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In the construction industry it is common to have a number of vent pipes coming from the inside of a structure such as a house or building to the outside. Some common vents include plumbing vents, gas furnace or other heater vents, gas water heater vents and gas dryer vents. Many of these vents are pipe like structures, some protrude through the wall of the structure while many come through the roof.
One common vent is the vent stack for plumbing. This vent is required for proper operation of the plumbing within the structure. In residential construction this particular vent is often times made from the same PVC or copper pipe used for the structure drain plumbing. This vent is commonly installed through the roof of the structure. A hole is cut in the roof of the house and a pipe section connected to the plumbing is stuck through the hole. Often a commercially available collar or flashing is used to seal the hole from rain. This flashing ties into the structure's roofing, with sections of roofing often overlapping the flashing to prevent leaks and to give the roof a more finished appearance
In the field, it is currently common practice that the actual vent stack is a piece of white PVC pipe or other pipe that is visible from the street. Even in expensive homes it is not unusual to see a piece of unfinished PVC pipe sticking out of the roof. This white pipe shows up and looks very poor against the roof, which is typically finished in either a dark asphalt type shingle or in cedar shakes.
The present invention solves the limitations of the raw section of PVC pipe showing from the exterior of the structure. The current invention provides a product and a method of camouflaging the PVC pipe used for the plumbing vent or of camouflaging other vents through the roof or walls of a structure. A method is provided of matching the roofing or siding material for transfer to an easy to apply covering for the pipe extension. A covering is provided that can be applied to the PVC pipe on site or can be sold with commercially available vent flashings and seals. The covering could be applied to existing vent stacks or it can be placed on the vent pipe prior to installation through the flashing.
In addition to vent stacks the covering could be applied to any structure protruding through the roof or walls of a residence.
FIG. 1 Shows a view of the device as installed on a roof
FIG. 2 Shows details of the covering label
FIG. 3 shows the structure of a vent pipe using the covering label
FIG. 4 shows the layers of the label
FIG. 5 shows a flow chart of the method of creating the covering
FIG. 1 shows a basic view of the camouflage covered vent stack (10) as installed. The system uses a conventional vent stack PVC pipe (12). The system passes through a structural surface (20) such as a conventional roof. The roof can have texture such as grains (114) an lines (116). A conventional flashing (30) includes a seal (32) that the vent pipe (10) passes through. Other vents might use a shield to prevent leaking.
FIG. 2 shows details of the covering as applied to a section of PVC pipe (12).
The covering includes camouflage markings (14) and (16) that match the surface markings (1 14,116) of a conventional roof. In this example the small markings would give the appearance of the grains (114) commonly found in asphalt roofing, the lines (16) give the appearance of areas of linear shading (116) often found in roofing. The specific markings are created by a process of scanning a surface to be matched and then saving the results of the scan as a digital image which can then be printed out on an adhesive label or directly the markings can be printed directly to sections of PVC pipe. Any background material could be matched including vinyl siding and cedar shake roofing.
FIG. 3 shows the vent pipe (10) being prepared for installation. A plain section of PVC pipe (12) is wrapped near one end with a self adhesive sticker (40). The sticker (40) is backed with an adhesive layer and the front includes a printed film containing an image that matches the background material to be matched. In this application the pipe (12) is the last section of the vent stack and may be 8 feet long or more so the camouflage is only needed on that portion which will extend through the roof.
FIG. 4 shows the layers of the label (40). A surface layer (42) is printed to match a given background such as roofing. The match could include matching color and shading of the background material as well as using color or shading to match background material features such as texture, sheen and curvature. The matching process can be digitally enhanced to achieve a desired result. An adhesive layer (44) is backed with a wax paper layer (46) that allows for easy removal of the adhesive backed printed label at a construction job site. The label (40) could be packaged and sold in combination with bundles of roofing material, or siding (not shown). Indicia (48) can be printed on the surface layer (42) or on the peel off wax paper layer (46). Indicia (48) can include instructions for installing the label (40) or vent stack, indicia (48) can also be lines indicating a depth of installation or cut lines indicating lines along which the label (40) could be trimmed for installation.
FIG. 5 shows a flow chart of a process of creating the camouflage image. The method includes the steps of scanning a surface to be matched (100) to create an image file. This scanning step could occur at the manufacturing source of a roofing material or at a construction site and could be achieved by a variety of digital means including the use of a scanner or digital camera (not shown) for example. That image file could then be saved (110) electronically. The image could then be modified (120) as required. The modification (120) step would be to alter the actual saved images in ways that would aid in the camouflage effect for example by changing the shade of color slightly over the length of the label so that it is not one single color. This modified image can then be saved (130) and printed on to the face of a label (40) or directly to pipe sections.
In application, the camouflage label (40) can be created either to match a new material, such as roofing, and can be sold along side this new material, or the camouflage label (40) can be custom created to match an existing material. During the creation process (FIG. 5), the image modification step (1 20) might include changes in color or shading, it might also include having indicia (48) including instruction and lines printed on the face of the label to aid in the installation. For example, a line might be printed on the label showing how far it should protrude through the vent stack seal (32).
Though not shown it would also be possible to print the camouflage image directly to cylindrical sections specifically to be used as the exposed vent stack portion. Further, though a process of taking a digital image is shown to create the print image, the printed image could be created by other processes.