Title:
Pitch pocket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An enclosure assembly for use with mechanical penetrations through a roof including a plurality of structural sections. Each structural section has a vertical portion, including a first end and a second end, and a horizontal portion. Each first end includes projections and each second end includes receptacles, wherein each projection is adapted to sealingly engage with a receptacle of an adjacent structural section. Each projection is inserted into a cooperatively aligned receptacle of an adjacent structural section to form a polygonal-shaped assembly having a plurality of connections and defining a cavity. The projections may be hook-shaped and the receptacles may be rectangular-shaped. The resulting cavity is shaped to contain a sealing material suitable to sealingly enclose a mechanical penetration and a portion of the exterior roof surface within the cavity.



Inventors:
Champa, Mirko (North Olmsted, OH, US)
Pokelsek, James S. (Mentor, OH, US)
Application Number:
09/908366
Publication Date:
01/23/2003
Filing Date:
07/18/2001
Assignee:
CHAMPA MIRKO
POKELSEK JAMES S.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/218, 52/219, 52/58
International Classes:
E04D13/03; E04D13/14; E04D13/147; (IPC1-7): E04D1/36; E04D3/38; E04D13/14; E04H12/28; E04G15/06; E04C2/04; E04B5/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCDERMOTT, KEVIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WATTS, HOFFMANN, FISHER & HEINKE CO., L.P.A. (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A pitch pocket assembly for use with mechanical penetrations through a roof, comprising: a plurality of structural sections, each structural section having a vertical portion and a horizontal portion, each of said vertical portions comprising a first end and a second end; each of said first ends comprising at least one projection and each of said second ends comprising at least one receptacle, wherein each of said projections is adapted to sealingly engage a said receptacle of an adjoining structural section; wherein each of said first end projections is inserted into a cooperatively aligned second end receptacle of an adjoining structural section, thereby forming a polygonal-shaped assembly, said assembly having a plurality of connections between adjoining vertical sections and defining a cavity formed by a plurality of said vertical portions and an external roof surface.

2. The assembly according to claim 1 wherein said projections are hook-shaped and said receptacles are rectangular-shaped, wherein said hook-shaped projections insertable engage said rectangular-shaped receptacles to form an essentially fluid-tight connection between adjoining vertical sections.

3. The assembly according to claim 1 wherein said cavity is adapted to contain an amount of sealing material suitable to sealingly enclose a portion of a roof penetration disposed within said cavity and a portion of the exterior roof surface disposed within said cavity.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to a pitch pocket for use with mechanical penetrations through a roof, and more specifically, to a pitch pocket having modular sections with quick connect features.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A variety of flashing techniques are employed in the building industry. A specific type of flashing unit, commonly referred to as a pitch pocket, is widely used to weatherproof roof penetrations made in flat or slightly sloped roofs. Typical roof penetrations include pipes, electrical conduit, equipment support beams, and the like, which by necessity must extend through the roof.

[0003] Pitch pockets used for pipes and other similar roof penetrations typically are composed of thin sheet metal which is cut and formed into a desired shape at the construction site. A common pitch pocket includes a flat base plate having a central opening to accommodate the pipe. A hollow sleeve is then formed and secured to the base plate. The sleeve may require welding or other suitable fastening to the base plate. Alternatively, sectional pieces may be fabricated to include a horizontal flange portion and a vertical wall portion. The sections are then fastened together by welding, soldering or other suitable methods to form a fluid-tight structure that encompasses one or more roof penetrations of a variety of shapes.

[0004] The fabrication and installation techniques associated with these and other types of pitch pockets are inefficient and result in increased labor and material expenses. The endless variety of roof penetrations require on-site sizing and prohibit any attempt to inventory standard parts. Less than experienced construction workers often have difficulty properly sizing, cutting, and shaping sheet metal stock to the required dimensions to effectively seal the penetrations. Further complicating these techniques, a contractor must inventory sheet metal, soldering, and welding supplies at the construction site.

[0005] After assembly is complete, the pitch pocket is secured in place by one of several commonly known methods, including setting the pitch pocket in roof cement. A sealing material may be poured into the cavity created between the pitch pocket and the roof penetration. The sealing material will cure to form a waterproof seal between the roof, the roof penetration and the internal vertical walls of the pitch pocket. This and other types of finished assemblies are effective to protect the interior of the building from weather damage by preventing a breach in the roof integrity. However, the assembly methods are time consuming, require many different types of materials, and offer little flexibility.

[0006] Several solutions to provide an improved pitch pocket assembly have been offered. One of these solutions teaches the use of four interconnecting corner members wherein the entire side wall of one member inserts into the entire side wall of an adjoining corner member. Another solution discloses the use of two complimentary mating portions which cooperate to form a cylindrical stack. Longitudinal edges of one semi-cylindrical stack portion form a channel for mating with a corresponding smooth edge of the opposing stack portion. Yet another solution proposes the use of a single piece that is hand bent at the installation site. One end of the piece includes a tab which is inserted into a slot contained in the opposing end of the piece to form the pitch pocket enclosure. None of these proposed solutions disclose the use of quick-connect projections and receptacles in adjoining wall sections.

[0007] There remains a need in the art for an improved pitch pocket assembly that can advantageously provide a high degree of flexibility to adapt to a variety of applications while providing a low material cost and time efficient apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The present invention is directed to an improved pitch pocket having modular sections with quick connect features for use with roof penetrations. The invention provides a high degree of flexibility to adapt to a variety of penetration applications while offering low material costs and a time efficient installation.

[0009] In one embodiment of the present invention, a pitch pocket assembly for use with mechanical penetrations through a roof includes a plurality of structural sections. Each structural section has a vertical portion and a horizontal portion. Each of the vertical portions includes a first end and a second end.

[0010] Each first end includes at least one projection and each second end includes at least one receptacle, wherein each projection is adapted to sealingly engage a receptacle of an adjoining structural section. In one embodiment, each first end includes at least two projections and each second end includes at least two receptacles. Each first end projection is inserted into a cooperatively aligned second end receptacle of an adjoining structural section, thereby forming a polygonal-shaped assembly. The assembly has a plurality of connections between adjoining vertical sections and defines a cavity formed by a plurality of vertical portions and an external roof surface.

[0011] The assembly may include hook-shaped projections and rectangular-shaped receptacles, wherein the hook-shaped projections insertably engage the rectangular-shaped receptacles to form an essentially fluid-tight connection between adjoining vertical sections.

[0012] The assembly may further define a cavity adapted to contain an amount of sealing material suitable to sealingly enclose a portion of a mechanical penetration disposed within the cavity and a portion of the exterior roof surface also disposed within the cavity.

[0013] Other objects and advantages and a fuller understanding of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pitch pocket assembly of the present invention, showing an assembly with sealing material enclosing a single cylindrical roof penetration;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a structural section of one embodiment of the present invention; showing a structural section including a plurality of hook-shaped projections and rectangular-shaped receptacles;

[0016] FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation view of a second structural section of the present invention, showing detail of the vertical portion first end and the vertical portion second end;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a top view of the connection of two adjoining structural sections of one embodiment of the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the connection shown in FIG. 4;

[0019] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a pitch pocket assembly of the present invention, showing an assembly without sealing material;

[0020] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a structural section of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 6;

[0021] FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of the structural section shown in FIG. 7;

[0022] FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary top view of the connection of two adjoining structural sections of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6;

[0023] FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary side view, partially in section, of the connection of a projection and a receptacle of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6;

[0024] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention, showing an extension structural section; and

[0025] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of a pitch pocket assembly of the present invention, showing an assembly without sealing material and including extension structural sections to form a rectangle-shaped pitch pocket assembly.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0026] The present invention is directed to an improved pitch pocket assembly for use with mechanical penetrations through a roof having a plurality of structural sections. The sections are adapted to include quick-connect features allowing low cost installation in a variety of application environments.

[0027] Each structural section includes a vertical portion and a horizontal portion. The horizontal portion is generally planar with an upper face and a lower face. The lower face is adapted to mate against the top exterior surface of a roof. The top surface of the roof may be tar paper, insulation, asphalt or any other commercial roofing product. Adjoining structural sections may have adjacent, mating or overlapping horizontal portions. A horizontal portion may be adapted to form a horizontal corner connection with a horizontal portion of a corresponding structural section. Alternatively, the structural section may be an extension, and thus, the horizontal portion may be adapted to lengthen the distance between two corners of a pitch pocket assembly.

[0028] The horizontal portion may also include one or more apertures through which mounting hardware may be inserted. The apertures may be round, slot-shaped, square or any other suitable design. The mounting hardware may be used to further secure the structural portion to the roof.

[0029] The dimensions of the structural sections are predetermined based on the application environment. In the case of a square-shaped assembly or an octagon-shaped assembly, the individual sections utilized in the assembly are identical. In the case of a rectangle assembly, two sizes of sections may be used, i.e., a long-sided section and a short-sided section. Regardless, each section has a vertical portion and a horizontal portion.

[0030] The vertical portion of the structural section is generally planar and disposed about 90° from the horizontal section. Each vertical portion of the present invention includes a first end and a second end.

[0031] Each of said first ends includes at least one projection and each of the second ends includes at least one receptacle. The number of projections and receptacles may vary and may be a function of the height of the vertical portion of the structural section. The projections are adapted to sealingly engage with a receptacle of an adjacent structural section.

[0032] The projections are adapted to easily engage and cooperate with a cooperatively aligned second end receptacle of an adjacent structural section. The projections are adequately sized to engage a corresponding receptacle.

[0033] When assembling a pitch pocket of the present invention, a series of structural sections are required. Initially, the first end of a first section must be engaged with a second end of a second section. Next, the first end of the second section is engaged with the second end of a third section. This procedure is repeated until the first end of a last section is engaged with the second end of the first section. The resulting pitch pocket is a polygon-shaped assembly which is adapted to surround one or more roof penetrations. The polygonal-shaped assembly has a plurality of connections and defines a cavity formed by a plurality of vertical portions and an external roof surface. This cavity will be discussed in detail in regard to a weatherproofing technique.

[0034] The shape of the polygon can be predetermined by the construction of the first end and second end and the angles of the projections with respect to the plane of the vertical portion. Each section engages the adjoining section at a predetermined connecting angle, such as 90° in the case of a square polygon assembly. The resulting polygon may be a square or a rectangle. It will be understood by those with ordinary skill in the art that in view of this disclosure other suitable polygons may be constructed.

[0035] The polygon may have equal length sides and equal connecting angles, as in a square polygon assembly. Alternatively, the polygon may have unequal length sides but equal connecting angles, as in the case of a rectangle. Further, extension pieces may be used to length each of two opposing longitudinal sides. Extension pieces may be required when the required length of a structural section becomes impractical. These extension pieces advantageously include horizontal portions adapted for use in the interior of a pitch pocket side, rather than at a corner.

[0036] The coverage area of the polygon with respect to the external roof surface is a function of the size of the structural sections. The length of each section and the angle of the sections with respect to an adjoining section will determine the coverage area of the polygon assembly. It should be understood in view of this disclosure that many practical coverage sizes can be accomplished.

[0037] The volume of the polygon may vary as well depending on the application required. The volume is a function of the coverage area of the assembly and the height of the vertical portion with respect to the external roof surface.

[0038] In one embodiment, the projections are hook-shaped and said receptacles are rectangular-shaped. The hook-shaped projections insertable engage the rectangular-shaped receptacles to form an essentially fluid-tight connection between adjoining vertical sections. Any number of hooks may be disposed on the first end of a vertical portion, however, at least an equal number of receptacles must be disposed in the second end of an adjoining second end vertical portion. Each hook-shaped projection is defined by a hook length, a hook width and a hook height. Each rectangle-shaped receptacle is defined by a rectangle width, height and depth. The dimensions of the hook and rectangle are adapted to allow a hook to fully insert into a rectangle. After insertion, the first end portion is permitting to downwardly slide to engage the bottom most surface of the rectangle-shaped receptacle.

[0039] The first end and the second end may also include longitudinal protrusions that extend the vertical length of the structural section. The first end protrusions and the second end protrusion are adapted to sealingly mate on at least one longitudinal surface. The shape of the protrusion may vary so that two or more protrusion surfaces mate. The mating surfaces may further secure the assembly by preventing undesirable movement by the structural sections.

[0040] The connection between adjoining vertical sections may be formed by the connection of projections and corresponding receptacles, as well as the connection between corresponding first end and second end protrusions. The connection between adjoining vertical sections may form an essentially fluid-tight connection. That is to say, when the cavity of the assembly is filled with a sealing material, little sealing material escapes through the connection. The sealing material typically has a relatively high viscosity. The essentially fluid-tight connection allows the sealing material to adequately cure without excessive leakage out of the cavity. In one embodiment, it is believed the amount of sealing material which escapes through the connection acts to strengthen the structural integrity of the pitch pocket assembly.

[0041] The assembly defines a cavity formed by the connection of the structural sections. The cavity is adapted to contain an amount of sealing material suitable to sealingly enclose a portion of a roof penetration disposed within the cavity and a portion of the exterior roof surface disposed within the cavity. Any suitable sealing material may be used, such as adhesive, tar or a two part epoxy.

[0042] The resulting assembly is weatherproof and adequately protects the roof and interior building in areas adjacent the roof penetration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0043] A pitch pocket assembly 10 according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 1, the assembly 10 comprises a plurality of structural sections 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d (herein after, a structural section will be generally referred to as 12). The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 also includes a roof penetration 14 and an amount of sealing material 16. The sealing material 16 is disposed within a cavity formed in an internal portion of the pitch pocket assembly 10. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 includes projections 28 which extend beyond the pitch pocket exterior walls. In an alternative embodiment, the projections 28 are flush with the exterior walls.

[0044] The pitch pocket assembly 10 shown is rectangle-shaped and formed from four structural sections 12. The four structural sections 12 include two long-sided sections and two short-sided sections. Each structural section connects with two adjoining sections to form connecting angles. As illustrated, the four connecting angles are about 90°.

[0045] It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that FIG. 1 is provided for purposes of example. Other embodiments may be apparent to those with ordinary skill in the art in view of this disclosure. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, other polygonal shapes, connecting angles, and sectional lengths can be utilized when practicing the invention otherwise than as specifically shown and described.

[0046] Regardless of the polygon shape, the resulting assembly has a plurality of connections and defines a cavity formed by a plurality of vertical portions and an external roof surface. The cavity is adapted to contain an amount of sealing material suitable to sealingly enclose a portion of a mechanical penetration disposed within the cavity and at least a portion of the exterior roof surface disposed within the cavity. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the cavity is substantially filled to just below the uppermost portion of the pitch pocket assembly 10.

[0047] Referring now to FIG. 2, a first structural section 12 according to one embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. The structural section 12 includes a vertical portion 20 and a horizontal portion 22. The vertical portion 20 is disposed at an angle α with respect to the horizontal portion 22. As illustrated, angle α is about 90°. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, in view of this disclosure, that other angles may be utilized.

[0048] The vertical portion 20 includes a first end 24 and a second end 26. The first end 24 includes two projections 28. The second end includes two receptacles 30. Each projections 28 is adapted to sealingly engage with a receptacle 30 of an adjacent structural section.

[0049] The horizontal portion 22 includes optional apertures 32 adapted to contain mounting hardware (not shown). The hardware may be used to secure the structural section 12 to a roof during or after fabrication of the pitch pocket assembly 10.

[0050] Referring now to FIG. 3, an enlarged fragmentary side elevation view of a second structural section 12 of the present invention is illustrated, showing detail of the vertical portion 20. As discussed, the vertical portion 20 includes a first end 24 and a second end 26.

[0051] As illustrated in FIG. 3, the first end 24 includes three projections 28. The projections are hook-shaped and defined by a hook length HL, a hook height HH and a hook width HW. The hook width HW is best shown in FIG. 4. The hook is generally L-shaped with an outwardly extending stem portion 28a and a downwardly extending hook portion 28b. It should be understood that three projections are shown in FIG. 3 for purposes of example only, and it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, in view of this disclosure, that other numbers of projections may be utilized.

[0052] The hook-shaped projections 28 insertably engage with corresponding rectangular-shaped receptacles 30 to form an essentially fluid-tight connection between adjoining vertical sections 20.

[0053] The first end 24 also includes a protrusion defining a longitudinal mating surface 40a, best shown in FIG. 4. The first end longitudinal mating surface 40a sealingly mates with a second end longitudinal mating surface 42a to form an essentially fluid-tight connection between adjoining vertical sections 20.

[0054] The second end 26 includes three receptacles 30. As stated, three receptacles are shown for purposes of example only. However, for every projection 28 in the first end 24, at least an equal number of receptacles 30 must be disposed within the second end 26. As illustrated, the receptacle is a rectangle-shaped aperture 30 defined by a rectangle width RW, a rectangle height RH and a rectangle depth RD. The rectangle depth RD is best shown in FIG. 4. The rectangle aperture 30 extends the entire width of the vertical portion 20, hence, the rectangle depth RD must be at least the same dimension as the width of the vertical portion 20. As illustrated in one embodiment in FIG. 4, the rectangle depth RD is greater in size than the width of a center region of the vertical portion 20.

[0055] As illustrated, the hook height HH is less than the rectangle height RH, permitting the hook 28 to easily insert into the rectangle 30. After the hook has fully inserted, a small vertical gap exists between the bottom surface 50 of the rectangle 30, and the bottommost surface 52 of the stem portion 28a. After insertion, the hook 28 is permitting to downwardly slide to allow the surface 52 to sealingly mate the bottommost surface 50 of the rectangle receptacle 30.

[0056] As discussed, the second end 26 further includes a protrusion 42 defining a longitudinal mating surface 42b, best shown in FIG. 4. The second end protrusion 42 sealingly mates with a first end protrusion 42.

[0057] Referring now to FIG. 4, a top view of the connection of two adjoining structural sections of one embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. The two adjoining structural sections 12a, 12b form a connection angle β. As illustrated, the connection angle β is about 90°.

[0058] A hooked-shaped projection 28 of a first structural section 12a in depicted interfaced with a cooperatively aligned rectangle-shaped receptacle 30 of an adjacent structural section 12b. The rectangle-shaped receptacle 30 is large enough to allow the hook portion 28b of the projection 28 to pass through the rectangle-shaped receptacle 30.

[0059] As discussed, the protrusion surfaces 40a of the first structural section 12a mates with the protrusion surfaces 42b of the second structural section 12b. The mating surfaces 40a, 42b advantageously prevent movement of the structural sections 12a, 12b in direction represented in FIG. 4 by the vectors V1, V2, V3, and V4.

[0060] Referring now to FIG. 5, a side view of the connection shown in FIG. 4 is illustrated. As shown, two hook-shaped projections 28 disposed on a first structural section 12a are sealingly inserted into the rectangle-shaped receptacles 30 of an adjoining structural section 12b.

[0061] It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that FIGS. 4-5 are provided for purposes of example. Other embodiments may be apparent to one skilled in the art in view of this disclosure. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, connecting angles, and projection and receptacle designs, can be utilized when practicing the invention otherwise than as specifically shown and described.

[0062] Referring now to FIG. 6, a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a pitch pocket assembly of the present invention showing an assembly without sealing material is illustrated. The pitch pocket 110 as illustrated includes four identical structural sections 112. The sections 112 cooperate to form a square-shaped polygon with sides about four inches long.

[0063] Referring now to FIG. 7, a perspective view of a structural section 112 of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 6 is illustrated. The section 112 as illustrated is adapted to cooperate with a corresponding section to form a corner of a pitch pocket assembly 110. The section 112 includes two slot-shaped apertures 132 for use with mounting hardware. The slot shape advantageously allows the hardware to be adjusted to an optimal location within the slot 132.

[0064] Referring now to FIG. 8, a side elevation view of the structural section 112 shown in FIG. 7 is illustrated.

[0065] Referring now to FIG. 9, an enlarged fragmentary top view of the connection of two adjoining structural sections 112 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 is illustrated.

[0066] Referring now to FIG. 10, an enlarged fragmentary side view, partially in section, of the connection of a projection 128 and a receptacle of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 is illustrated. As illustrated, the projection stem portion 128a is adapted so that the projection hook portion 128a does not extend beyond the exterior wall of the pitch pocket assembly.

[0067] Referring now to FIG. 11, a perspective view of a structural section of an alternative embodiment of the present invention showing an extension structural section is illustrated. As illustrated, the extension 113 has a longitudinal length of about four inches.

[0068] Referring now to FIG. 12, a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of a pitch pocket assembly of the present invention, showing an assembly without sealing material and including extension structural sections to form a rectangle-shaped pitch pocket assembly. The pitch pocket assembly 210 is formed by a total of six structural sections, of which two are extension sections 113. As illustrated, the six sections cooperate to form a rectangle-shaped pitch pocket with sides about four inches long and six inches long.

[0069] It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that FIGS. 6-12 are provided for purposes of example. Other embodiments may be apparent to one skilled in the art in view of this disclosure. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, structural section lengths and combinations, can be utilized when practicing the invention otherwise than as specifically shown and described.

[0070] Many variations and modifications of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the above detailed description of the preferred embodiment. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention can be practiced otherwise than as specifically shown and described.