Title:
GUTTER GUARD AND DECOR SUPPORT ARRANGEMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gutter guard arrangement is provided that functions to keep debris from entering and clogging a rain gutter. The arrangement may include a cover for keeping debris out of the gutter and a bracket that positions the cover over the gutter. The bracket may include a bracket securing portion that attaches to the gutter for securing the bracket to the gutter, a cover securing portion that attaches to the cover to secure the cover to the bracket and a décor mounting portion disposed on the bracket for mounting decorative décor on the bracket.



Inventors:
Jackson, Trevor (Kirtland, OH, US)
Klaus, Harry (Mars, PA, US)
Coyne, Patrick (Shaker Heights, OH, US)
Kostial, Robert (Mars, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/671321
Publication Date:
09/06/2007
Filing Date:
02/05/2007
Assignee:
EMERALD INNOVATIONS, LLC (Butler, PA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080196326CABLE CLEAT SYSTEMAugust, 2008Timothy et al.
20060272280Method and/or system for compensating for effects of heat flow and/or air flow through fiberglass insulationDecember, 2006Romes et al.
20080163584Product and method for concealing jointsJuly, 2008Colucci et al.
20060191215INSULATED GLAZING UNITS AND METHODSAugust, 2006Stark
20090188185BALCONY STRUCTUREJuly, 2009Studebaker et al.
20070028530Modular shelterFebruary, 2007De Laporte
20080092456THERMOCHROMIC WINDOW STRUCTURESApril, 2008Millett et al.
20050138867Multifunctional tridimensional combined green buildingJune, 2005Zhao
20050055966Integrated framing systemMarch, 2005Conroy
20100064610Apparatuses For Controlling Airflow Beneath A Raised FloorMarch, 2010Kulkarni et al.
20070095013Reinforcing bar couplingMay, 2007Kerkay



Primary Examiner:
CAJILIG, CHRISTINE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John P. Moran (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A gutter guard arrangement for use with a rain gutter mounted to a building structure, the rain gutter forming a channel, the arrangement comprising: a cover for keeping debris out of the gutter; a bracket that positions the cover over the channel, the bracket comprising: a bracket securing portion that attaches to the gutter for securing the bracket to the gutter; a cover securing portion that attaches to the cover to secure the cover to the bracket; a décor mounting portion disposed on the bracket for mounting decorative décor on the bracket.

2. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 1 wherein the décor mounting portion comprises an integrally formed hook.

3. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 1 wherein the décor mounting portion is removably attached to the bracket via the aperture formed in the bracket.

4. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 3 wherein the décor mounting portion further comprises an integrally formed hook.

5. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 1 wherein the bracket further comprises an elongated body that spans the channel.

6. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 5 wherein the building structure comprises a roof with shingles attached, and wherein the elongated body is partially received between the roof and shingles.

7. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 1 wherein the bracket securing portion comprises an inner arm received within the channel and an outer arm positioned outside of the gutter, the inner arm and the outer arm cooperating to clamp onto the gutter.

8. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 1 wherein the décor mounting portion is integrally formed on the outer arm.

9. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 1 wherein the cover securing portion comprises a cover securing tab forming a slot for receiving an edge of the cover.

10. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 1 wherein the cover comprises a plurality of perforations, and wherein the cover securing portion comprises a cover securing mount that is received through one of the plurality of perforations.

11. A gutter guard arrangement for mounting onto a gutter having an upwardly extending front wall connected to an upwardly extending rear wall by a bottom wall to define a channel with a top opening, the arrangement comprising: a cover for keeping debris from entering the gutter; a mounting bracket having an elongated body that extends across the top opening, the mounting bracket comprising: a bracket securing portion for engaging the front lip of the gutter to secure the bracket to the gutter; one or more cover securing portions for securing the cover to the bracket such that the bracket positions the cover over the top opening, and a décor mounting portion formed integrally with the mounting bracket.

12. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 11 wherein the décor mounting portion comprises a hook.

13. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 11 wherein the décor mounting portion comprises an aperture adapted to receive removable décor mounting device such that the décor mounting device is removably attached to the bracket.

14. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 13 wherein the décor mounting portion further comprises an integrally formed hook.

15. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 11 wherein the gutter is mounted to a building structure having a roof with shingles attached, and wherein the elongated body is partially received between the roof and shingles.

16. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 11 wherein the bracket securing portion comprises an inner arm received within the channel and an outer arm positioned outside of the gutter along the front wall, the inner aim and the outer arm cooperating to clamp onto the gutter.

17. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 11 wherein the décor mounting portion is integrally formed on the outer arm.

18. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 11 wherein the cover securing portion comprises a cover securing tab forming a slot for receiving an edge of the cover.

19. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 11 wherein the cover comprises a plurality of perforations, and wherein the cover securing portion comprises a cover securing mount that is received through one of the plurality of perforations.

20. A gutter guard arrangement for use with a rain gutter mounted to a building structure, the rain gutter forming a channel, the arrangement comprising: a cover for keeping debris from entering the gutter; a mounting bracket for positioning the cover over the channel, the mounting bracket comprising: a means for securing the bracket to the gutter; a means for securing the cover to the bracket; a means for mounting décor onto the bracket.

21. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 20 wherein the means for securing the bracket to the gutter comprises a clamping means.

22. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 20 wherein the means for mounting décor onto the bracket is formed integrally with the bracket.

23. The gutter guard arrangement of claim 20 wherein the means for mounting décor onto the bracket is removably attached to the bracket.

24. A gutter guard arrangement for mounting onto a gutter that is secured to a building structure generally adjacent a roof having shingles attached, the gutter having an upwardly extending front wall connected to an upwardly extending rear wall by a bottom wall to define a channel with a top opening, the arrangement comprising: a cover having a plurality of perforations for allowing water to pass through the cover while preventing debris from passing through the cover a mounting bracket that positions the cover over the top opening, the mounting bracket comprising: an elongated body that extends across the top opening, the elongated body having a first end and a second end; a bracket securing portion that fits over the front lip of the gutter to secure the bracket to the gutter, the bracket securing portion having an inner arm received within the channel and an outer arm positioned outside of the gutter along the front wall, wherein the inner arm and outer arm cooperate to provide a clamping force onto the gutter; a cover securing tab forming a slot that receives the front edge of the cover for securing the cover to the bracket; a plurality of cover securing mounts spaced along the elongated body, wherein each of the cover securing mounts is received in a respective one of the plurality of perforations; a décor mounting aperture formed on the outer arm for receiving and securing a décor mounting device to the bracket; and a décor mounting hook formed integrally with the outer arm; wherein the second end of elongated body is received between the roof and the shingles.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/765,059 filed Feb. 3, 2006 for COMBINATION GUTTER GUARD AND DÉCOR SUPPORT SYSTEM, the entire disclosure of which is fully incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Rain gutters are commonly mounted on buildings or structures to collect rain water running off of the roof and divert the water away from the building. Leaves and debris from the surrounding environment may accumulate in the gutters and cause a clog that may prevent the gutters from diverting the water. Therefore, to keep the gutters unclogged and functioning properly, it is desirable to prevent leaves and debris from entering the gutters.

It is also common to mount decorative décor, such as lighted displays, onto the front façade of buildings and structures.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a glitter guard arrangement that may function to keep debris from entering and clogging a rain gutter and, in some embodiments, may also function to mount or support decorative décor. Thus, the arrangement disclosed in the present application, in certain embodiments, keeps debris from accumulating in a rain gutter system while also providing one or more mounts for decorative décor.

In one embodiment, the gutter guard arrangement includes a cover for keeping debris out of the gutter and a bracket that positions the cover over the gutter. The bracket includes a bracket securing portion that attaches to the gutter for securing the bracket to the gutter, a cover securing portion that attaches to the cover to secure the cover to the bracket and a décor mounting portion disposed on the bracket for mounting decorative décor on the bracket. In certain embodiments, the décor mounting portion is removably attached to the bracket. In another embodiment, the décor mounting portion is integrally formed with the bracket.

Further aspects and concept will become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering the following description and appended claims in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, embodiments of the invention are illustrated, which, together with a general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description given below, serve to exemplify embodiments of the invention

FIG. 1 illustrates a simplified side view of one embodiment of a gutter guard arrangement as disclosed in the present application;

FIG. 2 illustrates a partial perspective view of a second embodiment of a gutter guard arrangement as disclosed in the present application;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the arrangement of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a bracket for the arrangement of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a décor mounting clip for the arrangement of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present application is directed broadly to a gutter guard arrangement that may function to keep debris from entering and clogging a rain gutter and, in some embodiments, may also function to mount or support decorative décor. While various inventive aspects, concepts and features of the inventions may be described and illustrated herein as embodied in combination in the exemplary embodiments, these various aspects, concepts and features may be used in many alternative embodiments, either individually or in various combinations and sub-combinations thereof. Unless expressly excluded herein all such combinations and sub-combinations are intended to be within the scope of the present inventions. Still further, while various alternative embodiments as to the various aspects, concepts and features of the inventions—such as alternative materials, structures, configurations, methods, devices and components, alternatives as to form, fit and function, and so on—may be described herein, such descriptions are not intended to be a complete or exhaustive list of available alternative embodiments, whether presently known or later developed. Those skilled in the art may readily adopt one or more of the inventive aspects, concepts or features into additional embodiments and uses within the scope of the present inventions even if such embodiments are not expressly disclosed herein. Additionally, even though some features, concepts or aspects of the inventions may be described herein as being a preferred arrangement or method, such description is not intended to suggest that such feature is required or necessary unless expressly so stated. Still further, exemplary or representative values and ranges may be included to assist in understanding the present disclosure; however, such values and ranges are not to be construed in a limiting sense and are intended to be critical values or ranges only if so expressly stated. Moreover, while various aspects, features and concepts may be expressly identified herein as being inventive or forming part of an invention, such identification is not intended to be exclusive, but rather there may be inventive aspects, concepts and features that are fully described herein without being expressly identified as such or as part of a specific invention, the inventions instead being set forth in the appended claims. Descriptions of exemplary methods or processes are not limited to inclusion of all steps as being required in all cases, nor is the order that the steps are presented to be construed as required or necessary unless expressly so stated.

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a gutter guard arrangement 100 as disclosed in the application. The arrangement 100 includes a cover 102. The cover 102 may be configured in a variety of ways. Any structure capable of allowing water to enter a gutter 104 while preventing larger particles, such as debris and leaves, from entering the gutter may be used. Thus, the cover 102 is disposed over the gutter 104 and is supported by one or more brackets 106. The one or more brackets 106 may be configured in a variety of ways. Any structure capable of securely attaching to the gutter 104, holding the cover 102 in proper position relative to the gutter, and, in some embodiments, providing or allowing for mounting portions for decorative décor may be used. The bracket 106 may be configured to be disposed across the gutter 104 for holding the cover over the gutter.

The bracket 106 includes one or more bracket securing portions 110 for securing the bracket to the gutter. The bracket securing portion 110 may be realized as a clip or clamping device that clamps the bracket 106 to the gutter 104. The bracket securing portions 110, however, may be configured in a variety of ways to secure the bracket 106 to the gutter 104 in any suitable mailer, such as, but not limited to, via fasteners, adhesives, frictional or interference fit. The bracket 106 also includes one or more cover securing portions 112. The cover securing portions 112 may be configured in a variety of ways. Any structure capable of securing or holding the cover 102 to the bracket 106 may be used. The cover securing portions 112 may be, for example, but not limited to, configured as clamps, tabs, pins, or clips that hold the edge of an of the cover 102 against the bracket 106, or projections that may be inserted through the cover 102 and resist being withdrawn. The bracket 106 may also include separate cover securing portions of different configurations, which work together to secure the cover 102 to the bracket.

The bracket 106 also includes a décor mounting portion 108. The décor mounting portion 108 may be configured in variety of ways. Any structure capable of supporting décor or supporting additional structure that supports décor may be used. For example, the décor mounting portion 108 may be, but not be limited to, a hook, a clip, a clamp, a tab, or an interface, such as an aperture, that supports a hook, a clamp or other mounting device. The bracket 106 may include one or more décor mounting portions 108 that may include one or more different configurations for mounting décor. Furthermore, the décor mounting portion 108 may be formed integrally with the bracket or as a separate piece or assembly that is attachable to the bracket.

FIGS. 2-3 illustrate a second embodiment of the gutter guard arrangement as disclosed in the application. The arrangement 200 includes a cover 202 that generally keeps debris from entering a rain gutter 204 and a bracket 206 adapted to attach to the rain gutter 204 and support the cover in position relative to the gutter. Rain gutters 204 are well known in the art for installation onto a building or other structure to collect rain water that washes off of the roof of the building. Gutters are generally formed as an elongated channel 208 having a top opening 210 and generally include a bottom wall 212 that connects an upwardly extending front wall 214 to an upwardly extending rear wall 216 to define the channel. The front wall 214 terminates in a front lip portion 218 and the rear wall 216 terminates in a rear lip portion 220.

The cover 202 may be configured in a variety of ways. Any structure capable of allowing water to enter the channel 208 while preventing larger particles, such as debris and leaves, from entering the gutter may be used. In the depicted embodiment, the cover 202 is a perforated, grated, or meshed material that functions as a screen. The perforations, apertures or slots 222 of the cover material may be in a pattern or in a random orientation. The perforations, apertures or slots 222 are sized or oriented to block foreign materials, such as debris and leaves, while allowing the passage of water into the gutter 204. In the illustrated embodiment cover 202 includes a patterned sequence of hexagon shaped perforations 222. It should be apparent to one skilled in the art, however, that the cover 202 may contain perforations and/or slots of other shapes, sizes, and number.

The cover 202 may be formed as a single unitary piece of material or may include multiple pieces of material connected together, overlapped, or otherwise arranged. If the cover 202 is formed from multiple pieces of material, the particular lengths of the individual pieces may vary according to the particular application. Furthermore, the multiple pieces of material may be uniform in length, or have varying lengths. The cover 202 may be formed from a variety of suitable materials, such as, but not limited to, plastic, aluminum, various metal alloys, and various polymers.

The brackets 206 of the arrangement 200 may be configured in a variety of ways. Any structure capable of securely attaching to the gutter 204, holding the cover 202 in proper position relative to the gutter, and, in some embodiments, providing or allowing for décor mounting portions 224 may be used. Therefore, various embodiments of the mounting brackets 206 may exist depending on the particular shape and size of the particular gutter application. The mounting brackets 206 may be formed from a single piece of material, or formed from multiple sections of joined material. The mounting brackets 206 may be made of a variety of suitable materials. Non-limiting examples of possible materials for the mounting bracket 206 include plastic, aluminum, various metal alloys, and various polymers.

Referring to FIG. 4, in the depicted embodiment, the bracket 206 has a generally elongated body 226 with a first end portion 228 and a second end portion 230. The elongated body 226 has a generally rectangular cross section and has sufficient length to span across the top opening 210 of the gutter 204 and extend a distance beyond the rear lip 220 (see FIGS. 2 and 3). It should be apparent to one skilled in the art, however, that certain embodiments of the arrangement 200 may have mounting brackets 206 that include elongated bodies of other shapes, widths, lengths, and sizes. Furthermore, it should be apparent to one skilled in the art that certain embodiments of the mounting brackets need not include an elongated body that spans the top opening 210 of the gutter 204.

The elongated body 226 includes two cover securing mounts 232 defined within or projecting from the elongated body at positions along the length of the body. The elongated body 226, however, may have more or less than two cover securing mounts in other embodiments. The cover securing mounts 232 have a generally circular cross-section with an enlarged head 234. It should be apparent to one skilled in the art, however, that the cover securing mounts may be other shapes and/or sizes, such as but not limited to, triangular, rectangular, polygonal, oval, or other suitable shapes. Furthermore, in certain embodiments the bracket 206 may not include cover securing mounts.

The first end portion 228 of the elongated body 226 includes a cover securing tab 236. The cover securing tab 236 has a first portion 238 extending generally perpendicular from the elongated body 226 and a second portion 240 the extends from the first portion generally perpendicular to the elongated body 226. The first and second portions 238, 240 form a slot 242 for receiving the cover 202 to secure the cover to the first end portion 228. It should be apparent to one skilled in the art, however, that certain embodiments of the arrangement 200 may contain a cover securing portion that operates and is configured other than a tab. Non-limiting examples may include, of clips, clamps, snaps, or pins. Furthermore, certain embodiments of the arrangement 200 may not include a cover securing portion.

The first end portion 228 also includes a bracket securing portion 244. The bracket securing portion 244 may be configured in a variety of ways to secure the bracket to the gutter 204. In the depicted embodiment, the bracket securing portion 244 includes an inner arm 246 and an outer arm 248 that cooperate to secure the bracket to the front lip 218 of the gutter 204. The inner arm 246 and the outer aim 248 both generally extend perpendicularly from the elongated body 226 in generally the same direction. The front lip 218 of the gutter 204 is received between the inner arm 246 and the outer arm 248 such that the inner arm 246 extends into the channel 208 along the inside of the front wall 214 of the gutter and the outer arm 248 extends along the outside of the front wall of the gutter. In this position, the inner arm 246 and the outer arm 248 provide a clamping action onto the front wall 214 and/or front lip 218 of the gutter.

To compensate for the shape of the front wall 214, the inner arm 246 and the outer arm 248 may be configured in a variety of ways. In the depicted embodiment of FIG. 3, for example, the outer arm 248 generally follows the contour of the front wall 214 while the distal end 250 of the inner arm 246 may be configured to angle, bend, or curve toward the center of the channel 208. In the depicted embodiment of FIG. 4, however, the inner arm 246 is illustrated as not angled or curved. Thus, the bracket securing portion 244 may be configured in any suitable manner to secure the bracket 206 to a specific gutter configuration. The outer arm 248 may also be adapted to include the décor mounting portion 224.

The décor mounting portion 224, in the depicted embodiment, is formed as part of the outer arm 248. It should be apparent to one skilled in the art, however, the décor mounting portion or portions may be configured in a variety of ways. Any structure capable of supporting décor or supporting a separate structure, component, or device that supports décor may be used, such as for example, a clip, clamp, hook, or other suitable structure. In the depicted embodiment, the bracket 206 includes a first décor mounting portion 252 and a second décor mounting portion 254. The first décor mounting portion 252 includes an aperture 256 for receiving a décor mounting clip 260. The aperture 256 is generally circular with a circular base 262 circumscribing the aperture.

The décor mounting clip 260 may be any type of clip that could be useful for installing and mounting décor. For example, décor mounting clips for installing and mounting lighted displays, light strings, seasonal décor, holiday décor, signs, banners, or other décor may be used. Referring to FIG. 5, in the depicted embodiment, the décor mounting clip 260 has a claw type structure that includes a base 264 and two arms 246, 248 extending from the base in generally the same direction. As is known in the art for the type of clip illustrated in the depicted embodiment, the arms 246, 248 may be moved to overlap and form a clip or clamping structure by the resilient nature of the material used to form the arms, such as for example, but not limited to, plastic, aluminum, various metal alloys, and various polymers. The base 264 of the décor mounting clip 260 includes a projection formed as two pieces. The projection 268 is adapted to snap into the aperture to removably attach to the bracket 206.

The second décor mounting portion 254 is realized as a hook formed integrally with the bracket 206. Thus, the décor mounting portions 252, 254 of the arrangement 200 may be integral with the bracket 206 or separate and attachable to the bracket. The hook 254 is formed with the open end 270 facing forward. However, it should be apparent to one skilled in the art that certain embodiments of the present invention may contain a hook of other shapes, sizes, and orientations. In addition, it should also be apparent to one skilled in the art that certain embodiments of the present invention may not include a hook on the mounting bracket.

Referring to FIG. 3, when installed, the bracket 206 is positioned on the gutter 204 such that the elongated body 226 spans the top opening 210 of the gutter and the front lip 218 of the gutter is received between the inner arm 246 and the outer arm 248. The inner arm 246 and the outer arm 248 are formed from a resilient material such that the arms will spread apart to receive the front lip 218 and by their resilient nature, clamp onto the front lip 218 and/or front wall 214 to retain the bracket onto the gutter 204.

In this position, the second end 230 of the bracket 206 extends past the rear lip 220 of the gutter 204. Because the gutter 204 is typically mounted to a building 272, adjacent to a roof 274 that includes shingles 276, the second end 230 of the bracket 206 may provide an additional means for securing the bracket 206 to the gutter. For example, in the depicted embodiment, the second end 230 is flexible and bents upward to be received between the roof 274 and the shingles 276. Thus, the second end 230 is sandwiched between the roof 274 and shingles 276 to provide a second bracket securing portion.

The cover 202 is positioned on top the bracket 206 such that the bracket supports the cover over the top opening 210. The outer edge of the cover 202 is received in the slot 242 of the cover securing tab 236. Each cover securing mount 232 is received within a perforation 222 on the cover 202 (see FIG. 2). The mounts 232 are sized such that enlarged head 234 on the mounts acts to secure the cover to the bracket once the head is received through a perforation 222.

Once installed, the arrangement 200 keeps foreign materials out of the gutter while simultaneously providing a system of structure attachment for decorative décor. The user may mount décor items to the front of the gutter 204 including, but not limited to, lighted displays, light strings, seasonal décor, holiday décor, signs, and banners.

The invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments. Modification and alterations will occur to others upon a reading and understanding of this specification. It is intended to include all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.