US 3726051 A
A gutter or eaves trough is disclosed having a strippable protective coating which covers all exposed portions of the exterior finish when the gutter is installed. The strippable coating, preferably a sheet of polyethylene bonded to the exterior finish by heat and pressure, is removed from the gutter after the gutter is installed. The protective coating is sufficiently stretchable, has sufficient tensile strength, and tear-resistant, so that it slips out from between the back face of the gutter and the fascia board and between the heads of the nails and the adjacent front face of the gutter when the coating is pulled away from the gutter.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Kellis et al.
 GUTTER WITH PROTECTIVE COATING  lnventorszWarren D. Kellis, Franklin; Elmer B. Wilson, Canton, both of Ohio  Assignee: Alsco Anaconda, Inc., Akron, Ohio  Filed: Aug. 24, 1970  App]. No.: 66,251
3,358,355 12/1967 Youssietal. I: ..52 127 [111 3,726,051 [451 Apr. 10, 1973 6/1969 Herr ..52/7l7 9/1967 Steeg ..52/ll  ABSTRACT A gutter or eaves trough is disclosed having a strippable protective coating which covers all exposed portions of the exterior finish when the gutter is installed. The strippable coating, preferably a sheet of polyethylene bonded to the exterior finish by heat and pressure, is removed from the gutter after the gutter is installed. The protective coating is sufficiently stretchable, has sufficient tensile strength, and tear-resistant, so that it slips out from between the back face of the gutter and the fascia board and between the heads of the nails and the adjacent front face of the gutter when the coating is pulled away from the gutter.
3 Claims, Drawing Figures GUTTER WITH PROTECTIVE COATING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a novel and improved gutter or eaves trough for attachment to the fascia board of a building that is provided with a strippable protective coating which may be removed after the gutter is installed.
PRIOR ART In the Youssi et al. US. Pat. No. 3,358,355, which is assigned to the assignee of the present invention, a prefinished aluminum siding panel provided with a strippable protective coating is disclosed. The strippable coating on such panel is sized and positioned so that it covers and protects substantially all of the exterior finish which is exposed when the panel is installed but does not extend into the interlocking joint between the panels and is not engaged or confined by the adjacent panels or mounting fasteners. Such coating can be stripped freely from the panel after it is installed. Reference should be made to such Youssi et al. patent for a more complete and detailed description of the manner in which the protective coating is applied and used and to the advantages derived therefrom.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A gutter or eaves trough in accordance with the present invention is provided with a strippable protective coating which extends over and protects all of portions of the exterior finish which can be seen when the gutter is installed.
The gutter to which the present invention is particularly applicable is generally U-shaped and provides front, back, and bottom faces. The gutters are installed against the building fascia by headed fasteners, usually nails, which are driven through the front and back faces and into the fascia until a head engages the front face of the gutter. A spacer tube is positioned around the fastener between the front and back faces to maintain proper spacing between the front and back faces and to transmit the force of engagement between the head and the front face to the back face thereby holding the back face tight against the fascia board. Such fasteners are normally located at spaced intervals along the gutter and are driven through the front and back faces with each fastener piercing its own hole through such faces as it is driven in place.
In the illustrated embodiment of this invention, a strippable protective coating is applied to the gutter during manufacture thereof which extends along the entire front face, the entire bottom face, and up along the back face from the bottom face a sufficient distance so that it covers and protects any portion of the back face which is not engaged by the fascia board when the gutter is installed. This coating is bonded to theexterior finish applied to the gutter base material with a sufficiently strong bond to insure that the coating remains in place during the forming of the gutter, the packaging and shipping of the gutter, and the installation of the gutter. However, the bond between the coating and the exterior finish is weak enough in relationship to the strength and other physical properties of the coating material to permit it to be stripped from the gutter after the gutter is installed without leaving any remaining coating material on the gutter even though the coating material projects between the back face of the gutter and the fascia board along the area of engagement therebetween, and even though the coating material extends in under the heads of the fasteners which secures the gutter to the fascia board.
To accomplish this end the coating material is selected which is stretchable under tensile stress and is sufficiently tear-resistant to permit the bond with the exterior finish to be broken and to insure that the coating can be cleanly removed even from the locations beneath the heads of the fasteners and between the fascia board and the back face. The manner in which the bond is broken is discussed in detail below.
In the illustrated embodiment the protective coating is provided by a sheet of polyethylene material having a thickness in the order of I to 1 /2 mils which is bonded with heat to the exterior finish of the gutter after the exterior finish is applied to the base metal of the gutter and before the gutter is formed from its flat shape to the desired U-shape. The strength of the coating and its bond is sufficient to permit the gutter material to be formed and to absorb the forces applied to the gutter material during the forming operation without causing damage to the coating or loosening the coating appreciably. Since the coating is applied to the exterior finish immediately after the exterior finish is applied to the base material, it protects the exterior finish during the forming operations, during packaging and shipping, and during installation of the gutter on the building or the like. Therefore, the gutter finish is protected at all times during the manufacture and handling of'the gutter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a gutter provided with a strippable protective coating in accordance with this invention prior to installation on a fascia board;
FIG. la is an enlarged fragmentary section of the wall of the gutter illustrating layers of the wall section;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary end view illustrating the gutter of FIG. 1 on the fascia board ofa building;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating the manner in which the strippable protective coating is removed from the gutter after it is installed; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken along one of the nail-type fasteners which secures the gutter to the fascia board illustrating the manner in which the strippable protective coating extends under the head of the fastener prior to its removal from the installed gutter.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A typical gutter l0 incorporating this invention is illustrated in FIG. I. The gutter 10 includes an elongated sheet of base metal 11 formed with a generally U- shaped cross-section. The base metal 11 is preferably aluminum. However, other metals maybe used. The base metal 11 is covered along its exterior faces by an exterior finish 12 and along its internal surfaces by a corrosion-resistant coating 13 illustrated in FIG. la. Because the exterior finish l2 and the coating 13 are very thin they are. not illustrated in the remaining figures.
The gutter is provided with a front face 14, a bottom face 16, and a back face 17. In the illustrated embodiment, the back face 17 provides a flat main portion 18 joined to the bottom face at a right angle corner 19 and extending upwardly therefrom the greater portion of the height of the back face 17 to a bend line 21. The upper portion 22 is inclined backwardly slightly from the plane of the main portion 18 and extends from the bend line 21 to the upper edge 23 of the back face.
The bottom face 16 is flat and extends horizontally from the corner 19 to a forward corner 24 where it joins the front face 14. The front face 14 is shaped to provide a decorative appearance and includes a lower portion 26 extending from the corner 24 substantially perpendicular thereto to a corner 27 where it joins with a curved section 28. The curved section includes an outside curve 29 and an inside curve 31. The forward face 14 is formed with a cap section 32 at the upper edge of the curved section which includes a vertical portion 33, a rearwardly extending horizontal portion 34, and a reverse bend portion 36.
FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the manner in which the gutter is normally attached to a fascia board 37 of a building. Such attachment is obtained by driving nails 38, at spaced intervals along the length of the gutter, through the vertical portion 33 of the front face 14, the back face 17, and into the fascia board 37. Such nails preferably extend horizontally and pass through the back face 17 substantially adjacent to the bend line 21.
A spacer tube 39 having a length substantially equal to the spacing between the vertical portion. 33 and the back face 17 is positioned so that each nail extends through a spacer tube as it is driven into position. The spacer tube engages the vertical portion 33 on the side opposite the head 41 of the nail and prevents the forward face from being bent rearwardly by the nail and also transmit the force of the head to the back face 17 causing the back face to be pressed tightly against the fascia board 37. The upper portion 22 of the back face extending backwardly at a slight angle is provided to insure that the upper edge 23 will engage the fascia board along its length and to insure that the back face 17 engages the fascia board fully along the lower edge thereof at 42 so that an unsightly gap will not be present.
In the preferred embodiment of this invention a strippable protective coating 43 is bonded to the exterior finish 12 of the gutter and extends from a rearward edge 44 down along the back face 17, along the bottom face 16, and up the front face 14 to the forward edge 46. The edge 46 is located approximately mid-way along the horizontal portion 34 and spaced forward from the bend 45 where the horizontal portion 34 joins the reversely bent portion 36.
When a gutter is mounted on a fascia board the gutter is inclined in one direction or the other to insure that the water will flow along the gutter to the connected down spout or the like. Consequently, the corner 19 may, in some locations, be above the lower edge of the fascia board, and, in other locations along the gutter, be below the lower edge 42 of the fascia board as illustrated. The back edge 44 of the protective coating is positioned along the back face sufficiently above the corner 19 so that prior to stripping of the protective coating, it will protect the exterior finish along any portion of the gutter which may be exposed below the edge 42. For this reason the back edge 44 is well above the corner 19 and the protective coating extends up between the back face 17 and the fascia board 37 to protect the exterior finish during the handling and installation of the gutter along all portions which may be visible when the gutter is installed. The edge 44, however, is below the bend line 21 so that the nails are not driven through the coating on the back face. It is recognized that a part of the horizontal portion 34 is not covered. However, this portion is not visible in practice, since the gutters are located above eye level when they are installed.
In practice, the nails 38 form their own hole in the front and back faces by piercing such faces as they are driven through the gutter. The manner in which the front face and the strippable protective coating are pierced by the nail is illustrated in FIG. 4. Prior to the driving of the nail an uninterrupted surface is provided by the vertical portion 33 and the protective coating 43. As the point of the nail enters the vertical portion 33 it is supported on its back side by the spacer tube 39. The point of the nail pierces the protective coating 43 and the vertical portion 33 causing an opening 47 to be formed on the vertical portion 33 and an opening 48 to be formed in the protective coating 43 having a diameter substantially equal to the diameter of the shank of the nail. Around such opening the protective coating 43 and the vertical portion 33 are deflected inwardly as illustrated in FIG. 4. As the nail is driven home, the head 41 firmly engages the protective coating on the side opposite the end of the spacer tube. At this time the protective coating 43 is tightly engaged between the head 41 and the adjacent part of the vertical portion 33.
After the gutter is installed, the protective coating is loosened, usually at one end, and is pulled laterally away from the gutter is illustrated in FIG. 3. In order to provide a complete removal of the protective coating, the coating and its bond with the exterior finish must be arranged so that the coating extending along the back wall 17 where the back wall and coating are in juxtaposed relation with the fascia board 37, must pull free of the exterior finish and slip out from between the back wall and the fascia board. Similarly, the coating must slip out from between the heads 41 of the nails and the underlying portions of the front wall. Otherwise, pieces of protective coating would remain to cause an unsightly appearance.
We have found that when a protective coating is formed of material which is stretchable, substantially the entire force tending to sever the bond between the coating and the exterior finish functions along a line of stress 51 at the point of separation and the bonded portion beyond the line of separation does not resist the separating force. This is true even when the separating force is substantially parallel to the plane of the bond and the bond is placed in shear rather than in tension since the portions of bond beyond the line of stress do not resist the tension force to any degree. This is because the strippable coating is stretchable while the interface of the bond is rigid due to the rigidity of the underlying metal 11.
A structure wherein the protective coating is formed of material which is very stretchable and produces a line of stress concentration is required since the shape of the gutter is such that some portion of the bond is always stressed by a tension force parallel to the plane of the bond regardless of the direction in which coating is pulled. if the coating were formed of a substantially non-stretchable material, a substantial area of bond support would be provided where the forces applied to the coating were substantially parallel to the plane of the bond and such area of bond support would cause tearing of the coating.
The strippable coating material 43 must also be such that it will pull out from between the head 41 and the underlying portion of the vertical face 33 without leaving parts of the coating within the joint. Therefore, the coating material must be sufficiently tear-resistant and be deformable under tension so as to thin down to some degree allowing it to slip out from underneath the head and around the head. A hole 52 in the coating 43 occurs at each location where the coating is pulled out from under the head.
In practice, it has been found that a coating formed of polyethylene sheet material having a thickness in the order of 1 mil to 2 mils which is bonded to the exterior finish by the application of heat and pressure without melting strips away from the gutter after the gutter is installed without leaving any coating material on the gutter either between the back face and the fascia board or between the heads of the fasteners and the un derlying portion of the front face.
In practice, it is preferable to apply the protective sheet coating while the base metal stock used to form the gutter is in flat strip form immediately after the exterior finish 12 is applied thereto and before the gutter strip is formed to the required U-shape. When the protective coating is applied in this manner, it protects the exterior finish during the handling and processing operations of forming the gutter. Further, it protects the exterior finish during the packaging and shipping of the gutter. Finally, it protects the exterior finish during the handling of installation of the gutter. By removing it after the gutter is installed, the danger of damage to the exterior finish is virtually past and an improved appearance is achieved. Also, it is unnecessary to provide separation papers or the like when a number of gutter elements are packaged in a single package for shipment.
The ability of the protective coating to slip out from between the head 41 and the underlying portion of the vertical portion 33 is further insured by the fact that the spacer tubes are preferably formed of sheet material which is rolled up to a cylindrical shape with adjacent edges 53 and 54 which are not positively connected as illustrated in FIG. 4. Such spacer tubes have limited axial strength and tend to spread or buckle if the nail 38 is driven home an excessive amount. The tubes therefore limit the force of gripping engagement between the under sides ofthe heads 4] and the underlying part of the vertical portion 33 to a value which does not cause a piece of coating to tear free and project out from under the head. lfin some rare instances a part of the coating tears free in adjacent to the nail shank it does not show and therefore does not produce any unsightly appearance.
Although a preferred embodiment of this invention is illustrated, it is to be understood that various modifications and rearrangements may be resorted to without departing from the scope of the invention dlsclosed and claimed.
What is claimed is:
l. A gutter assembly comprising a fascia, an elongated gutter having a generally U-shaped cross section providing front, back and bottom faces, at least portions of said front and back faces being substantially parallel, said front face including a cap portion extending substantially parallel to said bottom face, a plurality of headed fasteners at longitudinally spaced locations along said gutter extending through said front and back faces and into said fascia with their heads tightly pressing against said front face and securing said gutter to said fascia with said back face in juxtaposed relation therewith, an exterior finish coating covering said front, back and bottom faces, and a continuous strippable coating of thermoplastic material bonded with heat to said exterior finish along said front and bottom faces, a portion of said back face adjacent to said bottom face and between said back face and said fascia, and a portion of said cap portion, said coating terminating at a longitudinal edge on said back face spaced from said fasteners, said strippable coating covering all exposed parts of said exterior finish including lower portions of said back face not covered by said fascia and extending between said heads and said front face, said coating being substantially stretchable when subjected to tensile forces which are substantially below its tensile strength, the interface along said bond being substantially non-stretchable, said coating having sufficient tensile strength, tear resistance, and stretchability permitting it to be removed as a sheet by pulling an edge of said strippable coating laterally with respect to said gutter causing the portion between said back face and fascia and between said heads and front face to pull out therefrom, a substantial portion of the tensile force in said coating being applied to said bond along a line of stress when said coating is stripped from said gutter, the portions of said bond beyond said line of stress being substantially unaffected by said tensile force, lateral pulling of said strippable protective coating causing said bond to be broken along said line of stress and causing said line of stress to progress along the surfaces of said gutter.
2. A gutter assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said coating is a sheet of polyethylene laminated with heat to said exterior finish, said polyethylene having sufficient strength and the bond between said coating and said exterior finish being sufficiently strong so that said gutter may be formed after said coating is applied to the material forming the gutter.
3. A gutter assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein spacer tubes are positioned around said fasteners between said front and back faces to react against the force of the heads of said fasteners on said front face, said tubes having a strength in the direction of their length which is insufficient to cause the gripping between said heads and said front face from preventing said coating from sliding out from between said heads and said front face.