Title:
Brick sentry
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole and includes a housing frame having an opening a weep hole cover for covering the opening to prevent pests from entering the weep hole, and a peripheral seal to seal the housing frame around the weep hole.



Inventors:
Kilpatrick, Michael (Duncanville, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/493141
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
07/26/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/70
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HOLLOWAY, JASON R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILSON DANIEL SWAYZE, JR. (PLANO, TX, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole, comprising: a housing frame having an opening; a weep hole cover for covering said opening to prevent pests from entering said weep hole; a peripheral seal to seal said housing frame around said weep hole.

2. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 1, wherein said peripheral seal is waterproof.

3. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 1, wherein said peripheral seal is weatherproof.

4. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 1, wherein said peripheral seal includes adhesive putty.

5. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 4, wherein said weep hole barrier includes a release sheet adapted to cover said peripheral seal.

6. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 1, wherein said housing frame includes an outward extending projection.

7. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 1, wherein said outward extending projection is positioned on the interior of said housing frame.

8. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 1, wherein said housing frame includes a textured surface.

9. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 8, wherein said texture surface is formed on the exterior of said housing frame.

10. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 8, wherein said texture surface includes a masonite texture surface.

11. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 8, wherein said texture surface includes a brick textured surface.

12. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 9, wherein said texture surface includes a concrete textured surface.

13. A method for forming a weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole, comprising the steps of: forming a housing frame and forming an opening in said housing frame; forming a weep hole cover for covering said opening to prevent pests from entering said weep hole; forming a peripheral seal to seal said housing frame around said weep hole.

14. A method for forming a weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 13, wherein said peripheral seal is formed to be waterproof.

15. A method for forming weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 13, wherein said peripheral seal is formed to be weatherproof.

16. A method for forming a weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 13, wherein said step of forming said peripheral seal includes using adhesive putty to form said peripheral seal.

17. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 16, wherein said method includes the step of forming a release sheet adapted to cover said peripheral seal.

18. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 13, wherein the step of forming said housing frame includes forming an outward extending projection for said housing frame.

19. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 13, wherein said step of forming housing frame includes the step of forming a textured surface on said housing frame.

20. A weep hole barrier for use in conjunction with a weep hole as in claim 19, wherein the step of forming said texture surface includes the step of forming the textured surface on the exterior of said housing frame

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Masonry walls, and particularly brick walls, are some of the most popular and durable products used for the exterior finishes provided to residences as well as to commercial buildings. Such materials outlast most other materials. Their colors are generally not affected by the elements, and they require little maintenance.

In the construction of such a wall, the individual bricks are stacked or laid side by side, forming a row, followed by additional rows, one atop the other. The individual bricks of each row are generally staggered by roughly one half of a brick length from the bricks immediately above and below. With the exception of the weep hole space hereinafter described, each brick is bonded, on each of its sides to its adjacent surfaces, by mortar. The lowermost row of bricks contains weep holes which are periodically provided, every two or three bricks. A weep hole is simply an open or un-mortared space, usually vertically arranged between adjacent bricks or other masonry building materials.

These weep holes are intended to prevent water build-up on the interior of the wall. It is understood that a brick wall is not waterproof. Some water, usually coming from rain or condensation, is absorbed by the brick. Most, however, is absorbed by the mortar. Thereafter, much of it runs down the interior surface of the wall. In the absence of the weep holes, the water could build up and gravity flow into the interior of the house. By providing weep holes, the tendency of the aforementioned water build up is lessened. Weep holes, by themselves, provide open communication between the outdoors and the interior of the structure. The interior space between the brick and the residence wall is dark and moist. This represents an open invitation to all sorts of unwanted rodents, insects, snakes, spiders and other pests. Applicant's invention is intended to prevent water buildup behind the wall and to prevent the invasion of these to most unwanted pests by providing a barrier to these unwanted pests.

The following patents are related to the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,044,594 to Deselle

U.S. Pat. No. 6,474,031 to Phillips

U.S. Pat. No. 6,360,493 to Torres

U.S. Pat. No. 4,102,093 to Harris

U.S. Pat. No. 5,167,104 to Alvarado

U.S. Pat. No. 6,176,048 to Beger

U.S. Pat. No. 4,282,691

U.S. Pat. No. 5,097,641

U.S. Pat. No. 5,167,104

U.S. Pat. No. 6,360,493

U.S. Pat. No. 6,176,048

U.S. Pat. No. 6,044,594

U.S. Pat. No. 6,474,031

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The barrier of this invention includes a generally rectangularly configured housing carrying a mesh-like screen positioned centrally thereof. The housing's frame includes a peripheral seal therearound including an adhesive for engagement with the outer surface of the wall, around the weep hole and for providing a fastener device for the housing. The housing frame is easy to install and provides a seal between the housing frame and the outer surface of the wall so that unwanted pests cannot defeat the barrier by going around the barrier. The outer surface of the wall generally may be not even. As a consequence, the fastener device should take into consideration the unevenness of the outer surface of the wall. Additionally, the fastner device should be weatherproof such that it will not come off due to the effects of weather.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention may be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which, like reference numerals identify like elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a front cross-sectional view of the brick sentry;

FIG. 2 illustrates a side cross-sectional view of the brick sentry;

FIG. 3 illustrates a top cross-sectional view of the brick sentry;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side exploded view of the brick sentry;

FIG. 5 illustrates a rear cross-sectional view of a portion of the brick sentry;

FIG. 6 illustrates a front cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the brick sentry;

FIG. 7 illustrates a side exploded view of the brick sentry;

FIG. 8 illustrates a rear exploded view of the brick sentry;

FIG. 9 illustrates a rear cross-sectional view of the peripheral seal of the brick sentry;

FIG. 10 illustrates a front exploded view of the brick sentry.

FIG. 11 is a front view of a portion of a brick wall having weep holes and the barrier of this invention positioned at one of said weep holes;

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 11 illustrates the front side of a typical brick wall 10, with each brick 11 secured to each adjacent brick by mortar 12. The lowermost brick row is secured to slab 13. The lowermost row includes spaced weep holes 15, normally approximately every third or fourth brick. Such a weep hole is simply an open passageway between bricks for preventing the accumulation of water behind the wall 10. Such open passageways are formed by not providing mortar between two adjacent bricks. The brick sentry 100 of this invention is generally shown in FIG. 11.

FIG. 1 illustrates the brick sentry 100 of the present invention. The brick sentry 100 includes a housing frame 114 which is substantially rectangular in shape and which may be formed from the rigid material. The housing frame 114 includes upper support section 102 to provide an overall support for the housing frame 114, to provide for aid in installation of the brick sentry 100 and to encapsulate a portion of the screen cover 112; a left support section 104 to provide for overall support of the housing frame 114, to provide for aid in installation of the brick sentry 100 and to encapsulate a portion of the screen cover 112; a right support section 106 to provide for overall support of a housing frame 114, to provide for aid in installation of the brick sentry 100 and to encapsulate a portion of the screen cover 112; and a lower support section 110 to provide for overall support of the housing frame 114, to provide for aid in installation of the brick sentry 100 and to encapsulate a portion of the screen cover 112. The housing frame 114 additionally includes an aperture 108 or opening for the screen cover 112. The aperture 108 and screen cover 112 allow the weep hole to function as designed and yet to form a barrier to keep out pests from entering the weep hole.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of the housing frame 114 which shows the right support section 106. The housing frame 114 is shown in substantially the horizontal plane.

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of the housing frame 114 which shows the upper support section 102.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exploded view of the brick sentry 100. The brick sentry 100 includes an adhesive release sheet 402 which may be flexible paper, flexible cardboard, flexible plastic or any other suitable material in order to protect the peripheral seal 404 from contamination. The adhesive release sheet 402 may be formed to approximate the shape of the peripheral seal 404 or slightly larger or may be formed to approximate the shape of the housing frame 114 or slightly larger. The peripheral seal 404 may be sandwiched or positioned between the adhesive release sheet 402 and the housing frame 114. The peripheral seal 404 may be formed from a flexible adhesive material such as adhesive putty or double-sided adhesive tape or any other appropriate material. The peripheral seal 404 includes a seal aperture 405 which conforms approximately to the opening 108 of the housing frame 114.

FIG. 4 additionally shows that the housing frame 114 includes an outwardly extending projection 408 or cleat formed on the inside of the housing frame 114 in order to penetrate the peripheral seal 404 and hold the peripheral seal 404 in position on the housing frame 114.

The adhesive release sheet 402 prevents exposure of the peripheral seal 404 to contaminants especially if adhesive putty is used. The adhesive release sheet 402 should easily peel off the peripheral seal 404 prior to installation of the brick sentry 100. The advantage of adhesive putty is that it is an all weather adhesive material that can function as a fastening device for the brick sentry 100. The adhesive putty facilitates installation and provides for a durable seal between the brick sentry 100 and the substrate of the weep hole.

FIG. 5 illustrates an interior view of the housing frame 114 showing the outward extending projections 408 or cleats positioned for example in each corner of the housing frame 114. In one embodiment, the outward extending projections 408 are molded with the housing frame 114. Instead of being positioned within the corner of the housing frame 104, the outward extending projections 408 could be positioned along the upper support section 102, the left support section 104, the right support section 106 or the lower support section 110. The outward extending projections 408 acts as a guide for the placement of the peripheral seal 402 and aids the installation process by keeping the peripheral seal from 402 in positioned with respect to the housing frame 114 especially if adhesive putty is used during manufacturing. Although FIG. 5 shows four outward extending projections 408, additional or fewer outwardly extending projections 408 are within the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6 illustrates a housing frame 614 having a textured surface 615 for example having a pattern which is similar to brick, masonry or other such pattern found on houses. The textured surface 615 provides an attractive outer surface for the housing frame 614 and helps the housing frame 614 blend into the substrate of the weep hole. The housing frame 614 includes an upper support section 602, a left support section 604, a right support section 606 and a lower support section 610. A rough texture may be molded into these sections 602, 604, 606, 610. FIG. 6 illustrates the opening 608 being oblong in shape with other shapes being within the scope of the invention. The screen cover 612 may be aluminum or other alloy screen.

FIG. 7 illustrates a weep hole diversion device 406 connected to a peripheral seal 404 with adhesive release sheet 402 that has been removed.

FIG. 8 illustrates a rear exploded view of the brick sentry 100 including the interior of the housing frame 114 and the outward extending projections 408. FIG. 8 additionally shows the peripheral seal 404 and the adhesive release sheet 402.

FIG. 9 illustrates an interior view of the brick sentry 100 with the adhesive release sheet 402 removed. The housing frame 114 is substantially covered with the peripheral seal 404. The left support section 104 and the right support section 106 are substantially covered with the peripheral seal 404. The upper support section 102 and the lower support section 110 include a small area of surface which is not covered with the peripheral seal 404.

FIG. 10 illustrates a front exploded view of the brick sentry 100 showing the peripheral seal number 404 as adhesive putty and the adhesive release sheet 402. The brick sentry 100 in FIG. 10 additionally illustrates the screen cover 112 positioned on the housing frame 114 which includes a textured surface 1002 which may be rough masonry, brick or a concrete type of surface. The name ‘Brick Sentry’ has been added as part of the molding process.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed.