Title:
Vapor barrier and cavity seal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A vapor barrier and cavity seal includes a head attached to a body. The seal closes a cavity between an interior framed wall and an exterior wall or veneer of a building. The head includes a rounded surface opposite the body and has a width that is greater than the width of the cavity and is disposed to bridge across the entire cavity. The body is square or rectangular in shape to easily fit between the interior and exterior walls within the cavity. The seal may include a foam polyethylene or is formed from a closed cell, soft, flexible non-gassing rod of material that is easily extruded. It may be provided in various dimensions and densities depending on the cavity or expansion joint size required or needed to be filled. Typically, the seal may be used on door and/or window jambs where a 1″ or 2″ gap is required between a brick veneer and framing when a vapor barrier is specified in construction specifications.



Inventors:
Cahoon, Michael Lance (VA Beach, VA, US)
Application Number:
10/980636
Publication Date:
05/18/2006
Filing Date:
11/03/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D1/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRIGGS, ANDREW J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bradley D. Goldizen (Maysville, WV, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A vapor barrier and cavity seal having a t-shape in profile and providing a redundant seal in a cavity having a width and defined by an interior and exterior wall of a building, said vapor barrier and cavity seal comprising: a head portion having a first width and bridging said cavity; and, a body portion connected to said first portion and having a second width that is less than the first width and being disposed within said cavity.

2. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 1 further including an arcuate surface provided opposite the second portion.

3. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 1 further including an extruded material of foam polyethylene.

4. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 1 comprising a closed cell, soft, flexible non-gassing rod of material.

5. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 1 wherein said cavity is formed between a brick veneer and framing.

6. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 1 wherein said interior wall comprises concrete blocks.

7. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 1 wherein said exterior wall comprises brick.

8. A vapor barrier and cavity seal that seals a cavity defined by a distance between an interior and exterior wall of a building, said seal comprising: a rounded upper surface having edges extended across the interior and exterior walls; a lower portion attached to the rounded upper surface and having parallel edges and a bottom, said lower portion having a width that equals the distance between the interior and exterior walls.

9. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 8 further including an extruded material of foam polyethylene.

10. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 8 comprising a closed cell, soft, flexible non-gassing rod of material.

11. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 8 wherein said cavity is formed between a brick veneer and framing.

12. A vapor barrier and cavity seal that seals a cavity having a width and being defined by two parallel walls, said vapor barrier and cavity seal comprising: a head portion including an arcuate surface and spanning the entire width across the cavity; a body portion connected to said head portion and having a width that is substantially equal to the width of the cavity, said body portion being disposed between the parallel walls; and, wherein said vapor barrier comprises an extruded material.

13. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 12 wherein a width of said head is greater than the width of the body and cavity.

14. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 12 further including an extruded material of foam polyethylene.

15. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 12 comprising a closed cell, soft, flexible non-gassing rod of material.

16. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 12 wherein said cavity is formed between a brick veneer and framing.

17. The vapor barrier and cavity seal of claim 12 wherein said cavity is formed above a jamb and between a brick veneer and a concrete block.

Description:

There are no related patent applications.

The subject matter of the present invention did not receive federal government research and development funding.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a vapor barrier and expansion joint for use in modern construction. More particularly, the invention relates to a vapor barrier that is t-shaped in profile to ensure a complete vapor barrier between an interior and exterior wall. A body portion of the vapor barrier extends into a cavity that exists between the interior and exterior walls of a building; while a head portion of the barrier spans across the cavity to ensure that the cavity is sealed.

Many modern buildings are constructed with an exterior wall or veneer of nonstructural facing that typically comprises brick, concrete, stone, tile, metal, plastic, vinyl or other material. During construction, the veneer is attached to a backing that fastens the veneer to the interior walls of the structure. The veneer or exterior wall is parallel to the interior wall. Many building codes require that a cavity be provided between the interior wall and the veneer to prevent condensation from collecting on the interior walls.

Different types of building construction materials have different coefficients of thermal expansion resulting in differential movement between the materials that comprise the interior walls and exterior wall or veneer. Since air has insulating properties that increase the total insulation rating of the building walls, including a cavity between the interior wall and the veneer adds an insulating effect. This cavity also prevents the veneer from cracking when the interior and exterior temperatures are different or when the expansion/contraction of the interior and exterior wall materials is different.

A vapor problem may be created when a cavity is provided between the interior and exterior walls. When a vapor pressure differential exists, water vapor movement will move relatively quickly through common building materials. For example, when vapor passes through a wall that is warm on one side and cold on the other, the vapor may reach its dew point and condense into water. However, if the flow of vapor is impeded, the vapor may not reach a low enough temperature for condensation to occur. Likewise, if cooled air moves through a cavity between the interior and exterior wall, condensation may occur.

Many building materials are adversely affected by water. For example, wood expands when its moisture content is increased. Increasing the moisture content in wood may result in warping, twisting or wood decay. Water also corrodes metal which may cause an expansion of the surface of metal as well as a decrease in structural integrity of the metal. The insulating value of most building materials decreases with the presence of free water. It is therefore important to provide vapor barriers and expansion joints in many modern buildings.

In the prior art, paper and backer rod have been used to create vapor barriers between the interior and exterior walls of a building. For example, the interior wall or framing may be wrapped with a paper such as that sold by Dupont® under the name of Tyvek® before the veneer or exterior wall is constructed. Backer rod is a cylindrical shaped material that is disposed between the interior and exterior walls. It is easily realized that a cylindrical rod disposed into a rectangular opening may result in inadequate sealing of the cavity between the walls. Moreover, it is very difficult and time consuming to either wrap the interior wall or ensure that the backer rod is properly disposed within the cavity since the distance between the cavity may vary if the exterior wall is not plumb or true with the interior wall.

Thus, there is a need to have a vapor barrier that spans the entire distance of the cavity that exists between an interior and exterior wall of the building to assure a proper vapor seal.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a vapor barrier for sealing a cavity between an exterior and interior wall in a building. The barrier may also serve as an expansion joint when disposed between parts of a horizontal member such as a floor or the like. The barrier includes a head and body. The head is attached to the body and includes an arcuate surface opposite the body. The body is square or rectangular in shape to easily fit between the interior and exterior walls within the cavity. The width of the head is larger than that of the body. The barrier seal may be easily formed by extruding it. When taken in profile, the seal is t-shaped.

In the preferred embodiment, the seal comprises a foam polyethylene or is formed from a closed cell, soft, flexible non-gassing rod of material that is easily extruded. It may be provided in various dimensions and densities depending on cavity or expansion joint size required or needed to be filled. The seal may be used on door and/or window jambs where a 1″ or 2″ gap is required between a brick veneer and framing when a vapor barrier is specified. If the seal is used as an expansion joint, it may be formed from a high density rubber or similar material that withstands traffic, and used in expansion joints in floors, parking decks and the like.

It is an object of the invention to provide a vapor barrier that provides superior sealing qualities to those of the prior art. The head spans and extends across the entire width of the cavity to ensure a proper vapor seal thereby preventing air and vapor flow through the cavity.

It is another object of the invention to provide a vapor barrier that is easily installed into a cavity between an interior framed wall and an exterior wall or veneer. The body of the seal fits easily within the cavity; while ends of the head extend across the entire width of the cavity to assure a complete seal.

It is another object of the invention to provide a vapor barrier that is t-shaped in profile. The vapor barrier includes a first portion having a width greater than a second portion. The width of the second portion is substantially equal to the width of a cavity that is to be filled by the barrier. Thus, the second portion is inserted into and substantially fills the cavity; while the first portion spans the entire width of the cavity to overlap on both an interior and exterior wall of a building.

It is another object of the invention to provide a vapor barrier that is easily formed by extruding the vapor barrier to produce seals having different dimensions and densities to accommodate different sized cavities.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a vapor barrier and seal formed from a closed cell, soft, flexible non-gassing material that is easily extruded.

These and other objects of the invention and advantages of the invention will be set forth, appear in part or become apparent after considering the specification and accompanying drawings. It is to be realized that the following embodiments of the invention have been represented in their simplest form for ease in understanding the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the present invention taken from an end.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present invention shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an end view of the present invention installed between an interior and exterior wall.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the present invention shown in FIG. 3.

FIGS. 5-7 depict various applications where the present invention may be used in modern construction.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following is the preferred embodiment or best mode for carrying out the invention. It should be noted that this invention is not limited by the discussion of the preferred embodiment and should only be defined by the appended claims.

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the vapor barrier and cavity seal 1. The seal 1 is defined by a head 2 comprised of an arcuate or curved surface 7 and having ends 3a and 3b. A body 4 is attached to the head 2 and is defined by parallel sides 5a and 5b. The width of the head wh is greater than the width of the body wb. The vapor barrier and cavity seal 1 includes a length as shown in FIG. 2. Thus, the seal 1 may be provided on a roll or in stick form and cut to a desired length.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show the vapor barrier and cavity seal 1 in use. A cavity 12 is provided between an interior wall 10 and an exterior wall 11. The width of the cavity 12 is defined by wc. The width of the cavity wc is substantially equal to the width of the body wb. Thus, the width of the head wh is greater than the width of the cavity wc.

In use, the body 4 of the seal 1 is disposed within the cavity 12; while the head 2 extends across the cavity 12. Ends 3a and 3b are positioned in contact with surfaces 10a and 11a to ensure a complete seal. In use, the vapor barrier and cavity seal 1 provides a redundant seal. A first seal is created between sides 5a, 5b and walls 10, 11. A second seal is created between sides 3a, 3b and surfaces 10a, 11a as indicated by numerals 30a and 30b. Thus, the seal 1 is a redundant seal.

Specific examples of use of the invention are depicted in FIGS. 5 through 7. In FIG. 5, the seal 1 is provided atop a door or window jamb 20 between a brick veneer 11 and concrete block wall 10 in an inverted fashion as shown. In FIG. 6, the seal 1 is also inverted and arranged between the exterior wall 11 comprised of brick that includes a weep hole 22. Flashing 21 is arranged to run from the interior wall 10 to the weep hole 22 for draining condensation from between the walls 10, 11 in a known manner. In this instance, the flashing is disposed between an edge of the seal 1 and the weep hole 22, as shown. In FIG. 7, the seal 1 is disposed between a plurality of bricks 25 that are arranged above the window or door jamb in a known manner.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact construction illustrated and described above. Various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.