Title:
Gutter cover assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gutter cover assembly includes a plurality of support brackets that can be installed in spaced fashion within a gutter and a plurality of elongated deflector panels which can be detachably connected to the support brackets to extend in overlapping side-by-side fashion over the gutter, the deflector panels leaving a space between them and a front wall of the gutter so as to enable water flowing thereover to drain into the interior of the gutter while deflecting most solid debris over the front wall of the gutter. Each support bracket includes a lower member which extends between the rear wall and the front wall of the gutter, a hanger bracket at a rear end of the lower member for attachment to the rear wall of the gutter, a flange at a front end thereof and a top member supported over the lower member. The elongated deflector panels are detachably connected to the top members of the support brackets. Each support bracket is attached to a supporting structure behind the gutter by a screw which extends therethrough and through the rear wall of the gutter into the supporting structure.



Inventors:
Hardin, Bert A. (Atlanta, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/420923
Publication Date:
10/28/2004
Filing Date:
04/23/2003
Assignee:
HARDIN BERT A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/13
International Classes:
E04D13/076; (IPC1-7): E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JONATHAN H. PETCU, ESQ. (MARIETTA, GA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A gutter cover assembly for installation in a gutter which includes a rear wall and a front wall, said gutter cover assembly comprising: a plurality of support brackets for installation in the gutter, each of said support brackets including a lower member, a hanger member at a rear end of the lower member for mounting on the rear wall of the gutter, a flange at a front end of the lower member, and a top member supported above the lower member and defining a front end, and a deflector panel for mounting on at least two of said plurality of support brackets, said deflector panel comprising a center portion, a rear portion, and a front portion, said center portion being generally flat and said front portion extending downwardly and rearwardly for conveying water deposited on said rear or center portions over said front portion and into a gutter therebelow while conveying solid debris deposited onto said rear or center portions over said front portion and over the front wall of the gutter, and means for detachably connecting said deflector panel to the support brackets therebelow.

2. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 1, including connection means for attaching each of said support brackets to a support structure behind the gutter.

3. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 2, wherein said connection means comprise screws.

4. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 3, wherein each support bracket includes an intermediate member which extends between said hanger member and said top member.

5. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 4, including first and second web members which extend between said lower member and said intermediate member and third and fourth web members which extend between said intermediate member and said top member.

6. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 5, wherein each of said first and second web members and said hanger member including a hole therein, and wherein said holes are aligned for passage of a said screw therethrough.

7. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 1, wherein said means for detachably connecting said deflector panel to said support brackets therebelow comprise respective rivets or screws which extend through respective holes in said deflector panel and holes in the top members of said support brackets.

8. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 1, wherein said deflector panel comprises a center portion which is generally flat, a rear portion and a front portion.

9. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 8, wherein said rear portion includes a return segment with projection and said front portion curves downwardly and rearwardly to a bottom edge and includes a return segment with a notched end, the projection of said return segment of said rear portion abutting a web between an intermediate member and a top member of a support bracket when the notched end of the return segment of the front portion is positioned over a front edge of the top member of the support bracket.

10. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 8, wherein said center portion includes at least one ridge thereon to retard flow of water thereover.

11. The gutter cover assembly according to claim 1, wherein the flange of each support bracket has an inverted L-shaped cross section.

12. A gutter cover assembly according to claim 1, including a plurality of elongated deflector panels which are mounted in overlapping side-by-side fashion on said support brackets.

13. A support bracket for use in a gutter cover assembly, said support bracket including an elongated lower member, a hanger member at a rear end of the elongated lower member, a flange at a front end of the elongated lower member, a top member which has a generally flat center portion and a front portion, and an intermediate member which extends from said hanger member to said top member.

14. The support bracket according to claim 13, including a plurality of webs which extend from said lower member to said intermediate member and from said intermediate member to said top member.

15. The support bracket according to claim 14, wherein said hanger member and said webs which extend from said lower member to said intermediate member include respective holes therein that are aligned to enable a screw to pass therethrough.

16. An elongated deflector panel for use in a gutter cover assembly, said deflector panel defining a generally flat center portion, a rear portion having a return segment that has a projection, and a front portion which curves downwardly and rearwardly to an edge has a return segment that has a notched end.

17. The deflector panel according to claim 16, wherein said center portion includes a ridge to retarding flow of water thereover.

18. A combination of a gutter defining a rear wall, a front wall and a reverse lip at an upper end of the front wall, and a gutter cover assembly which can be mounted in the gutter to enable water to flow therein but prevent most solid debris from entering the gutter, said gutter cover assembly comprising: a plurality of support brackets for installation in the gutter, each of said support brackets including a lower member, a hanger member at a rear end of the lower member for mounting on the rear wall of the gutter, a flange at a front end of the lower member, and a top member supported above the lower member and defining a front end, and a deflector panel for mounting on at least two of said plurality of support brackets, said deflector panel comprising a center portion, a rear portion, and a front portion, said center portion being generally flat and said front portion extending downwardly and rearwardly for conveying water deposited on said rear or center portions over said front portion and into a gutter therebelow while conveying solid debris deposited onto said rear or center portions over said front portion and over the front wall of the gutter, and means for detachably connecting said deflector panel to the support brackets therebelow.

19. The combination according to claim 18, wherein the flange of each support bracket has an inverted L-shaped cross section.

20. The combination according to claim 18, wherein said gutter is dimensioned to fit either a 5 or 6 inch K-style gutter.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to gutters, and more particularly to covering means for gutters that will prevent most solid debris for entering and clogging the gutters (and downspouts attached thereto) while facilitating water runoff into the gutters.

[0003] 2. The Prior Art

[0004] Gutter covering means for preventing the passage of most solid debris, such as leaves, leaf parts, branches and fragments of roofing materials, from falling into gutters while facilitating water drainage therein are well known. In some cases the covering means is formed as a portion of the gutter itself. In other cases the covering means is a separate item which is installed into the front wall of the gutter and to the roof deck of the structure to which the gutter is attached. Such separately installed gutter covering devices are, however, generally expensive to manufacture and difficult to install, requiring the expertise of a skilled professional. And no gutter covering devices are known which can be partly disassembled by a typical homeowner to enable cleaning of the gutter by hand or by use of water from a hose.

[0005] I have now invented a gutter cover assembly which is simple in construction and inexpensive to manufacture, which can be easily installed by a typical homeowner into an existing 5 or 6 inch K-style gutter, either contemporaneously with or subsequent to installation of the gutter, and which can be disassembled in part to enable cleaning of the gutter when necessary. In addition, my gutter cover assembly can be easily installed in a gutter typically used with commercial buildings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] According to my invention, a gutter cover assembly includes a plurality of support brackets for positioning in spaced fashion along a gutter, and a plurality of elongated deflector panels which can be removably installed on the support brackets in overlapping side-by-side fashion along the length of the gutter, the deflector panels being shaped so as to convey water deposited thereon into the gutter but deflect most solid debris over the front wall of the gutter. The support brackets are easily installed in an existing gutter and can be easily attached to a support structure behind the gutter, and the deflector panels can be individually disconnected from the underlying support brackets to provide access to the interior of the gutter for cleaning thereof by hand or with water from a hose.

[0007] The support brackets of my gutter cover assembly each include a lower member which extends between a back wall and a front wall of the gutter, a hanging member at a rear end of the lower member for attachment to the rear wall of the gutter, a flange at a front end of the gutter, and a top member supported above the lower member. The top member includes a front portion which extends downwardly to a front edge which is located over the flange. The hanging member can be easily positioned over (or removed from) the upper end of the rear wall of a gutter. A screw can be used to attach the support member (and the gutter itself) to a support structure behind the rear wall of the gutter.

[0008] The elongated deflector panels include a substantially flat center portion, a substantially flat rear portion, and a front portion which extends downwardly of the center portion and then rearwardly. Each deflector panel can be removably attached to one or more support brackets therebelow using rivets or screws which extend through corresponding holes in the center portions of the deflector panels and holes in the top members of the support brackets. The front portions of the deflector panels are located over the front portions of the top members of the support brackets and leave an elongated space between them and the front wall or top lip of the gutter therebelow. Water will flow over the deflector panels, downwardly and rearwardly through this space for drainage into the gutter, whereas most solid debris will pass over this space and be directed over the front wall of the gutter.

[0009] Depending on its dimensions, my gutter cover assembly can be easily installed in 5 or 6 inch K-style gutters used in home constructions, or in gutters used with commercial buildings. It is inexpensive to produce, and it allows removal of deflector panels to gain access where desired into the interior of the gutter. My gutter cover assembly will be very popular for homeowner installations.

[0010] It should be noted that if the gutter cover assembly of my invention is installed in a gutter at the same time the gutter itself is attached to a support structure such as a fascia board of a house, the screws used to attach the support members of the gutter cover assembly to the back wall of the gutter and the support structure therebehind can take the place of the screws normally used to attach the gutter to the support structure, thus enabling simultaneous installation of the gutter onto the side of the support structure and the gutter cover assembly in the gutter itself with fewer screws than would otherwise be used.

[0011] The invention will be better understood by reference to the attached drawings, taken in conjunction with the following discussion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a top view of a portion of a gutter attached to a side of a structure and beneath shingles on a roof thereof and in which a gutter cover assembly according to the present invention has been installed,

[0013] FIG. 2 is a cross section of FIG. 1 as seen along line 2-2 therein,

[0014] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a portion of the gutter cover assembly as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and

[0015] FIG. 4 is a top view of a larger portion, as compared to FIG. 1, of a gutter attached to a side of a structure and beneath shingles on a roof thereof and in which a gutter cover assembly according to the present invention has been installed, showing the removal of one of the deflector panels thereof to provide access to the interior of the gutter for cleaning.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0016] As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, a preferred embodiment of the gutter cover assembly according to the present invention includes a plurality of support brackets 20 which can be located in spaced apart fashion in a standard K-style gutter 10, and a plurality of deflector panels 40 which are mountable in overlapping side-by-side fashion on the support brackets to provide a generally flush surface for conveying water flowing downwardly from a roofing surface into the gutter while deflecting solid debris such as leaves, leaf parts and fragments of roofing material over the front wall of the gutter. In the following discussion the terms “rear,” “rearwardly,” “front,” “forwardly, “upwardly,” “downwardly,” etc., will be used in relation to the side of the structure to which the gutter is attached.

[0017] Each support bracket 20 includes a lower member 21 which extends from a rear wall 11 of gutter 10 to its front wall 12, an inverted U-shaped hanger member 22 at a rear end of the lower member for positioning over the upper end of the rear wall 11, and an inverted L-shaped flange 23 at the front end of the lower member for extending beneath the reverse lip 13 at the upper end of the front wall 12 of gutter 10.

[0018] An intermediate member 24 extends forwardly and upwardly from the hanger member 22 and is rigidly supported above the lower member 21 by first and second web members 25 and 26. The front end of the intermediate member 24 is connected to a top member 27, which is otherwise rigidly supported above the intermediate member by third, fourth and fifth web members 28, 29 and 30. The top member 27 is generally flat as it extends forwardly from its rear end but has a front end 27a which extends downwardly to a front edge 27b. The third, fourth and fifth web members are of such vertical height that, when the support bracket is installed in a gutter which is properly attached to a structure (its rear wall 11 generally vertically oriented), the generally flat portion of the top member will be slightly downwardly inclined towards its front end.

[0019] The first and second web members 25 and 26 and the hanger member 22 include respective holes which are aligned with one another to enable a screw 50 to be extended therethrough (and through a hole in the back wall 11 of gutter 10) and to extend into a fascia board and/or a rafter of the structure to which the gutter is attached. As such, the support brackets 20 will be advantageously positioned along the gutter 10 so that screws 50 will extend into rafters of the structure, and thus will be advantageously spaced at either 16 or 24 inches on center. Each of the support brackets 20 are advantageously about 1 inch in width and each is advantageously made of metal, e.g., extruded aluminum, or injection molded plastic.

[0020] Referring again to FIGS. 3 and 4, each elongated deflector panel 40 includes a center portion 41 having ridges 42 extending along its length, a rear portion 43 and a front portion 44. The rear portion 43, which extends rearwardly of the third web member 28 when the deflector is mounted on the top member of a support bracket 20, includes a return segment 43a having a projection 43b. The front portion 44 is curved downwardly and rearwardly to a tip 44a, and it includes a return segment 44b with a notched end 44c that fits over the front edge 27b of the top member 27 when mounted thereon on a top member 27. When the notched end 44c is positioned over the front edge 27b of the top member of a support bracket, the projection 43b will fit against the third web member 28 so as to properly position the deflector panel in position. In this way, all the elongated deflector panels mounted on the support brackets will be properly positioned in overlapping side-by-side fashion along the length of the gutter. Rivets or screws (not shown) extending through holes 45 in the deflector panels (see FIG. 4) and holes 27c in the top members 27 of the support brackets (see FIG. 1) will fixedly attach the deflector panels to the support brackets. Removal of the rivets or screws will enable one or more deflector panels to be disconnected from the support brackets and removed for access to the interior of the gutter (see FIG. 1).

[0021] Referring to FIG. 2, which depicts a gutter 10 against a fascia board 60 located in front of a rafter 61 and beneath a roof deck 62 of a building structure, it can be seen that, with the gutter cover assembly of the invention installed in the gutter, the roofing materials (e.g. shingles) 63 are extended onto the rear end of the deflector panels so as to drain water and solid debris onto the deflector panels. They are attached to the deflector panels by a sealant, preferably a silicone sealant that enables the roofing material to be detached from the deflector panels when necessary for removal of the deflector panels (FIG. 4). Water on the deflector panels will flow to their front ends (the ridges 42 acts to slow down movement) and downwardly thereover and through a gap S between the front ends and the top lip 13 of the gutter 10 (see FIG. 2) and into the interior of the gutter. Solid debris will be conveyed over the front wall 12 of the gutter onto the ground therebelow.

[0022] As shown in FIG. 4, one or more deflector segments can be removed from the support brackets 20 by detachment of the connection rivets or screws to provide access to the interior of the gutter between support brackets and enable cleaning of the gutter, e.g., by hand or using water ejected from a hose.

[0023] Although a preferred embodiment of the invention ha snow been shown and described, modifications therein can be made and still fall within the scope of the appended claims.