Title:
Fastening device, shield and shielded gutter system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Fastening device, a clip-in shield, and a shielded gutter system are disclosed. The fastening device is configured to attach a gutter to a mounting structure, rigidly position and support the gutter, and rigidly position and support the shield over the gutter. Each fastening device maintains both the gutter and the shield in rigid positions relative to one another and facilitates both front and rear drainage from the shield. A plurality of the fastening devices at spaced intervals along the gutter and shield are used to provide the shielded gutter system. The first embodiment of the fastening device has the intermediate body portion extending substantially perpendicular from the front rearwardly to the base portion at the rear and the second embodiment has the intermediate body portion extending rearwardly and down at an angle to the back portion to provide for increased support of the gutter front wall.



Inventors:
Knudson, Gary A. (LaQuinta, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/184484
Publication Date:
01/01/2004
Filing Date:
06/28/2002
Assignee:
KNUDSON GARY A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/072; E04D13/076; (IPC1-7): E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KATCHEVES, BASIL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANCEL W. LEWIS, JR. P.C. (2026 Caribou Drive SUITE 102, FORT COLLINS, CO, 80525, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A fastening device for fitting inside and supporting a gutter having a bottom wall, front wall and back wall with a top opening and supporting a shield extending forwardly and downwardly from the top of the back wall with a gap between the shield and front wall, said fastening device comprising: an intermediate body portion for extending between said back wall and said front wall of said gutter, a base portion at the rear of said intermediate body portion for attaching to a mounting structure behind said rear wall to support said front wall against movement, a first coupling portion at the front of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with a gutter coupling portion for rigidly attaching to said front wall to support said front wall against movement, an outside second coupling portion at the front of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with an inside shield coupling portion at the front of said shield for rigidly attaching the front of said shield to said intermediate body portion to support said shield against movement, and an outside third coupling portion at the rear of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with an inside shield coupling portion at the rear of said shield for rigidly attaching the rear of said shield to said intermediate body portion to support said shield against movement.

2. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said intermediate body portion, said base portion and said first, second and third coupling portions are made as a rigid, one piece, integral body.

3. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said intermediate body portion includes a base wall and a side wall extending up from one side of said base wall and has a top edge that extends along an upward angle from said second coupling portion to said third coupling portion toward said base portion.

4. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said intermediate body portion extends substantially perpendicular from said first coupling portion to said base portion.

5. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said intermediate body portion extends down at an angle from said first coupling portion to said base portion to provide increased support for said front wall of said gutter.

6. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said base portion include locator means for locating the said intermediate body portion relative to said back wall of said gutter.

7. The fastening device as set forth in claim 6 wherein said locator means is in the form of a detent in a rear surface of said base portion that receives a complementary shaped ridge on a front surface of said back wall of said gutter.

8. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said base portion has means for receiving and directing a fastener through said base portion and back wall for rigidly attaching the rear of said intermediate body portion to said mounting structure.

9. The fastening device as set forth in claim 8 wherein said means for receiving and directing a fastener is a hole in said base portion.

10. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said second and third coupling portions are located a selected distance apart to receive complementary shaped clip in coupling portions at the front and rear of said shield to provide a clip in fastening arrangement for fastening said shield to said second and third coupling portions.

11. The fastening device as set forth in claim 10 wherein said second and third coupling portions are male members made to fit into associated female coupling portion in the from of female sockets on said shield.

12. The fastening device as set forth in claim 11 wherein said male members have a circular cross section.

13. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said shield is constructed to flex under pressure to move a pair of opposed front and rear coupling portions toward one another to slide between said second and third coupling portions during installation and expand away from one another to cause said front and rear coupling portion to fit tightly against said second and third coupling portions.

14. The fastening device as set forth in claim 1 wherein a rear portion of said shield and said third coupling portion are arranged to provide for the passage of drainage water on said shield to flow past the rear of said shield.

15. The fastening device as set forth in claim 14 wherein said shield has a convexly curved rear section and a shield rear coupling portion made by extending the rear section rearwardly along a curve to form a female socket facing toward the rear, said third coupling portion having a shape complementary to and fitting in said socket, said third coupling portion locating said rear portion of said shield for rear drainage past the rear of said shield.

16. A fastening device for fitting inside and supporting a gutter having a bottom wall, front wall and back wall with a top opening and supporting an inside fitting shield extending forwardly and downwardly from the top of the back wall with a gap between the sheild and front wall, said fastening device comprising: an intermediate body portion for extending between said back wall and said front wall of said gutter, a base portion at the rear of said intermediate body portion for attaching to a mounting structure behind said rear wall to support said front wall against movement, a first coupling portion at the front of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with a gutter coupling portion for rigidly attaching to said front wall to support said front wall against movement, an outside fitting second coupling portion at the front of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with an inside fitting field coupling portion at the front of said shield for rigidly attaching the rear of said shield to said intermediate body portion to support said shield against movement, and an outside fitting third coupling portion at the rear of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with an inside fitting shield coupling portion at the rear of said shield for rigidly attaching the rear of said shield to said intermediate body portion to support said shield against movement and provides for front and rear drainage of water on said shield, said intermediate body portion, said base portion and said first, second and third coupling portions being made as a rigid, one-piece integral body, and locator means for locating said intermediate body portion relative to said back wall of said gutter.

17. A shielded gutter system comprising: a gutter having a bottom wall, front wall, back wall with a top opening, a shield extending forwardly and downwardly from the top of said back wall with a gap between said shield and front wall, and a plurality of fastening support devices fitting inside said gutter and shield, each said fastening device including: an intermediate body portion for extending between said back wall and said front wall of said gutter, a base portion at the rear of said intermediate body portion for attaching to a mounting structure behind said rear wall to support said front wall against movement, a first coupling portion at the front of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with a gutter coupling portion for rigidly attaching to said front wall to support said front wall against movement, an outside second coupling portion at the front of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with an inside shield coupling portion at the front of said shield for rigidly attaching the rear of said shield to said intermediate body portion to support said shield against movement, and an outside third coupling portion at the rear of said intermediate body portion for inter-fitting with an inside shield coupling portion at the rear of said shield for rigidly attaching the rear of said shield to said intermediate body portion to support said shield against movement.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This invention generally relates to gutters for collecting run off water from roofs and more particularly to a novel and improved fastening device, shield and shielded gutter system.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] Shielded gutters heretofore provided have been effective in preventing debris from entering the gutter and facilitating water drainage into the gutter. U.S. Pat. No. 891,406 discloses a shield for a gutter to prevent leaves and the like from entering the gutter. The present invention has modifications to the fastening device, shield and shielded gutter system disclosed in my U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,435, which is incorporated herein by reference.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0003] A fastening device for use in combination with a shield and gutter includes an intermediate body portion that extends between the gutter back wall and the gutter front wall, a base portion at the rear end of the intermediate body portion for positioning and directing a fastener through a fastening device and gutter back wall for rigid attachment of the fastening device and gutter to a mounting structure. The fastening device has a first coupling portion at the front end of the intermediate body portion for rigidly attaching to the gutter front wall, a second coupling portion at the front end of the intermediate body portion for rigidly attaching to a shield front portion and a third coupling portion at the rear end of the intermediate body portion for rigidly attaching to a shield rear portion. The rigidity of the mounted fastening device holds the gutter and shield in rigid or fixed, predetermined positions relative to one another and facilitates both front and rear drainage on the shield. A plurality of these fastening devices at spaced intervals along the inside of the gutter and under the shield provide a shielded gutter system. A second embodiment of the fastening device disclosed has the intermediate body portion extending down at an angle from the front to the base portion at the rear to provide increased support for the front wall of the gutter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] Details of this invention are described in connection with the accompanying drawings which like parts bear similar reference numerals in which:

[0005] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a fastening device for a shield and gutter embodying features of the present invention.

[0006] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a shielded gutter system embodying features of the present invention showing three of the fastening devices shown in FIG. 1 and portions broken away to show interior construction.

[0007] FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

[0008] FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of a second embodiment of a fastening device embodying features of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, there is shown a gutter 11 on a mounting structure 12, typically a fascia board, positioning the gutter just below the edge of a roof 13 at the eave. A shield 14 is supported in the gutter 11 by a fastening device 15 that fits in the gutter under the shield 14.

[0010] The gutter 11 shown has a bottom wall 16, a front wall 17 and a back wall 18 forming a U-shaped channel or trough. The front wall 17 has a channel shaped coupling portion 17a at the top that opens toward the rear and terminates in a back turned lip 17b. The gutter 11 functions in the conventional way collecting runoff water from the roof 13.

[0011] The shield 14 extends forwardly and downwardly away from the back wall 17 with a gap 19 between the front of the shield and front wall 17. The shield 14 is made from a flat, flexible sheet metal, shaped preferably by roll forming to have an intermediate section 21, a rear section 23 and a front section 24. The intermediate section 21 shown is essentially flat, but typically may have a slightly upwardly bowed curve. The front section 24 is formed along a selected radius R1. The rear section 23 is formed along a selected radius R2. A shield front coupling portion 27 is made by extending the material down from the front section 24 and rearwardly and back along a radius to form a female socket with an opening facing toward the front. A shield rear coupling portion 28 is made by extending the material down from the rear section 23 and rearwardly along a radius to form a female socket with an opening facing toward the rear. The shield 14 will flex so that upon applying inwardly directed compression forces to the shield front and rear coupling portions 27 and 28 the material will flex so coupling portions 27 and 28 move inwardly toward one another to fit inside and bear against associated outside complementary shaped coupling portions on the fastening device 15 described hereinafter. This provides a clip in fastening arrangement for fastening the shield to the second and third coupling portions of the fastening device. The shield 14 prevents debris from entering the gutter and facilitates water drainage into the gutter.

[0012] The gutter 11 and shield 14 are maintained in rigid or fixed predetermined positions relative to one another by the fastening device 15. The fastening device 15 integrates the gutter and shield into a shielded gutter system. The fastening device 15 includes an intermediate body portion 31 for extending between the back wall and front wall of the gutter, a base portion 32 at the rear of the intermediate body portion 31 for attaching to a mounting structure 12 behind the back wall 18 of the gutter to support the front wall of the gutter against movement. The intermediate body portion 31 includes a base wall 31a and a side wall 31b extending transversely up from one side of the base wall. The side wall 31b has a top edge that is angled upward from the second coupling portion 38 to the third coupling portion 39 at the rear, providing a ramping surface for the rear of the shield to ride across while installing the shield from the front side of the gutter. In addition, the intermediate body portion 31 may be configured such as with a notch in the top edge to hold the shield in an intermediate resting position prior to installation. This allows bulk placement of shields which can be installed at a later time.

[0013] The fastening device 15 has a first coupling portion 33 at the front that rigidly inter-fits with a female coupling portion 17a on the upper portion of the front wall 17 of the gutter. The intermediate body portion 31 extends substantially perpendicular from the first coupling portion 33 rearwardly to the base portion 32. It is understood that the connection between the first coupling portion 33 and the gutter front wall may be accomplished through other means, including snap-in, physical interference, inter-fitting, interlocking, rotational engagement, use of a fastener, or use of adhesives.

[0014] The fastening device 15 both locates and directs an attachment fastener 34, such as a screw, that extends through a hole 35 in base portion 32 and a hole in the gutter back wall 18. This function is accomplished by the hole 35, a circular or linear detent in the base portion of the fastening device, a longitudinal channel (either open or closed) through which the fastener must pass, or simply a target marked on the base portion. This feature may direct the fastener 34 perpendicular to the gutter back wall, or at some predetermined angle to the gutter back wall 18.

[0015] The fastening device 15 is located in a preselected position relative to the gutter back wall 18. The base portion 32 abuts against the gutter back wall at a selected vertical location. The fastening device may be located relative to the gutter back wall in a variety of ways. The fastening device 15 shown has a groove or detent 36 in the rear face that inter-fits with a forwardly protruding ridge 37 formed in the gutter back wall 18. Single or multiple grooves may be used. The lower edge of the fastener 34, or a downward extension of the base portion may rest at the bottom of the gutter. The upper edge of the fastener 34, or an extension of the base portion may rest on or be aligned with the top of the gutter back wall 18. These variations may be used individually and in any combination to locate the fastening device 15 relative to the gutter back wall 18.

[0016] The fastening device 15 rigidly positions the shield front portion, thereby locating the shield front portion relative to the gutter front wall 17. This relative positioning of the shield front portion and the gutter front wall upper portion facilitates both the drainage of water off the shield into the gutter and the blocking of debris from entry into the gutter.

[0017] The fastening device 15 has a second coupling portion 38 that rigidly inter-fits with the shield front coupling portion 29. The connection between second coupling portion 38 and the shield front coupling portion 27 may be accomplished through any of the following means: snap-in, physical interference, inter-fitting, inter-locking, rotational engagement, use of a fastener, or use of adhesives.

[0018] The fastening device 15 rigidly positions the shield rear coupling portion 28, locating the shield rear coupling portion relative to both the gutter back wall and the shield front coupling portion. The relative positioning of the convexly curved shield rear coupling portion and the convexly curved shield front portion orients the shield to receive water run-off from the roof, directing the water towards either the front or rear portion of the shield. The relative positioning of the shield rear portion and the gutter back wall facilitates both the drainage of water off the shield into the gutter and the blocking of debris from entry into the gutter. More particularly the rear drainage feature is provided by the convexly curved rear section 23 along radius R2 and the coupling portion 28 of the shield, together to the location relative to the back of the gutter and the shield rear portion and construction of the third coupling portion 39 that fits in coupling portion 28. This facilitates having water runoff from the roof striking the shield, drain past the rear of the shield, and over the rear of the third coupling portion 39 of the fastening device.

[0019] The fastening device 15 has a third coupling portion 39 that rigidly inter-fits with the shield rear coupling portion 28. The connection between the fastening device third coupling portion 39 and the shield rear coupling portion may be accomplished through any of the following means: snap-in, physical interference, inter-fitting, inter-locking, rotational engagement, use of a fastener, or use of adhesives.

[0020] The second coupling portion 38 and third coupling portion 39 shown are configured to provide a clip-in fit in the shield into the fastening device. As shown, coupling portions 38 and 39 have a circular cross section that are complimentary in shape to a socket of a circular cross section on the shield. In an alternative embodiment, the shield front and rear portions could fit outside the fastening device second and third coupling portions as was shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,435 above marked. In this case, the shield front and rear portions would be flexed outward to engage the fastening device second and third coupling portions.

[0021] The above discussed fastening device 15 has a rigid intermediate body portion 31 to which the base portion 32, first coupling portion 33, second coupling portion 38, and third coupling portion 39 are rigidly attached. The fastening device 15 is preferably made as a rigid one-piece integral body from a molded plastic material. The fastening device 15 has coupling portions that are configured to maximize its load bearing capacity. An alternate embodiment may be configured to provide angled or leveraged support for the upper portion of the gutter front wall. Conventional gutter hangars and spikes and ferrules rely on the gutter itself for any kind of angled support or bracing of the gutter front wall.

[0022] Referring now to FIG 4. an alternative embodiment of a fastening device 45 shown has a base portion 52 and an intermediate body portion 51 angled downward and rearward from the front or first coupling portion 35 to the bottom of the base portion 52 to provide increased support for the gutter front wall. The detent 56 and the hole 55 in the base portion 52 are a greater a distance below the third coupling portion 39 than that described in the fastening devie 15 above described. The intermediate body portion 51 provides the same body type of support for the second coupling portion 38 and the shield front portion. This embodiment of the fastening device makes the system less prone to load-induced failures. The hole 55 for locating the fastener 34 may be arranged as far up as the third coupling portion 39, maximizing the structural leverage of the fastening device.

[0023] The base portion 52 may be further configured to assist a user in the installation of flashing or drip edge at the eave. The base portion abuts against the gutter back wall, and may lie against the gutter back wall as high as the third coupling portion 39. However, the base portion 52 need only abut against the gutter back wall as high as the fastener location. Although some structural leverage may be sacrificed, the hole 55 and screw fastener may be located substantially lower that the third coupling portion 39. In this case, a gap between the rear portion and the gutter back wall may exist above the hole and fastener. This gap would allow flashing and/or drip edge to be installed behind part of the fastening device. This offers much more flexibility in correctly pitching the gutter for water flow by providing additional space for flashing and/or drip edge.

[0024] Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example and that changes in details of structure may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.