Title:
Splash guard for preventing water from overflowing a gutter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides an easily-installed, efficient apparatus for preventing water from overflowing a gutter trough. In one embodiment, the apparatus comprises a gutter guard piece, the gutter guard piece including a first section formed to extend generally upwardly when installed on the outer rim of a gutter trough and a second section formed to extend along the surface of the outer rim of the gutter trough, and an adhesive coupled to the second section. In another embodiment, the adhesive is a length of double-sided tape, the first side of the tape attached to the second section of the gutter guard piece and the second side of the tape protected from touching other objects by a protective material. The present invention also includes a method for installing an apparatus to prevent water from overflowing a gutter trough, the method comprising providing a gutter guard apparatus as described and placing the gutter guard apparatus on the gutter trough so that the adhesive joins the gutter guard apparatus to the outer rim of the gutter trough. For those embodiments where the adhesive is double-sided tape that is coupled on one side to the second section, the method further includes the step of removing the material protecting the outer side of the tape after the providing step and before the placing step.



Inventors:
Lovell, Chad A. (Olathe, KS, US)
Application Number:
10/975959
Publication Date:
05/04/2006
Filing Date:
10/28/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/00; E04D15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CANFIELD, ROBERT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Spencer Fane LLP (Kansas City, MO, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for preventing water from overflowing a gutter trough, said apparatus comprising: a gutter guard piece, the gutter guard piece including a first section formed to extend generally upwardly from the outer rim of the gutter trough and a second section formed to extend along the surface of the outer rim of the gutter trough; and an adhesive coupled to the second section.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second section includes a flange section, the flange section formed to extend generally horizontally along the top of the outer rim of the gutter trough.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the second section futher includes a brace section, the brace section extending generally downwardly from the flange section.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the adhesive is double-sided tape having a first side and a second side, the first side attached to the second section of the gutter guard piece and the second side covered by a protective material.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the protective material is a removable film.

6. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the protective material is removable paper.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the gutter guard piece is made of aluminum.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the gutter guard piece is made from plastic.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the gutter guard piece includes an approximately 90 degree bend about its midpoint so that the apparatus is installable at the junction of two gutter troughs extending in different directions.

10. A method for installing an apparatus to prevent water from overflowing a gutter trough, said method comprising: providing a gutter guard apparatus, the gutter guard apparatus including formed to extend generally upwardly from the outer rim of the gutter trough and a second section formed to extend along the surface of the outer rim of the gutter trough, and an adhesive coupled to the second section; and placing the gutter guard apparatus on the gutter trough so that the adhesive joins the gutter guard apparatus to the outer rim of the gutter trough.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the providing step includes forming the gutter guard apparatus.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein the adhesive is double-sided tape, the tape having a first side coupled to the second section of the gutter guard apparatus and a second side covered by a protective material.

13. The method of claim 12 further including the step of removing the protective material from the double-sided tape before the placing step.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

None.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to rainwater guttering systems. More specifically, the present invention encompasses an easily installed apparatus for preventing water from overflowing a roofing gutter.

Guttering systems are used to channel water from the roof of a building to the ground in a controlled manner. Rainwater that lands on a roof will flow down the roof and into gutter troughs attached to the roof eaves. The troughs collect the rainwater and direct it to down spouts that redirect the water into drain pipes. Thereafter, the drain pipes empty the water at ground level. By providing a system for removing water from a roof in a controlled manner, the guttering system prevents harm to the building and helps keep the building's surroundings safe.

One problem with conventional guttering systems is that water will occasionally overflow the gutter trough in the event of a heavy rain which defeats the purpose of the guttering system. In particular, when rain water overflows the gutter trough it falls to the ground close to the building, which is exactly what the guttering systems is designed to avoid because such an occurrence can lead to foundation problems, can ruin landscaping, can cause erosion, and can create a nuisance and a danger for persons walking in the area.

Although any gutter trough can overflow, some areas of a guttering systems are more susceptible to this problem than other areas. For example, the amount of water that flows from a roof valley into a gutter trough is generally much greater than the amount of water that flows into the gutter troughs from other sections of the roof. During a heavy rainfall, the amount of water flowing down a roof valley is multiplied and may become greater than the capacity of the gutter trough.

When a gutter overflow is discovered, most building and/or homeowners hire a gutter professional to attempt to correct the problem. Generally, the gutter professional will either screw or rivet a generally L-shaped piece of aluminum to the outer side of a gutter trough in an effort to prevent water from overflowing the trough. The installation also usually requires the drilling of a guide hole or the like in both the piece and the gutter trough before the piece can be attached.

For most building or homeowners, hiring a professional to address a gutter overflow is relatively expensive, and, as with most repair work, the owners would rather avoid the expense. Completing the installation themselves, however, includes assuming the risks associated with perching on top a ladder while drilling guide holes in a gutter trough and thereafter installing a number of screws or rivets. Additionally, the screw or rivet connection is likely to come loose over time and need replacement or tightening, which will force the owner to repeat his or her hazardous actions. Therefore, an apparatus that will prevent water from overflowing a gutter trough and that is easy for a non-professional to install is needed.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is, therefore, provided the present invention which includes an apparatus for preventing water from overflowing a gutter trough. In one embodiment, the apparatus comprises a gutter guard piece, the gutter guard piece including a first section formed to extend generally upwardly from the outer rim of a gutter trough and a second section formed to extend along the outer rim of the gutter trough, and an adhesive coupled to the second section for securing the gutter guard piece to the gutter trough. In another embodiment, the second section includes a flange section, the flange section formed to extend generally horizontally along the top of the outer rim of the gutter trough and a brace section, the brace section adapted to extend generally downwardly from the flange section along the outside of the outer rim of the gutter trough. The gutter guard piece may be formed from any appropriate material including, but not limited to, aluminum or plastic.

In another embodiment, the apparatus includes a gutter guard piece, the gutter guard piece including a first section formed to extend generally upwardly from the outer rim of the gutter trough and a second section formed to extend along the outer rim of the gutter trough, and a length of double-sided tape, the first side of the tape attached to the second section of the gutter guard piece and the second side of the tape protected from touching other objects by a protective material. In certain embodiments, the protective material is a removable film. In other embodiments, the protective material is a removable paper.

The present invention also includes a method for installing an apparatus to prevent water from overflowing a gutter trough, the method comprising providing a gutter guard apparatus, the gutter guard apparatus including a first section formed to extend generally upwardly from the outer rim of the gutter trough, a second section formed to extend along the outer rim of the gutter trough, and an adhesive coupled to the second section for securing the gutter guard apparatus to a gutter trough, and placing the gutter guard apparatus on the gutter trough so that the adhesive joins the gutter guard apparatus to the gutter trough. The step of providing a gutter guard apparatus may also include forming the gutter guard apparatus. Additionally, for those embodiments where the adhesive is double-sided tape, the method further includes the step of removing the protective material from the double-sided tape before the step of placing the gutter guard on the gutter trough.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an easily installable splash guard for preventing water from overflowing a gutter. There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, embodiments of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof herein may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of embodiments in addition to those described and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein, as well as the abstract, are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Though some features of the invention may be claimed in dependency, each feature has merit when used independently.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the present invention relates from reading the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a section of roof having a gutter trough coupled thereto with an apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention coupled to the gutter trough;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side sectional view of the roof, the gutter trough and the apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the roof, the gutter trough and the apparatus shown in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a section of roof having a gutter system coupled thereto with an apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention coupled to the gutter trough.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention encompasses an apparatus that will prevent water from overflowing a gutter trough and that is easy to install. The invention will now be described with reference to the drawing figures, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout.

FIG. 1 shows a splash guard 10 according to one embodiment of the present invention installed on a gutter trough 20 that is attached to the eave 30 of a roof 40. The roof 40 is a typical residential roof that includes a deck 50 covered by a number of shingles 60. The two portions of the roof 40 shown in FIG. 1 form a valley that is covered in a conventional fashion by a length of valley flashing 70. The splash guard 10 is bent so that it may be installed on the gutter trough 20 directly below the valley flashing 70. In this manner, the splash guard 10 will prevent rainwater that flows down the valley flashing 70 from overflowing the gutter trough 20.

Turning to FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, the splash guard 10 generally includes at least two sections. The first section 80 is formed so that it will extend generally vertically or upwardly when the splash guard 10 is installed on a gutter trough. Thus, the first section 80 provides a barrier to water flowing into or through the gutter trough 20 to prevent that water from overflowing the gutter trough 20.

The second section 90 of the splash guard 10 is formed so that it will fit on or over the outer rim 100 of the gutter trough 20 to which it will be attached. In the embodiment of the present invention shown in the Figs., the second section 100 of the splash guard 10 includes a flange section 110 that extends generally perpendicularly away from the barrier section 80 and a brace section 120 that extends downwardly from the flange section 110. The flange section 110 will sit on top of the outer rim 100 of the gutter trough while the brace section 120 will extend down the outside wall 130 of the gutter trough. The brace section 120 in this embodiment also provides structural support to the splash guard 10 so that is more difficult for water overflowing the gutter trough 20 from the valley flashing 70 to force the splash guard 10 off of the gutter trough 20. It should be understood that providing a notch 180 (FIG. 2) in the second section 90 at approximately its midpoint facilitates the bending of the splash guard 10 to conform to a particular gutter trough layout such as is described above with reference to FIG. 1 and below with reference to FIG. 5.

The splash guard 10 also includes an adhesive 140 applied to the second section 90, which, as stated above, in this embodiment includes the flange section 110 and the brace section 120. The adhesive 140 is operable to couple the splash guard 10 to the gutter trough 20 so that screws and/or rivets are not required. Notably, using an adhesive in this fashion makes the splash guard 10 extraordinarily easy to install.

There are many adhesives that will perform well in the present invention. Preferably, however, the adhesive 140 is a double-sided tape that has its outer side covered by a protective material such as a removable film or paper. The 3M Company of St. Paul, Minn. makes a number of double coated acrylic foam and adhesive transfer tapes (and particularly product numbers 4941 and 5952) that have been found to work well as the adhesive 140 for the splash guard 10. The use of an adhesive, and particularly the double-sided tapes mentioned, provides another benefit in addition to the ease of installation. Specifically, the adhesive creates a watertight seal between the splash guard 10 and the gutter trough 20. Such a seal would be difficult to achieve and maintain if screws or rivets were used to couple the splash guard 10 to the gutter trough 20.

It should be understood that the body of the splash guard 10, that is the first section 80 and the second section 90, may be formed from any suitable material. In particular, the body of the splash guard 10 may be formed from aluminum such as the aluminum used to form many existing guttering systems. Similarly, the body of the splash guard 10 may be formed from plastic as are many of the newer guttering systems. It should be understood that the material used to form the body of the splash guard may influence the choice of the adhesive 130, because some adhesives may form stronger bonds with a particular material. Likewise, the material forming the gutter trough may also affect the particular type of adhesive 140 chosen.

As stated above, FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of a splash guard 10 installed on a gutter trough 20 that is attached to the eave 30 of a roof 40. FIG. 5 shows another embodiment of a splash guard 150 installed on a gutter trough 160 that is attached to the eave of a roof 170. In FIG. 5, the two portions of the roof 170 shown form a hip that is covered in a conventional fashion by shingles. The splash guard 150 is bent so that it may be installed on the gutter trough 160 directly below the roof hip. In this manner, the splash guard 150 will prevent rainwater that flows through the gutter trough 160 from overflowing as it turns the corner below the hip.

Installation of the splash guard of the present invention is especially simple and may be performed by non-professionals. Referring to FIG. 1-4, the installation generally includes placing splash guard 10 over the outer rim of the gutter trough 20 and press it down onto the outer rim 100 and outer side 130 of the gutter trough 20. In this manner, the adhesive 140 is brought into contact with the outer rim 100 and the outer side 130 of gutter trough 20 so that a bond or seal is formed. Of course, if the adhesive 140 is a double-sided tape, as is preferred, then the person installing the splash guard 10 will remove the protective material before pressing the splash guard onto the gutter trough. Clearly, installation of the present invention takes much less time and effort than is currently required for installing the L-shaped pieces of aluminum currently used because no guide holes, screws, rivets or the like are required.

The many features and advantages of the present invention are apparent from this detailed specification, and thus, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such features and advantages of the invention which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and variations will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation illustrated and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Though some features of the invention may be claimed in dependency, each feature has merit when used independently. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein, as well as the abstract, are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.