Title:
Snow guard
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A snow guard including a resilient body with a slot for receiving a portion of a standing seam of a metal roof. The resilient body has a pair of apertures on opposite sides of the slot into which can be inserted the jaws of a tool for manipulating the resilient body to selectively widen the slot to facilitate the installation of the snow guard upon the standing seam of a metal roof. The resilient body also has a number of teeth projecting into the slot adjacent each of the apertures for gripping the standing seam of a metal roof positioned within the slot. A pair of wings extends outwardly from the resilient body for impeding the downward movement of snow and ice on a roof.



Inventors:
Verkamp, Mark J. (Charleston, AR, US)
Application Number:
10/959997
Publication Date:
04/13/2006
Filing Date:
10/08/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050005549Flexible tile wall systemJanuary, 2005Peter et al.
20070094984Knock-Down Roof CurbMay, 2007Mcclure
20100050565FLAT STRIP SLAB SYSTEMMarch, 2010Vemuri et al.
20070163198Laminate door stiffener with clip insertsJuly, 2007Dunn
20090313941COMPOSITE PROFILE FOR WINDOW, DOOR OR FACADE ELEMENTDecember, 2009Siodla
20060070337Anchor bolt spacerApril, 2006Fouch et al.
20080010920Method of building constructionJanuary, 2008Andersen
20060162272Benchtop panelsJuly, 2006Phillips et al.
20040050002Reinforcement device and use of it in wallsMarch, 2004Gustavsson
20080086969REINFORCED DECORATIVE COMPOSITE MATERIALApril, 2008Taylor
20100095609COMPLEX GENERATOR USING SOLAR AND WIND AND WAVEApril, 2010Kim



Primary Examiner:
KENNY, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephen R. Greiner, Esquire (Bethesda, MD, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A snow guard, comprising: a resilient body having a slot for receiving a portion of a standing seam of a metal roof, said resilient body also having a pair of apertures on opposite sides of said slot into which can be inserted the jaws of a tool for manipulating said resilient body to selectively widen said slot to facilitate the installation of said snow guard upon the standing seam of a metal roof, said resilient body further having a plurality of teeth projecting into said slot adjacent each of said apertures for gripping the standing seam of a metal roof positioned within said slot; and, a pair of wings extending outwardly from said resilient body for impeding the downward movement of matter on a roof.

2. The snow guard according to claim 1 wherein said resilient body and said wings are integrally formed from a single sheet of spring steel.

3. The snow guard according to claim 1 wherein said resilient body further includes a protruding lip beneath each of said apertures for guiding the jaws of a tool into said apertures.

4. A snow guard, comprising: a resilient body including: a pair of rectangular plates being positioned side-by-side so as to define a slot therebetween, each of said plates having: an aperture therein for receiving the jaws of the tool capable of spreading said plates away from one another; opposed ends; and, a plurality of teeth being positioned adjacent said aperture for engaging the standing seam of a metal roof, each of said teeth projecting into said slot and toward one of said opposed ends; a crosspiece connecting the tops of said rectangular plates; and, a pair of wings extending outwardly from said resilient body, each of said wings being secured to a respective one of said rectangular plates at the end thereof away from which said teeth project.

5. A snow guard assembly, comprising: a snow guard including: a resilient body having a slot for receiving a portion of a standing seam of a metal roof, said resilient body also having a pair of apertures on opposite sides of said slot into which can be inserted the jaws of a tool for manipulating said resilient body to selectively widen said slot to facilitate the installation of said snow guard upon the standing seam of a metal roof, said resilient body further having a plurality of teeth projecting into said slot adjacent each of said apertures for gripping the standing seam of a metal roof positioned within said slot; and, a pair of wings extending outwardly from said resilient body for impeding the downward movement of matter on a roof; and, a clip releasably fastened to said snow guard, said clip including: a pair of arms positioned on opposite sides of said resilient body, each of said arms having a transverse bore in the top thereof; a crosspiece connecting the tops of said arms together; a finger projecting from the bottom of each of said arms into a respective one of said apertures in said resilient body; and, a snow-retaining rail slidably extending through said transverse bore in each of said arms of said clip.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to static structures and, more particularly, to covers with projecting restrainers, e.g., snow stops.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Snow and ice have a tendency to slide from sloping roofs. While it is desirable for a roof to shed frozen precipitation, a sheet of falling ice can pull a gutter from its moorings and cause bodily injury to passersby. In an effort to resolve these problems, snow guards have been developed to prevent large blocks of snow and ice from sliding rapidly from roofs and putting excessive weight upon gutters and downspouts.

Snow guards employed with metal roofs have traditionally employed set screws driven against the roofs' standing seams to anchor them in place. While effective, these snow guards are relatively costly to manufacture and time-consuming to install. Further, set screws have tendency to damage the roofs that they engage and may, in some cases, lead to roof leaks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In light of the problems associated with known snow guards, particularly those used with metal roofs, it is a principal object of the invention to a provided snow guard that can be attached to a standing seam without resort to set screws or other threaded fasteners and is not injurious to metal roofs.

It is another object of the invention to provide a snow guard of the type described that can be securely fastened to the standing seam of a metal roof in a matter of seconds. If placement is not made perfectly the first time, the snow guard can be easily repositioned.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a snow guard that is intuitive to use and that can be installed by unskilled laborers after only a few minutes of instruction.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in a snow guard for the purposes described that is lightweight in construction, inexpensive to manufacture, and dependable in use.

Briefly, the snow guard in accordance with this invention achieves the intended objects by featuring a resilient body with a pair of wings extending outwardly therefrom. The resilient body includes a pair of rectangular plates positioned side-by-side so as to define a slot. Each of the plates has an aperture for receiving the jaws of the tool capable of spreading the plates apart. A number of teeth are positioned adjacent each aperture for engaging the standing seam of a metal roof. Each of the teeth projects into the slot and toward one end of the body. A crosspiece connects the tops of the plates. Each of the wings is secured to a respective one of the plates at the end thereof away from which the teeth project.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention may be more readily described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a snow guard in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the snow guard of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the snow guard with portions broken away to reveal details thereof.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a snow guard assembly mounted upon the standing seam of a metal roof with portions of the assembly and roof being broken away.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the snow guard being pulled open by a hand tool in preparation for mounting.

FIG. 6 is a top view of the blank used to form the snow guard.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the accompanying drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the FIGS., a snow guard in accordance with the present invention is shown at 10. Snow guard 10 includes a resilient body 12 having a slot 14 for receiving a portion of a standing seam 16 of a metal roof 18. A pair of apertures 20 is provided in body 12 for manipulating body 12 to selectively widen slot 14 to facilitate the installation of snow guard 10 upon standing seam 16. A number of teeth 22 project inwardly from body 12 into slot 14 to firmly grip standing seam 16. A pair of wings 24 extends outwardly from body 12 to impede the downward movement of snow on roof 18.

Body 12 includes a pair of rectangular plates 26 that are positioned side-by-side. Plates 26 have a height that is somewhat greater than that of seam 16. The width of plates 26 is about one and one half times their height. Plates 26 have a thickness of about 1/16 inch (1.5 mm).

One aperture 20 penetrates the bottom of each plate 26. Each aperture 20 is configured to easily receive one of the jaws 28 of a hand tool 30 that is capable of pulling plates 26 away from one another. Thus, the portion of each plate 26 defining the bottom of each aperture 20 projects outwardly so as to define a protruding lip 32 that permits the smooth insertion and withdrawal of one of jaws 28. Further, each aperture 20 is elongated to permit an even distribution of force to be applied to plates 26 by tool 30.

Each plate 26 is provided with a plurality of teeth 22. Teeth 22 are positioned above aperture 20 to engage seam 16 immediately below its relatively stiff apex. Teeth 22 extend in a spaced-apart manner from one end of the plate 26 to the other to ensure a strong grip upon seam 16.

Teeth 22 are triangular in outline. Each tooth 22 has a wide base that falls within a plane that is substantially parallel to wings 24 and that measures about ⅛ inch (3 mm) across. From its base, each tooth 22 tapers in width to a pointed tip that projects away from wings 24 and also about ⅛ inch (3 mm) into slot 14. Due to the relatively great thickness of teeth 22, they are neither easily deformed nor do they give up their grip upon seam 16 without difficulty. Thus, it is very hard to dislodge snow guard 10 from seam 16 without employing tool 30.

An opening 34 is positioned adjacent to each tooth 22. Each opening 34 is triangular in outline, being substantially a mirror image of the adjacent tooth 22. Openings 34 enhance the flow of air through slot 14 to aid, albeit in a limited manner, in the cooling roof 18.

Plates 26 are connected together at their tops by a crosspiece 36 so as to provide body 12 with a cross section resembling an inverted “U”. Crosspiece 36 is provided with a pair of spaced-apart holes 38 respectively positioned at its opposite ends. Threaded fasteners (not shown) can be passed through holes 38 for the attachment of a snow-retaining rail 40 to snow guard 10.

An alternative arrangement for securing rail 40 to snow guard 10 is shown in FIG. 5. Here, a clip 42 is employed rather than threaded fasteners. Clip 42 includes a pair of arms 44 connected at their tops by a crosspiece 46 in the manner of an inverted “U”. A finger 48 projects inwardly from the bottom of each arm 44 and is adapted for snug insertion into an aperture 20. When fingers 48 are positioned within apertures 20, the tops of arms 44 extend above crosspiece 36 of snow guard 10. Transverse bores 50 in the tops of arms 44 snugly receive rail 40 so that rail 40 is rigidly secured to snow guard 10.

One wing 24 extends outwardly at right angles from the front end of each of plates 26. Wings 24 are substantially square in outline, having the same height as that of plates 26 and having about the same width as their height. The surface area provided to wings 24 is believed to be adequate to prevent large masses of snow and ice, capable of causing great bodily injury, from sliding off roof 18.

The outer end of each wing 24 has a pair of bores 52. As shown, bores 52 and are positioned one above the other and have approximately the same diameter as that of holes 38. Bores 52 are provided for the attachment of signs, antennas and lightening rods (none shown) to roof 18.

Snow guard 10 is formed by cutting and folding portions of a planar blank 54 that is a single piece of heavy gauge spring steel. First, apertures 20, holes 38 and bores 52 are made by cutting such at suitable locations in blank 54. Next, teeth 22 are made by cutting a plurality of V-shaped notches 56 in blank 54 and, then, folding the material within notches 56 downwardly along the fold lines 58 positioned across the front ends of notches 56. (It is the voids left within notches 56 by the production of teeth 22 that form openings 34.) Later, lips and 32 are made by folding the portions of blank 54 bounded by apertures 20 and fold lines 60 slightly upward. Now, body 12 is given its inverted U-shape by making a right angle bends along fold lines 62 on opposite sides of holes 38. Finally, outstretched wings 24 are provided to snow guard 10 by pulling the material separated from plates 26 by fold lines 64 outwardly. The resulting snow guard 10 is ready to use although powder coating is recommended to prolong its useful life.

The use of snow guard 10 is straightforward. First, the jaws 28 of tool 30 are inserted into apertures 20 on opposite sides of body 12. Next, the handles 66 of tool 30 are squeezed together, spreading jaws 28 and temporarily spreading plates 26 from one another. This action takes slot 14 from its normal, narrow, seam-clamping width illustrated by the solid line position shown most clearly in FIG. 4 to a wide, seam-releasing width shown in FIG. 6. Snow guard 10 can now be easily positioned upon standing seam 16 with wings 24 on the uphill side. When the pressure on the handles 66 is released, body 12 springs back to its seam-clamping configuration. By withdrawing jaws 28 from apertures 20, installation of snow guard 10 upon standing seam 16 is completed.

Snow guard 10 can be enhanced with the addition of snow-retaining rail 40 and attachment clip 42. To do this, arms 44 are first spread away from one by the application of a prying force from jaws 28 of tool 30. Next, fingers 48 are positioned within apertures 20 of the seam-mounted snow guard 10 and tool 30 is disengaged from clip 42. Finally, rail 40 is extended through transverse bores 50 in the top of clip 42 and through the clips 42 secured to adjacent snow guards 10 on roof 18. The resulting snow guard assembly is capable of supporting very heavy loads of snow and ice without damage to roof 18.

While snow guard 10 has been described with a high degree of particularity, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications can be made to it. Therefore, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited strictly to snow guard 10 described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments of a snow guard within the scope of the following claims.