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Title:
Assembly clip for a rain gutter deflector
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A gutter lip mount clip for coupling a gutter deflector to a rain gutter is provided. In one embodiment, the gutter lip mount clip includes an upper portion and a lower portion having a first end connected to the upper portion and a second end. The upper portion is adapted for coupling the clip to an underside of a deflector and includes a plurality of apertures. The apertures are adapted for accepting a fastener for coupling the clip to the deflector. The lower portion is adapted to couple the clip to a gutter lip. In another embodiment, the lower portion includes a hook shaped member that engages the clip to the gutter lip.


Inventors:
Kuhns, Richard L. (Red Bank, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/829783
Publication Date:
10/28/2004
Filing Date:
04/22/2004
Assignee:
KUHNS RICHARD L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/076; (IPC1-7): E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MOSER, PATTERSON & SHERIDAN L.L.P. (595 SHREWSBURY AVE, STE 100, SHREWSBURY, NJ, 07702, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A gutter lip mount clip for coupling a gutter deflector to a rain gutter, comprising: an upper portion adapted for coupling to an underside of a deflector; a plurality of apertures formed through the upper portion and adapted for accepting a fastener for coupling the clip to the deflector; and a lower portion having a first end connected to the upper portion and a second end, the lower portion adapted to couple to a gutter lip.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the clip further comprises: an intermediate portion connecting the lower portion to the upper portion, the intermediate portion defines an acute angle relative to both the lower portion and the upper portion.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one of the apertures is a slot.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the slot is orientated laterally relative to the upper portion.

5. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the slot is substantially perpendicular to a width of the upper portion.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least two of the apertures are spaced laterally relative to the upper portion.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the apertures are arranged substantially perpendicular to a width of the upper portion.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the apertures are arranged in at least two rows of laterally spaced apertures.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein each of the rows further comprise three apertures.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the upper portion further comprises: a plurality of spaced-apart grooves, each groove formed laterally across the clip.

11. The apparatus of claim 2 further comprising: a trough defined between the second end of the lower portion and the intermediate portion.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second portion has a j-shaped distal end adapted to interleave with a lip of the rain gutter.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lower portion has an orifice formed therethrough.

14. An apparatus for a deflecting rain into a gutter having a substantially horizontal lip, said apparatus comprising: a gutter deflector; and a gutter lip mount clip comprising: an upper portion disposed against an underside of the deflector; and a lower portion having a first end coupled to the upper portion and a second end disposed on and adapted for coupling to an upper surface of the gutter lip.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the gutter lip mount clip further comprises: a plurality of apertures formed through the upper portion for coupling the clip to the deflector.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein at least two of the apertures are spaced laterally relative to the upper portion.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the apertures are arranged substantially perpendicular to a width of the upper portion.

18. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the apertures are arranged in at least two rows of laterally spaced apertures.

19. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the second portion has a j-shaped distal end adapted to interleave with the lip of the rain gutter.

20. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the lower portion has an orifice formed therethrough for accepting a fastener coupling the clip to the lip.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/465,509, filed Apr. 25, 2003, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a covering and deflector for existing rain gutters and roof-lines and, more particularly, to an improved deflector assembly for channeling rain water into a rain gutter.

[0004] 2. Background of the Related Art

[0005] U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,404,775 and 4,796,390 (which are hereby incorporated by reference), issued to Demartini, describe a deflector assembly which consists of a flat main portion and a curved or arcuate portion located between the main portion and a lower edge. The assembly is positioned above a rain gutter such that the lower edge is located between a front edge and a rear wall of the gutter, and the curved portion is of sufficiently large radius as to extend beyond a trough portion of the gutter and cause water traversing the main portion to be caused, by surface tension, to follow around the curved portion and leave the curved portion at the lower edge. The main portion is held in place with a clip having a substantially straight upper section and a reverse-curved, downwardly oriented lower section, including upward facing tabs in the upper section and downward facing tabs in the lower section to receive the upper edge of an associated rain gutter.

[0006] In principle, water coming from the roof flows onto the main portion of the deflector assembly following its path to the arcuate surface where, through principles of surface adhesion, water will adhere to the surface and be delivered into the gutter as the debris carried by the water is jettisoned off of the arcuate surface. However, difficulties ensue because of how the arcuate portion of the deflector device is attached to the gutter and held in place. Typically, clips such as those described in the prior art, e.g., in the U.S. Pat. No. '390 Demartini patent, are used to hold the deflector assembly in position above the gutter. The clip consists of a lower portion which is curved in a reversed direction to the curve of an upper portion. The lower portion is designed to rest on an upper edge of the outside wall of the gutter and is affixed via tabs to an inside lip of the gutter. The clips are often secured to the gutter by bending the clip down the outside wall of the gutter thus pulling the tab tight to the inside lip of the gutter. The difficulty with clips of this type is that they are not fully stationary at the gutter-clip juncture. Consequently, to facilitate a stable deflector assembly, the top edge of the flat portion of the deflector assembly must be made stationary to the roof via a combination of adhesive strips and by placing nails through the main portion into the roof. Such attachment to the roof prevents horizontal and/or vertical movement from wind and storms which could cause the deflector assembly to be blown off the gutter. The drawbacks of this arrangement are that the adhesive strip increases the cost and time required for installation. Additionally, the nail that is required to make the panel stationary simply introduces one more location on each panel, typically in 3- to 5-foot lengths, wherein water can enter through the shingles into the roof and potentially cause in-wall leaks and destruction of the roof itself. The other limitations of these types of assemblies are that the tabs used to affix the flat portion of the deflector to the clip are made of aluminum and easily break off. Thus, whenever the flat main portion of the assembly must be removed for maintenance purposes, the clips must be replaced. Another limitation is that these deflector assemblies have to be installed by trained technicians and often require two installers to align and attach the assembly to the roof.

[0007] Additionally, whenever the deflector assembly has to be removed from the gutter and roof for maintenance or replacement because of fallen tree limbs and the like, any fasteners or nails having been used to affix the flat portion of the covering to the roof must be removed, and replacing them during reinstallation further increases chances of causing a water pathway through the shingles and into the structure itself. Additionally, seal strips often used in the installation of this type of deflector often remove the grit from the shingles when the deflectors are removed. If deflectors are not replaced, an unsightly tell-tale blemish is left on the roofing where the seal strip was removed.

[0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional clip coupling a rain gutter and a deflector and FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 2--2 in FIG. 1. In FIG. 1, an existing rain gutter 6 of the usual type is attached to a building adjacent to a roof (50). This gutter 6 usually has an open top as shown in the left-hand portion of FIG. 1.

[0009] A covering and deflector (e.g., a deflector assembly) for the open rain gutter is shown generally at numeral 8. This deflector has a closed top portion 1 and an arcuate front portion 26. The arcuate front portion 26 interfits and affixes to an arcuate portion 7 of either a gutter lip mounting clip 10 or the rear mount clip 30.

[0010] The gutter lip mounting clip 10 connects to a bottom of a front lip 3 of the rain gutter 6. FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the gutter lip mounting clip 10 consisting of a lower portion 4 in which there is a slot 5 used to receive a fastener, e.g., a screw, rivet and the like. To attach the clip 10 to the rain gutter, the fastener is installed through the front lip 3 of the rain gutter 6 and into slot 5 of deflector gutter lip clip 10, which is hidden from view within the gutter. The deflector is attached to and supported by an upper portion 21 which contains a slot 22 that accepts fasteners. The upper portion 21 and lower portion 4 are connected to one another by an intermediate portion 34 having a generally arcuate form. When installed, the arcuate intermediate portion 34 interfits the inner diameter of the arcuate portion of the deflector. Importantly, to ease installation, the slot 5 of the deflector gutter lip clip 10 is positioned in a extension member 51 that offsets the slot 5 from a centerline of the clip, i.e., slot 22 is laterally offset from slot 5. As such, an installer has sufficient access to the slot 5 even though the intermediate portion 34 of the clip may extend over the lower portion 4. Thus, the complex assembly is relatively difficult to install.

[0011] FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of the conventional rear mount clip 30. Rear mount clip 30 is used to mount against rear wall of gutter 6. The clip is generally triangular in shape and contains a mounting plate 28, a bracing member 31 and a deflector support member 27. The clip is typically constructed from a single piece of aluminum or steel. To facilitate mounting the clip to the rear wall of the gutter, upper stops or ears 36 extend from the mounting plate 28 and behind the top edge of the rear wall of gutter 6. Alternatively, using screws or other fasteners, the mounting plate can be fastened directly to the fascia boards of the building structure. Also, for added stability, both the ears and direct fastening can be used.

[0012] Receiving slots 29 in mounting plate 28 allow for adjustments in height of the arcuate portion 7 of the clip and are fastened with tab 32 at one end of the bracing member 31. The bracing member contains stops 33 that make the bracing member stationary with respect to the mounting plate 28 Tab 32 of bracing member 31 extends through and beyond receiving slots 29 of mounting plate 28 by ¼ or more. The excess portion of the tab is bent down or twisted at time of installation to keep tab 32 from slipping or being knocked out of receiving slot 29. The deflector is attached to the deflector support member using fasteners through the deflector and into the slot 22. When attached, the arcuate portion 7 generally interfits the inner diameter of the arcuate portion of the deflector.

[0013] FIG. 4 shows a top view of the deflector assembly containing two deflectors 19 and 20. A top portion 16 of deflector 20 contains attachment apertures 27, 9, and 11 and top portion 17 of the deflector 19 contains attachment apertures 13, 14, and 15. To form a continuous covering over rain gutter, the top portion 16 of deflector 20 is joined with the top portion 17 of deflector 19 such that the top portions overlap as generally shown at 18 in FIG. 4.

[0014] As shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 3, the right deflector 19 is initially fastened with fastener 23 through attachment aperture 13 and through slot 22 of top portion 21 of gutter lip mounting clip 10. At the overlap juncture, left deflector 20 is laid over right deflector 19 and fastener 24 is installed through aperture 9 of deflector 20, aperture 14 of right deflector and through slot 22 of top portion 21 of gutter lip mounting clip 10. Lastly, fastener 25 is positioned through apertures 16 and 18 of right deflector 20 and left deflector 19 respectively. Alternatively, a rear mount clip could be used in lieu of the gutter lip mounting clip.

[0015] Once the foregoing process is complete, the right 19 and left 20 deflectors are securely fastened to the gutter lip mounting clip 10 by tightening the fasteners. If a rear mount clip is used, slot 22 and arcuate portion 7 of rear mount clip 30 (FIG. 6) are respectively analogous to slot 22 and arcuate portion 7 of gutter lip mounting clip (FIG. 5). As such, once the clips are installed, i.e., to the gutter lip for the gutter lip mounting clip or the rear gutter wall for the rear mount clip, the process for attaching the deflectors to either clip is identical.

[0016] The clips referenced above have several drawbacks when it comes to installation. The clip shown in FIG. 6 is often difficult to install in situations where roof shingles hang down into the gutter and the clip shown in FIG. 5, although ideal in principal, is difficult to install since member 51 of FIG. 5 slides under gutter lip 3 shown in FIG. 2 making it difficult for the installer who desires to self install to run a self tapping screw through lip of FIG. 2 into slot 5 of FIG. 5. Without perfect alignment of the screw with the slot 5, the screw pushes the clip away from the gutter, preventing the screw from securing the clip to the gutter. Holding the clip to the gutter with a clamp or hand tool, makes installation more difficult as the screw and driving device may additionally clear the clip holding device during installation. Holding the clip to the gutter by hand is dangerous as the screw may easily pierce the hand during installation.

[0017] Therefore, there is a substantial need in the art for an improved clip within a deflector assembly that does not require nailing or gluing the deflector assembly to the roof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0018] A gutter lip mount clip for coupling a gutter deflector to a rain gutter is provided. In one embodiment, the gutter lip mount clip includes an upper portion and a lower portion having a first end connected to the upper portion and a second end. The upper portion is adapted for coupling the clip to an underside of a deflector and includes a plurality of apertures. The apertures are adapted for accepting a fastener for coupling the clip to the deflector. The lower portion is adapted to couple the clip to a gutter lip. In another embodiment, the lower portion includes a hook shaped member that engages the clip to the gutter lip.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings.

[0020] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a conventional clip securing a deflector to a rain gutter;

[0021] FIG. 2 is a sectional view of one embodiment of the deflector and rain gutter, coupled by a conventional clip taken along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

[0022] FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view of the rain gutter, deflector and clip taken along the line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

[0023] FIG. 4 is a top view of the deflector assembly of FIG. 1;

[0024] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a conventional gutter lip mounting clip shown in FIG. 1;

[0025] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a conventional rear mount clip shown in FIG. 1;

[0026] FIGS. 7A-7C are various views of one embodiment of a clip of the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 7D is a partial sectional view of a clip coupling a deflector to a gutter end cap;

[0028] FIGS. 8A-8B are side and plan views of another embodiment of a clip of the present invention;

[0029] FIGS. 9A-9B are top views of alternative embodiments of a clip of the present invention;

[0030] FIG. 9C is a side view of another embodiment of a clip coupling a deflector to a rain gutter; and

[0031] FIGS. 10-11 respectively illustrate the clips of FIG. 7A and FIG. 8A coupling a deflector to a gutter.

[0032] It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0033] As noted in the aforementioned patents, the problems and annoyances involved in keeping rain gutters clean and free-flowing are common knowledge. However, the prior art solutions of screens, mesh, and deflectors for covering a gutter present other problems which in some ways are more burdensome and costly to install than simply periodically cleaning the gutters by hand. Not only do the screens and mesh materials themselves become clogged and blocked, but debris still collects within the gutter, necessitating removal of the screen or mesh before being able to reach the interior of the gutter for cleaning.

[0034] The present invention provides a deflector assembly having a deflector and gutter mount clip. The deflector assembly covers the gutter and prevents it from becoming clogged with leaves and other debris as well as to protect the roof-line from ice and snow damage. The deflector assembly of this invention is designed as two integral units so that leaves, for example, and other debris which may clog the gutter, can neither enter the gutter nor the opening in the deflector that permits rain water to pass into the gutter. The deflector assembly can be easily installed by the average unskilled person without using fasteners or glue strips to attach the assembly to the roof. The gutter mount clips of the deflector assembly to improve the ease with which deflector clips are fastened to the gutter.

[0035] One embodiment of the present invention is an improved clip 710 that can be mounted and affixed to the top of gutter lip 3 as shown in FIGS. 7A-C and FIG. 10 of the accompanying drawings to attach one or more deflectors to the gutter 6. The clip 710 has an upper portion 718, an intermediate portion 720, and a lower portion 712. The upper portion 718 is designed to connect with the two deflectors 19 and 20 of the deflector assembly and is coupled to one end of the intermediate portion 720. The lower portion 712 has a first end 722, which is coupled to the other end of the intermediate portion 720, and a second end 724 that terminates at the lower portion's distal end 708. The lower portion 712 of the clip 710 shown in FIG. 7A is configured to extend above a substantially horizontal top of gutter lip 3 and then horizontally across the top of gutter lip as seen in FIG. 10. An extending member 714 of the lower portion 712 may be angled away from the upper portion 718 to a trough 716 with the intermediate portion 720 (as shown in the clip 910 of FIG. 9C). The trough 716 extends into the gutter below the lip 3 to prevent water entering the gutter from collecting on the lower portion 4 of the clip 10 and subsequently flow back out of the gutter over the gutter lip 3. An orifice 700, as shown in FIG. 7B, is formed through the lower portion 712 of the clip 710 through which a fastener 770 can be used to affix the clip 710 to the top of the gutter lip 3, thereby facilitating assembly of the clip 710 to the gutter 6 by an installer of minimal skill.

[0036] Specifically, FIG. 7B shows the clip 710 prior to forming. The clip 710 is approximately 5 inches long and 1½ inches wide. The orifice 700 has a diameter of approximately ⅛ inch and in one embodiment is located within about ½ of the lower portion's distal end 708. The orifice 700 may alternatively be a longitudinally oriented slot 780 as seen in FIG. 7C. This clip 710 may be made from aluminum or other malleable material with a thickness ranging from 0.027 inches and 0.032 inches. It is contemplated that the clip may be fabricated to other dimensions.

[0037] In addition, at least two laterally spaced apertures, shown as three laterally spaced sets of apertures 702, 704, 706 in FIG. 7B can be positioned on the upper portion 718 to join together the gutter deflector assembly as shown in FIG. 7C identified as 19 and 20. These apertures typically have a diameter of about {fraction (1/16)} inch.

[0038] The three sets of apertures 702, 704, 706 may each comprise one or more holes (two are shown for each set) generally align with the length of the clip 710 and are provided to accomplish the joining depending on whether the apertures are used to join two deflectors 19 and 20 together (as depicted in FIG. 7C) or whether the apertures 702, 704, 706 are used for installation of the first deflector in a gutter run either from the right or left side. If starting the installation of a deflector from the right, the apertures 706 on the right most edge of the clip 710 are used so that the leftmost edge of the deflector 19 abuts the edge of the end cap 790 leaving no space over the gutter uncovered and completely covers the clip 710. The gutter's end cap 790 has a small horizontal flange 794 which overlaps the deflector 19 so that the apertures on the leftmost edge of the deflector 19, the apertures 706 on the rightmost edge of the clip 710, and the apertures on the end cap's flange align to accommodate a fastener (as depicted in FIG. 7D). If beginning installation of the gutter deflector from the left end of the gutter, the apertures 702 on the leftmost edge of the clip 710 are used so that the right edge of the deflector 19 abuts the edge of the end cap leaving no space uncovered and completely covers the clip 710.

[0039] Alternatively, instead of apertures, the upper portion 718 may include one or more slots 902 (shown in FIG. 9A), approximately {fraction (1/16)} inch by 1 inch, positioned on the central axis of the clip 710. This slot 902 would be positioned behind the arcuate portion 7 of the clip 710. In another embodiment, a slot 904 may be laterally orientated along the upper portion 718. Moreover, it is contemplated that a plurality of slots, spaced apart in an orientation substantially perpendicular to the lateral direction, may be positioned on the upper portion 718 of the clip 710 as shown in FIG. 9B.

[0040] In another embodiment, the upper portion 821 may include a plurality of grooves 863, as shown in FIGS. 8A-B. These grooves 863 extend across the width of the clip 810 to facilitate breaking off excess portions of the upper portion 821. In one embodiment, the grooves 863 are spaced approximately every ½ from each other with the first groove being placed approximately 2 inches from the arcuate portion 87 of the clip 810.

[0041] Referring to the clip 810 shown in FIG. 8A of the accompanying drawings, a lower portion 84 of the clip 810 is modified such that no fasteners such as screws, rivets, and so on need to be used to affix the clip 810 to the gutter 6 (as shown in FIG. 11). To the lower portion 84, a first leg 862 and a second leg 861, as shown in FIG. 8A of attached drawings, are added resulting in a U-shaped (from the horizontal) hook member 864. The open end of the hook member 864 faces the intermediate portion 834 of the clip 810. This hook member 864 interleaves with the horizontal pre-formed U-shaped edge of the gutter lip 3, with an open end facing back toward the intermediate portion 834, as shown in FIG. 11. The hook member 864 may be slid laterally to engage with the U-shaped edge of the gutter lip 3, or alternatively the hook member 864 and the U-shaped edge of the gutter lip 3 may be dimensioned to allow the engagement of the clip 810 with the lip 3 at the middle of the gutter 6. This clip 810 may have a slot 22 formed through the upper portion 821 to facilitate coupling to the deflector, or may include two or more apertures, such as the apertures 702, 704, 706 in the upper portion 821 as described above. In addition, the clip 810 may include grooves 863 to allow unused portions of the upper portion 821 of the clip 810 to be broken away, thereby allowing one size clip to be used with deflectors of different sizes as shown in FIG. 8A-B.

[0042] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 8A, the second leg 861 is coupled with about a ⅛ inch radius bend to the first leg 862. Similarly, the first leg 862 is coupled with about a ⅛ inch radius bend to the lower portion 84, which in turn is coupled with about a ⅛ inch radius bend to the intermediate portion 834. The upper portion 821 has a thickness of approximately 0.063 inches and is coupled to the intermediate portion 834 with about a ¼ inch radius bend. The intermediate portion 834 makes approximately a 57 degree angle with the lower portion 84 and approximately a 96 degree angle with the upper portion 821.

[0043] FIG. 8B illustrates the clip 810 prior to forming. As shown, about ¼ inch would be allotted for the second leg 861, about ¾ inch for the first leg 862, about 1 inch for the lower portion 84, about 1½ inches for the intermediate portion 834, about ¼ inch for the arcuate portion 87, and at least 2½ inches for the upper portion 821 before the first groove is placed. Thereafter, the upper portion 821 consists of grooves 863 separated by approximately ½ inch increments.

[0044] Although various embodiments which incorporate the teachings of the present invention have been shown and described in detail herein, those skilled in the art can readily devise many other varied embodiments that still incorporate these teachings.

[0045] While the foregoing is directed to several alternative embodiments of the present invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.





 
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