|Publication number||US20040003566 A1|
|Application number||US 10/189,846|
|Publication date||Jan 8, 2004|
|Filing date||Jul 5, 2002|
|Priority date||Jul 5, 2002|
|Publication number||10189846, 189846, US 2004/0003566 A1, US 2004/003566 A1, US 20040003566 A1, US 20040003566A1, US 2004003566 A1, US 2004003566A1, US-A1-20040003566, US-A1-2004003566, US2004/0003566A1, US2004/003566A1, US20040003566 A1, US20040003566A1, US2004003566 A1, US2004003566A1|
|Original Assignee||Sicuranza Rosario G.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (17), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates generally to building exterior siding panels, and more particularly, to an exterior siding panel including a body portion and a fastening hem which slidably engages the body portion wherein the body portion is allowed to float during expansion and contraction, due to temperature changes, in relation to the fastening hem.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 Vinyl siding has increasingly become the material of choice for homeowners, remodeling contractors, architects and builders due to its durability, low maintenance and cost effectiveness compared to other siding products. Vinyl panels are generally extruded or formed into panels 12 feet long and 8 or 10 inches wide, each panel being profiled to simulate one or more rows of traditional lapped wooden siding. The panels are made with a permanent coloring and with a variety of textured surface finishes, ranging from matte surfaces to deeply embossed wood grain surfaces.
 Referring to FIG. 1A, a conventional panel of vinyl siding 10 is shown. The siding panel 10 includes a body portion 12 with at least one face 14 to simulate clapboard and a nailing hem 16 for fastening the siding panel 10 to an exterior of a building. The nailing hem 16 includes a plurality of nailing slots 18 for accepting fasteners 20, such as nails, screws, staples, etc. The body portion 12 further includes a top lock formed at a juncture of the body portion 12 and the nailing hem 16 and a bottom lock 24 formed at the end opposite the nailing hem 16.
 When covering a building exterior, several rows of vinyl siding are installed with the panels in overlapping and/or interlocking rows starting from the bottom of a wall. A starter strip is placed along the bottom of the wall, which resembles the nailing hem and top lock portion of the panel described above. The bottom lock 24 of the first panel 10 is inserted to the top lock of the starter strip and the panel is pulled up and fastened to a wall 26. Similarly, the next panel is installed by inserting the bottom lock 24 of a next panel into the top lock 22 of the first panel, pulling up the panel and fastening it to the wall. This process is repeated until the roofline is reached or, in the case of installing vertical panels, until the next corner of the building is reached.
 However, care must be employed in fastening the panels to the building exterior. Vinyl siding can expand and contact ½″ or more over a 12′6″ length with changes in outdoor temperature. Whether using a nail, screw, or staple to fasten the siding, an installer must ensure that the siding can ride or float on the fastener during periods of expansion and/or contraction. Initially, referring to FIG. 1A, fasteners 20 must be centered in the nailing slots 20 to allow the panels to move freely in a side-to-side direction. Additionally, a head 28 of the fastener must not be driven tightly, or driven “home”, against the nailing hem. Tight nailing, screwing or stapling will cause the vinyl siding to buckle or bubble with changes in temperature. Therefore, an installer must insure there is a minimum gap between the head 28 of the fastener and the nailing hem 16. FIG. 1B illustrates a fastener 20, e.g., a nail or screw, driven to leave a minimum distance, d, between the head 28 of the fastener and the nailing hem 16. FIG. 1C illustrates a staple 30 employed as the fastener, where it is centered in the nailing slot 18 and not flush with the nailing hem 16 to ensure float of the panel.
 Since the fasteners must be centered and not driven flush, rapid firing-type installation devices, such as power nailers, screw guns and staple guns, are avoided. The customary practice is to install each fastener manually one-by-one to ensure these conditions are met, which becomes a long and tedious process when covering a large residential house or structure. Thus, the installation of conventional vinyl siding requires a large number of labor hours resulting in increased cost to the end-user, e.g. a homeowner or building owner.
 Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a new siding panel and siding system which can be quickly installed using a rapid firing-type installation device.
 It is another objective of the present invention to provide a siding panel that can be fastened tightly to an exterior of a building which allows a portion of the panel to expansion and contract with temperature changes.
 To achieve the above and other objects, a new and improved siding panel with a slidable fastening hem is provided. The present invention employs a sliding-type connection between the fastening hem and the siding body. The sliding-type connection allows for the type of riding effect that takes place during expansion and contraction when the siding is exposed to temperature changes. This sliding-type connection allows for rapid installation since the fastening hem can now be fastened tightly to a building exterior using any type of rapid firing-type installation device. Additionally, nailing slots of conventional siding panels are no longer needed since the body of the siding will float without movement of the fastening hem. The siding panel with slidable fastening hem of the present invention will dramatically increase the installation speed of vinyl siding due to the elimination of tedious hand nail time which was required to center the fasteners and to ensure the fasteners were not driven flush or tight.
 According to an aspect of the present invention, a siding panel is provided including a body portion for covering a structure's exterior, including a top lock disposed at a first end and a bottom lock disposed at a second end, the body portion including a connection member formed in a predetermined configuration; and a fastening hem for supporting the body portion, the fastening hem formed with a channel to receive the connection member to allow the body portion to move relative to the fastening hem.
 In one aspect of the present invention, the connection member is coupled to the top lock, while in another aspect, the connection member is disposed between the top lock and the bottom lock.
 According to another aspect of the present invention, a siding panel is provided including a body portion for covering a structure's exterior, the body portion including a connection means formed in a predetermined configuration; and a fastening hem for supporting the body portion, the fastening hem formed with a channel means for receiving the connection means to allow the body portion to move relative to the fastening hem during expansion and contraction. Furthermore, the siding panel includes a locking means for interlocking the siding panel to other siding panels.
 In a further aspect of the present invention, a method for installing a siding panel to a structure's exterior includes the steps of providing a body portion of a siding panel, including a top lock disposed at a first end and a bottom lock disposed at a second end, the body portion including a connection member formed in a predetermined configuration; providing a fastening hem for supporting the body portion, the fastening hem formed with a channel to receive the connection member of the body portion; slidingly engaging the fastening hem to the body portion to assemble the siding panel; and fastening the siding panel to the structure's exterior, wherein the fastening hem is tightly secured to the structure's exterior. The method further includes providing a rapid firing-type installation device.
 In a further aspect of the present invention, the method provides, wherein the fastening hem includes a fastening portion, the fastening step further includes fastening the siding panel at any point along the fastening portion.
 The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1A is a front perspective view of a conventional panel of vinyl siding fastened to an exterior of a building;
FIG. 1B is a cross-sectional view of the conventional panel of vinyl siding shown in FIG. 1A taken along line 1B-1B, where the siding is fastened by a nail;
FIG. 1C is a view of a nailing hem of a panel of vinyl siding fastened by a staple in a conventional fashion;
FIG. 2A is a front perspective view of a siding panel with a slidable fastening hem in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2B is an exploded view of the siding panel shown in FIG. 2A including a slidable fastening hem and a body portion;
FIG. 2C is a cross-sectional view of the vinyl siding panel shown in FIG. 2A taken along line 2C-2C;
FIGS. 3A through 3E illustrate various embodiments of the siding panel with slidable fastening hem in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 4 illustrates a further embodiment of the present invention where a sliding connection is located below a top lock of the panel; and
FIG. 5 illustrates a partial view of a siding panel in accordance with the present invention where the siding panel is installed in a vertical orientation and a stop is employed to prevent over sliding of the body portion.
 Preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described herein below with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the following description, well-known functions or constructions are not described in detail since they would obscure the invention in unnecessary detail.
 Referring to FIGS. 2A through 2C, a new and improved siding panel 100 for building exteriors is provided. The siding panel 100 of the present invention includes a body portion 112 for covering a structure's exterior and a fastening hem 116 for supporting the body portion 112 and fastening the siding panel 100 to the structure's exterior. The body portion 112 is formed with at least one face 114 depending on a desired profile of the siding panel; for example, the panel 100 shown in FIG. 2A includes two faces to resemble two slats of wood. The body further includes a top lock 122 and a bottom lock 124 for interlocking the siding panel 100 with either a starter strip or other siding panels.
 Referring to FIG. 2B, the body portion 112 includes a connection member 132 formed in a predetermined configuration. The connection member 132 allows the body portion 112 to be coupled to the fastening hem 116. The fastening hem 116 includes a fastening portion 134 with a fastening face 136 for receiving fasteners and a channel 138 for receiving the connection member 132 of the body portion. As can be seen from FIGS. 2A through 2C, the channel 138 is formed in a configuration complementary to the configuration of the connection member 132 as to accept the connection member 132 in a sliding engagement. In this manner, the body portion 112 of the siding panel 100 of the present invention is allowed to float, or move from side-to-side as shown by the arrows in FIG. 2A, in relation to the fastening hem 116 during expansion and contraction when exposed to temperature changes.
 Referring to FIG. 2C, the siding panel 100 of the present invention is shown in an installed state. When installing the siding panel 100, tedious hand nailing is no longer required for a successful installation. Since the body portion 112 can move relative to the fastening hem 116, the fastening hem 116 can be rigidly fixed and, therefore, any fastener 120 used can be driven tight or flush to an exterior wall 126 of a structure. For example in FIG. 2C, the fastening hem 116 is shown flush to the exterior wall 126 tightly held in place by a head 128 of a nail. This will allow the use of any type of rapid firing-type installation device, such as a pneumatic nail gun, a roofing nail gun, a screw gun, a staple guns or any device capable of installing a plurality of fasteners in a rapid manner.
 Additionally, since the fastening hem 116 will not float, conventional nailing slots are not necessary. As is shown in FIG. 2B, the fastening face 136 is uniform and does not include any nailing slots or fastening guides. Therefore, fasteners can be installed at any point in the fastening face 136 of the fastening hem 116. Since care is no longer needed to center fasteners and to prevent the fasteners from being driven tightly, the labor hours required for a siding installation are dramatically decreased.
 It is to be understood that the connection member 132 of the body portion 112 and the channel 138 of the fastening hem 116 are to be configured so the channel 138 positively holds the connection member 132 to support the body portion 112 while allowing the connection member 132 to float within the channel 138. FIGS. 3A through 3E illustrate various embodiments of the siding panel in accordance with the present invention with various configurations of the connection member 132 and channel 138. Additionally, FIG. 4 illustrates a further embodiment where the connection member 132 and channel 138 are located below the top lock 122 of the panel. Although the present invention has been illustrated and described with reference to several embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that it is in no way limited to the details of such embodiments but is capable of numerous modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
 As is common in the industry, the siding panels described herein can be composed of a variety of plastic materials. Preferably, the panels are made from a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic resin that's heated until molten and then extruded into sheets. The sheets are then embossed with a brushed or wood-grain pattern that provides textual interest and dulls the PVC's inherently shiny and synthetic-looking surface. While still hot, the sheets are formed into a variety of siding panel profiles. It is to be understood that the body portion and fastening hem of the present invention may be extruded from the same material or different materials, for example, the fastening hem may be formed from a material more receptive to puncture as in when being driven by a nail, screw, staple or other fastening means. It is to be further understood that the body portion and fastening hem may be formed from materials other than plastic, such as aluminum, rubber, etc, and the panel being assembled with two different materials, for example, a panel may have a vinyl body portion and a rubber fastening hem. Once the body portion and fastening hem are formed, the siding panel can be easily assembled by slidingly engaging the fastening hem to the body portion.
 While the embodiments described herein are siding panels with a top lock and a bottom lock which extend horizontally along a wall, it is contemplated to be within the scope of the invention to apply the slidable fastening hem to any attachment area of building panels that may be differently oriented when installed. For example as shown in FIG. 5, the slidable fastening hem 216 may be used in a vertical siding application which employ right and left locks 222 on a siding panel 200. In the vertical siding application, a stop 250 may also be employed to prevent the body portion 212 from completely sliding out of the fastening hem 216. The stop 250 may be formed as part of the fastening hem or as part of the body portion, or may be external to the siding panel, for example, a pin, nail or other means, which is installed in proximity to the connection of the fastening hem and body portion to prevent the body portion from over sliding. Furthermore, the slidable fastening hem may be used to join an end of a siding panel with a trim piece, commonly used in siding installations around doors, windows and corners.
 While the invention has been shown and described with reference to certain preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||52/518, 52/519, 52/520, 52/554, 52/578, 52/543|