” high capacity gutters with 4” downspouts. These feature convenient “tip-ups,” a bracket that attaches to the downspouts that allows you to raise them for yard work and keeps them attached during rain and wind storms.

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Home in a thunderstorm

3 Things to Look for in a Roof Before Buying a New Home

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House Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

When looking for a new home to call yours, you want to be sure to inspect all areas of the house especially the roof. The roof is one of the main parts of a home’s exterior, and having it fully inspected by yourself or a professional will save you money and problems in a long-term decision.

Do a visual check

A simple visual evaluation can be the first step in checking the roof. Check that the roof is mold-free, laying flat with no curled edges or bulges, and is not missing any shingles. Also, asking how old the roof is will give you a good idea of the expectancy and future lifetime. Roofs last around 15 to 25 years before the roof may need to be replaced or fixed.

Make sure there is proper ventilation

Even if the roof is relatively new, it may not have proper ventilation. This may lead to damage to the roof and attic. When the home does not have the proper ventilation it may lead to warping in the roof or moisture buildup in the home. Having proper ventilation reduces energy costs, decreases the amount of moisture in the house, and can lead to a longer lifespan for the home’s roof.

Look for leaks

Leaks can be a great deal of pain to homeowners. They can cause a lot of damage to the home and can be hard to find. Common area leaks occur by roof valleys, chimneys, plumbing vents, and any roof seams connecting additions. Make sure to ask if the previous owner has experienced roof leaks. If leaks are present or you have any concern, consider contacting a professional roofing contractor, Sunset Ridge Exteriors, to inspect the roof further.

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Home in a thunderstorm

DIY Pallet Board Shelf

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DIY project by Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

Do-it-yourself projects have been a recent craze. These affordable projects can save you extra money and creates a personal touch for your home.

Here is a DIY pallet shelf created by our production manager, Matt. The main material of the shelf is pallet board that is cut, sanded, and nailed together by canvas nails. It is finished with two wall hangers on the back side. You can then hang and style it.

What you need:

  • Pallet boards
  • Canvas nails
  • 2 Wall hangers
  • Sandpaper

DIY pallet board shelf Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison DIY pallet board shelf by Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

Try this DIY yourself, or go to our Facebook page and comment on our post.

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Home in a thunderstorm

Benefits of a Professional Home Inspection to Assess Storm Damage

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Storm damage Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

Catch Minor Damage

You will notice obvious storm damage like patches of missing shingles or hail damage, but a storm can also do unnoticeable harm to your home. A professional assessment will catch minor damages on your home that you may not see. Damage can get worse if the problem is not targeted and repair is delayed. Having one of our evaluators at Sunset Ridge Exteriors catch these issues will help with costly repairs down the road.

Help File an Insurance Claim

If your home has suffered extensive damage during a storm, it is best to have a professional assessment for your needed insurance claim. They will be able to assess all damage that your roof has suffered, and develop a detailed report of the problems. This will help in the process of filing a claim insurance claim for your home.

Professional Assessment

When assessing your own home, you will not see the damage that a professional contractor will. When you have an inspection from one of our trained team members at Sunset Ridge Exteriors, we will be able to give you a quote on the repairs and determine the needed replacement for the damage.

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Spring Cleaning for the Exterior of Your Home

Sunset Ridge Exteriors in Madison

As many are busy cleaning the interior of their home this spring, it is just as important to clean the exterior as well. Exterior cleaning is critical for your homes long-term health. As the weather gradually gets warmer and outdoor activities get easier, here are some fast and simple ways to clean the exterior of your home.


Make sure your gutters are clear of debris or any material that could cause restriction of water flow. Clogged gutters can lead to many problems including overflow, mold, rot, and flood damage - which can diminish the lifespan of your roof and siding. If you notice cleaning your gutters is frequent and time consuming, it may be time to upgrade to clog free gutters. Check out GutterRx and an installation to solve this problem.


It is important to do an annual deck clean and check to keep it maintained. This will forestall repairs, protect your investment, and heighten your enjoyment in your outdoor space. Sweep and wash your deck free of debris - use a power washer for an easy and fast clean-up. At this time you can consider whether it is time to apply a stain or sealant, or need repair. If further repair is needed, you can contact Sunset Ridge Exterior for a consultation.


Siding is a large part of the exterior of your home and curb appeal, and cleaning it can make your home look more attractive. It is important to clean your siding annually for it can generate mold, mildew, and dirt. Using a pressure washer, it can be easy to clean any siding such as wood, vinyl, or stone.


Cleaning the windows can make your home look nicer, as well as make it appealing for you to see outside. Harsh elements can build up on the exterior of your windows and lead to damage; therefore, it is important to annually clean them to protect their lifespan. Simply use soapy water to clean away dirt and debris, then squeegee off the excess liquid.


Your front door should be cleaned and inspected about once a year. You can use a gentle cleaner to remove dirt and grime, and a glass cleaner to clean window panels. As you are cleaning your door, you can perform a basic inspection. Look for damage, weather stripping, or chipped finish. If you need a repair or a new door, you can contact Sunset Ridge to get an inspection.

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Sunset Ridge Exteriors Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Angie's list super service award sunset ridge exteriors in Madison

Sunset Ridge Exteriors has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.

This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of Home Improvement companies were able to do it.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

"We are pleased to accept this award for the 4th year in a row. It shows that Sunset Ridge Exteriors has a commitment to maintain high standard of customer satisfaction," said Michael Richichi, co-owner of Sunset Ridge Exteriors.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high-quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”

Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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Hail Damage Myths

“I have to file a claim ASAP for my insurance to cover damage”:

The first thing to remember when dealing with your home is that most companies give you a year to file a claim with your insurance. While that doesn’t mean wait 10 months before checking for damage, it does mean that you do not need to fight with the influx of people demanding that someone comes out to their home today. Waiting a week or two for things to settle down and you can get your preferred roofing contractor out to take a look at everything won’t make a difference in the long run, and just might reduce your stress level. (A caveat here is that if you have very obvious damage such as a hole in your roof from a tree branch or siding ripped away from your house you would want to get that taken care of right away).

“My Neighbor Has Hail Damage, so that means I must have it too”:

Weather is weird. It is not uncommon for one home on a block to have damage, but none of the others do (or vice versa). I’m sure you’ve heard of the friend of a friend who had a roofer come to their door stating that they were working on the neighbors roof and so they would need to fix their roof to, and Oh! Here is a quote. Then after a claim is filed and the insurance company comes out it turns out there is no damage.

Not every company that comes to your door is disreputable, but it’s often safer to work with a company you find yourself through a safe consumer website then going with “storm chasers”.

“The hail was huge, it HAD to have damaged my roof, right?”

This might seem like a no-brainer: 2-inch hail was falling from the sky, of course, you have hail damage, you think. But as mentioned previously, the weather is weird. There are more factors that come into play than the size of the hail. Sometimes the wind isn’t blowing hard enough for the hail to cause damage. Sometimes, despite the size of the hail, the density isn’t that great, meaning no damage occurs.

So, if seeing hail the size of a golf-ball falling from the sky isn’t enough to indicate damage, what else can you do? Check out the other “softer” parts of your home and yard. Gutters, downspouts, grills, lawn furniture. If these softer objects aren’t dented, then it is not likely that your roof, which is designed to hold up to weather incidents, is damaged.

Tired of worrying about Hail damage? Give us a call and talk to us about our Hail-rated roofing options.

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Common Problems of Poor Roof Ventilation

Proper roof and attic ventilation are important parts of your roof system. Roof venting, when properly installed, helps push heat and moisture out of your attic and pull in fresh air. When adequate venting is installed it reduces the temperature differential between the air inside and outside of your attic. This can reduce the risk of several serious roof problems that would reduce the life of your roof system.

Most roofs are vented in two manners. Either a continuous ridge vent, which is popular due to its discreet appearance and maximum ventilation; or standard attic vents which are generally placed every 8 to 9 feet and while it is less expensive is much more conspicuous.

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How Do You Know You Need New Siding?

When was the last time your siding was replaced? Unlike many other home improvement projects, you might not think about your siding until an urgent problem arises. Siding is not all about aesthetics, as it also protects your home from rain, wind, snow and insects. But as with anything else in or on your home, siding ages. It wears, cracks, chips, falls off, and shifts and should be replaced before it causes any major (and possibly expensive) damage to your home.

So how do you know that you need to replace your siding?

Thanks to we who have identified specific things that indicate your siding may need to be replaced. Not only can this give your home a facelift (siding does fade over time after all) but it can help prevent potentially catastrophic damage before it happens.

  • Frequent Painting: If you are painting your home every 5 or 6 years then something might be wrong with the existing siding. Good siding should keep its paint a minimum of 8-10 years. If the paint is chipping, cracking, or peeling, it is a sign of a fundamental problem with your siding and likely needs replacement
  • Rotting or Warping: Warped siding in and of itself does not improve a home’s look, often making it look “wavy”. However warped siding can be a sign of an even greater issue of rot beneath it. A simple check is to identify warped siding and poke under it with something sharp, such as a screwdriver. If the layer under your siding has begun to rot and is soft, you likely need new siding.
  • Cracked or Loose Siding: One or two loose or cracked boards after a storm do not require your whole home to be re-sided. It is often possible to replace or fix one or two pieces. However, if the layer underneath is damaged, or there are multiple areas or large areas of your home that are cracked and missing, this can indicate greater risk to your home and should be addressed before adverse weather conditions such as cold and wet cause severe and expensive problems.
  • Peeling Paint or Loose Wallpaper Inside the Home: It is not always immediately obvious, but peeling paint or wallpaper that is pulling away from a wall inside a home can indicate faulty siding. Siding that has gone bad allows moisture to seep its way underneath and can percolate through the wallboard and lead to significantly damaging the interior of the home.
  • Fungus, Mold or Mildew: Growth on siding, especially at or near seams, can be an indication that water is penetrating it and may be held inside the wall, releasing slowly and leading to the growth. While not all mold, mildew or fungus is a cause for alarm, it is important to investigate as it could be a warning sign.
  • Severely Faded Siding: Nothing lasts forever. If your siding is so old and weathered that it has lost its color, or severely faded, it can indicate that your siding has outlived its life expectancy and waterproofing. Faded siding is not a definite sign that your siding needs to be replaced, but it is a good indication to watch for.
  • Bubbles in the Siding: The presence of bubbles just underneath the surface of siding is a sure sign that your home needs new siding. It is an almost certain indication of water trapped under your siding which is an immediate red flag as the one thing siding is meant to do is keep moisture away from the walls underneath.
  • Holes in the Siding: Even small holes can be a cause for concern. In general, holes in your siding are usually caused by insects. If insects have made their way into your siding, not only are they causing trouble on their own, but they allow for rain and snow to get into and under your siding.
  • Dry Rot: You can reveal dry rot problems before they become visible by tapping on your siding with the handle of a screwdriver. Dry rot begins below the surface of siding and then eats away the main body of siding, leaving just the top layer intact. This means that it is possible for the siding to look good to the naked eye, while the interior has rotted away.
Worried about the condition of your siding or interested in replacement options? Give us a call and schedule a free, no-obligation quote from Sunset Ridge Exteriors.

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How Often Should I Inspect My Asphalt Roof?

The average asphalt roof lasts anywhere from 15-20 years. Factors affecting the lifespan of your roof include the manufacturing process, installation methods, and techniques, proper (or improper) ventilation, as well as the climate and weather patterns where you live Harsh sun, heavy snow or rain, and hail can all negatively affect the lifespan of your roof. So when do you need to start regularly inspecting your roof?

This asphalt shingle has lost the majority of it's granulation make it more susceptible to weather. It came off a client's roof and was not visible from the ground.[/caption] For the first 10 years of your roof, unless you notice a specific problem or a tree falls on it you can pretty much let it go. You want to keep an eye on it as the seasons change, but in general there is no need for inspections. After 10 years, most experts recommend inspecting your roof twice a year. Every Spring to ensure no damage occurred over the winter and again in the Fall to make sure it is in good condition for the coming cold weather and snow.

Our roof Expert uses chalk to identify areas of hail damage on a roof inspection.[/caption] While you may be able to identify problems yourself from the ground, you will want an expert to come out at least once a year who can physically climb onto your roof and check common trouble spots and areas of concern up close. Is it time to have your roof inspected? Sunset Ridge Exteriors offers Roof Inspection packages on our website. Be sure to check out our Angie’s List storefront for any coupon’s available as well.

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Why should I clean my gutters?

Gutters are designed to be one of the first lines of defense for your home. They control the flow of water around the home and protect it saving you from thousands in repairs and premature decay of your home.

If gutters are left clogged or malfunctioning, water can overflow and collect around the foundation of your home. If this happens in the colder months, which is not strange here in Wisconsin, the water can freeze and expand causing cracks in foundation walls. If water isn’t flowing away from your house correctly, this same buildup and freezing can shorten the lifespan of your driveway and sidewalks with cracks and sagging concrete.

Backed up gutter water can also cause moisture damage to any wood in the fascia around your home. This not only leads to rotten wood, but can create undetected roof leaks that can damage interior walls and ceilings.

There are companies out there that will clean your gutters for a nominal fee if you are uncomfortable climbing ladders and putting yourself at risk. Or can you can look into gutter guard options such as GutterRx which provides a 20 year no-clog guarantee.

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