Title:
Size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device includes a face bar, spikes and sleeves, the face bar being hollow and generally rectangular in cross section and including a first wall with holes through which the spikes can extend, a second wall generally perpendicular to the first wall and including holes in register with the holes in the first wall and having a diameters that allow the sleeves to pass therethrough, a third wall which is generally parallel to the first wall and which includes holes through which the spikes can extend, and a fourth wall which is generally parallel to the second wall and which includes holes through which the spikes can extend, the holes in the first, second, third and fourth walls being equally spaced along a length of the face bar and register with one another. Depending on the orientation of the face bar relative to a front wall of a gutter and whether the sleeves extend up to the first wall or through the holes in the second wall, the device can be used in either a five inch gutter or a six inch gutter.



Inventors:
Hardin, Bert A. (Atlanta, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/388178
Publication Date:
09/16/2004
Filing Date:
03/14/2003
Assignee:
HARDIN BERT A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/14
International Classes:
E04D13/072; (IPC1-7): E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAXTER, GWENDOLYN WRENN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DYKEMA GOSSETT PLLC (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device which comprises: a plurality of spikes which include heads and shanks, said shanks having diameters D1; a plurality of sleeves which have inner diameters D2 and outer diameters D3, said inner diameters D2 being larger than D1; and a face bar which is generally rectangular in cross section, and which defines first, second, third and fourth walls, said first and third walls being opposite one another and said second and fourth walls being opposite one another, said first wall including holes of a first diameter D4 equally spaced along a length of the face bar, said second wall including holes of a second diameter D5 spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, said third wall including holes of the first diameter spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, and said fourth wall including holes of the first diameter spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, and said first diameter D4 being larger than D1 but smaller than D3 and said second diameter D5 being larger than D3, said spikes respectively passing through the holes in the third and first walls and then through respective sleeves when mounting the face bar in a six inch gutter, and respectively passing through the holes in the fourth wall and through a respective sleeve that respectively extends through said second holes when mounting the face bar in a five inch gutter.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said face bar is hollow.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein a distance between said first and third walls is about 1 inch.

4. The device of claim 1, including a fifth wall which extends between said third and fourth walls to better fit within a contour of a front wall of the gutter.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein said fifth wall is concave.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein said face bar is made of metal.

7. The device of claim 1, wherein said face bar is made of plastic.

8. The device of claim 1, including a bridge element which can be inserted in ends of two adjacent said face bars to connect said adjacent face bars together and extend a length of said device.

9. The device of claim 8, wherein said bridge element is made of a rigid material.

10. A face bar for use in a size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device, said face bar being generally rectangular is cross section and defining first, second, third and fourth walls, said first and third walls being opposite one another and said second and fourth walls being opposite one another, said first wall including holes of a first diameter D4 equally spaced along a length of the face bar, said second wall including holes of a second diameter D5 spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, said third wall including holes of the first diameter spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, and said fourth wall including holes of the first diameter spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, and said first diameter D4 being larger than D1 but smaller than D3 and said second diameter D5 being larger than D3.

11. The face bar according to claim 10, wherein said face bar is hollow.

12. A combination of a gutter defining a back wall, a bottom wall and a front face, and a size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device which fits within said gutter, said size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device comprising: a plurality of spikes which include heads and shanks, said shanks having diameters D1; a plurality of sleeves which have inner diameters D2 and outer diameters D3, said inner diameters D2 being larger than D1; and a face bar which is generally rectangular in cross section, and which defines first, second, third and fourth walls, said first and third walls being opposite one another and said second and fourth walls being opposite one another, said first wall including holes of a first diameter D4 equally spaced along a length of the face bar, said second wall including holes of a second diameter D5 spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, said third wall including holes of the first diameter spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, and said fourth wall including holes of the first diameter spaced along the length of the face bar and in register with the first holes, and said first diameter D4 being larger than D1 but smaller than D3 and said second diameter D5 being larger than D3, said spikes respectively passing through the holes in the third and first walls and then through respective sleeves when mounting the face bar in a six inch gutter, and respectively passing through the holes in the fourth wall and through a respective sleeve that respectively extends through said second holes when mounting the face bar in a five inch gutter.

13. The combination according to claim 12, wherein said face bar is hollow.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to gutter reinforcing devices, and in particular to gutter reinforcing devices which are intended for permanent installation within a gutter.

THE PRIOR ART

[0002] Devices for reinforcing gutters against lateral forces, such as the forces applied by ladders tilted against the gutters when users are standing on the ladders, are well known.

[0003] However, known reinforcing devices have been constructed so at to fit within either a standard five inch residential gutter or a standard six inch residential gutter, but cannot be used in both (see my prior U.S. Pat. No. 5,549,261). This means that the installer must stock two differently sized devices, which results in extra costs and inconvenience. A need exists for a simple and inexpensive reinforcing device which is adjustable so as to fit both five and six inch gutters. I have created such a reinforcement device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] According to this invention, a size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device includes a face bar which fits inside of the upper face of the front wall of a gutter and beneath its upper lip, and which is mounted in place by spaced spikes which extend through the front wall of the gutter, through the face bar, through sleeves which extend to the back wall of the gutter, and through the back wall of the gutter into the support structure to which the gutter is attached. The face bar includes differently sized holes such that when oriented one way, the sleeves will be prevented from entering the face bar and will extend from the back wall of the gutter up to the face bar (the length of the sleeves and the width of the face bar equaling about six inches), or when oriented another way the sleeves, will extend into the face bar and almost through the face bar (the combined length of the sleeves and the portion of the face bar which the sleeve does not pass through equaling about five inches). Thus, by properly orienting the face bar and the holes therein, the device can be mounted in either a five inch gutter or a six inch gutter. The face bar is easy and inexpensive to manufacture, so the device is truly ideal.

[0005] In a preferred embodiment the face bar is hollow and generally rectangular in cross section, and includes first, second, third and fourth walls, each of which includes holes equally spaced along a length of the face bar and in register, the holes in the first, third and fourth walls being slightly greater in diameter than the diameter of the spikes intended to pass therethrough, and the holes in the second wall being slightly larger than the diameter of the sleeves which extend forwardly from the rear wall of the gutter.

[0006] In a further preferred embodiment the face bar includes a fifth wall which extends between the third and fourth walls, this fifth wall enabling the face bar to better fit within the contour of the front wall of a standard gutter. The fifth wall is advantageously concavely curved.

[0007] In another preferred embodiment the device includes an elongated connector (or bridge) element which can fit in the ends of two adjacent face bars to extend the length of the device and the length of reinforcement provided to the gutter.

[0008] The invention will be better understood by reference to the attached drawings, taken in conjunction with the following discussion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] In the drawings,

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a six inch gutter with size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention mounted therein;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a cross section of the face bar of the gutter reinforcement device shown in FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the gutter and gutter reinforcement device of FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a cross section of FIG. 3 as seen along line 4-4.

[0014] FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a five inch gutter with the size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device of FIG. 1,

[0015] FIG. 6 is a cross section of FIG. 5 as seen along line 6-6, and

[0016] FIG. 7 is a cross section through a connector or bridge element which can be used to connect two face bars together.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] A size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device 20 of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1 mounted in a typical six inch residential gutter 10, the gutter including a back wall 11, a bottom wall 12, a front wall 13 having an upper front face 13a, and a top lip 14. The distance between the back wall and the upper front face 13a is about 6 inches, hence the name “six-inch gutter.” The gutter can be formed of metal, plastic, or any other weather-resistant material which can convey water to a downpipe.

[0018] The size-adjustable gutter reinforcement device 20 includes a face bar 21, spikes 30 and ferrules or sleeves 35.

[0019] The spikes 30 are typical spikes used for attaching gutters to support structures such as fascia boards or wall studs of a house, and they include heads 31 and shanks 32. The shanks can be 8 to 10 inches in length and have diameters D1 of about {fraction (1/4)} inch.

[0020] The sleeves 35 are typical sleeves used with 5 inch gutters, having lengths of about 5 inches, inside diameters D2 larger than D1. They are made of metal, plastic or any other commonly used material.

[0021] As best seen in FIG. 2, the face bar 21 is hollow and generally rectangular in cross section, and provides a first wall 22, a second wall 23, a third wall 24, a fourth wall 25 and a fifth wall 26. The first wall 22 is generally planar and includes holes 22a at spaced intervals along the length of the face bar. The holes 22a have first diameters D4 which are larger than the outer diameters D1 of the spikes but smaller than the outer diameters D3 of the sleeves, e.g., about {fraction (5/16)} inch. The second wall 23 is generally planar and generally perpendicular to the first wall 22, and it includes holes 23a which are equal in number and positioned in register with holes 22a. The holes 23a have second diameters D5 which are larger than the outer diameters D3 of the sleeves, e.g., about {fraction (7/16)} inch.

[0022] The third wall 24 is generally planar and oriented generally in parallel with the first wall 22, and it includes holes 24a which are equal in number and positioned in register with holes 22a. These holes have diameters equal to those of the holes 22a. The fourth wall 25 is generally planar and oriented generally in parallel with the second wall 23, and it includes holes 25a which are equal in number and positioned in register with holes 23a. These holes have diameters generally equal to those of the holes 22a.

[0023] The fifth wall 26, which connects the third and fourth walls 24, 25, is concave in configuration and includes no holes.

[0024] When installed in a six inch gutter 10 (see FIGS. 1, 3 and 4), the face bar 21 is positioned with its third wall 24 facing the inside surface of upper face 13a of the front wall 13 and with the second wall 23 located below the lip 14, and the spikes 35 are passed through holes (not labeled) in the upper face 13a of the front wall 13, through the holes 24a, through the interior of the face bar, through the holes 22a, through sleeves 30 (which extend from the first wall 22 to the back wall 11), through holes (not labeled) in the back wall 11, and into the support structure to which the gutter is attached. The distance from the exterior surface of the first wall 22 to the exterior surface of the third wall 24 is about 1 inch and the length of sleeves 30 is about 5 inches, so the total distance spanned is about 6 inches. The face bar 21 so positioned will reinforce the front face of the gutter against bending backwardly toward the rear wall 11 or downwardly toward the bottom wall 12.

[0025] When adjusted for use in a five inch gutter 10′ (see FIGS. 5 and 6), the face bar is reoriented from its positioning in a six inch gutter, such that its fourth wall 25 faces the inside surface of the upper face 13a′ of the gutter front wall 13′ and the first wall 22 is below the lip 14′. The sleeves 30 will pass through the holes 23a in the second wall 23 to face the inner surface of the fourth wall 25, and the spikes 30 will pass through holes (not labeled) in the upper face 13a′ of the gutter, through the holes 25a in the fourth wall 25 through the sleeves 35 (which extend from the fourth wall to the back wall 11′), through holes (not labeled) in the back wall 11′, and into the support structure. The distance spanned by the sleeves is about 5 inches. The face bar 21 so positioned will reinforce the front face of the gutter 10′ against bending backwardly toward the rear wall 11′ or downwardly toward the bottom wall 12′.

[0026] FIG. 7 shows a cross section of an elongated, rigid connector or bridge element 40 which has an identical cross sectional configuration to that of the face bar 21 but smaller dimensions, and which can be inserted within two adjacent face bars to rigidly connect them together and thus increase the length of the reinforcement device within the gutter. The bridge element can be made of the same or different materials as that of the face bars between which it extends.

[0027] Although preferred embodiments of the inventive size-adaptive gutter reinforcement assembly has been shown and described modifications therein can be made and still fall within the scope of the appended claims.





 
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