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Publication numberUS20050130581 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/903,567
Publication dateJun 16, 2005
Filing dateJul 30, 2004
Priority dateJul 31, 2003
Publication number10903567, 903567, US 2005/0130581 A1, US 2005/130581 A1, US 20050130581 A1, US 20050130581A1, US 2005130581 A1, US 2005130581A1, US-A1-20050130581, US-A1-2005130581, US2005/0130581A1, US2005/130581A1, US20050130581 A1, US20050130581A1, US2005130581 A1, US2005130581A1
InventorsChristopher Dodge
Original AssigneeMonierlifetile, Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Roof vent having labyrinth features
US 20050130581 A1
Abstract
A roof vent construction which is comprised of an assembly including a cowl, a base, and a cowl retaining member. These elements provide a structure which provides cover for rain and discourages rain from entering the vent underneath the cowl, but nevertheless allows for suitable ventilation as needed. In one embodiment a configuration is used in which an external baffle is used which air passes before passing underneath a cowl. Once the air is passed underneath the cowl, the air then passes over one and one configuration two internal baffles before the air passes out of a pair of vent cavities defined by the base. In a second configuration, a cowl extends substantially to the leading edge of the construction. Air flows underneath the leading edge of the cowl and then passes over a large internal baffle, over a first small internal baffle, and finally over a second small internal baffle before passing through the vent cavities and out of the structure. Another invention relates to the use of two surface portions on the vent assembly, one surface portion configured to match a first course of tiles and the other surface portion configured to match a second course of tiles adjacent to said first course of tiles.
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Claims(32)
1. A roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure including a plurality of tile members supported by a roofing support structure, said vent assembly configured to provide ventilation to said roof structure and comprising:
a base member configured to be attached to and supported by said roofing support structure, said base member including a ventilation hole and at least one rib below said ventilation hole; and
a cowl member including a leading edge, said cowl member configured to be mounted above said ventilation hole of said base member, said cowl member also configured to cover said rib,
such that a portion of air blowing up the incline of the roof structure has to pass along a labyrinth air flow path, said air flow path passing first underneath said leading edge of said cowl member and then over said rib, and finally through said ventilation hole.
2. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said attachment of said base to said supporting roof structure is via nails.
3. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said base further comprises an external baffle at the foot edge of the base, such that air first goes over the large external baffle and then underneath the cowl.
4. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a flat tile structure.
5. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “humped” tile structure.
6. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “two humped” tile structure.
7. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “three humped” tile structure.
8. A roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure including a plurality of tile members supported by a roofing support structure, said vent assembly configured to provide ventilation to said roof structure and comprising:
a base member configured to be attached to and supported by said roofing support structure, said base member including a ventilation hole and also including a front external baffle positioned proximate its front edge; and
a cowl member including a leading edge, said cowl member configured to be mounted above said ventilation hole of said base member while leaving said front external baffle of said base member exposed, said leading edge being positioned behind said external baffle,
such that a portion of air blowing up the incline of the roof structure has to pass along a labyrinth air flow path, said air flow path passing first over said front external baffle of said base member, underneath said leading edge of said cowl member, and finally through said ventilation hole.
9. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 8, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a flat tile structure.
10. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 8, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “humped” tile structure.
11. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 8, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “two humped” tile structure.
12. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 8, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “three humped” tile structure.
13. A roof vent assembly for positioning within a first generally horizontal course of roof tiles, said first course of tiles being adjacent to and below a second generally horizontal course of roof tiles, said vent assembly comprising:
A) a base defining at least one upwardly-directed surface portion and a vent portion, said surface portion of said base tending to blend in with at least some of the upper surfaces of said first course of tiles; and
B) a cowl attached to and suspended above said vent portion of said base, said cowl defining at least one surface portion tending to blend in with said second course of tiles.
14. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 13, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a flat tile structure.
15. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 13, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “humped” tile structure.
16. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 13, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “two humped” tile structure.
17. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 13, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “three humped” tile structure.
18. A roof vent assembly for positioning within a first generally horizontal course of roof tiles, said first course of tiles being adjacent to and below a second generally horizontal course of roof tiles, said vent assembly comprising:
A) a base defining at least one upwardly-directed surface portion and a vent portion, said surface portion of said base configured to substantially match at least some of the upper surfaces of said first course of tiles; and
B) a cowl attached to and suspended above said vent portion of said base, said cowl defining at least one surface portion configured to substantially match at least some of the upper surfaces of said second course of tiles.
19. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 18, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a flat tile structure.
20. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 18, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “humped” tile structure.
21. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 18, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “two humped” tile structure.
22. A vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 18, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “three humped” tile structure.
23. A method for providing a roof vent assembly positioned within a first generally horizontal course of roof tiles, said first course of tiles being adjacent to and below a second generally horizontal course of roof tiles, said method comprising the steps of:
A) providing a base defining at least one upwardly-directed surface portion and a vent portion, said surface portion of said base configured to blend in with at least some of the upper surfaces of said first course of tiles; and
B) providing a cowl attached to and suspended above said vent portion of said base, said cowl defining at least one surface portion configured to blend in with at least some of the upper surfaces of said second course of tiles.
24. A method for providing a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 23, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a flat tile structure.
25. A method for providing a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 23, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “humped” tile structure.
26. A method for providing a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 23, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “two humped” tile structure.
27. A method for providing a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 23, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “three humped” tile structure.
28. A method for providing a roof vent assembly positioned within a first generally horizontal course of roof tiles, said first course of tiles being adjacent to and below a second generally horizontal course of roof tiles, said method comprising the steps of:
A) providing a base defining at least one upwardly-directed surface portion and a vent portion, said surface portion of said base configured to substantially match at least some of the upper surfaces of said first course of tiles; and
B) providing a cowl attached to and suspended above said vent portion of said base, said cowl defining at least one surface portion configured to substantially match at least some of the upper surfaces of said second course of tiles.
29. A method for providing a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 28, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a flat tile structure.
30. A method for providing a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 28, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “humped” tile structure.
31. A method for providing a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 28, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “two humped” tile structure.
32. A method for providing a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure as claimed in claim 28, wherein said vent assembly includes a combination of base and cowl that generally simulates a “three humped” tile structure.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the full benefit and priority of pending provisional application No. 60/491,405, filed, Jul. 31, 2003, entitled “Roof Vent Having Labyrinth Features”. The entire contents of this provisional application are likewise incorporated by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    In the construction of roofing, it is known to provide roofs made of individual roofing elements. The elements can be flexible, such as asphalt shingles, or rigid, such as clay or concrete tiles.
  • [0003]
    It is also known to provide vents in the roofing structure to provide roof ventilation. However, providing such venting can introduce problems relating to the prevention of water being drawn in along with the ventilating air flow. Therefore there is a need in the art to provide an improvement of such vents.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    The present invention provides in improvement of over the art by providing an improved roof vent that includes improved ventilation features as well as improved aesthetic features.
  • [0005]
    Generally described, the present invention is directed towards a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure including a plurality of tile members supported by a roofing support structure, the vent assembly configured to provide ventilation to the roof structure and comprising a base member configured to be attached to and supported by the roofing support structure, the base member including a ventilation hole and at least one rib below the ventilation hole, and a cowl member including a leading edge, the cowl member configured to be mounted above the ventilation hole of the base member, the cowl member also configured to cover the rib, such that a portion of air blowing up the incline of the roof structure has to pass along a labyrinth air flow path, the air flow path passing first underneath the leading edge of the cowl member and then over the rib, and finally through the ventilation hole.
  • [0006]
    The present invention is also directed towards a roof vent assembly for use in connection with an inclined roof structure including a plurality of tile members supported by a roofing support structure, the vent assembly configured to provide ventilation to the roof structure and comprising a base member configured to be attached to and supported by the roofing support structure, the base member including a ventilation hole and also including a front external baffle positioned proximate its front edge, and a cowl member including a leading edge, the cowl member configured to be mounted above the ventilation hole of the base member while leaving the front external baffle of the base member exposed, the leading edge being positioned behind the external baffle, such that a portion of air blowing up the incline of the roof structure has to pass along a labyrinth air flow path, the air flow path passing first over the front external baffle of the base member, underneath the leading edge of the cowl member, and finally through the ventilation hole.
  • [0007]
    The present invention is also directed towards roof vent assembly for positioning within a first generally horizontal course of roof tiles, the first course of tiles being adjacent to and below a second generally horizontal course of roof tiles, the vent assembly comprising A) a base defining at least one upwardly-directed surface portion and a vent portion, the surface portion of the base tending to blend in with at least some of the upper surfaces of the first course of tiles, and B) a cowl attached to and suspended above the vent portion of the base, the cowl defining at least one surface portion tending to blend in with the second course of tiles.
  • [0008]
    The present invention is also directed towards a roof vent assembly for positioning within a first generally horizontal course of roof tiles, the first course of tiles being adjacent to and below a second generally horizontal course of roof tiles, the vent assembly comprising A) a base defining at least one upwardly-directed surface portion and a vent portion, the surface portion of the base configured to substantially match at least some of the upper surfaces of the first course of tiles, and B) a cowl attached to and suspended above the vent portion of the base, the cowl defining at least one surface portion configured to substantially match at least some of the upper surfaces of the second course of tiles.
  • [0009]
    The present invention is also directed towards a method for providing a roof vent assembly positioned within a first generally horizontal course of roof tiles, the first course of tiles being adjacent to and below a second generally horizontal course of roof tiles, the method comprising the steps of A) providing a base defining at least one upwardly-directed surface portion and a vent portion, the surface portion of the base configured to blend in with at least some of the upper surfaces of the first course of tiles, and B) providing a cowl attached to and suspended above the vent portion of the base, the cowl defining at least one surface portion configured to blend in with at least some of the upper surfaces of the second course of tiles.
  • [0010]
    The present invention is also directed towards a method for providing a roof vent assembly positioned within a first generally horizontal course of roof tiles, the first course of tiles being adjacent to and below a second generally horizontal course of roof tiles, the method comprising the steps of A) providing a base defining at least one upwardly-directed surface portion and a vent portion, the surface portion of the base configured to substantially match at least some of the upper surfaces of the first course of tiles, and B) providing a cowl attached to and suspended above the vent portion of the base, the cowl defining at least one surface portion configured to substantially match at least some of the upper surfaces of the second course of tiles.
  • [0011]
    Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved roof structure.
  • [0012]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved roof structure, which includes at least one roof vent.
  • [0013]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved roof vent.
  • [0014]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved roof vent that includes improved rain exclusion features.
  • [0015]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved roof vent that includes improved wind exclusion features.
  • [0016]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved roof vent that includes improved aesthetic features.
  • [0017]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved roof vent that includes improved aesthetic features while at the same time including improved functional features.
  • [0018]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved roof vent that is economical to manufacture while still providing improved functional and aesthetic features.
  • [0019]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved roof vent that is economical to sell while still including improved functional and aesthetic features.
  • [0020]
    Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention when taken in conjunction with the drawing and the appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0021]
    Having thus described the invention in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:
  • [0022]
    FIGS. 1-7 are drawings of one embodiment of the invention, which includes the use of a “flat” vent assembly including a single external baffle 34 in front of a cowl 20.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a first embodiment of a flat vent assembly 10 according to one aspect of the present invention. The vent assembly 10 includes a cowl 20, a base 30, and a cowl retention member 40.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 2 is a left side elevational view of the flat vent assembly 10 shown in FIG. 1
  • [0025]
    FIG. 3 is a right side elevational view of the flat vent assembly 10 shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 4 is a foot (or “leading”) end elevational view of the flat vent assembly 10 shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 5 is a head (or “trailing”) end elevational view of the flat vent assembly 10 shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the flat vent assembly 10 shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 7 is a lower plan view of the vent assembly 10 according to one aspect of the present invention. As may be seen, the cowl 20 is visible through the two vent cavities 32, which are provided in the base 30 of the vent assembly 10.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 8 is a pictorial view of a second embodiment of a flat roof vent assembly 110.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 9 is an exploded view of that shown in FIG. 8, showing some components thereof, namely the cowl 120 and the base 130.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 10 is a pictorial view of a third embodiment of a flat roof vent assembly 210. This assembly 210 includes a cowl 220 and a base 230. The assembly 210 also includes a cowl retention member not shown in this figure but illustrated later as 240 in FIG. 13.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 11 is an isolated pictorial view of the base 230 of FIG. 10. It may be seen that there is an upturned peripheral wall 236 extending around the vent opening 232, which is defined by the base. The upturned wall 232 is configured to reduce the opportunity for water to pass therethrough; instead the water is preferably diverted down the slope and out of the vent.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 12 is an isolated view of the cowl 220 of FIG. 10, except the cowl has been “flipped over” 180 degrees to show its underside. The cowl 220 includes two types of elongate members, which extend downwardly in a common orientation. The first type of elongate members are “standoff feet” 225, and the second type are “engaging tabs” 226. In the embodiment shown there are six (6) of the standoff feet 225, and six (6) of the engaging tabs 226, although other numbers could be used.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 13 is a bottom plan view of a cowl retention member 240, as the member would be viewed if the vent assembly was viewed from the underneath when assembled. The cowl retention member 240 is in one embodiment a single one piece molded design although other designs are contemplated. The cowl retention member 240 includes a continuous peripheral wall 241, which will be seen to be shaped somewhat like a pentagon, and in any case shaped corresponding to the vent opening 232 in the base 230 of the flat roof vent assembly 210. Positioned about the wall 241 is a plurality (six are shown in this embodiment) of cowl engaging portions 242, which are configured to engage the six corresponding tabs 226 of the cowl 220. Referring now also to FIG. 15, this peripheral wall 241 could be thought of as having an “L”-shaped transverse cross section comprised of a first wall 241-A, which fits within the vent opening, and a second, “flange” wall 241-B, which when installed fits in planar contact with the underside of the floor plate 231 of the base, proximate the vent opening. The cowl-retaining member 240 also includes a plurality of ribs 247 which provide structural integrity to the member 240.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 14 is an isolated view of that shown in the dotted line circle of FIG. 13, with the addition of a tab 266 shown in dotted line extending up into the plane of the paper. The figure shows an exemplary cowl engaging portion 242 of the cowl retention member 240, particularly showing the manner in which a tab 226 (shown in transverse cross section in dotted line) engages the barb 245 defined by the cowl retention member 240, and is contained on its sides by loop 246. This engagement is done by engagement between the barb 245 and a hole 226H in the end of the tab 226, shown in FIG. 12. As may be seen, the loop 246 may include needed small (three are shown) locating stubs (not numbered), which locate the position of the tab 226 in its desired place. It may be understood that as the tab is pressed into place (it would be moved towards the viewer during the insertion process), the barb 245, essentially being a hump of plastic, “snaps” into place in the hole 226H in the end of the tab 266, thus interlocking the cowl retention member 240 relative to the cowl. As discussed elsewhere, the cowl retention member 240 and the cowl 220 combine to capture the base 230 therebetween. Reference can also be made to FIG. 20 to better understand the manner in which the cowl retention member 240 fits up within the hole in the base 230.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 15 is an isolated view illustrating the manner in which the peripheral wall 241 (of the cowl retaining member 240) fits within the opening 232 of the base 230. The orientation shown is with the base directed upwardly, with the view from the side. The peripheral wall 241 could be thought of as having an “L”-shaped transverse cross section comprised of a first wall 241-A, which fits within the vent opening, and a second, “flange” wall 241-B, which when installed fits in planar contact with the underside of the floor plate 231 of the base, proximate the vent opening. This allows the peripheral wall 241 (of the cowl retaining member 240) to fit within the opening 232 of the base 230 in a “nesting manner. The nesting is shown in FIG. 20.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 16 is a pictorial view of a two-humped vent assembly 510 according to the present invention. The two-humped vent assembly 510 includes a cowl 520 and a base 530. As may be seen, the base 530 includes multiple nail hole locations 539, and also includes two standoff nodules 538, which extend downwardly to provide support of the base 530 atop the battens or other supporting roof structure or members that support the tiles.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 17 is another view of the vent assembly of FIG. 16, except that the view is from a lower perspective to show the manner in which the cowl 520 extends upwardly relative to the base 530. This view also shows the use of a “segmented” front external baffle configuration, in which the front baffling function is provided by baffle segments 535 which are located in the upwardly curved or “valley” sections 536 of the base 530.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 18 is an isolated view of a portion of the cowl 520, illustrating the manner in which the downwardly-directed standoff feet 525 (a.k.a. support feet) contact the floor plate 531 of the base 530.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 19 is an isolated view of a portion of the underside of the base 530, illustrating a standoff nodule 538, which contacts the roofing structure supporting the tiles and vents.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 20 is a pictorial view, viewed from the underside, illustrating the interaction between a two-humped vent assembly 510 (viewer's left) and a typical similarly shaped tile “T” (viewer's right). Particularly this shows the use of a location tab 537, which extends from the base 530. This location tab 537 and the base of the two-humped vent assembly 510 combine to capture the typical similarly shaped tile to assist in the relative positioning of the two and to keep the vent attached to the roof.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 21 is a pictorial view of a three-hump vent assembly 710, which includes a cowl 720 and a base 730. The base includes a front external baffle 731 which as may be seen has a substantially nominal height, and conforms to the curved and flat portions 735, 736, respectively, of the upwardly-directed upper major surface of the base 730.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 22 is an illustrative view illustrating the dual-level matching concept, as provided by a flat vent assembly configuration 10 mounted atop a roof supporting surface SS (which could be provided by battens, a flat surface, or otherwise as known in the art). The flat vent assembly 10 is mounted in one course of tiles, which is above a course of tiles including tile A, and below a course of tile including tile B. As may be understood, the upper surface 20S of the cowl 20 is substantially in the same plane P as is the upper surface of the flat tile B, while the upper major surface 30S of the base 30 of the flat vent assembly 10 is aligned with the upper surfaces of other tiles in its same course.
  • [0045]
    It may also be understood that this same type of dual level matching applies to the other vent configurations. Although having a curved upper surface, the upper surface of the cowls of the assemblies 510, 710, likewise tend to blend in with the upper, curved, surfaces of the tiles in the next course above, while the curved upper major surfaces of the bases of these assemblies blend in with the tiles in their same course.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0046]
    The present inventions now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which some, but not all embodiments of the invention are shown in the figures. Indeed, these inventions may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will satisfy applicable legal requirements. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.
  • [0047]
    General Construction and Operation
  • [0048]
    Generally described, the vent assemblies described herein include a base, which is attached relative to the supporting roof structure, and a cowl, which is attached to the base and covers a ventilation hole in the base.
  • [0049]
    In roof vents, the inventor has noted that in certain instances it is desirable to bring the leading edge of the vent cowl in line with the leading edge of adjacent field tiles. In so doing, a constant shadow line is created on the roof, improving aesthetic integration. However, this has been a challenge to the inventors because of the conflicting functional need to prevent wind driven rain entry through the vent.
  • [0050]
    One particular concept according to one aspect of the present invention is to use internal labyrinths to afford this rain protection. This provides an improvement over the prior art by allowing the cap (a.k.a. cowl) to come to the leading edge of the vent, in-line with the leading edge of adjacent roof tiles. This enables a more aesthetic, integrated appearance on the roof.
  • [0051]
    Another concept according to the present invention is the use of a front, external, baffle in front of the leading edge of the vent cowl.
  • [0052]
    Another concept according to the present invention relates to the provision of two different “levels” in the vent assembly, each of which matches the contour of a different course of tiles amongst which the vent is mounted. Said another way, the invention includes the generic concept of matching tile profiles with vent profiles.
  • [0053]
    Detailed Discussion
  • [0054]
    More detailed discussion is now made of the various embodiments of the vent assemblies of the present invention. By way of reference, it should be noted that the term “leading” edge is meant to indicate the edge of the tile or tile vent that faces “down” the roof towards the ground. This could also be termed the “lower” or “foot” edge. Conversely, a “trailing” edge is meant to indicate the edge of the tile that faces “up” the roof, away from the ground. This could also be termed the “upper” or “head” edge. “Side” edges are the remaining edges that connect the two.
  • [0055]
    There are three general types of vent assemblies that are used under the present invention: a flat vent assembly, a “dual hump” vent assembly, and a “triple hump” vent assembly. These assemblies are configured to be used with tiles that have the same general shape; such tiles will be recognized by one skilled in the art. However it should be understood that the present inventions described herein could be used with other shapes of tiles. Furthermore, a concept shown in association with one vent assembly (e.g., a flat vent assembly) could be used with another vent assembly (e.g., a dual hump vent assembly).
  • [0056]
    The Flat Vent (FIGS. 1-15)
  • [0057]
    Reference is first made to FIG. 1, which is a pictorial view of a flat vent assembly 10 according to one aspect of the present invention. The vent assembly 10 includes a cowl 20, a base 30, and also includes in one embodiment a cowl retention member (not shown in FIG. 1). As discussed in later detail, the base member 30 fits within a first course of tiles, and in at least one embodiment includes an upwardly directed surface portion (in this case, flat) that tends to conform to (or “match”) upwardly directed surfaces of the other tiles in the first course of tiles. The cowl member 20 includes an upwardly directed surface portion (in this case, also being flat) that tends to follow the profile of the course of tiles above the first course, this course being now referenced as the “second” course.
  • [0058]
    A cowl retention member (not shown in FIG. 1, but discussed in further detail later) is contemplated for use with this assembly 10 under one embodiment of the present invention. Under such an embodiment, the cowl retention member would attach to tabs extending down from underneath the cowl. These tabs would fit within holes, blind or otherwise, that would accept the downwardly-extending pin tips and retain them. When such an engagement is made, the cowl retention member and the cowl combine to grip the base.
  • [0059]
    Referring now also to FIG. 7, the base 30 includes a floor plate 31 (which defines what may be referenced as a “lower major surface”), two vent cavities 32 (see FIG. 7—note one or more than two cavities could also be used), a generally planar raised shelf 33 having a U-shaped outline (which defines what may be referenced as an “upper major surface”), a front external baffle 34, first and second internal baffles 35, 36, (shown in other figures such as FIG. 7) and defines left and right edges 38, 39.
  • [0060]
    The cowl 20 is attached to the base 30 of the vent assembly 10 by use of a vent retention member discussed below, and covers the vent holes 32 (a.k.a. vent “cavities”) in the base 30, and also covers the first and second internal baffles 35, 36, and discussed in later detail. However, the baffle 34 could be considered to be in “front” of the front edge of the cowl 20, and the cowl 20 “behind” the baffle 34.
  • [0061]
    FIGS. 2 and 3 are left and right side elevational views of the assembly shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0062]
    FIG. 4 is a foot (or “leading”) end elevational view of the assembly shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 5 is a head (or “trailing”) end elevational view of the assembly shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0063]
    FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the assembly shown in FIG. 1. As may be seen, this view shows the top view of the single external baffle 34, the single cowl 20 (although two numbers 20 are shown in the figure), and the U-shaped raised shelf 33. Referring now also to FIG. 1, this U-shaped raised shelf 33 extends upwardly relative to the floor plate 31, such that a depression of sorts is provided, within which the cowl 20 can fit. This fit provides for a configuration in which the top, upwardly directed, surface of the cowl 20 is substantially parallel to the top, upwardly directed, surface of the U-shaped raised shelf 33, yet the top surface of the cowl 20 is higher than the surface of the shelf 33. This is in order to provide an aesthetic appearance of the overall vent assembly by providing the “dual-level matching” concepts noted above that is provided by the upwardly directed surface portion of the base 30 tending to conform to, and blend in with, (or “match”) upwardly directed surfaces of the other tiles in the first course of tiles (that the vent is in) and the upwardly directed surface portion of the cowl member 20 tending to follow the profile of the “second” course, above the first course. However, the function is to provide a vent feature, which could not otherwise be provided with a conventional flat tile.
  • [0064]
    It may be seen that the cowl 20 of FIG. 6 (and FIG. 1) shows a simulated “split line” down through the center of the cowl. This is to simulate two tile elements. It should be understood that that line could be removed (such as is the case with the next embodiment shown in FIG. 8), or other line, contour, or relief configurations could be used. It should also be noted that other texturing configurations could be used as well.
  • [0065]
    FIG. 7 is a lower plan view of the vent assembly 10 according to one aspect of the present invention. As may be seen, the cowl 20 is visible through the two vent holes 32 (a.k.a. cavities), which are provided in the base 30 of the vent assembly 10.
  • [0066]
    Although this view shown in FIG. 7 is from the underneath of the assembled vent assembly 10, it is helpful in viewing and understanding certain features that affect airflow and water drainage on the other side of the base 30. As the base 30 is molded out of relatively thin planar plastic through a molding process (including but not limited to thermoforming, vacuum forming, injection molding, etc.), it may be understood that due to the relatively consistent wall thickness, that which is seen on one side of the blow molded material can give a good idea of the appearance of the other side of the blow molded material. For example, a depression in one side would correspond to a protrusion on the other side. This is particularly helpful in explaining the shape of the external baffle 34 and its cooperating first and second internal baffles 35, 36.
  • [0067]
    As noted elsewhere in this application, when the flat vent assembly 10 is assembled and is in its upright position as shown in FIG. 1, the external baffle is positioned outside of the cowl 20. However, the first and second external baffles 35, 36, respectively, are positioned underneath the cowl 20.
  • [0068]
    When wind, combined with rainwater, blows “up” the roof, it will tend to blow along a serpentine path, first over the external baffle 34, and then immediately dip down and under the leading edge of the cowl 20. At this point, the air will then have to go up over the first internal baffle 35, down into a trough, which is in between baffles 35, and 36, and then up over the second internal baffle 36. Air crossing the crest of the second internal baffle 36 is then free to continue under the cowl 20 and out downwardly through the two vent cavities (or cavity) 32 in the floor plate 31.
  • [0069]
    It may be understood that sloping ramps 37 exist on the opposing ends of the first and second internal baffles. These sloping ramps 37 provide for escaping waterflow from water that may be deposited when crossing the external baffle 34 or the first internal baffle 35.
  • [0070]
    FIG. 8 is a pictorial view of a flat roof vent assembly 110. As may be seen, this second embodiment does not include an external baffle such as 34 in the previous embodiment. Instead, the cowl 120 extends all the way towards its foot end so that it is substantially flush with the foot end of the base 130. This provides an aesthetically pleasing image. The cowl 120 can be attached to the base in the same manner as in the previous embodiment.
  • [0071]
    FIG. 9 is an exploded view of that shown in FIG. 8, showing some components thereof, namely the cowl 120 and the base 130. 134 is a large internal baffle, 135 is a first small internal baffle, and 136 is a second small internal baffle. As may be seen in this case, all three of the baffles are covered by the cowl. However, the relative shapes of the three baffles 134, 135, and 136 are similar to those of the previously discussed baffles 34, 35, and 36.
  • [0072]
    FIG. 10 is a pictorial view of a third embodiment of a flat roof vent assembly 210. This assembly 210 includes a cowl 220 and a base 230. The assembly 210 also includes a cowl retention member not shown in this figure but illustrated later as 240 in FIG. 13.
  • [0073]
    The base 230 includes a floor plate 231 (which defines a lower major planar portion), a raised shelf 233 (which defines an upper major planar portion), and a front external baffle 234. The base also includes nailing locations 239 to receive nails for fastening the base to a supporting roof structure.
  • [0074]
    The cowl 220 includes downwardly oriented standoff feet 225 which bias on the top surface of the floor plate 231.
  • [0075]
    FIG. 11 is an isolated pictorial view of the base 230 of FIG. 10. It may be seen that there is an upturned peripheral wall 236 extending around the “quasi-pentagon” vent opening 232, which is defined by the base. The upturned wall 232 is configured to reduce the opportunity for water to pass therethrough; instead the water is preferably diverted down the slope and out of the vent.
  • [0076]
    Also shown in FIG. 11 is the location where a location tab is mounted on the underside of the base at location 238. The location tab itself cannot be seen in this view, but due to the thin wall of the base the mounting depression for the location tab shows through when the base is viewed from the tap. The portion of the tab that extends sidewardly is shown in dotted line. The function of this tab is similar to that discussed later in connection with location tab 537 in FIG. 20. However, the generally planar tab has its primary planar surfaces positioned in planes relatively parallel to the generally planar floor plate 231.
  • [0077]
    FIG. 12 is an isolated view of the cowl 220 of FIG. 10, except the cowl has been “flipped over” 180 degrees to show its underside. The cowl 220 includes two types of elongate members, which extend downwardly in a common orientation. The first type of elongate members are “standoff feet” 225, and the second type are “engaging tabs” 226, which have holes 226H proximate their free tips. In the embodiment shown there are six (6) of the standoff feet 225, and six (6) of the engaging tabs 226, although other numbers could be used.
  • [0078]
    FIG. 13 is a bottom plan view of a cowl retention member 240, as the member 240 would be viewed if the vent assembly were viewed from the underneath when assembled. The cowl retention member 240 is in one embodiment a single one piece molded design although other designs are contemplated. The cowl retention member 240 includes a continuous peripheral wall 241, as seen to be shaped somewhat like a pentagon (described herein as a “quasi-pentagon”), and in any case shaped corresponding to the vent opening 232 in the base 230 of the flat roof vent assembly 210. Positioned about the wall 241 is a plurality (six are shown in this embodiment) of cowl engaging portions 242, which are configured to engage the six corresponding tabs 226 of the cowl 220. Referring now also to FIG. 15, this peripheral wall 241 could be thought of as having an “L”-shaped transverse cross section comprised of a first wall 241-A, which fits within the vent opening, and a second, “flange” wall 241-B, which when installed fits in planar contact with the underside of the floor plate 231 of the base, proximate the vent opening. The cowl-retaining member 240 also includes a plurality of ribs 247 which provide structural integrity to the member 240.
  • [0079]
    FIG. 14 is an isolated view of that shown in the dotted line circle of FIG. 13, with the addition of a tab 266 shown in dotted line extending up into the plane of the paper. The figure shows an exemplary cowl engaging portion 242 of the cowl retention member 240, particularly showing the manner in which a tab 226 (shown in transverse cross section in dotted line) engages the barb 245 defined by the cowl retention member 240, and is contained on its sides by loop 246. This engagement is done by engagement between the barb 245 and a hole 226H in the end of the tab 226, shown in FIG. 12. As may be seen, the loop 246 may include needed small (three are shown) locating stubs (not numbered), which locate the position of the tab 226 in its desired place. It may be understood that as the tab is pressed into place (it would be moved towards the viewer during the insertion process), the barb 245, essentially being a hump of plastic, “snaps” into place in the hole 226H in the end of the tab 266, thus interlocking the cowl retention member 240 relative to the cowl. As discussed elsewhere, the cowl retention member 240 and the cowl 220 combine to capture the base 230 therebetween.
  • [0080]
    This engagement is done by engagement between the barb 245 and a hole 226H in the end of the tab 226, shown in FIG. 12. As may be seen, the loop 246 may include, if needed, small (three are shown) locating stubs (not numbered) which locate the position of the tab 226 in its desired place. It may be understood that the tab is pressed into place and the barb 245 “snaps” into place in the hole 226H in the end of the tab 266, thus interlocking the cowl retention member 240 relative to the cowl. As discussed elsewhere, the cowl retention member 240 and the cowl 220 combine to capture the base 230 therebetween.
  • [0081]
    FIG. 15 is an isolated view illustrating the manner in which the peripheral wall 241 (of the cowl retaining member 240) fits within the opening 232 of the base 230. The orientation shown is with the base directed upwardly, with the view from the side. The peripheral wall 241 could be thought of as having an “L”-shaped transverse cross section comprised of a first wall 241-A, which fits within the vent opening, and a second, “flange” wall 241-B, which when installed fits in planar contact with the underside of the floor plate 231 of the base, proximate the vent opening. This allows the peripheral wall 241 (of the cowl retaining member 240) to fit within the opening 232 of the base 230 in a “nesting manner. The nesting is shown in FIG. 20.
  • [0082]
    The Two Humped Vent (FIGS. 16-20)
  • [0083]
    FIG. 16 is a pictorial view of a two-humped vent assembly 510 according to the present invention. The two-humped vent assembly 510 includes a cowl 520 and a base 530. As may be seen, the base 530 includes multiple nail hole locations 539, and also includes two standoff nodules 538, which extend downwardly to provide support of the base 530 atop the battens or other supporting roof structure or members that support the tiles.
  • [0084]
    FIG. 17 is another view of the vent assembly of FIG. 16, except that the view is from a lower perspective to show the manner in which the cowl 520 extends upwardly relative to the base 530. This view also shows the use of a “segmented” front external baffle configuration, in which the front baffling function is provided by baffle segments 535 which are located in the upwardly curved or “valley” sections 536 of the base 530.
  • [0085]
    FIG. 18 is an isolated view of a portion of the cowl 520, illustrating the manner in which the downwardly-directed standoff feet 525 (a.k.a. support feet) contact the floor plate 531 of the base 530.
  • [0086]
    FIG. 19 is an isolated view of a portion of the underside of the base 530, illustrating a standoff nodule 538, which contacts the roofing structure supporting the tiles and vents.
  • [0087]
    FIG. 20 is a pictorial view, viewed from the underside, illustrating the interaction between a two-humped vent assembly 510 (to the viewer's left) and a typical similarly shaped tile “T” (to the viewer's right). Particularly this shows the use of a location tab 537, which extends from the base 530. This location tab 537 is in one embodiment plastic and riveted to the base 530. This location tab 537 and the base of the two-humped vent assembly 510 combine to capture the typical similarly shaped tile to assist in the relative positioning of the two and to keep the vent attached to the roof.
  • [0088]
    The Three Humped Vent (Villa) (FIG. 21)
  • [0089]
    FIG. 21 is a pictorial view of a three-hump vent assembly 710, which includes a cowl 720 and a base 730. The base includes a front external baffle 731 which as may be seen has a substantially nominal height, and conforms to the curved and flat portions 735, 736, respectively, of the lower major upwardly-directed surface of the base 730.
  • [0090]
    It should be understood that the front external baffle could also be configured so as to have a substantially straight upper edge, such that the thickness of the baffle would vary depending on from where the wall was extending. For example, the wall would be at its thickest when extending upwardly from the flat segments 736.
  • [0091]
    The Cowl Fastening System
  • [0092]
    As noted above, under one embodiment of the invention, the cowl fastening system described below that includes a cowl retention member 240, as shown in FIG. 13.
  • [0093]
    As noted above, referring generally to FIGS. 10-15, the cowl 220 includes two types of elongate members, which extend downwardly in a common orientation. The first type of elongate members are “standoff feet” 225, and the second type are “engaging tabs” 226. In the embodiment shown there are six (6) of the standoff feet 225, and six (6) of the engaging tabs 226, although other numbers could be used.
  • [0094]
    When the cowl retention member 240 is installed, the standoff feet 225 have their bottom tips contacting and biasing atop (but not engaging) the floor surface 231 (a.k.a. the lower major surface) of the base 230, at locations spaced around the opening in the base. The engaging tabs 226 extend down and through the vent opening 232 of the base, and engage corresponding engagement portions 242 of the cowl retention member 240.
  • [0095]
    The cowl retention member 240 has an outer perimeter, which has a quasi-pentagon shape that allows the cowl retention member 240 to fit into, and “nest” within the pentagon-shaped opening of the base. The engaging tabs 226 of the cowl snap-fit into engagement portions 242 of the cowl retention member 240, such that the cowl retention member 240 and the feet 225 of the base 230 capture the base therebetween. The engaging tabs do not touch the base, only the cowl retention member 240. The cowl retention member also includes ribs 247 which span the opening; these ribs are for are these for structural integrity.
  • [0096]
    Alternatives and Accessories
  • [0097]
    Although the above configurations contemplate the use of a cowl retention member, other configurations may be used to fasten the cowl to the base without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, L-shaped bracket-type hardware elements (not shown) may be attached to the base and the cowl, and flexible members may be used to connect the hardware together and to provide a flexible but spaced-apart connection between the cowl and the base. In such a configuration no cowl retention member would be used.
  • [0098]
    The vent assemblies described above can also be used in conjunction with a flat screen provided underneath the vent hole in the base of the vent assembly. A “cloaking device” (not shown) could also be used which acts like a flashing and screen. Essentially, the cloaking device includes a base defining an opening, flashing extending about the periphery of the opening, and a screen at the top of the flashing. The flashing component, which operates similar to that currently in the art, sheds water away from the hole and the screen prevents bugs and rodents from crawling into the attic space.
  • [0099]
    The cloaking device is nailed to the roof deck over the hole to allow the air into the attic space. The underlayment will overlap the top of the base of the cloaking device so water runs off the underlayment onto the cloaking device, is stopped by the raised wall and runs off the sides back onto the underlayment.
  • [0100]
    It may be noted that the “labyrinth” feature noted elsewhere in this application may be used in combination with the “dual-level matching” feature, or either feature may be used alone.
  • [0101]
    It should be understood that although certain combinations of internal and external baffles have been shown for purposes of indication, it should be understood that there are other alternative configurations that still manage to be covered by the present invention. For example, instead of using two small internal baffles, three or one internal baffles could be used; in fact, any reasonable number of internal baffles could be used within engineering limitations. At the same time, a large external baffle could be used as shown in the first embodiment, with the large external baffle having various height possibilities, depending on the severity of the weather of the application. Furthermore, the embodiments shown above discuss baffles with a vertical orientation. It should be noted that this is just one embodiment and in fact a horizontal labyrinth is also envisioned for the same purpose. Furthermore it could also be said that air passes “through” the labyrinth as opposed to “over” the labyrinth in such situations.
  • [0102]
    The Dual-Level Matching Concept
  • [0103]
    FIG. 22 is an illustrative view illustrating the dual-level matching concept, as provided by a flat vent assembly configuration 10 (having a cowl 20 and base 30) mounted atop a roof supporting surface SS (which could be provided by battens, a flat surface, or otherwise as known in the art). The flat vent assembly 10 is mounted in one course of tiles, which is above a course of tiles including tile A, and below a course of tile including tile B. As may be understood, the upper surface 20S of the cowl 20 is substantially in the same plane P as is the upper surface of the flat tile B, while the upper major surface 30S of the base 30 of the flat vent assembly 10 is aligned with the upper surfaces of other tiles in its same course.
  • [0104]
    It may also be understood that this same type of dual level matching applies to the other vent configurations. Although having a curved upper surface, the upper surface of the cowls of the assemblies 510, 710, likewise tend to blend in with, match, and simulate the upper, curved, surfaces of the tiles in the next course above, while the curved upper major surfaces of the bases of these assemblies blend in with, match, and simulate the tiles in their same course.
  • [0105]
    Conclusion
  • [0106]
    Many modifications and other embodiments of the inventions set forth herein will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which these inventions pertain having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the inventions are not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20080299892 *May 31, 2007Dec 4, 2008Robinson Larry DS-shaped roof vent, ventilated roof employing the same and method of installing the same
US20090311959 *Jun 12, 2009Dec 17, 2009Wade Bryce ShepherdRoof vent having elongated baffles and discharge channels
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USD710985Oct 10, 2012Aug 12, 2014Owens Corning Intellectual Capital, LlcRoof vent
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Classifications
U.S. Classification454/366
International ClassificationF24F7/02
Cooperative ClassificationE04D2001/309, F24F7/02
European ClassificationF24F7/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 12, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: MONIERLIFETILE, LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DODGE, CHRISTOPHER S.;REEL/FRAME:015372/0894
Effective date: 20040727
Aug 27, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: BORAL LIFETILE, INC.,GEORGIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MONIERLIFETILE LLC;REEL/FRAME:019744/0463
Effective date: 20070824
Owner name: MONIER, INC.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MONIERLIFETILE LLC;REEL/FRAME:019744/0463
Effective date: 20070824