BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to manually utilized cleaning devices particularly for cleaning floors, especially floors that are present in commercial buildings and establishments such as schools, hospitals and retail department stores. More particularly, the present invention concerns a manually utilized device for removing small, random scuff marks from floor surfaces to thus restore the floor surface to a pleasing aesthetic appearance.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Floor scrubbing and buffing devices for cleaning and waxing floors are well known in the art. Most floor scrubbing and buffing devices that are in wide use at the present time are powered devices, using motor powered rotary or oscillatory mechanisms for moving a floor cleaning or polishing brush head. Such floor scrubbing and buffing devices are typically quite heavy to move from place to place and thus are only practical and efficient for cleaning large floor surfaces.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
After a floor surface has been cleaned and waxed or otherwise prepared, persons simply walking on the floor and slightly dragging their feet can cause scuff marks on the floor surface, which are small, but nevertheless are of unpleasing appearance. It is desirable to remove these scuff marks to restore the floor surface to a pleasing appearance. Typical manual brushes and scrubbing pads have been found largely ineffective for removing scuff marks, because they are of lightweight nature, thus requiring the user to apply significant downward force on a small manual brush head or scrubbing pad under one's foot with a kicking motion or by hand with user on hands and knees to remove the scuff marks and restore the appearance of the floor surface. Though large motorized floor cleaning and polishing devices may be utilized, they must be moved to the site of the scuff mark and must typically be connected to an electrical power outlet of the building by an electric power cord before their use can be initiated. Also, since powered floor cleaning equipment is typically quite large and the brushes and pads of such powered floor cleaning and polishing equipment are much larger than the scuff marks that are being removed, it is not practical to consider their use for removal of scuff marks. Also, it has been found that small scuff marks are not readily removed by large floor brushes and pads whether or not they are power energized. The power device operator would most often need to exert strenuous effort to ‘heel’ the power device in attempts to remove a scuff mark. Thus, scuff marks on otherwise aesthetically pleasing floor surfaces must typically be ignored until such time as restorative floor cleaning and polishing is to be done.
It is a principal feature of the present invention to provide a novel manual scuff mark removal device that can typically be transported along with other cleaning service equipment, thus providing building maintenance personnel with the capability for simply and efficiently removing scuff marks from floor surfaces and thus permitting the building to be more aesthetically pleasing for extended periods of time.
It is another feature of the present invention to provide a novel manual scuff mark removal device which includes a weighted head, thus effectively reducing the amount of downward manual force required by a user for removing scuff marks from floor surfaces.
It is also a feature of the present invention to provide a novel manual scuff mark removal device having a scuff mark removal pad that may be simply and efficiently removed when the pad of the device becomes dirty or contaminated.
It is an even further feature of the present invention to provide a novel manual scuff mark removal device having a rather small, weighted eraser head and a handle for manual actuation, thus permitting the typically small scuff marks on a floor surface to be efficiently lifted from the floor surface by the user in a standing position and with minimum application of manual energy of the worker using the device.
Briefly, the various objects and features of the present invention are realized by a rather small, manually operated device having an elongate handle which is manipulated by a worker and having a rather small weighed head that applies concentrated downward force to the floor surface and the scuff mark for accomplishing efficient removal of the scuff mark from the floor surface. The weighted head is typically composed of a polymer material, within which is encapsulated a weight member being strategically located for application of desired downward force to the head structure. If desired, the weight may be located on a receptacle of the head structure, thus permitting additional weight to be added if desired. The handle structure of the scuff mark removal device has a gripping end, thus permitting a worker to efficiently use one hand for comfortable manual use of the device.
The weighted head is provided with a pad retention system so that a scuff mark lifting and removal pad may be removably attached to the head and may be simply and efficiently removed from the head and replaced when it becomes soiled or contaminated. The scuff mark lifting and removal pad may be used with or without a scuff mark removal solution, depending on the character of the scuff mark and the character of the floor surface. The scuff mark lifting and removal pad can be retained by a hook and loop fastener system if desired or it can be retained in releasable assembly by the head structure by clamps or other suitable means.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
For efficient scuff mark removal, the weighted head structure of the device is used with the scuff mark removing pad on its planar lower surface oriented in face-to-face relation with the floor surface. The worker will simply grasp the handle of the scuff mark removal device and apply only that force that is necessary to move the head back and forth on the floor surface. During this back and forth movement, the weight of the device will continuously apply a downward force that is sufficient for efficient scuff mark removing activity. When exceptionally difficult scuff marks are encountered, the head of the scuff mark removal tool can be angulated or rested on its front edge during back and forth movement for optimum concentration of the scuff mark removal force on the floor surface for efficient removal of scuff marks.
So that the manner in which the above recited features, advantages and objects of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the preferred embodiment thereof which is illustrated in the appended drawings, which drawings are incorporated as a part hereof.
It is to be noted however, that the appended drawings illustrate only a typical embodiment of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.
In the Drawings:
FIG. 1 is an isometric illustration of a scuff mark removal device or tool which embodies the principles of the present invention and is used for removing scuff marks from floor surfaces;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the scuff mark removal device of FIG. 1, showing its typical orientation for removing scuff marks from floor surfaces and having a part of the head structure thereof shown in section for illustration of the internal weight thereof;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the scuff mark removal device of FIGS. 1 and 2, showing angulated orientation of the head structure of the device for concentrated force application to a floor surface;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the scuff mark removal device of FIG. 3, further showing the general configuration of the weighted head structure thereof;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of an embodiment of the present invention which employs one or more hook and loop fastener panels for retention of a scuff mark removal pad in assembly with the head structure of the device;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of another embodiment of the present invention which employs clamping devices for securing a scuff mark removal pad in assembly with the head structure of the device;
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of another embodiment of the present invention which employs spring energized clamping element for retaining a scuff mark removal pad in assembly with the head structure of the device;
FIG. 8 is an isometric illustration of a scuff mark removal device representing an alternative embodiment of the present invention having one or more replaceable weights which are assembled to the head structure of the device to provide desired dynamic action;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the scuff mark removal device of FIG. 8, showing structural details thereof;
FIG. 10 is a partial sectional view of a scuff mark removal device representing an embodiment of the present invention, with the view being taken from one side and showing a clamping assembly being used to retain a replaceable scuff mark removal pad in releasable assembly with the angulated head structure of the device; and
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 11 is a partial sectional view of a scuff mark removal device representing a further embodiment of the present invention, being similar to the embodiment of FIG. 10 and showing an additional weight element being releasably secured to the angulated head structure of the device by the clamping assembly of FIG. 10.
Referring now to the drawings and first to FIGS. 1-3, a manually utilized scuff mark removal device or tool embodying the principles of the present invention is shown generally at 10 and has an angulated head structure shown generally at 12. The angulated head structure 12 is generally composed of a polymer material which may be molded, but may be formed from a variety of other materials, such as aluminum alloy, wood, hard rubber, or the like. The angulated head structure 12 defines a pad support block 14 which, in FIGS. 1-3 is shown to be of generally rectangular configuration, defining a substantially planar top surface 16, parallel side surfaces 18 and 20 a front edge surface 22, a bottom generally~planar surface 24 and a rear surface 26 having intersection with the bottom generally planar surface 24. The rear surface 26 is preferably disposed in obtuse angular relationship with the bottom generally planar surface 24. The head structure 12 also defines an angulated handle projection, shown generally at 26, which is preferably integral with the pad support block 14 and is disposed in obtuse angular relation with the pad support block. The handle projection defines a portion of the rear angulated surface 26. The angulated handle projection 26 also defines in part the side surfaces 18 and 20 of the head structure 12 and defined an angulated front surface 28. Though the surfaces of the pad support block and handle projection of the head structure are shown to be of generally planar configuration, such is not mandatory within the spirit and scope of the present invention. Except for the bottom generally planar surface 24 and the front edge surface 22, the surfaces that define the head structure 12 may be of contoured or curved configuration or may have intersection at rounded edges. At its upper portion, the handle projection 26 is tapered to a smaller upper dimension, being defined by tapered side surfaces, a tapered front surface 34 and a tapered rear surface 36. The handle projection also defines tapered or inclined upper side surface sections 30 and 32 which are disposed in angulated relation with the side surfaces 18 and 20 of the angulated or L-shaped head structure, thus providing the handle projection with a tapered configuration, tapering to a relative small upper handle projection end. Although the handle projection 26 is shown to be defined by multiple planar surfaces, such is not intended to control the spirit and scope of the present invention. The front, rear and side surfaces of the handle projection may be of smoothly curved or contoured configuration if desired and may have rounded or curved intersecting surface portions to provide the head structure with a sculpted apprearance. The upper end of the handle projection is also defined by an upper handle projection surface 38 which may be of rectangular configuration as shown or it may be of circular or annular configuration or may be substantially flat or of curved or contoured configuration.
The handle projection 26 defines a handle receptacle 40 which may be internally threaded if desired for receiving a threaded handle 44 or it may be of cylindrical internal configuration for receiving the lower cylindrical end 42 of a handle 44. The connection of the handle 44 with the handle receptacle 40 may be established by means of a press-fit if desired or the handle may be connected to the structure of the handle projection by one or more connecting devices, such as pins, screws, bolts or the like, which are shown at 46. The handle 44 is provided with a handgrip 48 having a socket portion 50 that is received over the upper end of the handle 44.
As mentioned above, it is desirable that the scuff mark removing device or tool 10 have the capability for efficient lifting or removal of scuff marks from floor surfaces, without requiring the using worker to apply a great deal of downward manual force to the head structure. Preferably, the worker will simply place an appropriate part of the scuff mark removal tool in contact with a floor surface having a scuff mark and then apply only sufficient manual force to move the head structure along the floor surface with a back and forth movement. For application of sufficient downward force of the head structure against the floor surface for efficient removal of scuff marks, a weight member 60 is encapsulated within the pad support block as is evident from the sectional view of FIG., 2. Since the weight member 60 is encapsulated within the pad support block, the material of the pad support block, which is preferably a suitable polymer material, such as polyethylene, polypropylene or the like or any other polymer or non-polymer water and chemical resistant material, the protective material of the head structure serves as a protective layer to protect the weight member from corrosion or erosion in the presence of caustic or otherwise corrosive cleaning solutions. Thus, the weight member may be composed of steel, iron, lead, zinc or any other metal or non-metal material having a rather high specific gravity, without any risk of its being damaged by the cleaning material being used to remove scuff marks from a floor surface. To minimize the cost of the weight member, when a single weight member is employed, the weight member 60 may be composed of steel and may be formed by stamping from a sheet of steel. In the preferred embodiment, the weight member 60 may have a thickness of 0.75 inches, a width of 2.5 inches and a length of 4.5 inches. The dimension of the weight member will typically be controlled by the geometry of the scuff mark removal tool and may be designed for specific scuff mark removal operations. The weight member 60 is shown to be of rectangular configuration, to provide a weight of minimal cost, but its specific geometry is not critical to the practice of the present invention. The weight member may be of circular, oval, triangular or other configuration as long as it is of a dimension and location to apply downward substantially evenly distributed force to a significant portion of the pad support block 14. Also, although a single weight member is shown in FIG. 2, it should be borne in mind that the term “weight member” is intended to include two or more weight members which may be strategically located within the pad support block 14 to provide downward evenly distributed force to a major portion of the pad support block. Since downward force of the scuff mark removal device is assisted inherently by the weight provided in the head structure, to accomplish efficient removal of scuff marks from a floor surface, a worker need only provide minimal downward force along with sufficient manual force to move the device back and forth on a floor surface. When the scuff mark removal device is moved on a floor surface, its inherent “dynamic action” , caused by its encapsulated weight member 60, will accomplish efficient removal of scuff marks with minimal effort. Thus, significant scuff mark removal activity may be efficiently accomplished by a worker, without significant manual effort.
For efficient removal of scuff marks from a floor surface, it is appropriate to provide the pad support block 14 with a pad for contact with a floor surface. It is also desirable to provide for efficient replacement of the scuff mark removal pad. According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention one or more pad attachment panels 62 are secured to the bottom planar surface 24 of the pad support block 14. The attachment panel 62 may be defined by a panel of hook and loop fastening material, which is sold under the registered trademark “Velcro®”, which may be fixed to desired surfaces of the pad support block by means of any suitable adhesive or bonding agent that is capable of resisting the detrimental effects of any cleaning agent that might be used during scuff mark removal. A scuff mark removal pad 64 is retained in removable assembly with the pad support block 14 by the hook and loop fastening panel or panels. It is to be borne in mind that the scuff mark removal device is intended to be oriented in a variety of positions during its use, depending upon the characteristic of scuff mark removal to be accomplished. For example, the tool may be utilized with the scuff mark removal pad 64 covering the planar bottom surface 24 in contact with a floor surface. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 2, the scuff mark removal head may be oriented so that a forward corner or toe 66 is in contact with the floor surface, thus causing the pad pressure against the floor surface to be elevated due to the small surface area of the pad that is in contact with the floor surface. By pivoting the handle 44 downwardly from the flat surface contact position, the angulated heel 68 of the pad covered head structure can be used to provide desired scuff mark removal by elevated pressure contact of the pad covered head structure. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4, the fastening panel and the pad will cover the front edge surface 22 of the weighted head structure, thus defining relatively small pad surface for desired scuff mark removal. The head structure of the scuff mark removal device can be inverted to present the relative small scuff mark removal area of the pad to the floor surface F. Also, if desired, the head structure of the device may be oriented to cause pressure elevated contact of the pad corner 70 along the top edge of the front edge surface 22 with the floor surface. In all of these scuff mark removal positions the scuff mark removal device is provided with dynamic scuff mark removal action due to the presence of the encapsulated weight of the head structure 12.
Referring now to FIGS. 5-7, three differing systems are shown for releasable attachment of a scuff mark removal pad to the head structure of the scuff mark removal device. In FIG. 5, the device is shown with a scuff mark removal pad being attached by a retainer panel or panels of hook and loop fastening material, such as discussed above in connection with FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 6 a scuff mark removal pad 64 of the same general character as discussed above is releasably secured to the head structure of the scuff mark removal device by means of retainer plates 72 and 74 which are secured to the head structure by means of retainer nuts 76 and 80, such as thumb nuts, which are received by threaded studs 82 and 84 that are fixed to the head structure, such as being molded into the head structure during manufacture. The embodiment of FIG. 7 shows pad clamp devices 86 and 88, which are preferably spring clamp elements, being fixed to the pad support block 14 of the head structure 12, such as by means of screws. The pad clamp devices releasably secure end portions of the scuff mark removal pad 64 to the head structure of the device. The pad clamp devices are located on the head structure such that the elongate scuff mark removal pad is arranged to cover the planar bottom surface 24, the front edge surface 22 and to bend around the corners to cover the upper and lower front edges and the rear edge of the planar surface, so as to define toe 66 and heel 68 angles or corners. This feature permits the scuff mark removal device 10 to be oriented at a variety of selected positions to effectuate desired scuff mark removal by permitting contact of selected regions of the scuff mark removal pad with the floor surface. At all of these positions, the encapsulated or attached weight or weights of the device provide dynamic scuff mark removal activity simply when the pad covered head is manually moved back and forth along a floor surface. Minimal additional downward manual force is needed, unlike the case when ‘heeling’ conventional electrical floor cleaning or polishing devices in attempts to remove scuff marks.
Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, a scuff mark removal device representing an alternative embodiment of the present invention is shown generally at 90 and provides the user of the device with the capability of increasing or decreasing the weight of the head structure to thus provide a desired weight induced dynamic action as the device is manually moved along a floor surface during scuff mark removal. The scuff mark removal device 90 has a head structure shown generally at 92, which is of the same general configuration as discussed above in connection with FIGS. 1-3 and includes a pad retention system including a hook and loop fastener panel or panels 94 for removably securing a scuff mark removal pad 96 to the pad support block 98 of the head structure. Obviously, the scuff mark removal device of FIGS. 8 and 9 could employ the pad retention systems of FIGS. 6 and 7 without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. The head structure 92 defines an integral handle projection 100 having a handle receptacle 102 within which is received the lower end portion of a handle 104. The lower end of the handle is retained within the handle receptacle by one or more handle retainer elements 106, such as retainer pins, screws, bolts, etc.
It may be desirable to provide the user of the scuff mark removal device with the capability for changing the weight with which the head structure is provided and to ensure that the replaceable weight will be protected against corrosion, erosion or other damage by cleaning fluid and other chemical constituents that are used during scuff mark removal. To provide these features, the pad support block 98 of the head structure 92 is molded or otherwise formed to define a weight receptacle or recess shown generally at 108 which is of generally rectangular configuration as shown, being defined by a substantially planar bottom wall 110, side walls 112 and 114 and front and rear end walls 116 and 118. It should be borne in mind, however, that the weight recess and the weight received within it may be of various other configurations as long as the weight thereof is fairly evenly distributed to the pad support block of the head structure. A weight member 120, which is preferably in the form of an encapsulated weight, is positioned within the weight receptacle. The encapsulated weight has a core 122 of high specific gravity, which may be defined by a metal plate such as steel, for example, or may be defined by any relatively heavy non-metal material, such as cement or concrete, for example. The core 122 is preferably provided with a protective covering 124 of a polymer material, such as urethane, polyethylene or any other water and chemical resistant material. The core 122 defines a central opening 126 which is lined by the material of the protective covering. Typically, the protective covering will be applied about the core 122 by a molding process, but other protective covering materials may be applied to the core in any suitable manner. A threaded stud member 128 is fixed in any suitable manner to the pad support block within the weight receptacle 108 and projects above the upper surface of the pad support block. A retainer nut 130, being composed of a polymer material or any other suitable corrosion resistant material, is threaded to the stud and serves to retain the encapsulated weight member within the weight receptacle. Since the weight recess is open at its top, the weight member 120 maybe of any desirable height and may project upwardly from the weight receptacle if desired. Thus, the weight member may have any desired weight and will still be capable of being received within the weight receptacle. Also, if additional weight is desired, even on a temporary basis, and additional weight member 132 may be positioned on the upper surface of the weight member 120, with the threaded stud 128 passing through a central opening thereof. The additional weight 132 will be retained in assembly with the head structure by the retainer nut 130. The additional weight, assuming its core is composed of a material that is subject to corrosion, is also preferably provided with a protective covering composed of a polymer or any other suitable material.
With reference to the embodiments of FIGS. 10 and 11, the scuff mark removal pad may be of elongate configuration to enable it to be positioned around a major portion of the angulated head structure of the device and to be releasably secured to the angulated head by means of a clamp assembly.
In view of the foregoing it is evident that the present invention is one well adapted to attain all of the objects and features hereinabove set forth, together with other objects and features which are inherent in the apparatus disclosed herein.
As will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, the present invention may easily be produced in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The present embodiment is, therefore, to be considered as merely illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the claims rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalence of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.