Title:
Drainage System For A Floor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drain system for draining water from a lanai floor to eliminate rainwater build-up on lanai floors and speed-up draining time on such floors. The device is attached to the edge of the Lanai floor and acts as a scupper.



Inventors:
Spignesi, Leo (Naples, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/044019
Publication Date:
09/10/2009
Filing Date:
03/07/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/302.3
International Classes:
E04F17/00; E04B1/70
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
IHEZIE, JOSHUA K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul R. Martin, Paul Richard Martin (Oakland, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A scupper unit system adapted to incorporate into a metal track, the scupper unit comprising: (A) a U-shaped housing having (1) a first leg having an opening defined therein, (2) a second leg, (3) a bight section connecting the first and second legs together and being oriented horizontally when the scupper unit is mounted on the floor and is in use, (4) each of the first and second legs having an opening to allow fluid to flow through the first and second legs, and (5) each of the first and second legs having a porous screen coincident with the opening defined in the first and second legs; and B) a pair of wing plates adapted to couple the bight section of the scupper unit to a top surface of the metal track.

2. The drain unit defined in claim 1 wherein the mounting elements include self-drilling screws to couple the pair of wing plates to the bight section of the scupper unit and the top surface of the metal track.

3. The drain unit defined in claim 1, wherein the first leg has a C-shaped channel adapted to receive a locking member of a retaining screen.

4. The drain unit defined in claim 3 wherein the C-shaped channel is oriented at an oblique angle to the first wall.

5. The drain unit defined in claim 1 wherein the U-shaped housing is plastic.

6. The drain unit defined in claim 1 wherein the pair of wing plates are co-planar with each other and are offset from a plane containing the bight section.

7. A scupper unit system adapted to incorporate into a metal track, the scupper unit consisting of: (A) a U-shaped housing having (1) a first leg having an opening defined therein, (2) a second leg, (3) a bight section connecting the first and second legs together and being oriented horizontally when the scupper unit is mounted on the floor and is in use, (4) each of the first and second legs having an opening to allow fluid to flow through the first and second legs, and (5) each of the first and second legs having a porous screen coincident with the opening defined in the first and second legs; and B) a pair of wing plates adapted to couple the bight section of the scupper unit to a top surface of the metal track.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the general art of flooring, and to the particular field of accessories for draining a floor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In architecture, a floor is generally the lower horizontal surface of a room, and/or the supporting structure underneath it. It also commonly refers to flooring, or a wall-to-wall floor covering, which forms the decorative surface of the floor. The various levels in a building are also called floors, levels or stories. For example, “ground floor”, “main floor”, “first story”, “mezzanine floor,” etc.

A ground-level floor can be soil, or be built on a ‘slab’, such as a concrete slab. Floors above may be built on beams or joists or use structures like hollow core slabs. Ground-level slab floors are prepared for pouring by grading the base material so that it is flat, and then spreading a layer of sand and gravel. A grid of rebar is usually added to reinforce the concrete, especially if it will be used structurally, to support part of the building.

Floors in wood frame homes are usually constructed with joists that are centered no more than 16 inches or 40 centimeters apart, according to most building codes Heavy floors, such as those made of stone, are more closely-spaced. If the span between load-bearing walls is too long for joists to safely support, a heavy crossbeam of thick laminated wood, or a metal I-beam or H-beam may have to be run used. A “subfloor” of plywood or wafer board is then laid over the joists.

Utilities are also run through the floor, by drilling small holes to go crosswise. Where the floor is over the basement or crawlspace, they may instead be run under the joists, making the installation less expensive. Ducts for air conditioning, or central heating and cooling are large and cannot cross joists or beams, thus they are typically at or near the plenum, or come directly from underneath or from an attic. The floor of one level typically also holds the ceiling of the level below if one exists.

Pipes for plumbing and sewerage, as well as for under floor heating, may also be laid directly in slab floors, which is also sometimes the case for some other utilities. Maintenance of these systems can be very expensive however, requiring the opening of concrete or other fixed structures. Electrically heated floors are also available, and both kinds of systems can also be used in wood floors as well.

Wood floors, particularly older ones, will tend to squeak in certain places. This is caused by the wood rubbing against other wood, usually at a joint of the subfloor. Firmly securing the pieces to each other with screws or nails will alleviate this problem.

Wood floors also tend to pass sound, particularly heavy footsteps and low bass frequencies. Concrete floors are usually so solid they do not have this problem, but are also much more expensive to construct, and much heavier, resulting in further requirements regarding the structure of the building.

In cities, and even some more rural settings, personal privacy is often difficult to maintain. As land use restrictions increase and the size of the average house lot decreases solitude becomes a premium for the homeowner or apartment tenant. For example, many luxury homes are constructed along golf courses. For the homeowner, one of the enticements for purchasing the home was its location and view. However, golfers while walking along the fairway or chasing after a stray golfball can often literally look into the home's kitchen, patio, or pool area. Additionally, these encroachments by passersby can occur at lake homes, at homes along waterways or rivers and even at restaurants with outdoor eating areas. However, the need for privacy is probably most felt those individuals who live in close proximity to one another such as residents of newer housing developments, townhouse or condominium owners and apartment tenants.

In an effort to increase enjoyment of their home while also maintaining as much privacy as possible, many homeowners have what is known as a Lanai room or a Lanai patio on their home. As used herein, the word “Lanai” is the Hawaiian word for a porch or balcony. It is often a veranda or roofed patio often furnished and used as a living room. These items are often subject to rain or other such precipitation which may tend to leave moisture on the floor. Such moisture should be removed as soon as possible to preserve the floor. In a number of applications, a metal track may be laid on top of the floor and along the edge of the floor to support the bottom of a rail, fence, or enclosure, and the like to prevent the base of the rail from water damage due to the rain. The metal track, however, acts as a barrier so that water does not flow away from the floor such that many homeowners have found it difficult and onerous to remove such water and moisture.

Therefore, there is a need for a means to easily and efficiently remove moisture from a Lanai floor. Still further, such a means should be easy and efficient to install. Thus, there is a need for an easily and efficiently installed means which efficiently removes moisture from a Lanai floor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These, and other, objects are achieved by a drain system for draining water from a Lanai floor to eliminate rainwater build-up on lanai floors and speed-up draining time on such floors. The device is attached to the edge of the Lanai floor and acts as a scupper. As used herein, the term “scupper” means a drain at the edge of a deck exposed to the weather, for allowing accumulated water to drain away into, for example, bilges.

The device of the present invention will produce a constant release of rain water from a lanai floor. The water will be released through a screened opening. By letting water flow off of a lanai floor, the device will be easy to install. The average homeowner would likely be able to install a device in as little as 20 to 45 minutes.

Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the invention will be, or will become, apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figures and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the invention, and be protected by the following claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

The invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings and description. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. Moreover, in the figures, like referenced numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a scupper unit embodying the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the scupper unit along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, it can be understood that the present invention is embodied in a scupper unit 30 adapted to incorporate into a portion of a metal track 10 mounted on top surface 12 of floor 14 adjacent to its 16. The track 10 has a U shape with two legs 18 and 20 adapted to anchor to the floor 14. The track 10 may be made of aluminum, which substantially resists corrosion due to water. The metal track 10 has a top surface 22 adapted to support a bottom of an enclosure to substantially prevent the bottom of the enclosure from water damage. The floor may be Lanai floor formed from concrete.

To allow water to flow towards the edge of the floor 14, the scupper unit 30 is incorporated into a portion of the metal track 10. The scupper unit 30 includes a U-shaped housing 40 which can be formed of plastic and has a first leg 42 with an opening 44 defined therein, a second leg 48 has an opening 45, and a bight section 50 which connects the first and second legs together. Each of the openings 44 and 45 may be covered by a porous screen 80 that allows water to flow pass therethrough. The bight section is oriented horizontally when the scupper unit is mounted on the floor and is in use.

To incorporate the scupper unit 30 to the metal tack 10, a portion of the track unit 10 may be cut out and removed. The cut out portion may be long as the length of scupper unit 30 so that the cut out portion of the metal track 10 may be replaced with the scupper unit 30. To anchor the scupper unit 30 to the metal track 10, two wing plates 70 and 72 may be used to bolt on the bight section 50 of the scupper unit 30 to the top surface 22 of the metal track 10. For instance, self-drilling screws 90 may be used to couple the two wing plates 70 and 72 to the scupper unit 30 to the metal track 10. As indicated by the direction arrows 100, when a pool of water is formed on the top surface 10 of the floor 14, water is allowed to flow through the two openings 45 and 44 of the scupper unit 30 as indicated by the direction arrows 100. The porous screen 80 collects the debris so that they can be easily removed at a later time.

As shown in FIG. 2, the first leg 42 may have a C-shaped channel 60 adapted to receive a locking member 62 of a retaining screen 64. The retainer screen 64 may be an enclosure, retainer wall, or rail. While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.