Title:
DECK-CAP MOISTURE-AND-UV BARRIER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The current application is directed to a moisture-and-UV barrier that can be applied to a corner of a deck cap during deck construction or subsequently retrofit to the corner of the deck cap in order to prevent deterioration of the deck cap and of the deck structure below the deck cap. The moisture-and-UV barrier includes a waterproof, UV-resistant, and crack-and-tear resistant top surface that conforms to the top surface of the deck-cap corner as well as vertical sides that together enclose a portion of the deck cap at the deck corner to prevent exposure of the miter joint between deck-cap members at the deck-cap corner to UV radiation, water, and other harmful substances and agents.



Inventors:
Tang, Gordon C. (Bellevue, WA, US)
Application Number:
13/225343
Publication Date:
03/07/2013
Filing Date:
09/02/2011
Assignee:
TANG GORDON C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/717.05, 52/716.1
International Classes:
E04B1/684; E04B1/64; E04B1/68
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAESTRI, PATRICK J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLYMPIC PATENT WORKS PLLC (P.O. BOX 4277, SEATTLE, WA, 98104, US)
Claims:
1. A moisture-and-UV barrier comprising: a top surface with a first point complementary to an outside corner point of a deck-cap corner, an interior vertex point complementary to an inside corner point of the deck-cap corner, and two wings, each complementary to a top surface of one of two different deck-cap members that meet along a mitered joint at the deck-cap corner, the two wings adjoined along a first line from the first point to the vertex point, the first line corresponding in length and direction to the mitered joint; and and two pairs of vertical sides, the first pair of vertical sides joined along a line segment extending from the first point in a direction approximately orthogonal to the top surface and complementary to outside surfaces of the deck-cap members that are approximately orthogonal to the top surface of the deck cap and the second pair of vertical sides joined along a line segment extending from the vertex point in a direction approximately orthogonal to the top surface and complementary to inside surfaces of the deck-cap members that are approximately orthogonal to the top surface of the deck cap.

2. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 1 wherein the moisture-and-UV barrier is molded from a waterproof, UV-resistant, tear-and-crack resistant polymer.

3. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 1 wherein the moisture-and-UV barrier is molded from a tear-and-crack resistant polymer that can be surface treated to provide a waterproof and UV-resistant external surface.

4. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 1 wherein the moisture-and-UV barrier is waterproof, UV-resistant, tear-and-crack resistant.

5. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 1 wherein all external surfaces of the moisture-and-UV barrier are compatible with latex and oil-based paints.

6. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 1 wherein all internal surfaces of the moisture-and-UV barrier are compatible with waterproof sealants and calking compounds.

7. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 1 further including molded fasteners that can be driven into the deck cap during installation.

8. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 1 further including molded fasteners that can be clipped to an underside of the deck cap during installation.

9. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 1 further including two beads of waterproof sealant or caulking compound parallel to the first line.

10. A moisture-and-UV barrier for protecting the mitered joint between two deck-cap members at a deck corner, the moisture-and-UV barrier comprising: a top surface complementary in shape and size to a top surface of the deck cap that includes the mitered joint; and two sides approximately orthogonal to the top surface, a first side complementary to the external sides of the two deck-cap members and a second side complementary to the internal sides of the two deck-cap members.

11. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 10 wherein the moisture-and-UV barrier is molded from a waterproof, UV-resistant, tear-and-crack resistant polymer.

12. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 10 wherein the moisture-and-UV barrier is molded from a tear-and-crack resistant polymer that can be surface treated to provide a waterproof and UV-resistant external surface.

13. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 10 wherein the moisture-and-UV barrier is waterproof, UV-resistant, tear-and-crack resistant.

14. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 10 wherein all external surfaces of the moisture-and-UV barrier are compatible with latex and oil-based paints.

15. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 10 wherein all internal surfaces of the moisture-and-UV barrier are compatible with waterproof sealants and calking compounds.

16. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 10 further including molded fasteners that can be driven into the deck cap during installation.

17. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 10 further including molded fasteners that can be clipped to an underside of the deck cap during installation.

18. The moisture-and-UV barrier of claim 10 further including two beads of waterproof sealant or caulking compound parallel to the first line.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The current application is directed to building and remodeling materials and devices and, in particular, to a moisture-and-UV barrier that can be applied to the corners of deck caps in order to prevent ingress of moisture into, as well as UV damage to, deck-cap members and other portions of a deck below the deck cap.

BACKGROUND

Many residential and commercial buildings include external decks that are exposed to moisture, weather, and UV radiation. Maintenance and upkeep of these deck structures may represent significant cost to home and commercial-building owners. Often, decks are made from lumber, manufactured wood products, and other materials that are prone to long-term degradation due to rain, snow, other types of moisture, ultraviolet (“UV”) radiation, various stresses and forces due to shifting of structures to which the decks are attached, aging of deck materials, and other such causes. Owners, remodelers, and maintainers of residential and commercial structures that include external decks seek methods, materials, and devices to facilitate deck maintenance, weatherability, and long-term robustness.

SUMMARY

The current application is directed to a moisture-and-UV barrier that can be applied to a corner of a deck cap during deck construction or subsequently retrofit to the corner of the deck cap in order to prevent deterioration of the deck cap and of the deck structure below the deck cap. The moisture-and-UV barrier includes a waterproof, UV-resistant, and crack-and-tear resistant top surface that conforms to the top surface of the deck-cap corner as well as vertical sides that together enclose a portion of the deck cap at the deck corner to prevent exposure of the miter joint between deck-cap members at the deck-cap corner to UV radiation, water, and other harmful substances and agents.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a typical external deck that may be constructed as part of a residential house or commercial building.

FIG. 2 illustrates a deck with open sides.

FIG. 3 shows a representative corner portion of a deck cap, such as the deck-cap corner 206 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 illustrates a typical crack or spacing between deck-cap members at a deck-cap corner.

FIG. 5 illustrates a moisture-and-UV barrier that can be applied to a deck cap during construction or subsequently retrofit to the deck cap in order to prevent ingress of water, dirt, ice, snow, and other harmful substances into the miter joint between deck-cap members at the corner of a deck and to prevent exposure of the miter joint to UV radiation.

FIG. 6 shows the moisture-and-UV barrier, shown in FIG. 5 alone, without the deck-cap members.

FIG. 7 shows a moisture-and-UV barrier used to protect the miter joint between deck-cap members at the corner of a deck in an inverted position, for clarity.

FIG. 8 shows another example of the moisture-and-UV barrier discussed with reference to FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 shows an alternative version of the moisture-and-UV barrier, shown in FIG. 8, in which the vertical side walls have greater length.

FIG. 10 illustrates additional features that may be included in a moisture-and-UV barrier.

FIG. 11 shows a moisture-and-UV barrier that includes pre-drilled holes and a pre-applied moisture-barrier sealant or compound.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a typical external deck that may be constructed as part of a residential house or commercial building. The deck includes a floor 102, three sides 104-106, and a deck cap 108 above the three sides that both forms part of the deck structure as well as protects the sides from ingress of rain, snow, sprayed water, dust and dirt, and other harmful substances. The ends of the floor 110, two side walls 112 and 113, and the deck cap 114 and 116 generally abut a wall or other surface of a building with a doorway or other opening that permits access to the deck. The deck cap is often made from 2×6, 2×4, or other similarly dimensioned lumber that is nailed or screwed to vertical structural members or lower horizontal structural members that form or support the sides of the deck. FIG. 2 illustrates a deck with open sides. In the deck shown in FIG. 2, the deck cap 202 is fastened to a number of vertical supports, such as vertical support 204 that, together with the deck cap, form three railings/sides of the deck. Alternatively, the deck cap may be fastened to horizontal frame members above the vertical supports and below the deck cap.

The current application is directed to protecting miter joints between deck-cap members at the corners of decks, such as at deck corner 206 in FIG. 2. FIG. 3 shows a representative corner portion of a deck cap, such as the deck-cap corner 206 in FIG. 2. At each of the two corners of the decks shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, a first deck-cap member 302 abuts a second deck-cap member 304 along a miter joint 306.

Deck caps are often caulked and/or painted to improve weatherability. However, over time, due to a variety of different agents and effects, the interface between deck-cap members at deck corners often degrades, resulting in emergence of a gap between the deck-cap members that permits ingress of moisture and exposure of the interior surfaces of the miter joint between the deck-cap members to UV radiation. Moisture and UV radiation can both degrade wood and other deck-cap materials.

FIG. 4 illustrates a typical crack or spacing between deck-cap members at a deck-cap corner. As shown in FIG. 4, a gap 402 is now present at the interface between a first deck-cap member 404 and a second deck-cap member 406. In addition, due to warpage or shifting, the first deck-cap member 404 is no longer properly aligned with respect to the second deck-cap member 406. The surfaces of the two deck-cap members may no longer be parallel, the dimensions of the mitered ends of the two deck-cap members may no longer be complementary, and the two deck-cap members may have shifted translationally and/or rotationally with respect to one another. Gaps between deck-cap members and deck corners occur because of the dimensional instability of deck-cap members, over time, physical damage, stresses that arise in building structures and building materials, including seismic stresses, shifting, warpage, and other factors, as well as from deterioration of sealants, paint, and caulking compounds, deterioration of the deck-cap member material due to increased exposure to moisture and UV radiation of the interior of the deck-cap member due to the emergence and widening of the gap (402 in FIG. 4) at the miter joint.

FIG. 5 illustrates a moisture-and-UV barrier that can be applied to a deck cap during construction or subsequently retrofit to the deck cap in order to prevent ingress of water, dirt, ice, snow, and other harmful substances into the miter joint between deck-cap members at the corner of a deck and to prevent exposure of the miter joint to UV radiation. In FIG. 5, the moisture-and-UV barrier 502 is shown as a shaded structure that fits over and protects the miter joint at the corner of a deck. In the example shown in FIG. 5, the moisture-and-UV barrier is fastened to the deck cap by four screws, one in each vertical wall of the moisture-and-UV barrier, including the two screws 504-505 shown in FIG. 5. FIG. 6 shows the moisture-and-UV barrier, shown in FIG. 5 alone, without the deck-cap members. The top 602 and four vertical sides 604-607 of the moisture-and-UV barrier are all visible in FIG. 6. The top surface of the moisture-and-UV barrier can be described as comprising two wings, each wing complementary to a portion of one of the two deck-cap members that meet at the miter joint of a deck-cap corner.

FIG. 7 shows a moisture-and-UV barrier used to protect the miter joint between deck-cap members at the corner of a deck in an inverted position, for clarity. In this position, the top surface of the moisture-and-UV barrier lies beneath the moisture-and-UV barrier, and is not visible in FIG. 7. The underside 702 of the top surface, however, is visible in FIG. 7. In many cases, the angle between the pair of vertical sides 704 and 706 and between the pair of vertical sides 707 and 708 is 90°, to accommodate a 90° deck corner. This angle may vary, in alternative moisture-and-UV barriers, to accommodate other types of corners and various alternative types of decks. FIG. 8 shows another example of the moisture-and-UV barrier discussed with reference to FIG. 7. In this example, the length along which the moisture-and-UV barrier extends along the two deck-cap members is shortened with respect to the moisture-and-UV barrier shown in FIG. 7. FIG. 9 shows an alternative version of the moisture-and-UV barrier, shown in FIG. 8, in which the vertical side walls have greater length.

The moisture-and-UV barrier is generally fabricated from a waterproof polymer by a molding process, although other types of waterproof materials may be used. The moisture-and-UV barrier is constructed from both waterproof and UV-resistant materials or from materials that can be coated to produce a robust and resilient waterproof and UV-resistance surface. Thickness of the top surface and sidewalls of the moisture-and-UV barrier may vary, depending on materials and manufacturing processes. The thickness may run from 1/32 of an inch or less to a thickness greater than ⅛ inch. The material, although waterproof; exhibits a surface that can be painted using commonly available latex-based and oil-based exterior paints, for many moisture-and-UV barriers. The material from which the moisture-and-UV barrier is manufactured is both crack and tear resistant. A variety of different organic polymers that are waterproof, UV-resistant, and crack-and-tear resistant can be used, as well as various other polymers that can be surface treated to produce a waterproof and UV-resistant barrier. Moisture-and-UV barriers can alternatively be fashioned from sheet metal, composite materials, and from other types of materials.

Application of the moisture-and-UV barrier to deck structures generally involves initially fitting the moisture-and-UV barrier to the deck cap, drilling screw holes into the vertical sides of the moisture-and-UV barrier and deck-cap members, applying a bead of weatherproofing caulk to the inside of the moisture-and-UV barrier on either side of a centerline complementary to the miter joint of the deck corner, then securely fastening the moisture-and-UV barrier to the deck cap so that the caulk is pressed into the deck cap to form a waterproof barrier on either side of the miter joint, with screws threaded into the deck cap through the moisture-and-UV barrier to securely fasten the moisture-and-UV barrier to the deck cap. In addition, it may be necessary to cut one or more of the vertical sides of the moisture-and-UV barrier to properly conform to the deck cap. In many cases, it is desirable that the moisture-and-UV barrier extend vertically at least ¼ inch below the bottom edge of the deck cap to ensure that no moisture is able to wick up between the inner sides of the vertical walls of the moisture-and-UV barrier and the external vertical walls of the deck cap. In certain cases, additional caulking may be applied to create a moisture seal on the sides and bottoms of the vertical walls in addition to along the inner side of the top portion of the moisture-and-UV barrier. The moisture-and-UV barrier may be manufactured to have wood-like colors and simulated wood grain, in order to conform, in appearance, to wood deck caps. Other colors and textures may be employed to conform to the appearance of other types of deck-cap material.

FIG. 10 illustrates additional features that may be included in a moisture-and-UV barrier. As shown in FIG. 10, sharp, horizontal, wedge-like members, such as sharp, horizontal, wedge-like member 1002, may be formed at the based of the vertical walls of the moisture-and-UV barrier to act either as clips to mechanically fasten the moisture-and-UV barrier to the deck cap or to act as fasteners, like nails, that can be driven into the deck cap using a mallet or hammer. FIG. 11 shows a moisture-and-UV barrier that includes pre-drilled holes and a pre-applied moisture-barrier sealant or compound. In FIG. 11, a hole, such as hole 1102, is pre-drilled in each vertical side of the moisture-and-UV barrier to facilitate attachment of the moisture-and-UV barrier to a deck cap. In addition, the moisture-and-UV barrier is manufactured to include two beads 1104 and 1106 of pliable, adhesive, weatherproof caulk-like material to form a weatherproof barrier when the protective covering is removed and the moisture-and-UV barrier is pushed down onto a deck cap during installation.

Although the present invention has been described in terms of particular embodiments, it is not intended that the invention be limited to these embodiments. Modifications within the spirit of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, as discussed above, any of many different types of materials may be employed to fashion the moisture-and-UV barrier. The moisture-and-UV barrier may have different colors, surface textures, and other ornamental features. Moisture-and-UV barriers can be manufactured to conform to a variety of differently shaped and sized deck-cap corners.

It is appreciated that the previous description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the present disclosure. Various modifications to these embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the disclosure. Thus, the present disclosure is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown herein but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and novel features disclosed herein.