Title:
Snow guard with snow restraining barrier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A snow guard for preventing snow from sliding off a roof top having a longitudinal strap with an up-roof end and a down-roof end, a snow restraining barrier with a generally arcuate shape and supported by a brace, the snow restraining barrier and the brace are both coupled to the down-roof end of the strap, and a rim extending up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier to grip snow accumulating on the roof top.



Inventors:
Stearns, Brian C. (Stowe, VT, US)
Application Number:
11/439581
Publication Date:
11/29/2007
Filing Date:
05/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIGUEROA, LUZ ADRIANA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SNELL & WILMER LLP (OC) (COSTA MESA, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A snow guard for preventing snow from sliding off a roof, the snow guard comprising: a strap having an up-roof end and a down-roof end; a snow restraining barrier having a rim extending up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier, coupled to the down-roof end of the strap; and a brace supporting the snow restraining barrier coupled to the down-roof end of the strap; whereby the rim on the snow restraining barrier grips the snow accumulated on the roof.

2. The snow guard of claim 1 wherein the rim extends orthogonally up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier.

3. The snow guard of claim 1 wherein the rim is oriented at an angle less than 180° from the up-roof surface of the snow restraining barrier.

4. The snow guard of claim 1 wherein the snow restraining barrier has a generally arcuate shape.

5. The snow guard of claim 1 wherein the snow restraining barrier is a semi-circular disc.

6. The snow guard of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of apertures at the up-roof end of the strap to allow the nailing of the snow guard to the roof.

7. The snow guard of claim 1 wherein the brace is pyramidal in shape with arcuate flanges and lateral flanges projecting in opposite directions.

8. A snow guard having a strap with an up-roof end and a down-roof end, a snow restraining barrier supported by a brace, the snow restraining barrier and brace both coupled to the down-roof end of the strap, the improvement comprising: a rim along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier extending up-roof to grip snow accumulated on a roof.

9. The snow guard of claim 8 wherein the rim extends orthogonally up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier.

10. The snow guard of claim 8 wherein the snow restraining barrier has a generally arcuate shape.

11. The snow guard of claim 8 wherein the snow restraining barrier is a semi-circular disc.

12. The snow guard of claim 8 further comprising a plurality of apertures at the up-roof end of the strap to allow the nailing of the snow guard to the roof.

13. The snow guard of claim 8 wherein the snow restraining barrier is integral with, and arises vertically from, a basal flange coupled to the down-roof end of the strap.

14. The snow guard of claim 8 wherein the rim is integral with, and extends up-roof from, the snow restraining barrier.

15. A snow guard for preventing snow from sliding off a roof, the snow guard comprising: a longitudinal strap having an up-roof end and a down-roof end; a snow restraining barrier having a generally arcuate shape with a rim projecting up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier coupled to the down-roof end of the strap; and a brace coupled to the down-roof end of the strap supporting the snow restraining barrier

16. The snow guard of claim 15 wherein the rim extends orthogonally up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier.

17. The snow guard of claim 15 wherein the snow restraining barrier is a semi-circular disc.

18. The snow guard of claim 15 wherein the snow restraining barrier is integral with, and arises vertically from, a basal flange coupled to the down-roof end of the longitudinal strap.

19. The snow guard of claim 15 further comprising a plurality of apertures at the up-roof end of the strap to allow the nailing of the snow guard to the roof.

20. The snow guard of claim 15 wherein the up-roof end of the longitudinal strap is fixedly secured to the roof.

21. The snow guard of claim 15 wherein the up-roof end of the longitudinal strap is fixedly secured to a shingle on the roof.

22. The snow guard of claim 15 further comprising at least one aperture in the down-roof end of the strap for allowing seepage of fluid trapped inside the snow restraining barrier.

23. A snow guard for preventing snow from sliding off a roof, the snow guard comprising: a strap having an up-roof end and a down-roof end with at least one aperture in the down-roof end to permit water seepage from one side of the strap to the other; a snow restraining barrier coupled to the down-roof end of the strap; and a brace coupled to the down-roof end of the strap supporting the snow restraining barrier; whereby the aperture in the down-roof end of the strap prevents water build-up inside the brace thereby preventing freeze damage to the brace.

24. The snow guard of claim 23 wherein the snow restraining barrier has a generally arcuate shape.

25. The snow guard of claim 23 wherein the snow restraining barrier is a semi-circular disc.

26. The snow guard of claim 23 further comprising a plurality of apertures at the up-roof end of the strap to allow the nailing of the snow guard to the roof.

27. The snow guard of claim 23 wherein the brace is pyramidal in shape with arcuate flanges and lateral flanges projecting in opposite directions.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to snow guards. More particularly, the invention relates to snow guards with a snow restraining barrier configuration.

2. Description of Related Art

During the winter season, heavy precipitation of snow on roof tops can be hazardous to pedestrians walking underneath. As snow accumulates on the roof top, it packs down on the surface and becomes denser and heavier. The snow remains on the roof by frictional engagement with the surface of the roof top. At a critical weight, the force exerted by the accumulated snow weight is greater than the frictional forces of the roof top surface, and as a result, the accumulated snow falls off from the roof top to a pedestrian walkway underneath. This falling snow load can injure any pedestrian walking underneath, or damage objects or plants in its freefall pathway.

Many preventative measures have been adopted to stop the accumulated snow from falling from the roof top. For example, snow guards of various shapes and sizes are placed on the roof top surface to collectively restrain the snow pack from sliding off in large segments. The snow guards can have reinforced snow-stop and gusseted brace as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,664,374.

Prior art snow guards typically have three structural elements: (1) a longitudinal laminar strap, (2) a snow-stop, and (3) a unitary brace. The laminar strap has an up-roof end and a down-roof end, which when positioned on a shingle of a roof, lies inclined to the vertical plane, in the longitudinal direction, at a lower level than the up-roof end. The snow-stop is secured to the down-roof end of the laminar strap so that the snow-stop's up-roof surface stops snow, while the snow-stop's down-roof surface is braced by the unitary brace.

The snow-stop includes an up-standing snow-restraining barrier, which rises vertically from a basal flange secured to the upper surface of the strap. As disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,664,374, the periphery of the barrier includes a flange that projects down-roof to protect the down-roof surface of the barrier against contact with water falling from above, because water may contribute to internal weathering of the brace. This configuration does not grip the accumulated snow on the roof top. Snow packs are still able to slide past the snow-stop. This configuration does not prevent water build-up inside the brace causing damage when it freezes.

Therefore, there remains a continuing need in the art for a snow guard that grips the accumulated snow on a roof surface and prevents it from falling, and does not have water build-up inside the brace.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The exact nature of this invention, as well as the objects and advantages thereof, will become readily apparent from consideration of the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front plane view of a snow guard according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a back plane view of the snow guard of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plane view of the snow guard of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side plane view of the snow guard of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional elevation of a roof top with conventional shingles, illustrating the snow guard of FIG. 1 gripping accumulated snow on the roof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A snow guard configured to prevent snow from sliding off a roof. The snow guard has a strap, a snow restraining barrier, and a brace. The strap has an up-roof end and a down-roof end. The snow restraining barrier has a generally arcuate shape and is supported by the brace, both of which are coupled to the down-roof end of the strap. Extending up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier is a rim. The rim grips snow accumulating on the roof. The rim can be integral with the snow restraining barrier. In one embodiment, the rim extends orthogonally up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a snow guard 11 according to the preferred embodiment of the invention. The snow guard 11 comprises three structural elements, a longitudinal strap 13, a snow-restraining barrier 15, and (3) a brace 17. The laminar strap 13 has an up-roof end 19 and a down-roof end 21. Snow restraining barrier 15 is coupled to the down-roof end 21 so that the snow restraining barrier's up-roof surface 23 stops snow, while the snow restraining barrier's down-roof surface 25 is supported by the brace 17.

The snow restraining barrier 15 is integral with, and arises vertically from, a basal flange 29 coupled to the down-roof end 21 of the strap 13. This barrier 15 has a generally arcuate shape, such as a semi-circular disc shown in FIG. 3.

Extending orthogonally up-roof along the periphery of the barrier 15 is a rim 31. This rim 31 can be integral with, and extends up-roof from, the edge of the snow restraining barrier 15. The rim 31 enables the snow restraining barrier 15 to grip snow accumulating on a roof.

The down-roof surface 25 of the barrier 15 is coupled to an up-roof surface 33 of the brace 17. The meeting-plane 35 between the barrier's down-roof surface 25 and the brace's up-roof surface 33 is not protected or covered by the rim 31.

The brace 17 has a tapered structural gusset that braces the snow restraining barrier against the force exerted by packed snow. The shape of the brace 17 is pyramidal having substantially vertical arcuate flanges (not shown in figure) and lateral flanges 37, 39 projecting at equal angles in opposed directions.

FIG. 2 is a back view of the snow guard 11 illustrating the strap 13 with the up-roof end 19 and the down-roof end 21. The up-roof end 19 is configured to couple with a roof top (not shown) using, for example, at least one aperture 41 large enough for passing a nail or screw through it. Alternatively, the up-roof end can couple to the roof top by an adhesive or be welded thereon. The down-roof end 21 is generally triangular or trapezoidal in shape with folding edges 43 and 45. The folding edges 43 and 45 overlap the lateral flanges 37 and 39 of the brace 17 to secure the brace 17 to the strap 13. Aperture 42, 44 are located in the down-roof end 21 to serve as water seepage holes thereby preventing water build-up inside the brace 17 and avoiding damage by water freezing inside the brace 17.

The up-roof surface 33 of the brace 17 is also secured to the down-roof surface 25 of the snow restraining barrier 15 by couplers 47, as shown in FIG. 3. Specifically, the couplers 47 secure the arcuate flanges 49 and 51 of the brace 17 to the down-roof surface of the barrier 15. In one embodiment, the arcuate flanges 49 and 51 and the barrier 15 are machine punched at the location of couplers 47 to fixedly secure the brace 17 to the barrier 15.

Triangular edges, shown as dashed lines 53 and 55, are the edges of the pyramidal brace 17, with equidistant sides bisected by a longitudinal axis 59. These edges 53 and 55 are planar to the barrier 15. The pyramidal brace 17 also has edges 61, 63 and 65, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4. Edges 63 and 65 are on the same plane as the strap 13, while edge 61 meets where the edges 63 and 65 and edges 53 and 55 taper off.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the snow guard 11 according to one embodiment of the invention. Extending up-roof from the snow restraining barrier 15 is the rim 31, which is integral with the barrier 15. The rim 31 can extend orthogonally up-roof or at an angle 180 degrees from the up-roof surface 23 of the snow restraining barrier 15.

FIG. 4 shows the snow restraining barrier's down-roof surface 25 is supported by the brace 17. The meeting-plane 35 between the barrier's down-roof surface 25 and the brace's up-roof surface 33 is exposed to weathering, but does not affect the performance of the snow guard 11 because the snow guard 11 can be fabricated of a water resistant material, such as stainless steel or copper.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional elevational view of a roof top 67 with conventional shingles 69 and snow guards 11. The up-roof ends 19 of snow guards 11 are coupled to the roof top 67 by nails 71 passing through apertures 41. The snow guard 11 can be coupled directly to the roof top surface 67 or to the shingles 69.

FIG. 5 also illustrates the rim 31 gripping accumulated snow packs 73 on the roof top 67. Because of the structural characteristics of the rim 31, accumulated snow packs 73 on the roof top 67 does not slide past the snow restraining barrier 15. The rim 31 increases the surface area that blocks or restrains the snow 73 from falling off the roof top 67. This increased surface area provides greater frictional forces than conventional snow guards, thereby providing improved performance of the snow guard 11 and prevents snow packs 73 from falling off the roof top 67.

While certain exemplary embodiments have been described and shown in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that such embodiments are merely illustrative of a snow guard having a strap with an up-roof end and a down-roof end, a snow restraining barrier supported by a brace, the snow restraining barrier and the brace being coupled to the down-roof end of the strap, and a rim extending up-roof along the periphery of the snow restraining barrier to grip snow accumulating on a roof.