Title:
Moisture penetration prevention manifold
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A moisture penetration preventing manifold protects exterior walls from moisture entry into a wall cavity when wires, cables and pipes must penetrate the wall. The manifold is a solid, waterproof material having a tubular sleeve with a plate at one end sealed to the sleeve. The plate is placed on the exterior of a wall with an upper portion of the plate underneath an exterior moisture barrier sheet, and a lower portion of the plate on an exterior of the same moisture barrier sheet to provide a continuous drainage plane on the exterior. A building service element such as a wire, pipe or the like is passed through the sleeve and the sleeve central passageway is filled with a sealant such as expandable foam to prevent moisture from moving through the passageway.



Inventors:
Cheple, Marilou (St Paul, MN, US)
Schirber, Thomas J. (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Huelman, Patrick Henry (Lino Lakes, MN, US)
Klossner, Stephen R. (Scandia, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/334274
Publication Date:
07/19/2007
Filing Date:
01/18/2006
Assignee:
Regents of the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Amherst E. Wilder Foundation (St Paul, MN, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PROBST, SAMANTHA A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WESTMAN CHAMPLIN & KOEHLER, P.A. (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A manifold providing a passageway for a building service element from one side of a building wall to an opposite side comprising a tubular sleeve, a plate sealingly mounted on the tubular sleeve and positioned at substantially right angles to an axis of the sleeve, the tubular sleeve extending through a building wall to permit passage of a building service element through a central passageway of the tubular sleeve.

2. The manifold of claims 1 wherein the plate is a flat plate rigidly mounted on the sleeve to thereby stabilize the sleeve when the plate is supported against a surface of a building wall.

3. The manifold of claim 1 wherein the sleeve and plate are integrally formed.

4. The manifold of claim 1 wherein the manifold passageway is closed at one end and the sleeve has a cone shaped exterior surface at the one end.

5. The manifold of claim 1 in combination with a building wall, the tubular sleeve extending through the building wall, a building service element extending through the central passageway, and a sealant material surrounding the building service element and sealingly filling the central passageway.

6. The combination of claim 5 wherein the sealant material is foam.

7. The manifold of claim 1 wherein the manifold comprises a plurality of side by side tubular sleeves with a single plate mounted on the plurality of tubular sleeves.

8. The manifold of claim 7, wherein the plurality of tubular sleeves includes at least one sleeve of different dimensions from others of the plurality of sleeves.

9. The manifold of claim 1 wherein the plate is mounted spaced from first and second ends of the tubular sleeve, the tubular sleeve extending in a first direction through a first wall panel of the building wall to an interior side thereof and in a second direction through a second wall panel to an exterior side thereof.

10. The manifold of claim 9 wherein the building first wall panel has a water proof membrane on an exterior side thereof, the water proof membrane being on an interior side of the second wall panel, the plate being positioned between the first and second wall panels with an upper portion of the plate on an interior side of the water proof membrane.

11. The manifold of claim 5, wherein the central passageway is of size to receive one of a group of building service elements consisting of and electrical conduit, a pipe, a duct, a wire, and a cable.

12. For a building wall construction comprising an exterior panel, and a flexible moisture barrier sheet on an exterior side of the exterior panel, the improvement comprising a manifold for passage of a building service element from an exterior of the building wall to an interior of the wall comprising a sleeve made of a moisture proof material, a plate sealingly attached to an exterior of the sleeve, the plate being positioned to the exterior side of the exterior panel, the flexible moisture barrier sheet being slit with an upper portion of the plate between the flexible moisture barrier sheet and the exterior side of the exterior panel, and a lower portion of the plate positioned on an exterior side of the flexible moisture barrier sheet , and the sleeve having an interior passageway of size to permit sealing the passageway around a building element in the passageway of the sleeve with a waterproof filling material.

13. The construction of claim 12, wherein the plate is adjacent an end of the sleeve, and a solid material cone protruding from an exterior surface of the plate and aligned with the sleeve on an opposite side of the plate from the sleeve, the cone being of size to embed into a panel on the exterior of the plate, the solid material of the cone being capable of being bored to open a path from the passageway of the sleeve to an exterior of the building wall.

14. The construction of claim 12, wherein the sold material is a molded material, and blocks the passageway of the sleeve.

15. A method of providing for a water barrier passageway of a building service element through a building wall, the building wall having a first side and a second side, comprising the steps of providing a manifold having a tubular sleeve and a flat plate flange sealing mounted on the exterior of the sleeve, the building wall including a wall panel, and a moisture barrier sheet on an exterior surface of the wall panel, the method including slitting the moisture barrier sheet and installing an upper portion of the flat plate flange between the exterior surface of the wall panel and the moisture barrier sheet, and placing a lower portion of the flat plate flange to an exterior of the moisture barrier sheet, passing a building service element through a passageway formed by the tubular sleeve, and filling the passageway of the tubular sleeve with a sealant surrounding the building service element to prevent moisture from moving through the passageway.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said sealing step comprising placing an expandable foam in the passageway of the tubular sleeve surrounding the building service element.

17. The method of claim 15 including the step of adhering surfaces of the flat plate flange to facing surfaces of the wall panel and the moisture barrier sheet.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a building wall moisture penetration prevention system comprising a manifold that provides a passageway through a building wall for wires, cables, pipes and other service elements for structures that must pass through the wall of a building between the interior and the exterior. The manifold is water impervious and substantially reduces or eliminates moisture penetration into the wall cavity through the openings for such service elements.

The prior art efforts to provide various flashing systems to reduce moisture intrusion through an exterior building wall structure illustrate the recognition of the problem of moisture intrusion through wall openings. These openings that are flashed include windows, doors and the like. However, providing a passageway through a wall for relatively small service components such as wires, pipes and the like can pass without permitting water intrusion has posed a problem. Openings through the walls are needed. In each instance when the wall is penetrated, that is, when there is an opening through an exterior wall, there is a potential for moisture intrusion into the wall cavity. Moisture penetration has been recognized as a problem that will cause deterioration of the wall structure.

Prior devices have permitted gaps or openings in flashing, and present flashings around pipes on conduits have gaps or openings that permit passage of moisture into the interior cavity of the wall.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a manifold structure that has a tubular sleeve and a flat plate or flange perpendicular to the sleeve that is sealed against moisture transmission where the plate joins the manifold sleeve. The manifold is effective when used with rigid exterior foam board insulation as well as with conventional building wall constructions for reducing moisture penetration at the wall opening.

An opening is formed through the building wall structure that is of size to receive the tubular sleeve with the plate or flange on the exterior of a sheet of a moisture barrier such as windwrap or a rubber membrane on the outside of the wall panel or sheathing. The wall panel or sheathing is used on the exterior of studs for the wall. The moisture barrier sheet is slit and the upper half of the plate or flange of the manifold is placed behind the moisture barrier sheet. The lower half of the plate or flange is in front of the barrier sheet. The barrier sheet can be trimmed to leave the sleeve open and conform to the outer surface of the sleeve. The plate is then placed tightly against the barrier sheet and can be backed with a caulk or mastic. If an exterior rigid insulation panel is used for the wall construction, the manifold sleeve is made long enough to pass through this insulation panel so that the interior opening of the manifold sleeve forms a passageway from the interior to the exterior of the wall.

The manifold plate is pressed tightly against the exterior of the wall and the sleeve extends completely through the wall. The through opening of the tubular manifold sleeve then provides a passageway for the building service element or member that must pass through the wall. Once the building service element, such as a pipe, cable, duct or the like is in place, the passageway of the manifold sleeve is filled with a sealant, preferably foam. For example, a type of foam that is semi-liquid when put into the passageway and which will expand to fully fill the spaces in the manifold sleeve can be used. The wire, pipe or other wall penetrating service element in encased completely in a waterproof barrier to prevent moisture from passing through the interior of the manifold sleeve.

In one form of the invention, the manifold sleeve extends outwardly beyond the manifold plate or flange, so that it will pass through any exterior insulation panel that may be used in the building construction.

The manifold can be made in many cross section configurations other than circular cylinders. A plurality of sleeves can be mounted on a single plate or flange to provide for a gang of different size manifold sleeves that the electrician, plumber and other service personnel can utilize for passing the building service elements through the wall.

Another aspect of the invention is to provide a manifold for later use, which includes the tubular manifold sleeve and the manifold plate or flange, which would be mounted through the sheathing with the plate sealed with the rubber membrane or windwrap, but with a closed end cone projecting outwardly from the plate. When exterior panels or materials such as a rigid insulation panels are placed against the cone, the cone would compress the insulation but there would be no opening through the exterior wall panel. Subsequently, a drill can be used from the interior of the wall for boring through the cone, to the exterior, and the service elements such as wire, cable, pipes or the like, could then be passed through the interior passageway of the sleeve and through the bored opening through the insulation or exterior panel. After the service elements have been installed through the manifold sleeve, the sleeve would again be filled with foam or other sealant as would any gaps in the opening that had been bored for the service element.

Another use of the present invention is for providing passageways for necessary service elements through interior walls from one apartment or room to another in row house construction. The plate, which forms the flange on the tubular manifold sleeve, gives stability to the manifold sleeve to prevent it from “working” relative to the opening made for the sleeve in the wall structure. A sealant behind the manifold plate or flange secures the flange to the backing wall, and the sleeve will not tend to “work” to deteriorate the seal or wall.

The sleeve also would be foamed closed when used on interior partition walls to prevent moisture, odors air and smoke transfer through the sleeve passageway, and also the foam is a sound deadener to aid in reducing noise transmission, and can be a fire stop.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of a typical exterior building wall showing components provided on the exterior of building studs and including a rigid insulation panel on the outside of the exterior wall panel, with a manifold made according to the present invention shown in position;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view from an end of the manifold taken generally along line 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view of a cross section of an exterior wall showing conventional construction with an exterior sheathing, and a flexible sheet of windwrap with a manifold made according to the present invention installed therein;

FIG. 5 is schematic sectional view of a modified form of the manifold of the present invention, which includes a solid end cone that will embed into exterior panels or insulation, and is shown being bored out for receiving a building service element;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the manifold of FIG. 5 after passing an electrical wire through the manifold and sealing the manifold;

FIG. 7 is a schematic sectional view of a manifold made according to the present invention with the manifold end cone in place in exterior insulation, prior to having a smaller solid end cone in place after construction, but before boring the cone for receiving a building service element;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a manifold made according the present invention showing a number of tubular manifold sleeves mounted on a common flange or plate for installation in a building;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the manifold of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an exterior end view of the multiple manifold of FIG. 7; and

FIG. 11 is a side view of a manifold of the present invention installed through an interior wall between two dwellings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring first to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, an exterior building wall indicated generally at 10, which is shown only fragmentarily, is constructed with studs 12 shown only fragmentally, and with a exterior OSB panel 14 mounted on the studs.

This construction, called SEP construction, has an exterior flexible rubber membrane, forming a flexible moisture barrier sheet 18, placed over the exterior of the wall panel 14 and it is adhered or secured in place in a suitable, conventional manner.

As shown in FIG. 2, the rubber membrane is slit transversely (horizontally) along a slit line 20 to receive a portion of a moisture barrier manifold, as will be explained. A manifold 22, made according to the present invention includes a tubular sleeve 24 and a flange or flat plate 26 fixed to the sleeve 24. A portion of the sleeve is mounted in an opening 24 bored in the panel 14. The tubular sleeve 24 surrounds a central through tubular opening or passageway 28. The flange or flat plate 26 surrounds the tubular sleeve and has a plane at right angles to the central axis of the sleeve. The junction of the sleeve exterior and the flat plate of flange is sealed against moisture intrusion and can be reinforced as desired. The junction corner 30 between the sleeve and the plate can be an integral junction where the manifold is a molded part, or if the plate or flange 26 is a separate piece, it can be welded to the sleeve, if the manifold is made of a metal. The plate also can be adhesively secured to the sleeve with a water proof adhesive or adequate mastic sealants, or in other ways constructed to ensure that there is no moisture passing gap between the tubular sleeve 24 and the plate 26. A fillet of material can be used at the junction 30 for strength and to insure water proofing.

The plate 26 in the construction as shown in FIG. 1 is in mid-portions of the manifold sleeve 24, so that the portion 24A of the manifold sleeve projects through the opening 25 in panel 18 to the interior of the plate 26. An exterior projecting portion 24B of sleeve 24 is of a selected length sufficient to pass through an opening 31 in a rigid foam panel 32 which is on the exterior of the moisture barrier sheet 18. The manifold sleeve portion 24B is of length to protrude to the exterior surface of the insulation panel 32 and suitable siding indicated at 34 is placed over the foam panel 32 in a conventional manner.

The sleeve portion 24B will also project slightly from the foam panel, so that the central passageway 28 is accessible through the siding. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the manifold 22 now provides access for a building service element or component, such as an electrical conduit illustrated at 36 which can be sealed to an exterior box 37 mounted on the sleeve portion 24B. The exterior of the manifold sleeve 24 is moisture impenetrable, and the junction of the sleeve and the plate 26 is also moisture impenetrable. The opening 31 can be coated with high quality sealant so that no moisture can enter the wall cavity through the opening.

The plate 26 can be coated on the back with a suitable sealant such as a silicone caulk where the upper half bears against the exterior surface of the wall panel 14. The lower half of the plate 26 can be sealed against the water barrier sheet or membrane 18. Exterior water that is blocked by the water proof membrane 18 above the plate 26 will drain down past the plate 26 because of the installation of the plate through the upper half of the plate the slit 20. The upper half of the plate is covered with a continuous waterproof barrier across the edge of the plate. A portion 38 of the barrier sheet 18 covers the front of the plate. The portion 38 is above a selected horizontal plane of the sleeve 24, approximately a center plane, as shown in FIG. 1. Water travelling downwardly as indicated by the arrow 40 will flow along the barrier sheet, over the top edge of the plate 26 and drain down the portion 38 and drain away. A portion 42 of the barrier sheet 18 that is below the selected horizontal plane of the manifold is placed behind the lower half of plate 26, so that moisture cannot be trapped at an upper edge of the slit 20. The slit 20 is made for permitting the plate 26 to be inserted through the barrier sheet and against the portion 42 of the membrane, and with top half behind the portion 38 of the barrier sheet. Ends of the slit 20 also can be sealed with a mastic.

Once the building service member or element, as shown a conduit 36, is inserted through the passageway 28 of the manifold sleeve 24, the passageway 28 can be filled with a conforming foam. The foam is available in various forms, including aerosol pressurized cans. The foam is squirted into the passageway, and the expelled material will foam and expand to completely fill the passageway 28 around the conduit and render the passagway water tight and water proof around the building service element. The cross section shape of the building service element is not material, for the foam is self conforming.

The placement of the flange or plate 26 in the slit 20, with the upper portion of the plate covered on the exterior by the moisture barrier or rubber member 18, and the lower portion of the plate on the exterior of the membrane 18, provides a continuous drainage plane along the exterior of the rubber moisture barrier sheet 18 to prevent water intrusion into the wall cavity.

A conventional building wall construction is shown in FIG. 4. In FIG. 4 there is a side view of a modified manifold 50 which includes a tubular manifold sleeve 52, that has a central passageway 56. The sleeve 52 has a flange or plate 54 around the exterior thereof that is sealingly joined to the sleeve 52. The interior passageway 56 will receive a building service member or element shown at 58, such as an electrical wire, or an antennae cable connection, a telephone wire or the like.

In this construction, a stud wall indicated at 60 includes upright studs or supports 62 with an exterior OSB sheathing panel 64 (which also can be called an exterior panel) on the studs. In conventional construction, a flexible moisture barrier windwrap sheet 66 is provided. The tubular sleeve passes through a close fitting opening 67 in the exterior sheathing 64, and is sealed to the surfaces of the opening. The moisture barrier sheet 66 is slit as shown in FIG. 2 to provide a sheet portion 68 that passes over an upper edge and portion of the flange or plate 54. A portion 70 of the moisture barrier sheet below the slit is positioned between the sheathing 64 and the lower portion of the flange or plate 54 of the manifold. The edges of the slit in the moisture barrier sheet are trimmed or formed around the cylindrical manifold sleeve 52.

In this form of the invention, the manifold sleeve 52 has an interior end portion 52A, and a much shorter exterior portion 52B that is of size to project just slightly beyond the plate 54, so that the interior passageway 56 will be accessible from the exterior of siding shown at 72. Suitable interior wall insulation is shown fragmentarily at 74 between the studs 62.

In this form of the invention, the same features are achieved with the interior passageway 56 filled with a conforming water barrier such as a foam material 76 after the building service element or member 58 has been passed through the interior opening 56 of the manifold sleeve. The material 76 prevents moisture penetration though the passageway 56. The positioning of the flange or plate 54 in relation to the moisture barrier sheet 66 provides a drainage plane on the exterior of the moisture barrier across the upper half or portion of the plate 54, and the placement of the portion 70 of the moisture barrier sheet behind the lower half of the plate 54 keeps the moisture from passing through the opening 67 that is provided for the sleeve 52 in the sheathing. Suitable mastic or sealant can be placed behind the plate or flange 54, and as can be seen a large area is provided on the plate for sealant.

The plate or flange 54 thus prevents moisture intrusion, and if mastic or sealant is used in the opening 67 in the panel, the sealant also helps prevent moisture intrusion. The drainage plane on the exterior of the windwrap or moisture barrier sheet 66 is established so that exterior water will not enter that manifold.

In FIG. 5, a further modified form of the manifold is illustrated. In this form of the invention, the manifold 80 includes a tubular sleeve 82, with an interior passageway 83 and an integral flange or plate 84 that is sealed to the exterior of the sleeve 82, in a water proof junction. This can be done by intergral molding, or by other techniques to be ensure that the junction between the sleeve 82 and the plate 84 will not pass moisture.

In this form of the invention, the plate 84 supports a cone 86, which is a solid element, and can be integrally molded of a suitable plastic, such as ABS, with the plate 84 and the tubular sleeve 82. The interior surface of the cone 86, can be provided with a centering dimple shown in dotted lines, if desired, but the cone 86 is left solid and moisture impenetrable.

The wall panel 90 has an opening that receives the manifold sleeve 82, and a rigid insulation panel 92 that is on the exterior of a water barrier sheet 88 is merely pushed onto the cone 86 when the insulation 92 is installed. It can be seen here, too, that the water barrier sheet has been slit to receive the plate 84 as previously explained, and can be trimmed to fit closely around the cone. The membrane has a section 94 that fits over the outside of the plate 84 at the upper portions to the plate, and a section 96 below the plate 84 to form a drain plane on the outside of the water barrier sheet or membrane 88.

FIG. 5 also shows that at some later time, when a building service element is to be installed, either at the time of construction or later, a drill 96 having a suitable size bit 98 can be passed through the interior passageway 83 of the sleeve 82. The drill 96 can make a hole through the cone 86 to form a bore for a building service element to pass through. The bit 98 is of length to go through the rigid insulation panel 92 to provide access to the manifold passageway. The building service element such as a pipe, wire or the like can then be passed through the opening formed by the bit 98 through the rigid insulation panel 92 and after that is done, the opening formed by the bit can be filled with an expanding foam, as can the passageway 83 of the manifold.

FIG. 6 shows the manifold 80 after boring the opening and after a building service element 100 has been passed through the passageway of the manifold sleeve. It can be seen, again, that an exterior drainage plane is established. The bore 99 formed by the bit through the cone 86 can be filled with an expanding foam 95 for waterproofing.

FIG. 7 is an illustration of a manifold 104 that has a tubular sleeve 106, and a flange or plate 108 on the exterior of the sleeve in place in a building panel 110 with a rigid insulation panel 112. In this case, there is a shallow cone 114 that is, again, a solid material and is on the exterior of the manifold plate 108 to penetrate slightly into the rigid insulation panel 112 and remain in place until it is bored out as shown.

The building wall construction has a moisture barrier sheet shown as a rubber membrane 114, that is slit so that a portion 116 goes over the upper portion of the flange 108, and a portion 118 of the membrane 114 goes underneath the lower half of the flange or plate 108.

FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 show a modified manifold 120 made according to the present invention, which is a multiple sleeve or conduit manifold. As shown, the manifold 120 has a larger plate or flange 122 that is used on the exterior of the building wall, as illustrated in the previous forms of the invention, and in this case. Five tubular sleeves or are sealed to the plate 122. A first sleeve 124 is of large diameter, as shown, and has a centered passageway for an air flow duct 125A such as a dryer vent, air exchanger or the like. An air conditioning electrical line 126 or a freon line or tube 126A can be passed through the passageway of a second sleeve 126. Telephone lines 129A are shown in a third sleeve 128. Cables 131A can pass through a fourth sleeve 130, and a selected type of building service element such as a water pipe 133A can be passed through a fifth sleeve 132.

As shown in FIG. 9, the sleeves have portions that extend on the exterior side of the plate 120, and FIG. 10 illustrates the exterior view and shows the interior passageways 125, 127, 129, 131 and 133 for the respective sleeves 124, 126, 128, 130 and 132. The plate and the sleeves for the manifold assembly 120 can be used as a unit in one corner of the building wall or one section of a building wall, or if desired, the plate can be cut into individual sections so that each of the sleeves shown would be individually installable with an attached plate or flange.

FIG. 11 shows schematically a manifold 150 having a sleeve 152 and a flange 154, as previously described, that passes through an internal wall 156 between first and second apartments 158 and 160. The apartments are side by side in a row and a common building service element 162 in manifold can be a cable to carry signals, or a line to carry gas, water or the like to all the apartments. The manifold prevents moisture from passing through the walls, and when sealed, the foam 164 prevents sound passage, and can act as a fire stop. The flange or plate 154 stabilizes the sleeve 152 so it does not “work” and deteriorate.

The material used for the manifolds can be as selected, but molding the manifolds out of plastic is a way of ensuring that there is no moisture penetrable cracks between the plates and the conduits or sleeves. The manifolds are easy to manufacture, simple to install and substantially reduce any moisture penetration or eliminate moisture penetration at the needed openings through a building wall for service elements or components.

It should be noted that any penetration of the moisture barrier sheet or membrane has to be sealed at the point of contact. Screws are self sealing if they are not removed. The examples of building service elements are not meant to be limiting, since the present manifold will work with any duct, pipe, stack, cable or wire that is needed.

All of the openings for the manifold sleeves are sealed with a coating of caulk that makes the opening moisture proof. When rectangular ducts pass through the building wall the manifold sleeve has a similar but larger cross section so the passage for the duct can be sealed with a foam or other high quality sealant.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, workers skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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