NORTH HILL BLUNDER – Don’t let it happen to you!

A few years ago we installed gutters for a nice lady on the North Hill in Livingston Montana. She had tall, beautiful cottonwood trees all around her house. We talked about installing our Gutter Helmet over her gutters to keep them clean. She was concerned because she wintered in Arizona, didn’t care much for ladders and had a sever case of “Yuck-a-Phobia” when it came to cleaning gutters. But, at the time she didnt want to invest in gutter protection.

Early that next spring we got an urgent call to come and look at her “gutter problem”.  I arrived to find the down spouts had plugged in the fall, causing the gutters to over flow all winter. When she got back home from Arizona, she found eighteen inches of water in her basement. She spent thousands on a major remodel, including mold remediation. Needless to say, Gutter Helmet was installed that next week.


Before writing this blog, I googled “gutter cleaning”, a list of gutter cleaning companies, all kinds of gagets for cleaning your gutters (including the spectacular iRobot Looj 125 gutter cleaning Robot) came up. All this things address the symptom, the real problem is that junk gets into the gutter. That is what needs to be stopped!!

Next I googled “gutter protection”. Agian, I got 401,000 results, screens, tubes, sponges, hoods, this works, that dosent work….


When Gutter Solutions was looking for a product to keep their customer’s gutters flowing free and clear, we decided on four criteria;

1. It had to keep debris from plugging the gutters and down spouts, and keep rain water flowing through the gutter system.

2. It had to last the life of the home.

3. It had to work in South West Montana’s harsh climate.

4. It had to look nice

We tried them all. We decided on Gutter Helmet because it meet all of our guidelines and it is backed by a national company, with a life time guarantee.

So, your gutters must be cleaned this spring. Your know what to do!

Gutter Solutions (406)222-0846

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Save the Rain Water! Use a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels really do help our environment! It’s one way we can each do our part to conserve our natural resources.

By installing a rain barrel system at your home you will:

1. Reduce flooding  in your yard or your basement, by collecting the water and using it for watering plants or slowly releasing it and allowing it to sink into the ground. 

2. Provide your plants with water they will love! Unlike treated water, which is “softened” with dissolved minerals, rain water is naturally soft. The water stored in your rain barrel is better than municipal water for washing your car and watering indoor or outdoor plants.

3. Save money and water! Instead of water from the tap or faucet, you can use the water you’ve saved to keep your home landscape happy and growing. You’ll also reduce your water bill and sewage bill!

4. Protect our rivers and streams! Water stored in your rain barrel is water that won’t rush off into our streams. Instead, as you use the stored rain water around the home and garden, it will absorb slowly into the ground replenishing groundwater supplies. By decreasing the volume of storm runoff, rain barrels also help moderate stream erosion and the resulting pollution that is impairing our waterways.

Installing and Managing Your Rain Barrel System During the Growing Season and Winter

— Choose your installation location. Place and level barrel on cinder blocks. Ensure steady footing.

— Cut downspout 18” above barrel or install shorter piece from guttering. Add an automatic diverter box and attach the diverter pipe to the barrel.

— Attach garden hose or spigot to shut off valve at bottom of barrel. To fill barrel, close valve. Open valve to use or empty barrel.

— Disconnect the barrel from the downspout during winter.

Gardening with the rain barrel

Montana rain patterns show regular rainfall events occur during April, May and June, just when vegetable gardens and perennial beds are being established. A wise approach is to water annuals and perennials with rain barrel water and mulch heavily to retain moisture during the drier months of July and August. Occasional rains in late summer will continue to refill the barrel.

Increase the capacity of rainwater storage

Many Park and Gallatin County residence connect more than one rain barrel together at each downspout. Raising the barrels off the ground by placing them on cement or wooden blocks will ease access to the faucet and provide the natural gravity to increase water flow.

Managing heavy rains

It is essential to consider the impact of heavy rains on your drainage system. An overfull barrel has the potential to cause erosion around your home. If heavy rains are predicted attach the overflow hose and aim away from the foundation of your home.

Controlling mosquitoes

Regular use of your rain barrel will prevent mosquito eggs from hatching. The rain barrel may be capped with fiberglass screen that allows water in, but keeps mosquitoes from getting into the barrel to lay their eggs. Also to prevent mosquitoes from breeding you may add a tablespoon of cooking oil to form a sheen on the top of the water. However, if you are still concerned about mosquitoes breeding in your rain barrel, you can add a whole or a half of a Mosquito Dunk to the water in your barrel to kill mosquito eggs. Mosquito Dunks can be purchased at most garden supply stores and from,

WARNING: Do not use rain barrels for drinking, cooking or bathing. If your roof is asphalt you should not collect water for vegetable gardens.

For a professional installation in the Livingston, Montana and Bozeman, Montana area call Gutter Solutions (406)222-0846. We offer a wide selection of Rain Barrel systems and would love to help you plan a system that works for you.

Check out some other great Montana resources:

(Thanks to the White Watershed Project for helping with this article

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Why Snaplock?

No Holes, No Leaks

After years of working with gutters and the gutter industry, we became frustrated with the lack of longevity of most gutter systems, and their inability to withstand Montana’s extreme weather conditions.

We began to notice that after about 3 years the gutters would begin to sag in the middle, curl on the ends and leak at joints and corners. This was a real frustration for us – we wanted better for our customers! 

After careful inspection of these failing gutter systems we found a common culprit – the gutters were expanding and contracting with temperature change and destroying the old fashion solid mounted fastening system and/or tearing apart the joints.

 After carefully researching products on the market we finally found our revolutionary, new Snaplock Gutter System. It answered every problem associated with loose or sagging gutters. In 2006, we enthusiastically became Southwest Montana’s exclusive Snaplock Gutter Dealer, and we recommend this system to every customer.

We like Snaplock because it is the strongest gutter attachment system in the world, it creates a free-floating gutter attachment system that does not create mold or rot on your fascia or wear and tear on the attachments system, and comes with a life time transferable manufacturer’s guarantee!

For more information call Gutter Solutions today at (406)222-0846 or check out our website, or

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Gutter Helmet Is Strong – Withstands 110 MPH Winds

Southeastern Metals recently contracted with an accredited ASTM* testing facility in Tampa, FL – PRI Construction Materials Testing Laboratory. PRI performed a “High Velocity Wind Driven Rain Test” that battered Gutter Helmet with winds/rain up to 110mph (Category 3 Hurricane). The results were amazing… watch the video here

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“Guaranteed Gutters”, are they worth it?

My brother, Jim, purchased a new gutter system a few years ago – they “looked” great. Then the rain came. He put on his rain coat, went out to examine his FINE, NEW gutter system. All the way around his house water was leaking behind the gutters causing damage to the fascia. He call the next day…no answeres no guarantees!

A guarantee is an important part of buying a product. Risk free buying is smart buying. You want to always have a guarantee with the product you purchase; you never know what might go wrong. Ideally it should be unconditional. There are several reasons why you should always buy a product with a guarantee. Here are a few.

Why you need a guarantee…

* Defects in any product: defective products can often occur despite your buying from a reputable business. This isn’t anyone’s fault and has to be expected to happen from time to time. This is why it is best to purchase from a business that has a good guarantee that doesn’t try to profit from, or wiggle its way out of a free replacement policy.

* Shows the business cares about its customers: a company that includes a good guarantee with its products shows that it cares about its customers. There is nothing worse than having something go wrong only to realize that the business you’re dealing with couldn’t give a fig if you don’t ever come back. As times get a little tougher these unscrupulous organizations begin to show their true colors.

* Buy with confidence: sometimes it’s not what you want and the quality of the product is substandard. Delays in a product’s delivery will possibly have a domino effect and hold up other work. Business delays can cost you money as well as your valuable time.

Always buy gutter systems with a guarantee!!

(Thanks Tom Sanderrs for your help with this article)

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Selecting a Rain Gutter Contractor

BUMMER – The rain gutters aren’t working, they’re plugged, they’re falling off, HECK WE DONT EVEN HAVE RAIN GUTTERS!! Now we have to find someone to help with our gutter system. How do we find one and how do we know if they are any good??

Here are some ideas:

The best way to find any contractor is to ask your friends and neighbors who they use. You can also look on the internet or yellow pages. It’s always a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau.


1. Does the company offer a guarantee, backed by the product’s manufacturer?

2. Can the company provide friendly, punctual service?

3. Does the company have a reference list for you to examine?

4. Are the installers Certified and professional?

5. Is the company fully insured, including commercial auto, commercial liability, and workman’s compensation?

6. Do they offer a wide variety of specialty products, colors and services?

7. Can they provide financing options?

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The Ever Important “Referral”!

So far this year our business has generated 307 leads, out of these 152 were repeat or referrals. THAT’S 50% FOLKS!!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a referral from you. That’s why Gutter Solutions is running an insanely amazing contest this next week – THE 12th REFERRAL WE RECEIVE THIS COMING WEEK WILL RECEIVE A GIFT CERTIFICATE TO REI FOR …wait for it, wait for it… $150. That’s right $150, all you have to do is come up with 12 people who got caught in the hail storm and off you go to a MAJOR shopping spree at REI.

We really do appreciate your referrals – Thank you so much!!


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