Title:
Wind protector for structures
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for protecting building structures such as mobile homes, trailers, sheds, and hangars from high wind conditions comprising a rigid plate-like member externally attached in the middle and across the width of the roof of the building structure. The plate-like member is raised at the center thereby forming an arch-type structure. Four rigid tubes coming from four corners of the roof of the building structure join above the center of the plate-like member. The tubes are held together between two disks, which are tightened together by a bolt and nut assembly. A tent-like cover with a plurality of eyelets is anchored to the ground surrounding the building structure. The canopy means is independent and separate from the building structure it covers, and extends downwardly and outwardly from above the roof of the building structure at an angle in order to deflect the wind and avoid pressure build-up.



Inventors:
Perez, Consuelo Colberg (Tampa, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/370725
Publication Date:
09/13/2007
Filing Date:
03/07/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B7/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HERRING, BRENT W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Edwin Tarver (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system for protecting building structures, (particularly trailers, mobile homes, sheds, and hangars,) from high wind conditions, the system comprising; a rigid plate-like member externally attached in the middle and across the width of roof of the building structure, the plate-like member being raised at the center of the roof thereby forming an arch-type structure above the building structure; four rigid tube-like members with first and second ends, the first ends of the four tube-like members are attached to four corners, respectively, of the roof of the building structure; a disk-assembly comprising an upper disk, a lower disk, and a fastening means, the disk assembly is positioned above the center of the roof and the plate-like member, the second ends of the tube-like members are received between the upper and lower disks, and the fastening means is used to securely hold the tube-like members between the upper and lower disks; a canopy means with a plurality of eyelets, the canopy means is adapted to fully cover the building structure, the canopy means is anchored to the ground surrounding the building structure such that the canopy means extends downwardly and outwardly from above the plate-like member, the rigid tube-like members, the disk-assembly, and the roof of the building structure at an angle in order to deflect the wind and avoid pressure build-up.

2. The system of claim 1, the building structure is also anchored to the ground using a plurality of ropes and stakes.

3. The system of claim 1, the canopy means is made of PVC 3 ply with nylon webbing re-enforcements.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the periphery of the canopy means is staked to the ground through the eyelets located on the nylon webbing re-enforcements.

5. The system of claim 1, the canopy means further includes a cut or an opening that is suitably dimensioned and positioned for entry/exit purposes after the canopy means covers the building structure.

6. The system of claim 1, the plate-like member is made of aluminum.

7. The system of claim 1, the tube-like members are made of aluminum or heavy polyvinyl chloride.

8. The system of claim 1, a bolt and nut assembly is used as the fastening means to securely hold the tube-like members between the upper and lower disks, the upper and lower disks include a hole in the center through which the bolt is made to pass through.

9. The system of claim 1, the upper and lower disks include four radially spaced grooves on their flat surfaces, the radially spaced grooves facilitate in positioning the four tube-like members.

10. The system of claim 1, the four corners on top of the building structure are structurally reinforced for greater stability, and to aid in avoiding tears in the fabric.

11. A method of protecting a structure from high wind conditions comprising the steps of; (a) providing a rigid plate-like member with its distal ends attached across the width of the roof of the building structure, the plate-like member being raised at the center of the roof thereby forming an arch-type structure above the building structure; (b) reinforcing the corners on the roof of the building structure; (c) anchoring the building structure to the surrounding ground using ropes connected to the reinforced corners and the distal ends of the plate-like member; (d) providing a canopy means for the building structure; (e) providing an assembly on top of the roof of the building structure so that the canopy means extends downwardly and outwardly at an angle from above the building structure and the assembly in order to deflect the wind and airborne debris.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the assembly comprises: (a) four rigid tube-like members with first and second ends, the first ends of the four tube-like members are attached to the four structurally reinforced corners, respectively, on the roof of the building structure; (b) a disk-assembly comprising an upper disk, a lower disk, and a fastening means, the disk assembly is positioned above the center of the roof and the plate-like member, the second ends of the tube-like members are received between the upper and lower disks, and the fastening means is used to securely hold the tube-like members between the upper and lower disks; wherein the periphery of the canopy means is anchored to the ground at reinforced sites surrounding the building structure such that the canopy means extends downwardly and outwardly at an angle from above the plate-like member, the rigid tube-like members, the disk-assembly, and the roof of the building structure at an angle in order to deflect the wind and avoid pressure build-up.

13. A method of protecting a structure from high wind conditions comprising the steps of; (a) providing a rigid plate-like member with its distal ends attached across the width of the roof of the building structure, the plate-like member being raised at the center of the roof thereby forming an arch-type structure above the building structure; (b) reinforcing the corners on the roof of the building structure; (c) anchoring the building structure to the surrounding ground using ropes connected to the reinforced corners and the distal ends of the plate-like member; (d) providing a canopy means for the building structure; (e) providing an assembly on top of the roof of the building structure so that the canopy means extends downwardly and outwardly at an angle from above the building structure and the assembly in order to deflect the wind and airborne debris, the assembly comprising: (i) four rigid tube-like members with first and second ends, the first ends of the four tube-like members are attached to the four structurally reinforced corners, respectively, on the roof of the building structure; (ii) a disk-assembly comprising an upper disk, a lower disk, and a fastening means, the disk assembly is positioned above the center of the roof and the plate-like member, the second ends of the tube-like members are received between the upper and lower disks, and the fastening means is used to securely hold the tube-like members between the upper and lower disks; wherein the periphery of the canopy means is anchored to the ground at reinforced sites surrounding the building structure such that the canopy means extends downwardly and outwardly at an angle from above the plate-like member, the rigid tube-like members, the disk-assembly, and the roof of the building structure at an angle in order to deflect the wind and avoid pressure build-up.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION:

This is a utility patent application which claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/656,562 filed on Feb. 25, 2005.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH:Not Applicable
SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM:Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL

Portions of the disclosure of this patent document contain material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to providing protection to structures such as mobile homes, sheds, hangars and the like, and more particularly to a device that protects these structures from hurricanes and gale-force winds.

Buildings, including residential homes, commercial and retail structures that typically rest on the ground by means of concrete foundations or raised foundations are often damaged by gale-force winds during hurricanes or similar high wind conditions. In particular, the roof of a structure can be separated from the walls due to the lifting forces created as wind passes over the roof of the structure at very high velocity. In areas where high winds are prevalent, the trend has been to utilize additional roof supporting mechanisms in addition to the original construction of a roof.

Mobile homes and temporary buildings are especially vulnerable to high wind conditions. Numerous apparatuses exist for securing mobile or trailer homes to the ground in the event of hurricane, flood, or gale-force winds. The majority of these devices use a combination of anchor means, elongated strap members and tightening turnbuckles, whereby such strap members are placed over and encircle a mobile home and are affixed to anchor means via turnbuckles to anchor the mobile home to the ground.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,148,162, 4,070,802, 3,937,437, 3,644,192, and 3,054,151 are all examples of devices, which secure a mobile home to the ground via elongated strap members placed over, and encircling the mobile home. However, the above devices are often unsuccessful in preventing damage to mobile homes due to gale-force winds, since they completely fail to protect these objects from other sources of damage, namely, damage due to impact with airborne debris (i.e., uprooted trees, bricks, etc.), which may impact structures at high velocity during a hurricane.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,865,852 to Gower discloses a device for protection of property against high winds. The device comprises a flexible material of predetermined strength and stretch characteristics, and in the form of a panel or several panels, utilized to protect the side of a structure including its windows and doors from the strong winds and debris impacts occurring during a hurricane. The device is anchored in a manner to space it out from the area being protected, and can safely dissipate substantial impacting energy. However, the panel structure of this device is different from the anchoring and covering means employed for the building structure in the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,088,975 to Wiegel discloses a system of mobile home (or other structure) wind protection, which includes a channel below ground level around the structure. Tie-down anchor bolts are spaced along the channel around the structure. Tie-down cables extend from the roof of the structure into the channel, each cable being connected to one of the anchor bolts. A storm shield secured to the tie-down cables likewise extends from the roof of the structure and into the channel below ground level.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,579,794 to Sporta discloses a method and apparatus for shielding, anchoring and containing an object such as a trailer or motor home in gale-force winds. A wind-permeable perforate sheet extends downwardly and outwardly from the top of the object or the roof of a home at an acute angle so as to surround a substantial portion of each of the sides with an inclined wind-permeable planar surface. The sheet is anchored to helical ground anchors via mechanical attachments, which may also be used to tighten the sheet over the object or home. Although the Wiegel and Sporta applications protect mobile homes or similar structures from high wind conditions, the present invention uses improved structural elements, all of which facilitate in achieving an angle for a tent-like cover or canopy to deflect the wind. Moreover, the tent-like cover of the present invention is completely independent of the building structure anchoring means.

Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide an improved system for protecting mobile homes, sheds, hangars and the like from high wind conditions.

A further object is to provide an improved system that includes a tent-like cover or canopy, which is completely independent of the structure it protects.

A further object is to provide an improved system that efficiently deflects the wind by maintaining an angle for the tent-like cover.

Finally, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved system that also provides anchoring means for the building structures such as mobile homes, trailers, sheds, hangars and the like to prevent them from being uplifted during high wind conditions. These and other objects of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the appended Summary, Description, and Claims.

SUMMARY

The present invention generally relates to a system for protecting structures such as mobile homes, sheds, or hangars from hurricanes, gale-force winds, or similar high force winds. This is accomplished by anchoring such structures to the ground with a special aluminum band, ropes and stakes. Structures are protected from high wind conditions by a special tent-like cover or canopy that is held to the ground by ropes and stakes. The tent-like cover is separate and independent from the structure being protected. The tent like cover is stretched at an angle of approximately 45 degrees or less to deflect the wind, thereby avoiding pressure build-up.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is an illustration of the anchoring means of a mobile home in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of the structurally reinforced corner of the mobile home.

FIG. 3 is a top view of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the disks that are used to hold aluminum tubing coming from the structurally reinforced corners.

FIG. 5 is an overview of the tent-like structure or canopy in accordance with the present invention with a mobile home in place.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of FIG. 6.

FIGURES—REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 11 . . . Aluminum Band
  • 12 . . . Mobile Home
  • 13 . . . Aluminum Tube
  • 14 . . . Rope
  • 15 . . . Stake
  • 16A . . . Upper Disk
  • 16B . . . Lower Disk
  • 17 . . . Bolt
  • 18 . . . Washer
  • 19 . . . Nut
  • 20 . . . Tent-like Cover or Canopy
  • 21 . . . Nylon Webbing Reinforcement
  • 22 . . . Eyelet
  • 23 . . . Opening or Cut
  • 24 . . . Structurally Reinforced Corner
  • 25 . . . Groove

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the drawings, the preferred embodiment of a system for protecting residential, commercial and temporary structures from high wind conditions is illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 6. The system is especially used to protect trailers, mobile homes, sheds, and hangars.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, an aluminum band or plate-like member 11 is attached across the width of a structure such as a mobile home 12. The aluminum band is placed in the middle of the structure and raised at the center of the mobile home 12 by approximately six to eight inches. The aluminum band 11 is rigid and forms an arch-type structure above the mobile home. The corners 24 of the mobile home 12 are reinforced for greater stability and protection, and help in avoiding tears. The mobile home is anchored to the ground by ropes 14 made of nylon or similar material and stakes 15.

Four aluminum tubes 13 coming from the four corners 24 of the mobile home 12 join above the center of the aluminum band 11, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. These tubing are not restricted to be made of rigid metal like aluminum alone and can also be made of heavy polyvinylchloride (PVC). Two disks 16, which are positioned above the aluminum band 11, hold the tubes 13 together.

Referring to FIG. 4, an upper disk 16A and a lower disk 16B are held together by means of bolts 17, washers 18, and a nut 19. The upper and lower disks 16A and 16B include a hole at their centers for the bolt 17 to pass through. The disks 16 are approximately six inches in diameter and are used to admit the four aluminum tubes 13 coming from the four structural corners 24. The flat surfaces of the disks include four radially spaced grooves 25, which facilitate in positioning the four aluminum tubes 13. The bolt 17 and nut 19 assembly holds together a frame of four aluminum tubes 13 coming together at the disks 16 in the center of the mobile home 12.

An overview of the system of the present invention with the tent-like cover or canopy 20 is shown in FIG. 5. The tent-like cover 20 is preferably made of a PVC 3 ply with nylon webbing reinforcements 21 and is provided with eyelets 22 throughout for wind pressure stability. The tent-like cover 20 is totally independent and separate from the structure that it covers and is staked to the ground at reinforced sites through eyelets 22 on the nylon webbing reinforcements 21. An opening or a cut 23 is provided in the tent-like cover 20 for entry or exit purposes. The opening 23 is of a closed shoestring fashion. The tent like cover 20 is stretched at an angle of approximately 45 degrees or less to deflect the wind away and thus avoiding pressure build-up against the mobile home.

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of the system of the present invention with the tent-like cover 20 protecting the mobile home 12. It should be noted that anchoring of the mobile home is independent and separate from the tent-like cover 20 that is to be deployed at times of high wind conditions such as hurricanes or gale-force winds. The tent-like cover 20 extends downwardly and outwardly from above the aluminum band 11, the aluminum tubes 13 and the disks 16.

All features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. §112, paragraph 6. In particular, the use of “step of” in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §112, paragraph 6.

Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.