Title:
Covered rain gutter system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A covered, multi-compartment rain gutter that mounts to facia to collect water upon exit from the peripheral edge of a roof structure, wherein surface dynamics facilitate the collection of rainwater and minimize the passage of undesirable debris, and wherein a straining member further limits the passage of debris into the gutter collection compartment.



Inventors:
Pijanowski, Walter (Marietta, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/582696
Publication Date:
05/31/2007
Filing Date:
10/18/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIGUEROA, LUZ ADRIANA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Najafi Law, P.A. (Jacksonville, FL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rain gutter device, comprising: a gutter unit having an outer shell comprising a cover and a collection compartment, a mount system, said mount system carried within said gutter unit, said mount system securing said gutter unit in an installed position relative to a roof, and said mount system internally reinforcing said gutter unit, and a grate, said grate carried by said internal mount system on an exposed face of said gutter unit.

2. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said mount system comprises an internal support bracket, an internal fastener port, and a fastener.

3. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said cover defines an upper surface with a plurality of arcuate variations.

4. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said cover defines an upper surface with a plurality of step-like variations.

5. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said grate is hingedly held.

6. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said grate is removable.

7. The rain gutter device of claim 2, wherein said grate is springedly held, and wherein said mount system further comprises a spring.

8. The rain gutter device of claim 1, further comprising a support plate, wherein said grate is carried by said support plate.

9. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said cover and a portion of said mount system together define the boundaries of said cover compartment.

10. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said collection compartment and a portion of said mount system together define the boundaries of said collection compartment.

11. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said cover compartment, wherein said cover and said collection compartment are secured together.

12. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said cover and said collection compartment of said gutter unit are integrally formed.

13. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said grate is defined by a plurality of elongated bars and at least one cross-support member.

14. The rain gutter device of claim 13, wherein said plurality of elongated bars are J-shaped.

15. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said grate defines an arcuate cross-section and is carried in a generally extended position relative said gutter unit.

16. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said gutter unit is defined by a plurality of components, wherein said plurality of components comprises an integrally formed cover and collection compartment and a hooked connection member, whereby said hooked connection member functionally defines and separates said cover compartment and said collection compartment.

17. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said grate defines a partial “C”-shape cross-section.

18. The rain gutter device of claim 17, wherein said grate is defined by a plurality of diamond-profile teeth and a plurality of elongated apertures.

19. The rain gutter device of claim 1, wherein said collection compartment further comprises a trough-shaped base.

20. A covered rain gutter device, comprising: a cover compartment with an undulating upper surface, a collection compartment, a sieve-like member, and an internal mount system comprising a centrally defined fastening aperture, opposingly positioned bracket support members, and a fastener, wherein said sieve-like member is hingedly carried by said mount system.

21. The covered rain gutter device of claim 20, wherein said cover compartment and said collection compartment are integrally formed.

22. The covered rain gutter device of claim 20, wherein said internal mount system further comprises a spring in a tension-relationship with said sieve-like member.

23. The covered rain gutter device of claim 20, wherein said sieve-like member further comprises a plurality of key-shaped members, said cover compartment further comprises a plurality of key-receiving apertures, and wherein said sieve-like member is carried proximate said gutter device via said key-shaped members.

Description:

This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 11/234,589, filed Sep. 23, 2005, entitled “Covered Rain Gutter System,” and to the fullest extent permitted by law, claims priority to and the benefit thereof.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to rain water collection devices, and more particularly, to a one-piece rain gutter and cover unit, wherein the gutter is a three-dimensional structure that receives water from a mounted position under the extended end of a roof, wherein a springedly-held grating system essentially eliminates clogging of downspouts by inhibiting the accumulation of leaves, and wherein an integrated mounting system provides secure placement and support for the grating and the gutter.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Numerous types of gutters are available for use, wherein a common problem to many, if not all such rain collection devices is the undesirable accumulation of debris and the resulting inhibition from proper functioning. Further, once cluttered with debris, most current designs do not facilitate cleaning, especially those adapted with covers.

Gutter covers are intended to impede the collection of leaves and other debris and thereby prevent the clogging of the gutter and downspout system. Some such covers are adapted to be retrofitted onto existing gutters. Others are integrated into a specific gutter design. However, each is disadvantageous in view of the present invention.

Several gutter designs exist wherein grates or screens act as the cover, or as the major component of the upper surface thereof. Although such screens and/or grates can prevent leaves or other debris from entering the gutter rainwater collection compartment, accumulated debris on top of the screens and/or grates can become a problem because collected rainwater must pass through these grates or screens to enter the main gutter compartment.

Another type of cover attempts to carry undesirable debris over the outside of the gutter by directing the flow of water over a series of ridges and down into an open topped gutter via increase surface tension, wherein larger debris is not intended to be directed therewith. Unfortunately, relying solely on such forces does not prevent the passage of all debris.

Additionally, irrespective of the type of gutter and/or cover structure, the method by which the gutter is fastened to the building is critical, not only to the effectiveness of the gutter at redirecting rainwater, but also to the structural integrity of the guttered building. That is, over time, most traditionally mounted gutters begin to pull away from the wall, or facia. This phenomenon can result in rainwater creeping behind the gutter, potentially causing water damage to the structure.

Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a rain gutter and cover unit that receives water from a mounted position under the extended end of the roof, wherein a strainer-style debris blocking system essentially eliminates the collection of unwanted leaves, seeds and other clogging materials, wherein easy access to the gutter rainwater collection compartment is facilitated, and wherein a mounting system provides support for secure, flush placement, thereby avoiding the above-discussed disadvantages.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such a device by providing a covered rain gutter system, wherein a tiered upper surface and an arcuate outer edge surface encourage the adhesion of rainwater while propelling large objects therefrom, wherein a side-mounted, springedly-held grating allows the passage of rainwater, inhibits passage of small debris pieces, and facilitates access to the main gutter compartment for maintenance, and wherein an incorporated mounting system facilitates uniform structural support and easy installation.

According to its major aspects and broadly stated, in its preferred form, the present invention is a covered rain gutter that mounts to facia via an internally held mount support bracket, to collect water upon exit from the peripheral edge of a roof structure, wherein surface dynamics facilitate the collection of rainwater and minimize the passage of undesirable debris to a straining-type system, wherein a grille member further limits the passage of debris into the gutter collection compartment, and wherein the overall structural design facilitates access to the gutter collection compartment for cleaning or other maintenance.

More specifically, the device of the present invention in its preferred form is a covered rain gutter system with a mount structure enabling flush and secure placement relative to facia, wherein an internal bracket support member is secured via a threaded fastener to the facia, wherein an internal fastener port is defined to extend from the gutter mounting surface essentially across the depth of the gutter, thereby supporting the shell of the gutter and securing the gutter mounting surface to the facia.

In the preferred form, the gutter body is a uniquely shaped, multi compartment unit with upper cover compartments essentially divided by internal gutter mount structure and a lower rainwater collection compartment, also essentially sub-divided by internal gutter mount structure, wherein the upper surface of the cover compartment incorporates a multi-waterfall shape to reverse rivuletting, and the outer edge of the cover compartment defines an arcuate surface to provide increased adhesion of collected rainwater while propelling large objects from the cover surface. The arcuate outer edge of the cover compartment thus serves to facilitate the continued adhesion of collected water, thereby facilitating the unimpeded passage of the collected rainwater, without undesirable matter, into the rainwater collection compartment.

The preferred grate, or stripping and screening structure is a springedly-related elongated member, wherein the first or upper end thereof is positioned proximate a recess defined below the arcuate outer edge of the cover compartment, and wherein the second or lower end is pivotally held proximate the upper edge of the collection compartment, facilitating the secure, hingedly movable positioning of the stripping and screening structure, extending between the two compartments. The hinged nature of the grating, or stripping and screening structure, facilitates easy access therebehind, should such access become necessary. Further, the grate-like design facilitates the stripping of debris away from the gutter, thus enabling screening of potentially clogging materials.

A feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to facilitate uniform gutter support via secure mounting to the facia board.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to be easily installed.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to maintain gutter positioning close to the support structure, thereby limiting water creepage therebehind.

Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to essentially eliminate the collection of unwanted debris.

Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to facilitate easy access behind the gutter rainwater collection compartment.

Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to be mounted to facia below the extended end of a roof.

Still yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to be secured to facia board via a support member that coincidently reinforces the gutter structure.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to minimize debris collection on the gutter grate or screen.

These and other features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a covered rain gutter system, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cut-away perspective view of the covered rain gutter system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a covered rain gutter system, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a cut-away perspective view of the covered rain gutter system of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cut-away perspective view of a covered rain gutter system, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, showing an alternate gutter unit shape and an alternate grate member; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a covered rain gutter system, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

In describing the preferred and alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in the figures and/or described herein, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-2, the present invention in the preferred embodiment is covered rain gutter system 10, comprising multi-compartment gutter unit 20, grate member 60, and mount system 100. Preferably, multi-compartment gutter unit 20 is defined by upper cover 22 and lower rainwater collection compartment 24, wherein grate member 60 extends therebetween, wherein mount system 100 is defined by internal fastener port 102, bracket support frame 104, and threaded fastener 106, and wherein internal fastener port 102 is defined to extend from gutter mounting surface 34 essentially across the depth of gutter 10, thereby supporting the exterior of gutter 10 and coincidently securing gutter mounting surface 34 to the facia.

In the preferred form, gutter unit 20 is uniquely shaped, wherein upper wall 26 of cover compartment 22 incorporates a multi-waterfall shape to reverse rivuletting of passing rainwater. Although a multi-waterfall shape is preferred, as depicted in FIGS. 1-2, a greater or lesser number of waterfall shapes could be incorporated in lieu of as depicted. Preferably, outer edge 28 of cover compartment 22 defines an arcuate shape, whereby surface 28a facilitates adhesion of collected rainwater while propelling large objects therefrom. Surface 28a of outer edge 28 of cover compartment 22 thus serves to direct, uninterruptedly, the collected rainwater essentially following the arcuate path of surface 28a, wherein grate member 60 is preferably positioned to strip debris and thereby facilitate passage of the collected rainwater, without undesirable matter, into rainwater collection compartment 24.

Preferably, outer edge 28 of cover compartment 22 defines mount recess 30, preferably adapted to receive first or upper end 64 of grate member 60 therein. Extending below mount recess 30, lower closure wall 32 of cover compartment 22 preferably extends in an angularly variable fashion to bracket support frame 104, wherein the angular variation of lower closure wall 32 preferably defines male support mount 36, and wherein, preferably, upper wall 26, lower wall 32, rear wall 34 and bottom wall 46 of gutter 10 are integrally formed. In this preferred arrangement, as mount recess 30 functionally engages upper end 64 of grate member 60, grate member 60 is preferably hingedly related to bracket support frame 104, functionally supporting cover compartment 22 relative to gutter unit 20.

In the preferred form, rainwater collection compartment 24 is defined proximate and partially below bracket support frame 104, wherein bottom member 105 is a component of and preferably integrally related to bracket support frame 104. Preferably, lower rainwater collection compartment 24 is integrally related to upper cover compartment 22, wherein rainwater collection compartment 24 is preferably defined as extending from distal end 47, to bottom wall 46, and to rear wall 42, wherein upper cover compartment 22 is preferably defined as extending from rear wall 34, to upper wall 26, and to male support mount 36, and wherein together, the compartments 24 and 22 preferably essentially and integrally define the exterior structure gutter unit 20. Preferably, bottom wall 44 defines support shelf 49, proximate rear wall 42, defining base mount 48. Also preferably, distal end 47 defines hook mount 35, wherein preferably, distal end 47 is generally arcuately configured to facilitate hook-like engagement with bracket support frame 104.

Preferably, grate member 60 extends between recess mount 30 and hinged mount 52, as a springedly-related elongated member, wherein first or upper end 62 thereof is positioned proximate recess mount 30 defined below arcuate outer edge 28 of cover compartment 22, and wherein second or lower end 66 is pivotally held proximate bracket support frame 104, facilitating the secure, hingedly movable positioning of the stripping and screening structure, extending between the two compartments, wherein the hinged nature of the grating, or stripping and screening structure, facilitates easy access therebehind, should such access become necessary.

Preferably, plurality of elongated bars 68 define grate member 60, thereby facilitating the collection and adherence of rainwater to the surface area thereof, and the passage of collected rainwater therethrough and into rainwater collection compartment 24, while coincidently preventing the passage of debris. It is important to note that although it is convenient to refer to grate member 60 as a grate, this word choice is not intended to be limiting in any way. That is, grate member 60 could be any suitable strainer, sieve, filter, screen, porous trap, mesh, web, lattice, and/or grille-type structure capable of facilitating the stripping away of undesirable debris while permitting the passage of water therethrough.

Preferably, grate member 60 is hingedly held between recess mount 30 and hinged mount 52, wherein user access into rainwater collection compartment 24 is enabled without necessitating complete removal of grate member 60. It is noted, however, that in an alternate embodiment, grate member 60 could be fully removable.

Preferred mount system 100 is defined by internal fastener port 102, bracket support frame 104, and threaded fastener 106, wherein, as noted hereinabove, internal fastener port 102 preferably extends from gutter mounting surface 34 essentially across the depth of gutter 10, thereby supporting the exterior of gutter 10 and coincidently securing gutter mount surface 34 to the facia. Preferably, internal fastener port 102 is a threaded cylinder adapted for receipt of threaded fastener 106, wherein first end 102a of internal fastener port 102 carries spring 103 for hinged support of grate 60, and wherein first end 102a of internal fastener port 102 also carries reception port 37 for supportively receiving male support mount 36 therein.

Bracket support frame 104 is preferably defined as extending from reception port 37, to upper support truss 54, to upper end 55 of rear wall 34, to lower end 57 of rear wall 42, to hook mount 35, and to grate support edge 59. In this manner, bracket support frame 104 supports the outer gutter structure, as defined by compartments 22 and 24, while coincidently functioning as the structural basis for the attachment mechanism, namely threaded fastener 106.

It is important to understand that the preferred structure of the present invention not only facilitates the clog-free collection of rainwater, but enables the preferred dual-support mount system for secure placement and gutter reinforcement. Thus, while the foregoing embodiment of covered rain gutter system 10 is preferred, other embodiments and adaptations are anticipated wherein equivalent functionality of components are provided.

In the preferred use, threaded fastener 106 is secured through gutter unit 20 and into the facia board F of a house or building at an appropriate position relative to the roof R, wherein rear walls 34 and 42 are generally flush against facia board F. Rainwater is collected upon exit from roof R onto upper wall 26 of cover compartment 22, wherein surface dynamics encourage the adhesion of rainwater, arcuate outer edge 28 of cover compartment 22 propels large objects therefrom. Upper end 64 of grate member 60 receives the collected rainwater, wherein elongated bars 68 are configured to perform a stripping function, permitting the collected rainwater, without undesirable matter, to pass into rainwater collection compartment 24. Thus, after the rainwater travels the arcuate outer edge 28 of cover compartment 22, upper end 64 of preferred length of elongated bars 68 facilitates continued rainwater adhesion, essentially uninterruptedly, into rainwater collection compartment 24.

Referring now to FIG. 2, grate member 60 is preferably formed from plurality of elongated bars 68, wherein cross-support member 72 functions to maintain plurality of elongated bars 68 in relative position. Also preferably, each bar of plurality of elongated bars 68 is generally cylindrically-shaped to enhance stripping abilities. However, any other suitable shape could be utilized such as, for exemplary purposes only, prismatic.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, in an alternate embodiment, outer edge 28 of cover compartment 22 could exclude mount recess 30 (defined in the preferred embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2), wherein the arcuate nature of surface 28a at outer edge 28 could facilitate the uninterrupted passage of collected rainwater along an extended arcuate path. Such a configuration facilitates incorporation of alternate grate 260.

Alternate elongated bars 268 define a J-shape cross-section for grate member 260, wherein long end 261a extends essentially between outer edge 28 of cover compartment 22 and trough mount 252, wherein first or upper end 262 thereof is generally pointed, and wherein second or lower end 266 is tightly held within trough mount 252 via pressure plate 265. Alternate grate member 260 is thus formed from plurality of J-shaped elongated bars 268, wherein cross-support member 272 functions to supportively maintain plurality of elongated bars 268 in relative position. Pressure plate 265 is adjustably secured to upright support wall 253 of trough mount 252, wherein short end 261b of J-shaped cross-section of grate member 260 essentially abuts thereagainst.

Alternate bracket support frame 204 includes alternate bottom member 205, wherein three angularly-related component members 205a, 205b and 205c essentially define the shape of one half of a hexagon, with central component member 205b supportively abutting internal fastener port 102. Additionally, distal end 47 of rainwater collection compartment 24 could be alternately configured, wherein hook mount 35 could be angularly defined, in lieu of arcuately configured, incorporating first corner 235a, second corner 235b, upper lip surface 235c, and inner lip surface 235d.

Internal fastener port 102 could be defined to extend in an angular fashion from gutter mounting surface 34, essentially upwardly, across the depth of gutter 10, wherein base support 103 could be incorporated, with mount medium 107 included therein, proximate second end 102b of internal fastener port 102. In this embodiment, alternate bracket support frame 204 continues to be defined as extending from reception port 37, however, reception port 37 is defined below alternate internal fastener port 102, in lieu of above, as defined in the preferred embodiment previously described hereinabove. Further, alternate support truss 254 is shaped to receive interior waterfall conformation, and extending essentially straight therefrom to upper end 55 of rear wall 34.

Referring now to FIG. 5, in another alternate embodiment, outer edge 28a of cover compartment 22 could include periodic grate mount apertures 302, for receiving alternate grate 360. Alternate elongated bars 368 are essentially straight; however, periodic key-shaped elongated bars 369 are defined, at least one at each end of alternate grate 360, in order to facilitate installation thereof.

Referring now to FIG. 6, in another alternate embodiment, lower rainwater collection compartment 24 is alternately defined with bottom wall 446 defining an essentially trough-shaped, or “pseudo-V” configuration. Such a shape facilitates the funneling, via gravity, of any small debris, if inadvertently collected into gutter 20, into the trough area, thereby rendering gutter system 10 to be self-cleaning, wherein any debris collected therein would be washed out with subsequent rain, via the trough.

Additionally, gutter unit 20 could be formed without support shelf 49 (as depicted in the preferred embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2), wherein alternate bottom member 405 could include extended support leg 407.

In another alternate embodiment, gutter unit 20 could be defined by a plurality of components, in lieu of integral formation.

In another alternate embodiment, a plurality of elongated apertures could be defined in grate member 60, wherein a plurality of diamond-profile teeth could be alternately spaced therewith, wherein the diamond-profile could facilitate the passage of collected rainwater through the plurality of elongated apertures and into rainwater collection compartment 24, while coincidently discouraging adherence of leaves or other debris material.

In another alternate embodiment, grate 60 could be retained in an openable, yet closed position via a springless mechanism, and/or could be adapted to open from either above or below, depending upon the relative positioning of the hinge mechanism.

In yet another alternate embodiment, the internally held mount support bracket of the present invention could be comprised of multiple, interrelated component members in lieu of integral formation.

It yet another alternate embodiment of the present invention, other appropriate fasteners may be utilized in lieu of a threaded fastener for securing gutter unit 20 to the facia, such as, for exemplary purposes only, expansion bolts, adhesives, nails, or any other suitable securing means capable of retaining gutter unit 20 securely in position relative to the facia.

Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.