Title:
GUTTER CLEANING DISPENSER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gutter cleaner dispensing system which delivers an eco-friendly mixture of enzymes and bacteria to a gutter system. The mixture is spread through the gutter system, populating and multiplying while producing large quantities of digestive enzymes. These organic compounds break down scum and debris resulting in a clean and self-maintaining gutter system.



Inventors:
Gallagher, Chad (Glenmoore, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/140392
Publication Date:
05/21/2009
Filing Date:
06/17/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/741.3
International Classes:
E04D13/064
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MARKOFF, ALEXANDER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Volpe Koenig (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system for cleaning gutters comprising: a body containing an active ingredient that dissolves organic matter.

2. The system according to claim 1, wherein the body is dissolvable in water.

3. The system according to claim 2, wherein the body comprises a plurality of projections.

4. The system according to claim 1, wherein the body comprises a plurality of openings which allow for the passage of water therethrough.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the body comprises a pad which is fixed to the end of a handled tool.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the pad is generally shaped to fit within a gutter.

7. The system of claim 1 further comprising: a join that connects the body to a gutter.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the joint comprises an adhesive.

9. The system of claim 7, wherein the joint comprises a mechanical attachment.

10. The system of claim 7, wherein the joint comprises a magnet.

11. The system of claim 1 further comprising: a delivery mechanism for delivering the body to the gutter.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the delivery mechanism comprises a projectile launching device.

13. A method of cleaning and maintaining gutters comprising: introducing an active ingredient that dissolves organic matter into a gutter.

14. The method according to claim 13, further comprising: providing a body that contains the active ingredient and; introducing said body into the gutter system.

15. The method according to claim 14, wherein the body is introduced to the gutter by a projectile launching device.

16. The method according the claim 14, wherein the body is introduced to the gutter by throwing.

17. The method according to claim 14 further comprising: securing the body to the gutter.

18. The method according to claim 17, wherein the body is secured to the gutter by a mechanical attachment.

19. The method according to claim 17, wherein the body is secured to the gutter by an adhesive.

20. The method according to claim 17, wherein the body is secured to the gutter by a magnet.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional 60/988,446 filed on Nov. 16, 2007 incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

BACKGROUND

The present invention is directed to a gutter cleaner dispensing system designed to clean and maintain gutters by delivering an ecologically friendly blend of enzymes and bacteria to the gutter system.

Conventional gutter cleaning methods involve the use of power-washers, sweeping tools, and other manual means to remove sticks, leaves and other debris from a gutter. These methods are laborious, time intensive, and require repeated and often dangerous efforts to maintain a clean gutter system. The present invention seeks to remedy these shortcomings by facilitating the introduction of a self-sustaining blend of enzymes and bacteria into a gutter system which clean, clear, and maintain the system without the need for repeated manual removal of debris.

The blend of enzymes and bacteria will typically contain a number of species, which have been selected and combined to degrade the organic elements of interest, for example, leaves, mildew and twigs. These organisms work in concert, each strain possessing the enzyme systems necessary to degrade specific components of the waste, yielding breakdown intermediates that are further degraded by other species in the blend. In this manner, complex compounds can be systematically reduced to simple and ultimately non-harmful compounds such as water and carbon dioxide. Examples of potentially useful classes of enzymes include, but are not limited to, cellulases and lignases.

By adding rain water to the blend, a living system of biologically active enzymes, activators and accelerators is created. The microbes populate the entire system, multiply, and produce large quantities of digestive enzymes on a continuing basis. The results are clean gutters without any harm to the environment or laborious efforts to continually maintain the gutters system.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed toward a gutter cleaner dispensing system which delivers an eco-friendly blend of bacteria and enzymes to a gutter system. This blend is then spread through the gutter system, populating and multiplying while producing large quantities of digestive enzymes on a continuing basis. These organic compounds break down scum and debris, leaving the gutter clean and protected against future debris buildup while eliminating the labor intensive work which normally accompanies maintaining a gutter system.

In a preferred embodiment, the gutter cleaner dispensing system utilizes a refillable container designed to attach inside a gutter at a location which is subject to the flow of runoff water. The container features slit-like openings allowing runoff water to enter, activate, and spread the enzyme blend throughout the gutter system. Once populated throughout the system, the enzymes and bacteria continually work to break down debris, providing for long lasting periods of clean gutters.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be explained in more detail in connection with the drawings in which presently preferred embodiments are shown.

In the drawings:

FIGS. 1A-1H show a first embodiment of the present invention in the form of a dissolvable tablet, grooved bar, pinecone, shell, sea urchin, coral, fish, and spiked star respectively.

FIG. 2A is a top view of a second embodiment of the present invention featuring a cartridge used to deliver the gutter cleaning enzyme blend.

FIG. 2B is a launching device used to delivery the cartridge, shown in FIG. 2A, to a desired gutter.

FIGS. 3A-3C show a third embodiment of the present invention in which the enzyme blend is contained in an open-slit bobber which is secured to the gutter.

FIGS. 4A-4E are views of a fourth embodiment of the present invention in which the enzyme blend is placed inside an open-slit tank filter which is secured to the gutter system.

FIGS. 5A-5B show a fifth embodiment of the present invention in which an adhesive tape is placed in the gutter and the enzyme blend is distributed over the exposed side of the tape, retaining it in the gutter.

FIGS. 6A-6B show a sixth embodiment of the present invention in which a reusable spherical capsule delivers the enzyme blend to the gutter by throwing the capsule into the gutter, or alternatively, by manually securing to the gutter.

FIGS. 7A-7C show a seventh embodiment of the present invention in which the enzyme blend is contained in a cleaning pad which is applied to the gutter through the use of a conventional handled tool.

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of a gutter down spout with a neutralizing element positioned therein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not considered limiting. Words such as “front”, “back”, “top” and “bottom” designate directions in the drawings to which reference is made. This terminology includes the words specifically noted above, derivatives thereof and words of similar import. Additionally, the terms “a” and “one” are defined as including one or more of the referenced item unless specifically noted.

The preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawing figures where like numerals represent like elements throughout.

Referring to FIG. 1A, a first preferred embodiment of the invention features a dissolvable tablet 12 comprising a body 20 featuring ridges or grooves 14 formed from an enzyme blend 10. When placed into a gutter system (not shown), the ridges or grooves 14 act to increase the surface area exposed to runoff water as well as encourage the pooling of water on the top surface of the tablet 12. These features promote the dissolution of the tablet 12 into the runoff stream, facilitating the spread of the enzyme blend 10 throughout the gutter system.

FIGS. 1B-1H show alternate forms of the first embodiment of the present invention in the shape of a grooved bar 16, pinecone 18, shell 22, sea urchin 24, coral 26, fish 28, and spiked star 30 respectively. In addition to providing an aesthetically pleasing design, each shape offers functional benefits which aid in the delivery of the enzyme blend 10 throughout the gutter system. Specifically, the irregular shape of the bodies 20, which include multiple projecting surfaces 22, provides an increased resistance to being carried out of position in the gutter when subject to fast-moving runoff water. Further, the projecting surfaces 22 provide the increased surface area and pooling promotion benefits described above in reference to FIG. 1A.

The bodies 20 can be made from a completely dissolvable form of the enzyme blend 10, similar to the tablet 12 tablet described above. Alternatively, they may be formed from non-dissolving materials such as plastic, ceramic, metal, or any other suitable material. The enzyme blend 10 could then be infused, coated, or otherwise contained in or on the bodies 20 for distribution throughout the gutter system.

FIG. 2A shows a second embodiment of the present invention featuring a cartridge 32 comprising a body 33 and a plurality of bores 34 in which the enzyme blend 10 is contained. The cartridge 32 can be delivered to a gutter by means of a projectile launching device 36, shown in FIG. 2B. The projectile launching device 36 comprises a barrel 38 into which the cartridge 32 is inserted. An actuating handle 42 allows the user to compress a spring 40 to a multitude of positions which results in exerting varying amounts of preload on the spring 40. These positions and associated spring preloads provide the user with the ability to launch the projectile into gutter systems of varying heights. For example, one position may be designed to reach a typical first story gutter, while another may incorporate additional spring preload so that a second story gutter may be reached.

A third embodiment of the present invention depicted in FIGS. 3A-3C comprises and open-slit bobber 44 featuring of a securing surface 46 and body 47 which houses the enzyme blend 10. The body 47 comprises opening slits 45 which expose the enzyme blend 10 to runoff water. As shown in FIG. 3C, the bobber 44 is attached to a gutter 50 on a cross-member 52 by means of a tether 48, shown in FIG. 3B. The tether 48 attaches on one end to the securing surface 46 of the bobber 44, and on another end to the gutter cross-member 52.

FIG. 4A shows a forth embodiment of the present invention featuring an open-slit tank filter 56. The tank filter 56 comprises a lid 58 which is removed to allow the insertion of the enzyme blend 10 into the tank 56. The tank filter 56 features open-slits 57 which allow the runoff water to enter, activate, and disperse the enzyme blend 10 throughout the gutter system. The tank filter 56 can be attached to the gutter 50 (depicted in FIG. 4E) in various ways including a tether 64, magnet 60, or adhesive 62. It is further envisioned that the tank filter 56 can provide a filtering function by trapping debris which flows through it, in addition to delivering the enzyme blend to the gutter.

FIG. 5A shows another embodiment of the present invention in which an adhesive material 68 is applied to the gutter 50 (FIG. 5B). Once the adhesive 68 is in place, a cartridge 70 containing the enzyme blend 10 is poured onto or otherwise applied to the adhesive 68. Runoff water flowing down the gutter 50 will wash over the enzyme blend 10, distributing it throughout the system.

In another embodiment of the present invention depicted in FIG. 6A, an impact resistant, spherical capsule 72 features a hinge 74 for opening and accepting a cartridge 73 comprising the enzyme blend 10, as shown in FIG. 6C. FIG. 6D shows one method of introducing the capsule 72 to a gutter 50. Specifically, the capsule 72 can be thrown, rolled, or otherwise introduced to the gutter 50 by hand without requiring the user to be in close proximity to the gutter 50. The impact resistant nature of capsule 72 ensures that it remains reusable, as well as protects the cartridge 73 from damage as it is introduced to the gutter 50. Alternatively, the capsule 72 is provided with an attachment surface 75 in order to utilize a tether 82 to secure itself to the gutter 50.

The open-slit bobber 44, the tank filter 56, and the spherical capsule 72 can be made from plastic, rubber, metal, or any other material suitable to withstand the aqueous environment, the degradation effects of the enzyme blend, and the potential for impact during the installation process or which may occur while positioned in the gutter.

FIGS. 7A-7D illustrate another embodiment of the present invention in which the enzyme blend 10 is applied to the gutter 50 by means of a conventional handled tool 84. The handled tool 84 comprises a handle 86 featuring a clevis end 88 having engaging surfaces 89. FIG. 7A shows a replaceable pad 90 shaped generally to conform with the interior profile of a gutter 50, with attachment means 91 to secure the pad to engagement surfaces 89 of the handle 86. To engage and disengage the pad 90 from the tool 84, the user slides the actuation means 92 in the direction indicated in FIG. 7C. FIG. 7B shows the bottom side of the pad comprising the enzyme blend 10, which is brushed along the inside of the gutter 50 in a conventional way as shown in FIG. 7D.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention. It is envisioned that the use of the enzyme blend along with the decomposition of organic matter, may result in runoff water with undesirable chemical and physical properties which may cause damage to the surrounding environment 102. To remedy these potential conditions, a neutralization element 100 is placed into the downspout 98 of the gutter 50 in order to condition the runoff into a more environmentally friendly state. This neutralization element 100 can deliver detergents, mild acids, bases, or any other compound suitable for achieving the desired runoff properties.

Active ingredients in the tablets may include Protease, Lipase, Amalyse, Agricycle Catalyst Enzyme (ACE), Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate, various acids (such as acetic acids), salts, Dichlobenil, although other ingredients could be used.

Having thus described in detail several embodiments of the present invention, it is to be appreciated and will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many physical changes, only a few of which are exemplified in the detailed description of the invention, could be made without altering the inventive concepts and principles embodied therein. It is also to be appreciated that numerous embodiments incorporating only part of the preferred embodiment are possible which do not alter, with respect to those parts, the inventive concepts and principles embodied therein. The present embodiments and optional configurations are therefore to be considered in all respects as exemplary and/or illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all alternate embodiments and changes to this embodiment which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of said claims are therefore to be embraced therein.





 
Previous Patent: STAGE AND ROOF SYSTEM

Next Patent: Connector