Title:
Fence edge and seal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fence edge and seal that includes At least one spike having an elongated body with a first end and a second end, the first end having a point or edge that allows the spike to be driven into the ground, and a generally horizontal connector. The horizontal connector extends from the second end of the body of the spike, and a fence engagement connector extends away from the horizontal connector, the fence engagement connector allows the spike to attach to the lower edge of a fence panel.



Inventors:
Goodson, Robert E. (Aurora, CO, US)
Application Number:
09/803184
Publication Date:
09/12/2002
Filing Date:
03/09/2001
Assignee:
GOODSON ROBERT E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01K3/00; E04H17/08; (IPC1-7): E04H17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SCHIFFMAN, JORI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAMON L. PIZARRO (DENVER, CO, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A fence edge and seal for use below a generally planar fence, the fence having a lower edge and extending from the lower edge above a ground level surface, the edge and seal inhibiting animals from escaping under the lower edge of the fence, the edge and seal comprising: at least one spike having an elongated body with a first end and a second end, the first end being adapted for being driven into the ground level surface; and a generally horizontal connector, the horizontal connector extending from the second end of the body of the spike, and a fence engagement connector extending away from the horizontal connector; and a fence engagement mechanism, the fence engagement mechanism being connected to the spike, so that after driving the spike into the ground level surface and engaging the lower edge of the fence with said fence engagement mechanism a passage under the lower edge of the fence is impeded by the elongated body of the spike.

2. A fence edge and seal according to claim 1 wherein said horizontal connector and said spike are generally coplanar, and said fence engagement mechanism is adapted for allowing engagement of the fence edge and seal by providing an engagement device that extends from a plane defined by said horizontal connector and said spike.

3. A fence edge and seal according to claim 1 wherein said horizontal connector and said spike are generally coplanar, and said fence engagement mechanism extends from a plane defined by said horizontal connector and said spike.

4. A fence edge and seal according to claim 1 wherein said horizontal connector further comprises a connector that allows the fence edge and seal to attach to a second section of fence edge and seal.

5. A fence edge and seal for use below a generally planar fence, the fence having a lower edge and extending from the lower edge above a ground level surface, the edge and seal inhibiting animals from escaping under the lower edge of the fence, the edge and seal comprising: a spike having an elongated body with a first end, a second end, and sides extending between the first end and the second end, the first end being adapted for being driven into the ground level surface; and a generally horizontal connector, the horizontal connector extending from the sides of the elongated body at a location near the second end of the elongated body of the spike, the horizontal connector having ends that have been adapted for engaging the ends of an adjacent horizontal connector, and a fence engagement connector extending away from the horizontal connector; and a fence engagement mechanism, the fence engagement mechanism being connected to the spike, so that after driving the spike into the ground level surface and engaging the lower edge of the fence with said fence engagement mechanism a passage under the lower edge of the fence is impeded by the elongated body of the spike.

6. A fence edge and seal according to claim 5 a second spike, the spike and the second spike being connected by a generally horizontal section of material.

7. A fence edge and seal according to claim 6 wherein said generally horizontal section of material is substantially rigid.

8. A fence edge and seal according to claim 6 wherein said generally horizontal section of material is flexible.

9. A fence edge and seal according to claim 7 wherein said horizontal section of material, said spike and said second spike are generally coplanar.

10. A fence edge and seal according to claim 7 wherein said second spike is at an angle to said spike.

11. A method for impeding the passage of an animal under a generally planar fence, the fence having a lower edge and extending from the lower edge above a ground level surface, the method comprising: providing a fence edge and seal, the edge and seal comprising: at least one spike having an elongated body with a first end and a second end, the first end being adapted for being driven into the ground level surface; and a generally horizontal connector, the horizontal connector extending from the second end of the body of the spike, and a fence engagement connector extending away from the horizontal connector; and a fence engagement mechanism, the fence engagement mechanism being connected to the spike; driving the spike into the ground level surface at a location next to the lower edge of the fence; and engaging the lower edge of the fence with said fence engagement mechanism, so that a passage under the lower edge of the fence is impeded by the elongated body of the spike.

12. A method according to claim 11 and further comprising providing a providing a second section of fence edge and seal, the second section of edge and seal comprising: at least one spike having an elongated body with a first end and a second end, the first end being adapted for being driven into the ground level surface; and a generally horizontal connector, the horizontal connector extending from the second end of the body of the spike, and a fence engagement connector extending away from the horizontal connector; and a fence engagement mechanism, the fence engagement mechanism being connected to the spike; driving the spike into the ground level surface at a location next to the lower edge of the fence; and engaging the lower edge of the fence with said fence engagement mechanism; and attaching the second section of fence edge and seal next to the section of edge and seal, so that a passage under the lower edge of the fence is impeded by the elongated body of the spike.

13. A method according to claim 11 and further comprising providing a providing a second section of fence edge and seal, the second section of edge and seal comprising: at least one spike having an elongated body with a first end and a second end, the first end being adapted for being driven into the ground level surface; and a generally horizontal connector, the horizontal connector extending from the second end of the body of the spike, and a fence engagement connector extending away from the horizontal connector; and a fence engagement mechanism, the fence engagement mechanism being connected to the spike; driving the spike into the ground level surface at a location next to the lower edge of the fence; and engaging the lower edge of the fence with said fence engagement mechanism; and attaching the second section of fence edge and seal to the section of edge and seal, so that a passage under the lower edge of the fence is impeded by the elongated body of the spike.

14. A method according to claim 11 wherein said step of engaging the lower edge of the fence with said fence engagement mechanism comprises driving a fastener through the section of edge and seal.

15. A method according to claim 12 wherein said step of engaging the lower edge of the fence with said fence engagement mechanism comprises driving a fastener through the section of edge and seal.

16. A method according to claim 13 wherein said step of engaging the lower edge of the fence with said fence engagement mechanism comprises driving a fastener through the section of edge and seal.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] (a) Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention generally relates to a device and method for sealing or extending the effective area of a fence. The extension allowing the fence or enclosure to extend under ground, and thus keep animals from digging under the fence to escape the enclosure. More particularly, but not by way of limitation, to a device that attaches to the lower edge area of a generally planar fence and includes an upper edge, connectors for attaching to the fence, and spikes for insertion of the device into the ground below the fence.

[0003] (b) Discussion of Known Art

[0004] The use of fences in panel or sheet form is a well-known approach at creating pens to enclose or house animals. These sections of fence may be found enclosing the yard of a home or be part of a smaller pen that only takes up a section of the yard. A problem with the use of these types of fencing or enclosures made with this type of fencing is that many animals, such as dogs, can easily burrow under the fence and escape.

[0005] A common approach at eliminating the problem of escapes through burrowing or digging under a fence has been to incorporate a solid floor to the pen or enclosed area. The floor prevents the animal from digging under the fence. This approach is impractical and unacceptable in situations where the area in which the animal is kept includes the entire yard or lawn area of a home. The addition of a floor would mean the elimination of a significant portion of the lawn or garden area, producing unsightly results.

[0006] Still another approach has been to incorporate a trench filled with concrete under the fence. This approach, however, is expensive and may not be practical in situations where the homeowner has already built the fence, and installation of the trench and concrete would mean dismantling the existing fence and rebuilding the fence once the concrete filled trench is in place.

[0007] Therefore, a review of known devices reveals that there remains a need for a simple device that prevents animals from digging an escape route under a fence.

[0008] There remains a need for a simple device that can be incorporated or used with an existing fence without having to dismantle the existing fence.

[0009] There remains a need for a device that cooperates with the fence material to prevent animals from escaping under the fence.

[0010] There remains a need for system that allows a user to selectively enhance the ability of a fence to keep animals from crossing under the fence.

[0011] There remains a need for a system that allows a user to block existing escape routes or passages under fences.

[0012] Summary

[0013] It has been discovered that the problems left unanswered by known art can be solved by providing a fence edge and seal that includes:

[0014] At least one spike having an elongated body with a first end and a second end, the first end having a point or edge that allows the spike to be driven into the ground; and

[0015] A generally horizontal connector, the horizontal connector extending from the second end of the body of the spike, and a fence engagement connector extending away from the horizontal connector, the fence engagement connector allows the spike to attach to the lower edge of a fence panel. According to one example of the invention the edge and seal includes several spikes connected to one another by way of the horizontal connector.

[0016] It should also be understood that while the above and other advantages and results of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description and accompanying drawings, showing the contemplated novel construction, combinations and elements as herein described, and more particularly defined by the appended claims, it should be clearly understood that changes in the precise embodiments of the herein disclosed invention are meant to be included within the scope of the claims, except insofar as they may be precluded by the prior art.

DRAWINGS

[0017] The accompanying drawings illustrate preferred embodiments of the present invention according to the best mode presently devised for making and using the instant invention, and in which:

[0018] FIG. 1 illustrates the use of an example of the invention. The example shown in use with chain-link fence.

[0019] FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken from the location indicated on FIG. 1, and illustrates an example of a connector that allows the example to engage the fence.

[0020] FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken from FIG. 1 at the location indicated on FIG. 1.

[0021] FIG. 4 is a view of another example of the invention disclosed herein, the example including a staggered or alternating bent teeth to weave through the openings on a chain-link fence.

[0022] FIG. 5 is a side view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the view showing the staggered, angled arrangement of this example.

[0023] FIG. 6 illustrates yet another example of the disclosed invention in practice. The illustrated example being attached to a wooden fence and illustrating the use of a connection system that allows sections of the invention to be connected to one another.

[0024] FIG. 7 is a side view of the example illustrated in FIG. 6.

[0025] FIG. 8 is a plan view of a short section of an example that can be used in the manner illustrated in FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EXEMPLAR EMBODIMENTS

[0026] While the invention will be described and disclosed here in connection with certain preferred embodiments, the description is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments shown and described here, but rather the invention is intended to cover all alternative embodiments and modifications that fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims included herein as well as any equivalents of the disclosed and claimed invention.

[0027] Turning now to FIG. 1 where a fence edge and seal 10 has been illustrated while in use below a generally planar fence 12. The illustrated fence 12 is of a wire mesh construction, but it is contemplated that the disclosed invention may be used with fences made from a variety of materials, including plastic, wood, and even concrete or masonry. As illustrated, the fence 12 includes a lower edge 14. The fence is generally planar, meaning having sheet like sections as formed from sheets of wire mesh, planks, plastics or rigid materials, such as bricks, concrete and the like.

[0028] The fence 12 will typically extend from the lower edge 14, upwards, above a ground level surface 16. Thus, the fence 12 may commence at a location below the ground level surface 16, along this surface, or at a distance above the ground level surface 16. The edge and seal 10 inhibits or prevents animals from escaping under the lower edge 14 of the fence 12 by extending below the ground level surface 16 and blocking a passage under the fence 12. The passage being one created by an animal penned by the fence 12. It is important to note that while the disclosed invention is particularly useful for preventing animals from escaping, the edge and seal 10 may also be used to pull fencing material taut, so as to repair existing bowed or rippled installations or improve the flatness of new installations of fences made from wire mesh, for example.

[0029] Referring to FIGS. 1-3 it will be understood that according to one example of the invention, the fence edge and seal 10 will include a spike 18, which includes an elongated body 20 with a first end 22, a second end 24, and sides 26 that extend between the first end 22 and the second end 24. The first end 22 will be of a suitable configuration that will allow the first end 22 to be driven into the ground level surface 14.

[0030] Also illustrated, is that the spike 18 will be connected or connectable with another spike, such as a second spike 28 through a generally horizontal connector 30. The horizontal connector 30 may be molded or shaped from single sheet of material or simply connected, fastened, welded, adhered or attached to the spike 18 such that the connector 30 extends from the sides 26 of the elongated body 20 at a location near the second end 24 of the elongated body 20 of the spike 18.

[0031] FIGS. 1, 6, and 8 illustrate that the horizontal connector 30 may includes ends 32 that have been adapted for engaging or cooperating with the ends 32 of an adjacent horizontal connector 31 or spike 18. The ends 32 will include connectors 33 that allow close placement of one fence edge and seal 10 next to another fence edge and seal 10.

[0032] FIGS. 1, 6, 7, and 8 illustrate that it is contemplated that the fence edge and seal 10 may be attached to the fence 12 at a location at or near the lower edge 14 of the fence 12. The attachment may be carried out through the use of a fence engagement connector 34 that extends away from the horizontal connector 30. Importantly, the fence engagement connector 30 may be positioned anywhere along the fence edge and seal 10 that allows the device to attach or connect to the fence 12 while the spike 18 or spikes are in the ground. The fence engagement connector 30 serves as a fence engagement mechanism that allows attachment of the fence edge and seal 10 to the fence 12 after driving the spike into the ground level surface 16 to allow the spike 18 to block a passage under the fence 12 or to allow the spike 18 to pull the fence taut.

[0033] It will be understood from the enclosed drawings that the fence edge and seal 10 will include at least one spike 18. Thus it is contemplated that the fence edge and seal 10 may include a single spike, as illustrated in FIG. 8, or include more spikes, such as the second spike 28, the spike 18 and the second spike 28 being connected by a generally horizontal section of material, such as the horizontal connector 30.

[0034] Turning now to FIGS. 1, 6, and 7, it will be understood that in these examples of the fence edge and seal 10 the horizontal section of material or horizontal connector 30 and the spike 18 are arranged in a generally coplanar fashion. These figures also illustrate that the second spike 28 as well as any succeeding spikes may also be positioned in a generally coplanar manner.

[0035] Turning now to FIGS. 4 and 5 it will be understood that the fence edge and seal may also be configured such that the second spike 28 is at an angle to the spike 18. This arrangement allows the second spike 28, or any angled spike, to be inserted through the openings of a fence, as for example through the apertures in a chain-link fence as illustrated in FIG. 4.

[0036] Turning once again to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, it will be understood that the fence engagement mechanism 34 may be a simple arm 36 that extends from a plane defined by said horizontal connector 30 and the spike 18. FIG. 2 illustrate that the fence engagement mechanism 34 may be a pair of resilient opposing arms 38 that capture sections of the fence 12 between them. Also, as illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, the edge and seal 10 may include apertures that allow the use of a fastener 40 through the edge and seal 10 to attach the edge and seal to the fence 12. FIG. 8 illustrates that the aperture may be used to attach a separate connector or the like to allow the connector to pivot or swivel and accommodate variations in the fence surface or structure.

[0037] Thus it can be appreciated that the above-described embodiments are illustrative of just a few of the numerous variations of arrangements of the disclosed elements used to carry out the disclosed invention. Moreover, while the invention has been particularly shown, described and illustrated in detail with reference to preferred embodiments and modifications thereof, it should be understood that the foregoing and other modifications are exemplary only, and that equivalent changes in form and detail may be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as claimed, except as precluded by the prior art.