Title:
S-SHAPED ROOF VENT, VENTILATED ROOF EMPLOYING THE SAME AND METHOD OF INSTALLING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A generally S-shaped vent is provided for a roof including a substructure having at least one ventilation hole and being covered by a plurality of tiles. The tiles form a finish layer having peaks and valleys. The vent includes a base assembly having a number of flange members and at least one venting member with a vent aperture. The flange members are coupled to the roof substructure at or about the ventilation hole. At least one cap member is coupled to the base assembly, overlaying the vent aperture and including an upslope end, a downslope end, first and second sides, and an arcuate portion extending between the first and second sides. First and second louvered portions of the first and second sides of the cap member provide a ventilating passageway through the vent. The vent substantially conforms to the peaks and valleys of the finish layer of the roof.



Inventors:
Robinson, Larry D. (Taylorsville, MS, US)
Application Number:
11/755826
Publication Date:
12/04/2008
Filing Date:
05/31/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/700, 454/339
International Classes:
F24F7/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PROBST, SAMANTHA A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ECKERT SEAMANS CHERIN & MELLOTT LLC (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A vent for a roof, said roof including a substructure having at least one ventilation hole and being covered by a plurality of tiles, said tiles forming a finish layer of said roof having a plurality of peaks and valleys, said vent comprising: a base assembly including a number of flange members and at least one venting member having a vent aperture, said flange members being structured to be coupled to said substructure of said roof at or about a corresponding one of said at least one ventilation hole; at least one cap member coupled to said base assembly and overlaying said vent aperture thereof, said at least one cap member including an upslope end, a downslope end, first and second sides, and an arcuate portion extending between the first and second sides; a first louvered portion at or about the first side of said at least one cap member and including a plurality of first louvers; and a second louvered portion at or about the second side of said at least one cap member and including a plurality of second louvers, wherein said vent when installed, is structured to provide a ventilating passageway through said at least one ventilation hole of said substructure of said roof in order to vent air from beneath said roof through said vent aperture of said at least one venting member of said base assembly, through said first and second louvers of said at least one cap member, and out of said vent into the surrounding atmosphere, and wherein said vent generally conforms to said peaks and valleys of said finish layer of said roof.

2. The vent of claim 1 wherein said tiles of said roof are Spanish tiles; and one of said at least one venting member, and one of said at least one cap member coupled thereto has a generally S-shape when viewed from an end elevation perspective in order to conform in shape to said Spanish tiles.

3. The vent of claim 1 wherein said at least one cap member further comprises a first end piece coupled to the upslope end of said cap member, and a second end piece coupled to the downslope end of said cap member; wherein said first end piece and said second end piece each include a tab; and wherein said tab of said first end piece and said tab of said second end piece are coupled to a corresponding one of said at least one venting member of said base assembly in order to attach said upslope end and said downslope end of said cap member thereto.

4. The vent of claim 3 wherein said first end piece forms a sloped angle between said cap member and said corresponding one of said venting members of said base assembly, in order to deflect moisture and debris away from said vent.

5. The vent of claim 3 wherein said second end piece includes a number of louvers in order to further increase air flow through said vent; wherein said louvers of said second end piece are angled downward with respect to the downslope end of said cap member in order to resist the undesired entry of moisture and debris therethrough; and wherein said second end piece and said louvers thereof are generally flush with respect to the downslope end of said cap member, in order to further resist the undesired entry of moisture and debris.

6. The vent of claim 1 wherein said first louvered portion of said at least one cap member and said second louvered portion of said cap member extend inwardly from the first and second sides of said cap member, in order that said first louvers and said second louvers are generally disposed beneath and are shielded by said arcuate portion of said cap member.

7. The vent of claim 6 wherein said corresponding one of said at least one venting members of said base assembly further comprises an upturned flange adjacent said vent aperture thereof; wherein said cap member further comprises a pair of attachment flanges generally extending between the upslope end of said cap member and the downslope end of said cap member; and wherein said attachment flanges of said cap member engage and overlap said upturned flange of said corresponding one of said at least one venting members of said base assembly, thereby resisting the undesired entry of moisture and debris therebetween.

8. The vent of claim 7 wherein said first louvered portion of said cap member and said second louvered portion of said cap member each form an angle with respect to a corresponding one of said pair of said attachment flanges of said cap member which is less than about 90 degrees.

9. The vent of claim 1 wherein said first louvers of said at least one cap member and said second louvers of said at least one cap member each form an angle with respect to said first louvered portion of said cap member and said second louvered portion of said cap member, respectively, of about 30 degrees to about 60 degrees.

10. The vent of claim 1 wherein said base assembly of said vent comprises five separate components coupled together; wherein said five separate components of said base assembly are a first flange member, a second flange member, a third intermediate flange member disposed therebetween, and first and second venting members; wherein said first venting member is disposed between said first flange member and said third intermediate flange member and said second venting member is disposed between said third intermediate flange member and said second flange member; wherein said at least one cap member of said vent is a pair of first and second cap members; and wherein said first cap member is coupled to said first venting member of said base assembly and said second cap member is coupled to said second venting member of said base assembly.

11. The vent of claim 1 wherein the net flow area provided by said louvers of said at least one cap member of said vent is about 40 to about 50 square inches.

12. A ventilated roof comprising: a substructure including a substantially flat layer having at least one ventilation hole; a plurality of tiles attached to said substantially flat layer to form a finish layer of said roof, said finish layer having a plurality of peaks and valleys; and a vent overlaying each of said at least one ventilation hole of said roof, said vent comprising: a base assembly including a number of flange members and at least one venting member having a vent aperture, said flange members being coupled to said substructure of said roof at or about a corresponding one of said at least one ventilation hole, at least one cap member coupled to said base assembly and overlaying said vent aperture thereof, said at least one cap member including an upslope end, a downslope end, first and second sides, and an arcuate portion extending between the first and second sides, a first louvered portion at or about the first side of said at least one cap member and including a plurality of first louvers, and a second louvered portion at or about the second side of said at least one cap member and including a plurality of second louvers, wherein a ventilating passageway is provided through said at least one ventilation hole of said substructure of said roof in order to vent air from beneath said roof through said vent aperture of said at least one venting member of said base assembly, through said first and second louvers of said at least one cap member, and out of said vent into the surrounding atmosphere, and wherein said vent generally conforms to said peaks and valleys of said finish layer of said roof.

13. The ventilated roof of claim 12 wherein said tiles of said roof are Spanish tiles; and one of said at least one venting member, and one of said at least one cap member coupled thereto has a generally S-shape when viewed from an end elevation perspective in order to conform in shape to said Spanish tiles.

14. The ventilated roof of claim 12 wherein said at least one cap member of said vent further comprises a first end piece coupled to the upslope end of said cap member, and a second end piece coupled to the downslope end of said cap member; wherein said first end piece and said second end piece each include a tab; and wherein said tab of said first end piece and said tab of said second end piece are coupled to a corresponding one of said at least one venting member of said base assembly in order to attach said upslope end and said downslope end of said cap member thereto.

15. The ventilated roof of claim 14 wherein said first end piece forms a sloped angle between said cap member and said corresponding one of said venting members of said base assembly, in order to deflect moisture and debris away from said vent.

16. The ventilated roof of claim 14 wherein said second end piece includes a number of louvers in order to further increase airflow through said vent; wherein said louvers of said second end piece are angled downward with respect to the downslope end of said cap member in order to resist the undesired entry of moisture and debris therethrough; and wherein said second end piece and said louvers thereof are generally flush with respect to the downslope end of said cap member, in order to further resist the undesired entry of moisture and debris.

17. The ventilated roof of claim 12 wherein said first louvered portion of said at least one cap member of said vent and said second louvered portion of said at least one cap member extend inwardly from the first and second sides of said cap member, in order that said first louvers and said second louvers are generally disposed beneath and are shielded by said arcuate portion of said cap member.

18. The ventilated roof of claim 17 wherein said corresponding one of said at least one venting members of said base assembly of said vent further comprises an upturned flange adjacent said vent aperture thereof; wherein said cap member of said vent further comprises a pair of attachment flanges generally extending between the upslope end of said cap member and the downslope end of said cap member; and wherein said attachment flanges of said cap member engage and overlap said upturned flange of said corresponding one of said at least one venting members of said base assembly, thereby resisting the undesired entry of moisture and debris therebetween.

19. The ventilated roof of claim 18 wherein said first louvered portion of said cap member and said second louvered portion of said cap member each form an angle with respect to a corresponding one of said pair of said attachment flanges of said cap member which is less than about 90 degrees.

20. The ventilated roof of claim 12 wherein said first louvers of said at least one cap member of said vent and said second louvers of said at least one cap member each form an angle with respect to said first louvered portion of said cap member and said second louvered portion of said cap member, respectively, of about 30 degrees to about 60 degrees.

21. The ventilated roof of claim 12 wherein said base assembly of said vent comprises five separate components coupled together; wherein said five separate components of said base assembly are a first flange member, a second flange member, a third intermediate flange member disposed therebetween, and first and second venting members; wherein said first venting member is disposed between said first flange member and said third intermediate flange member and said second venting member is disposed between said third intermediate flange member and said second flange member; wherein said at least one cap member of said vent is a pair of first and second cap members; and wherein said first cap member is coupled to said first venting member of said base assembly and said second cap member is coupled to said second venting member of said base assembly.

22. The ventilated roof of claim 12 wherein said vent further comprises a sub-flashing and filter assembly coupled to said substantially flat layer of said substructure of said roof at or about said at least one ventilation hole, beneath said base assembly of said vent; wherein said sub-flashing and filter assembly comprises sub-flashing and a filter removably coupled to said sub-flashing; wherein said sub-flashing comprises a peripheral flange, a thru hole extending through said peripheral flange, and an upturned collar surrounding said thru hole; and wherein said filter is removably inserted into said thru hole of said sub-flashing in order to resist the undesired entry of relatively large matter, therethrough.

23. The ventilated roof of claim 22 wherein said filter comprises a formed screen; and wherein said formed screen engages said thru hole of said sub-flashing and is secured therein by interference fit.

24. A method of installing a roof vent on a roof having a substructure with a substantially flat layer, the method comprising: providing a sub-flashing including a peripheral flange and a thru hole extending through said peripheral flange; employing said sub-flashing as a template for precisely positioning a ventilation hole to be cut through said substantially flat layer of said roof substructure; cutting said ventilation hole; attaching said sub-flashing to said substantially flat layer of said roof in order that said thru hole of said sub-flashing is aligned with said ventilation hole; providing a filter for said sub-flashing and installing said filter in said thru hole of said sub-flashing once said ventilation hole has been cut in said roof; providing a vent having a base assembly including at least one vent aperture, and at least one cap member attached to said base assembly over said vent aperture, said cap member including a plurality of louvers, a portion of said vent comprising part of said base assembly and one of said at least one cap member has a generally S-shaped when viewed from an end elevation perspective; and attaching said vent to said substantially flat layer of said roof over said sub-flashing of said vent in order to provide a ventilation passageway for venting air from beneath said substantially flat layer of said roof, through said ventilation hole of said roof, through said thru hole of said sub-flashing of said vent, through said at least one vent aperture of said base assembly of said vent, and through said louvers of said at least one cap member of said vent, out into the surrounding atmosphere,

25. The method of claim 24 further comprising tracing said thru hole of said sub-flashing prior to cutting said ventilation hole in said roof, in order to precisely size and position said ventilation hole to be substantially the same size and shape and to be aligned with said thru hole.

26. The method of claim 24 further comprising: attaching a plurality of roof tiles to said substantially flat layer of said roof in order to form a finish layer of said roof having a plurality of peaks and valleys.

27. The method of claim 26 comprising: installing said sub-flashing on said substantially flat layer of said roof prior to cutting said ventilation hole in said roof, and cutting said ventilation hole in said roof, inserting said filter into said thru hole of said sub-flashing, and attaching said vent to said roof over said ventilation hole, just prior to said tiles being attached to said substantially flat layer of said roof.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to vents and, more particularly, to generally S-shaped roof vents for ventilating the roof of a structure, such as a building, while conforming to the general shape of the finish layer of the roof. The invention also relates to ventilated roofs. The invention further relates to a method of installing roof vents.

2. Background Information

Vents are commonly employed on the roofs of structures, such as residential buildings, commercial buildings and other structures, in order to exhaust air from beneath the roof (e.g., from an attic space) into the surrounding atmosphere.

For example, a variety of passive roof vents have been employed at various locations on building roofs in an attempt to release heat which can undesirably build up and become trapped under the roof. Passive vents provide an air passageway for such hot air to be exhausted from the roof, and thereby help to maintain a relatively comfortable temperature within the building. More specifically, by releasing unwanted hot air, a lower average temperature can be maintained without requiring excessive energy to be expended to cool the air, for example, by air-conditioning. The vents serve to stimulate natural convection of the air by releasing the hot air which has risen to the roof and, in turn, drawing and circulating cooler air, which is more dense and thus resides in relatively low-lying areas, throughout the building. Such vents also serve a safety function, as excessive heat can result in damage to the roof, and could potentially cause a fire. This is particularly important in warm climates where the roof is exposed to excessive and prolonged heat and sunlight. In such environments, roofs are commonly finished with tiles made from clay, concrete or some other known or suitable material which exhibits superior heat-resistance. In cooler climates, venting the attic space serves to exhaust undesirable moisture-laden attic air, in order to prevent damage to the internal structure.

Regardless of the type of roof finish layer (e.g., without limitation, clay tiles; concrete tiles; asphalt shingles; cedar shakes; metal; synthetic materials) it is desirable to provide the aforementioned ventilation without undesirably detracting from the visual appearance of the roof. This can be particularly difficult where, for example, the tiles of the roof have a relatively complex shape such as, for example, the general S-shape which is commonly associated with Spanish tiles. While there have been advancements in providing a roof vent which effectively ventilates but which is also aesthetically pleasing, for example, by attempting to blend the vent in with the surrounding roof structure, significant room for improvement remains.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,050,039 (O'Hagin) discloses an example attic vent which is designed to have a minimal negative effect on the appearance of a building roof. The vent includes a primary vent installed over a ventilation hole cut in the deck of the roof, and a secondary vent installed over the primary vent and constructed to look like the surrounding field of tiles. The primary vent comprises a generally rectangular piece of flashing material surrounding the hole in the roof and including an attached screen or plurality of integral holes. The secondary vent includes a base, referred to as a skeleton, which is formed from one continuous piece of material. This disadvantageously requires numerous different skeletons to be made for each particular type of roof application. The skeleton includes a pair of holes with separate screens attached thereover. Separate caps are attached to the skeleton over the screened areas by a plurality of tabs, in order that the caps are spaced apart from the skeleton. Such spacing presents the possibility for debris, animals, moisture, or other matter to undesirably enter under the vent cap, through the space between the cap and the base.

In addition to the foregoing, there are also a number of unique problems with the manner in which such vents must be installed. Such problems are, in large part, related to the construction of the vents. Among them, is the fact that the primary vent structure sometimes requires the hole in the roof decking to be cut earlier than desired. More specifically, the primary vent (i.e., flashing) and screen or holes thereof typically comprise one pre-assembled unit. Therefore, the hole in the roof decking has to be cut prior to the installation of the primary vent. In a traditional roofing application this is done during or shortly after the framing of the building and the laying of the roof substructure (e.g., plywood decking). However, the roof might not be tiled until several days or even weeks later. Accordingly, the aforementioned matter, such as moisture, and relatively small debris can undesirably enter the building through the primary vent. It is also difficult to size and position the hole in the roof decking precisely so as to match the hole of the primary vent in order to maximize the net flow area and ventilation through the vent.

There is a need, therefore, for an improved S-shaped vent for ventilating tile roofs.

There is also a need for an improved method of installing S-shaped vents in tile roofs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These needs and others are met by embodiments of the invention, which are directed to a generally S-shaped roof vent and associated method of installation which can be adapted for use in a wide variety of configurations with shaped roofing tiles, such as S-shaped or Spanish tiles, in order to effectively ventilate a roof, without undesirably detracting from the appearance of the roof.

The roof includes a substructure having at least one ventilation hole. A plurality of tiles overlays the substructure to form a finish layer having a plurality of peaks and valleys. The vent generally includes a base assembly having a number of flange members and at least one venting member with a vent aperture and at least one cap member coupled to the base assembly and overlaying the vent aperture thereof. The flange members of the base assembly are structured to be coupled to the substructure of the roof at or about a corresponding one of the ventilation holes. Each cap member includes an upslope end, a downslope end, first and second sides, and an arcuate portion extending between the first and second sides. A first louvered portion at or about the first side of the cap member includes a plurality of first louvers, and a second louvered portion at or about the second side of the cap member includes a plurality of second louvers. A ventilating passageway is provided through the ventilation hole of the substructure of the roof in order to vent air from beneath the roof, through the vent aperture of the venting member of the base assembly, through the first and second louvers of the cap member, and out of the vent into the surrounding atmosphere. The vent generally conforms to the peaks and valleys of the finish layer of the roof.

Each cap member may further comprise a first end piece coupled to the upslope end of the cap member, and a second end piece coupled to the downslope end of the cap member. The first end piece may form a sloped angle between the cap member and a corresponding one of the venting members of the base assembly, in order to deflect moisture and debris away from the vent. The second end piece may include a number of louvers in order to further increase air flow through the vent. The first and second louvered portions of the cap member may extend inwardly from the first and second sides of the cap member, respectively, in order that the first and second louvers are generally disposed beneath and are shielded by the arcuate portion of the cap member.

The venting members of the base assembly may further comprise an upturned flange adjacent the vent aperture thereof, and the cap member further comprises a pair of attachment flanges generally extending between the upslope end of the cap member and the downslope end of the cap member. The attachment flanges may engage and overlap the upturned flange of the corresponding one of the venting members of the base assembly, thereby resisting the undesired entry of moisture and debris therebetween. The first and second louvered portions of the cap member may each form an angle with respect to a corresponding one of the pair of the attachment flanges of the cap member which is less than about 90 degrees. The base assembly of the vent may comprise five separate components coupled together, namely a first flange member, a second flange member, a third intermediate flange member disposed therebetween, and first and second venting members. The vent may also include a pair of first and second cap members, wherein the first cap member is coupled to the first venting member of the base assembly and the second cap member is coupled to the second venting member of the base assembly.

In another embodiment of the invention, a ventilated roof comprises: a substructure including a substantially flat layer having at least one ventilation hole; a plurality of tiles attached to the substantially flat layer to form a finish layer of the roof having a plurality of peaks and valleys; and a vent overlaying each of the ventilation holes of the roof. In addition to the aforementioned features, the vent may further comprise a sub-flashing and filter assembly coupled to the substantially flat layer of the substructure of the roof at or about the ventilation hole, beneath the base assembly of the vent. The sub-flashing may comprise a peripheral flange, a thru hole extending through the peripheral flange, and an upturned collar surrounding the thru hole. The thru hole of the sub-flashing may be aligned with the ventilation hole of the roof, and the filter may be removably inserted into the thru hole of the sub-flashing in order to resist the undesired entry of relatively large matter, therethrough.

A method of installing a generally S-shaped roof vent is also disclosed. The method generally comprises the steps of: providing a sub-flashing including a peripheral flange and a thru hole extending through the peripheral flange; employing the sub-flashing as a template for precisely positioning a ventilation hole to be cut through the substantially flat layer of the roof substructure; cutting the ventilation hole; attaching the sub-flashing to the substantially flat layer of the roof in order that the thru hole of the sub-flashing is aligned with the ventilation hole; providing a filter for the sub-flashing and installing the filter in the thru hole of the sub-flashing once the ventilation hole has been cut; providing a generally S-shaped vent having a base assembly including at least one vent aperture, and at least one cap member including a plurality of louvers and being attached to the base assembly over the vent aperture; and attaching the generally S-shaped vent to the substantially flat layer of the roof over the sub-flashing of the vent.

The thru hole of the sub-flashing may be traced prior to cutting the ventilation hole in the roof in order to precisely size and position the ventilation hole to be substantially the same size and shape of the vent aperture of the S-shaped vent and to be aligned with such vent aperture. Alternatively, if the filter is fixed to the sub-flashing, the sub-flashing may be attached after the ventilation hole is cut in the roof.

It is an object of the invention to provide a generally S-shaped vent which substantially blends in with the surrounding tiles of the roof, in order to be aesthetically pleasing (i.e., so as not to undesirably detract from the overall appearance of the roof).

It is another object of the invention to provide a generally S-shaped vent having a base assembly which can be adapted for use with any suitable number and configuration of vent cap members.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a generally S-shaped vent with optimized net flow area and associated ventilation through a hole in the roof of a structure, such as a building, while resisting the undesired entry of matter such as, for example, debris, moisture and animals, into the roof.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide such a generally S-shaped vent having at least one cap member which employs a unique combination and arrangement of louvers to provide such ventilation.

It is another object of the invention to provide such a generally S-shaped roof vent wherein the sides of the cap member are coupled to the base assembly in order to resist the undesired entry of matter through the sides, under the cap member and between the cap member and the base assembly.

It is another object of the invention to provide a generally S-shaped vent which is relatively easy and inexpensive to make and install.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a ventilated roof employing a number of such generally S-shaped vents.

It is another object of the invention to provide a generally S-shaped roof vent employing a sub-flashing assembly having a separate filter which can be installed subsequent to the installation of the sub-flashing.

It is another object of the invention to provide an improved method of installing generally S-shaped roof vents wherein the sub-flashing of the vent can be installed prior to cutting the ventilation hole in the roof, and wherein the sub-flashing can serve as a template to optimize the precision with which such ventilation hole is made.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A full understanding of the invention can be gained from the following description of the preferred embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a vented roof having Spanish style tiles and employing a generally S-shaped vent in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the generally S-shaped vent of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded isometric view of the generally S-shaped vent of FIG. 2, also showing a sub-flashing and filter assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4A is a top plan view of the generally S-shaped vent of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4B is a sectional view taken along line 4B-4B of FIG. 4A;

FIG. 5 is an end elevation view of the generally S-shaped vent of FIG. 2, also showing the sub-flashing and filter assembly; and

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the sub-flashing of FIG. 3, shown installed on the substructure of the roof and being employed as a template for cutting a ventilation hole therein, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of illustration, embodiments of the invention will be described as applied to roof vents in which a segment of the vent comprising one concave section and one convex section of the base assembly and a single cap member coupled to the convex section, has a generally S-shaped cross-sectional profile when viewed from an end elevation perspective. It will, however, become apparent that they could also be applied to roof vents having a cross-sectional profile which is not S-shaped such as, for example and without limitation, an arcuate shape which does not resemble the letter S.

Directional phrases used herein, such as, for example, left, right, front, back, top, bottom and derivatives thereof, relate to the orientation of the elements shown in the drawings and are not limiting upon the claims unless expressly recited therein.

As employed herein, the terms “fastener” and “fastening mechanism” refer to any known or suitable connecting, tightening or securing mechanism or process expressly including, but not limited to, nails, screws, rivets, welds including spot welds, tox-lock, bolts and the combinations of bolts and nuts (e.g., without limitation, lock nuts) and bolts, washers and nuts, as well as adhesive materials such as glue and tape.

As employed herein, the term “tox-lock” refers to a fastening mechanism in which a mechanical weld is created by metal deformation such as, for example, at the connection points between two portions or components of a metallic assembly which are pressed and deformed together in order to permanently join the components.

As employed herein, the term “roof” refers to the well known top covering layer of a structure, such as a building, as well as to other functionally similar structures (e.g., without limitation, the roof of a vehicle).

As employed herein, the term “louver” is employed in accordance with its traditional meaning and refers to a venting mechanism for providing a passageway for air to travel through an object, and expressly excludes a screen, a wire mesh or a member having a plurality of holes serving as a filter.

As employed herein, the phrase “low profile” refers to the fact that the disclosed generally S-shaped vent does not protrude a significant distance from the surface of the roof, but rather is structured to have a profile which is substantially similar to the surrounding tiles of the roof, so as to blend in with such tiles.

As employed herein, the statement that two or more parts are “coupled” together shall mean that the parts are joined together either directly or joined through one or more intermediate parts.

As employed herein, the term “number” shall mean one or an integer greater than one (i.e., a plurality).

FIG. 1 shows a ventilated roof 100 employing a generally S-shaped vent 2 in accordance with embodiments of the invention. The roof 100 includes a substructure 102 having a layer of material 104 such as, for example, the plywood decking 104, which is partially shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 6. A ventilation hole 106 (FIGS. 3, 5 and 6) is cut through the decking 104 (FIGS. 3, 5 and 6), and the vent 2 is attached to the roof 100 over the ventilation hole 106 (FIGS. 3, 5 and 6) using any known or suitable fastener or fastening mechanism, as defined herein. For example, a plurality of nails 114 are employed in the example of FIG. 1 (see also nails 114 attaching the sub-flashing 200 to the plywood decking 104 in FIG. 6). A plurality of tiles 108 are then coupled to the decking 104 of the roof 100 in order to form a finishing layer having a plurality of peaks 110 and valleys 112, as shown in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIGS. 1-5, the vent 2 will now be discussed in greater detail. Specifically, the vent 2 includes a base assembly 4 and at least one cap member 6, 7 (two are shown in FIGS. 1-4A and 5) coupled thereto. The base assembly 4 includes a plurality of flange members 8, 10, 12 and at least one venting member 14, 16. Each venting member 14, 16 (two are shown in FIGS. 1-4A and 5) is disposed between a corresponding pair of the flange members 8, 10, 12. For example, the base assembly 4 of the vent 2 shown and described herein comprises five separate components which are coupled together, a first flange member 8, a second flange member 10, and an intermediate flange member 12, and first and second venting members 14 and 16. The first venting member 14 is disposed between the first flange member 8 and intermediate flange member 12 of the base assembly 4, and includes a first vent aperture 18. Similarly, the second venting member 16 is disposed between the intermediate flange member 12 and second flange member 10, and includes a second vent aperture 20. When the vent 2 is installed on the roof 100, as shown in FIG. 1, the first and second vent apertures 18, 20 of the venting members 14, 16 are disposed above the ventilation hole 106 in the roof 100 and the sub-flashing assembly 200, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5. In this manner, the vent 2 provides an air passageway for exhausting air (indicated generally by arrows 70 of FIG. 5) therethrough to the outside atmosphere. It will, however, be appreciated that any known or suitable alternative number and configuration of flange members (not shown) and venting members (not shown) could be employed to provide any suitable desired base assembly configuration, without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, where a vent (not shown) having only one cap member 6 is desired, the base assembly 4 could comprise only first flange member 8, intermediate flange member 12 with first venting member 14 being coupled therebetween (not shown).

Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the unique multi-component structure of the exemplary base assembly 4 enables the vent 2 to be adaptable for use in a wide variety of sizes and configurations, for example, in order to achieve the desired amount of ventilation from the roof 100. Thus, the base assembly 4 provides a cost-effective improvement over known prior art vent designs which have traditionally employed a base made from a single continuous piece of material. Such single continuous piece of material construction requires the custom manufacture of numerous different bases to meet the specifications of each particular different vent configuration. The disclosed base assembly 4 overcomes this disadvantage, as it can be readily adapted using any desired combination of, for example, the same three flange members 8, 10, 12 and venting members 14, 16. It will further be appreciated that at least the venting members 14, 16 are substantially identical, thereby further reducing the complexity and cost of manufacture of the vent 2 by only requiring one universal component (e.g., venting member 14, 16) to be made.

Continuing to refer to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 5, it will be appreciated that the example flange members 8, 10, 12 are slightly curved so as to conform to the shape and configuration of the surrounding tiles 108 (FIG. 1) of the roof 100 (FIG. 1). Nail holes 22 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 4A) are provided at the low point of each flange member 8, 10, 12, in order to receive the aforementioned nails 114 or other known or suitable fastening mechanism, for securing the base assembly 4 of the vent 2 to the roof substructure 102. The components 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 of the base assembly 4 and the remainder of the vent 2 are coupled together using any known or suitable fastening mechanism or process, as defined herein. For example and without limitation, the components of the exemplary vent 2 are riveted together.

The cap members 6, 7, which are coupled to the base assembly 4 will now be discussed in greater detail. For simplicity of disclosure, only one of the cap members, cap member 6, will be described hereinbelow. It will, however, be appreciated that other cap members (e.g., cap member 7) which may be employed with the vent 2, are substantially similar. Specifically, the cap member 6 includes an upslope end 24, which is disposed towards the upper portion (i.e., peak (not shown)) of the roof 100, as shown in FIG. 1, and a downslope end 26 facing the opposite direction, towards the downward edge (not shown) of the roof 100. The cap member 6 further includes first and second sides 28, 30, and an arcuate portion 32 extending therebetween. A first end piece 34 is coupled to, and substantially seals, the upslope end 24 of the cap member 6, and a second end piece 36 is coupled to the downslope end 26. The first and second end pieces 34, 36, like the remainder of the components of the vent 2 can be made from any known or suitable material which is formed or otherwise made to have the desired shape, such as, for example and without limitation, galvanized steel.

The end pieces 34, 36 are attached to the cap member 6 using any known or suitable fastening mechanism or process, as defined herein. The first and second end pieces 34, 36 also respectively include a tab 38, 40 (tab 38 is not shown in FIG. 3) for facilitating attachment of the end pieces 34, 36, and thus the cap member 6, to the base assembly 4. For example, in the embodiment shown and described herein, the tabs 38, 40 are riveted to the venting member 14 of the base assembly 4 proximate the venting aperture 18 therein. Accordingly, the cap member 6 is secured to the venting member 14 with the arcuate portion 32 of the cap member 6 overlaying the venting aperture 18 thereof.

The exemplary cap member 6 is also attached to the venting member 14 by way of first and second attachment flanges 42, 44 which extend downward (from the perspective of FIGS. 2 and 5) and between the upslope and downslope ends 24, 26 of the cap member 6. The attachment flanges 42, 44 engage and overlap a corresponding upturned flange 46 which surrounds the vent aperture 18 of the venting member 14 of the base assembly 4. This flange arrangement, which is best shown in FIG. 5, advantageously resists the undesired entry of the matter including, for example and without limitation, debris, moisture, and relatively small animals, from entering the vent 2 between the base assembly 4 and the cap member 6. In this manner, the vent 2 is distinguished from known prior art vent designs wherein the cap is spaced apart from the base and provides an open passageway therebetween. No such open passageway exists between the cap member 6 and base assembly 4 of the exemplary vent 2. Rather, the only passageway that exists is provided by way of a unique louver arrangement in the cap member 6, which will now be discussed.

Specifically, the exemplary cap member 6 includes first and second louvered portions 48, 50 which respectively extend inwardly from the first and second sides 28, 30 of the cap member 6, toward the aforementioned first and second attachment flanges 42, 44 (best shown in FIG. 5). The first and second louvered portions 48 and 50 include a plurality of first and second louvers 52 and 54, respectively. By way of example, which is provided for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be limiting upon the scope of the invention, each louvered portion 48, 50 of the cap member 6 in the example of FIG. 4A, includes three sections of louvers, such as sections 56, 58, 60 of first louvered portion 48. Each section 56, 58, 60 has six louvers 52. The length of the louvers 52 preferably ranges from about 3.5 inches to about 4 inches in order to provide a total net flow area for the louvers 52, 54 of the example cap member 6, of preferably about 40 to about 50 square inches (about 80 to about 100 square inches total for the vent 2). The net flow area refers to the net cross-sectional area through which air may flow, and it will be appreciated that such net flow area will vary depending upon the size of the vent 2, which may be made in different sizes for the particular application at hand.

In order to resist the undesired entry of matter, as previously described, without requiring the separate screen assembly of known prior art vent designs, the louvers 52, 54 are angled inwardly toward the first and second attachment flanges 42, 44, respectively, of the cap member 6, as best shown in FIG. 5. The exemplary first and second louvers 52, 54 form an angle with respect to the respective first and second louvered portions 48, 50, of preferably less than about 70 degrees and more preferably about 30 degrees to about 60 degrees. Additionally, the louvered portions 48, 50 form an angle 62 with respect to the attachment flanges 42, 44 of the cap member 6, which is preferably less than about 90 degrees and more preferably about 75 degrees, in order to further shield the louvers 52, 54 by positioning them up under the arcuate portion 32 of the cap member 6, as shown in FIG. 5. In this manner, even wind driven snow and rain, for example, cannot enter the cap member 6, yet optimized ventilation through the cap member 6 is provided.

Continuing to refer to FIG. 5, it will be appreciated that the arcuate portion 32 of the cap member 6 of vent 2 is sized and shaped to emulate (e.g., substantially conform to; blend in with) the peak portions 110 of the surrounding tiles 108 of the roof 100, as shown in FIG. 1. In one non-limiting example, the arcuate portion 32 has a radius 64 of between about 7 inches to about 9 inches, and a width 66 between the first and second sides 28, 30 of the cap member 6, ranging from about 11 inches to about 12 inches. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the cap member 6 and the generally S-shaped vent 2, in general, have a relatively low-profile so as to blend in and be aesthetically pleasing with respect to the surrounding tiles 108 (FIG. 1) of the roof 100. In view of the foregoing, it will be appreciated that, except for the separate first and second end pieces 34, 36, the cap member 6 can be relatively easily manufactured as one single piece, although the louvers 52, 54 of the cap member 6 could alternatively comprise separate members which are separately made and subsequently attached to the louvered portions 48, 50 of the cap member 6, without departing from the scope of the invention.

In addition to the aforementioned first and second louvers 52, 54, the second end piece 36 of the exemplary cap member 6 also includes a number of louvers 68 to still further increase the net flow area, and thus the venting performance of the vent 2. As best shown in FIG. 4B, the second end piece 36 is configured so as to be substantially flush with the downslope end 26 of the cap member 6 (see also, FIGS. 1, 2 and 4A), with the louvers 68 having an acute angle directed downwards (from the perspective of FIGS. 1, 2, 4A, 4B and 5), thereby further resisting the undesired entry of matter, as previously discussed. Additionally, the first end piece 34 of the exemplary cap member 6 is angled, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4B, so as to further deflect such matter and, in particular, water, away from the vent 2.

Accordingly, it will be appreciated that all of the louvers 52, 54, 68 of the cap member 6 are structured to provide an optimized net flow area, for example, to release hot air 70 from beneath the roof 100 to flow through the vent 2 and be released into the surrounding atmosphere, as shown in FIG. 5. Simultaneously, the unique louver arrangement of the cap member 6 of the vent 2 resists the undesired entry of matter, such as debris, moisture, and relatively small animals or insects. More specifically, unlike known vent designs where the cap is spaced from the base, such that animals and matter can undesirably enter therebetween, there is no passageway between the cap member 6 and base assembly 4 of the exemplary vent 2. Rather, the only passageway of the vent 2 is an air passageway through the louvers 52, 54, 68 of the cap member 6, as previously discussed, and such louvers 52, 54, 68 are sized and arranged in order to resist the undesired entry of matter, without requiring one or more separate screens to be coupled to the cap member 6 and/or the base assembly 4. It will, however, be appreciated that a suitable additional filter element (not shown) could optionally be additionally employed under the cap member 6.

Although it is not a requirement of the invention, the vent 2 described hereinabove is typically employed with a sub-flashing 200 and filter 202 assembly, best shown in the exploded view of FIG. 3 (see also FIG. 5). Specifically, the sub-flashing 200 comprises a peripheral flange 204 of metal flashing material, which is structured to surround the ventilation hole 106 through the decking 104 of substructure 102 of the roof 100. The peripheral flange 204 is overlaid by the remainder of the vent 2 and/or roof tiles 108 (FIG. 1). The sub-flashing 200 includes a thru hole 206 and an upturned collar 208, which extends around the circumference of the thru hole 206 in order to resist moisture from entering beneath the tiles 108 (FIG. 1) and through the ventilation hole 106, into the roof 100. The thru hole 206 of the example sub-flashing 200 is generally rectangular in shape, as best shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, although any suitable shape and any suitable number of thru holes 206 can be employed. The filter 202 may comprise any known or suitable filter medium, such as the formed screen 202, shown in FIG. 3. The screen 202 is preferably removable. Specifically, the screen 202 is sized to be held in place within the thru hole 206 of the sub-flashing 200 by interference fit. It will, however, be appreciated that any known or suitable alternative filter media such as, for example and without limitation, a wire mesh or porous foam (not shown), could be employed and secured with respect to the thru hole 106 in any suitable manner, without departing from the scope of the invention. It will also be appreciated that in other embodiments of the invention, the screen 202 may be permanently attached to the sub-flashing 200.

The removable nature of the filter 202 with respect to the sub-flashing 200 is a unique feature of the invention, which also provides for an improved method of installation of the aforementioned vent 2. Specifically, because the filter 202 is not permanently attached to the sub-flashing 200 as is common in known flashing designs for roof vents, the sub-flashing 200 of the invention can be attached to the roof substructure 102 (e.g., plywood decking 104 of FIGS. 3, 5 and 6) well in advance of the ventilation hole 106 being cut therethrough. This is quite advantageous as the roof 100 is often not tiled or otherwise completed until well after the roof 100 and building structure (not expressly shown) have been framed. Thus, as previously noted, such ventilation holes 106 have traditionally been required to be cut earlier than is desired, thereby presenting the possibility of moisture undesirably entering the building or other structure through the ventilation hole 106, for example, between the time that the ventilation hole 106 is cut and the primary vent with flashing is installed, and some future point in time when the roof is finished (e.g., tiled). The disclosed sub-flashing 200 and removable filter 202 assembly overcome this disadvantage. Specifically, the sub-flashing 200 can be attached at the time of framing, or any other time prior to finishing the tiling of the roof 102, without requiring the ventilation hole(s) 106 to be cut until a later, more desirable time. For example, the ventilation holes 106 can be cut at a future point in time, such as at the same time the roof 100 is finished by applying the tiles 108 (FIG. 1). Thus, the ventilation holes 106 are not undesirably exposed.

As shown in FIG. 6, a further advantage of the sub-flashing 200 and removable filter 202 assembly is that the thru hole 206 of the separate sub-flashing 200 can be used as a template for accurately positioning and cutting the ventilation hole 106 in the roof substructure 102. This permits the ventilation hole 106 to be made to precisely match the thru hole 206, thereby optimizing the net flow area through the roof, and thus the vent 2 and the ventilation performance thereof.

It will, therefore, be appreciated that the disclosed generally S-shaped vent 2 can be employed in any suitable number and arrangement on the roof substructure 102 in order to provide a well-ventilated roof 100. At each location on the ventilated roof 100 where one of the generally S-shaped vents 2 is employed, the method of installing the vent 2 includes the steps of employing the sub-flashing 200 as a template to accurately trace and position the size and location of the ventilation hole 106 to be cut in the roof 102, cutting the ventilation hole 106, positioning and attaching the sub-flashing 200, installing the formed screen 202 in the thru hole 206 of the sub-flashing 200, and attaching the generally S-shaped vent 2 to the roof 102 over the sub-flashing 200 and filter 202 assembly, for example, by nailing the base assembly 4 of the vent to the roof decking 104. Once the vent(s) 2 is/are in place at the desired locations on the roof 102, the roof 102 is finished by applying tiles 108 to the roof decking 104. The tiles 108 overlay the sub-flashing 200 and/or the base assembly 4 of the vent 2, as previously discussed. Specifically, portions of the base assembly 4 at the upslope and side edges thereof, are overlapped by tiles 108 as shown in FIG. 1. It will, however, be appreciated that the sequence of the steps of the method of installing the vent(s) 2 could vary from that which has been described, without departing from the scope of the invention. For example and without limitation, the sub-flashing 200 could be attached to the roof decking 104 prior to tracing and cutting the ventilation hole 106 therein.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the claims appended and any and all equivalents thereof.