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- Home + Building Inspection Glossary -
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T Bar: A ribbed "T" shaped bar with a flat metal plate at the bottom that is driven into the earth. Normally used with chain link fence poles, and to mark locations of a water meter pit.
Tab: The exposed portion of strip shingles defined by cutouts.
Tail Beam: A relatively short beam or joist supported in a wall on one end and by a header at the other.
Tailpiece: The tubular part of a lavatory drain that runs from the drain flange to the trap.
Take Off: The material necessary to complete a job.
Taping: Applying joint tape over embedding compound in the process of joint treatment of drywall.
Tear-Off: In roofing, a term used to describe the complete removal of the built up roof membrane and insulation down to and exposing the roof deck.
Technically Exhaustive: A comprehensive and detailed examination beyond the scope of a commercial property inspection which might involve, but would not be limited to: specialized knowledge or training, special equipment, measurements, calculations, testing, research, analysis, meters, scaffolding, dismantling, probing, or troubleshooting. Also, where the cost of obtaining information or the time required to conduct a portion of the inspection and prepare that portion of the inspection report could outweigh the likely usefulness of the information obtained or could be detrimental to the orderly and timely completion of the client's transaction.
Teco: Metal straps that are nailed to secure the roof rafters and trusses to the top horizontal wall plate. Sometimes called a Hurricane Clip.
Tee: A T-shaped fitting with three openings.
Tempered: Strengthened. Tempered glass will not shatter nor create shards, but will "pelletize" like an automobile window. Required in tub and shower enclosures, entry door glass, sidelight glass and in windows where the window sill is less than 16" to the floor.
Termite Shield: A shield, usually of non-corrodible metal, placed in or on a foundation wall or other mass of masonry or around pipes to prevent passage of termites.
Termites: Insects that superficially resemble ants in size, general appearance, and habit of living in colonies; hence, they are frequently called "white ants." Subterranean termites establish themselves in buildings not by being carried in with lumber, but by entering from ground nests after the building has been constructed. If unmolested, they eat the woodwork, leaving a shell of sound wood to conceal their activities, and damage may proceed so far as to cause collapse of parts of a structure before discovery. There are about 56 species of termites known in the United States but the two major ones, classified by the manner in which they attack wood, are ground inhabiting or subterranean termites (the most common) and dry wood termites, which are found almost exclusively along the extreme southern border and the Gulf of Mexico in the United States.
Terneplate: Sheet iron or steel coated with an alloy of lead and tin.
Terracotta: A ceramic material molded into masonry units.
Texture Paint: Paint which may be manipulated by brush, trowel or other to give various patterns.
Thermal Insulation: Any material high in resistance to heat transmission that, when placed in the walls, ceiling, or floors of a structure, will reduce the rate of heat flow.
Thermal Movement: The measured amount of dimensional change that a material exhibits as it is warmed or cooled.
Thermal Shock: The stress built up by sudden and appreciable changes in temperature.
Thermopane Window: Compased of a double layer of glass positioned side by side with a thin strip of foam material bonding the two layers of window glass together to form the storm window design.
Thermoplastic Material: Solid material which is softened by increasing temperatures and hardened by decreasing temperatures.
Thermoply™: Exterior laminated sheathing nailed to the exterior side of the exterior walls. Normally ¼" thick, 4x8 or 4x10 sheets with an aluminumized surface.
Thermostat: A device which relegates the temperature of a room or building by switching heating or cooling equipment on or off.
Thermostatic Valve: A mixing valve that automatically maintains the temperature setting by regulating fluctuations in water temperature at the water inlets and immediately adjusting the ratio of hot and cold water that is discharged by the valve.
Thimble: The tube or lining through a wall that a connector passes through to enter a flue or that a flue passes through to exit a roof.
Three-Dimensional Shingles: See Laminated Shingles.
Three-Phase: In electrical contracting, a wiring system consisting of 4 wires and used in industrial and commercial applications. This system is suitable for installations requiring large motors. It consists of three hot wires and one ground wire. The voltage in each hot wire is out of phase with the others by 1/3 of a cycle, as if produced by 3 different generators.
Threshold: A strip of wood or metal with beveled edges used over the finish floor and the sill of exterior doors.
Thru-Wall Flashing: Flashing extended completely through a masonry wall. Designed and applied in combination with counter-flashings, to prevent water which may enter the wall above from proceeding downward in the wall or into the roof deck or roofing system.
THW: Moisture and heat resistant thermoplastic conductor. It is flame retardant, moisture and heat resistant and can be used in dry or wet locations.
Tie-In: In roofing, a term used to describe the joining of a new roof with the old.
Tilt-Up Wall: Cast concrete units which are preformed which, when cured, are tilted to their vertical position and secured by mechanical fasteners to prior erected structural steel. May be pre-cast.
Timbers: Yard lumber 5 or more inches in least dimension. Includes beams, stringers, posts, caps, sills, girders, and purlins.
Time and Materials Contract: A contract which specifies a price for different elements of the work such as: cost per hour of labor, overhead, profit etc. Such a contract may not have a maximum price or may state a 'price not to exceed.'
Timely Access: Access to the subject property and documentation required by the inspector to perform the inspection.
Tinner: Another name for the heating contractor.
Tinted Glass: Glass with colorants added to the basic glass batch that give the glass color as well as light and heat-reducing capabilities. The color extends throughout the thickness of the glass.
Tip Up: The downspout extension that directs water (from the home's gutter system) away from the home. They typically swing up when mowing the lawn, etc.
Title: Evidence (usually in the form of a certificate or deed) of a person's legal right to ownership of a property.
Title 24: A set of federal laws that mandates the construction industry to conserve energy.
TJI or TJ: Manufactured structural building component resembling the letter "I." Used as floor joists and rafters. I-joists include two key parts: flanges and webs. The flange may be made of laminated veneer lumber or dimensional lumber, usually formed into a 1½" width. The web is commonly made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). Large holes can be cut in the web to accommodate duct work and plumbing waste lines. I-joists are available in lengths up to 60'' long.
Toe Bead: Sealant applied at the intersection of the outboard glazing stop and the bottom of the glazing channel. It must be sized to provide a seal to the edge of the glass.
Toe-Nailing: To drive a nail at a slant to the initial surface in order to permit it to penetrate into a second member.
Toilet Room: A room containing a water closet or urinal but not a bathtub or shower.
Tongue and Groove: A type of flooring where the tongue of one board is joined to the groove of another board.
Tooling: The operation of pressing in and striking a sealant in a joint to press the sealant against the sides of a joint and secure good adhesion; the finishing off of the surface of a sealant in a joint so that it is flush with the surface.
Top Chord: The upper or top member of a truss.
Top Mopping: The finished mopping of hot bitumen on a built-up roof.
Top Mount Faucet: See Centerset.
Top Plate: Top horizontal member of a frame wall.
Torch Down Roof (Single Ply or Modified Bitumen): A newer roofing material mostly used on flat roofs. This material usually comes in rolls and is applied to the roof with an open flame or 'torch.'
Torching: Applying direct flame to a membrane for the purpose of melting, heating or adhering.
Transit: A surveyor’s instrument used by builders to establish points and elevations both vertically and horizontally. It can be used to line up stakes or to plumb walls or to measure the angle of elevation from a horizontal plane.
Transmitter (Garage Door): The small push-button device that causes the garage door to open or close.
Trap: A plumbing fitting that holds water to prevent air, gas, and vermin from backing up into a fixture.
Tread: The horizontal board in a stairway on which the foot is placed.
Treated Lumber: A wood product which has been impregnated with chemicals to reduce damage from wood rot or insects. Often used for the portions of a structure which is likely to be in ongoing contact with soil and water. Wood may also be treated with a fire retardant.
Tree Crown: The branches growing out from a tree including twigs and foliage.
Tremie: A tube with removable sections and a funnel at the top used in concrete application. The bottom is kept beneath the surface of the concrete and raised as the form is filled and is used to pour concrete underwater.
Trim: The finish materials in a building, such as moldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim) or at the floor and ceiling of rooms (baseboard, cornice, and other moldings).
Trim (Exterior): The finish materials on the exterior of a building, such as moldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim), siding, windows, exterior doors, attic vents, crawl space vents, shutters, etc. Also, the physical work of installing these materials.
Trim (Interior): The finish materials in a building, such as moldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim) or at the floor and ceiling of rooms (baseboard, cornice, and other moldings). Also, the physical work of installing interior doors and interior woodwork, to include all handrails, guardrails, stairway balustrades, mantles, light boxes, base, door casings, cabinets, countertops, shelves, window sills and aprons, etc.
Trim (Plumbing, Heating, Electrical): The work that the "mechanical" contractors perform to finish their respective aspects of work when the home is nearing completion and occupancy.
Trim Kit: Refers to the outside decorative parts that conceal a faucet rough-in.
Trimmer: A beam or joist to which a header is nailed in framing for a chimney, stairway, or other opening.
Triple-Glazed Window: The most energy efficient window. Gases are sealed between three panes of glass and Low E coatings are applied on two of the panes. This can bring the energy efficiency up to a value of R10 at the center point of the glass.
Truss: A frame or jointed structure designed to act as a beam of long span, while each member is usually subjected to longitudinal stress only—either tension or compression.
Tub Trap: A curved, "U" shaped section of a bath tub drain pipe that holds a water seal to prevent sewer gasses from entering the home through tubs water drain.
Tube and Knob Wiring: A common form of electrical wiring used before World War II. When in good condition it may still be functional for low amperage use such as smaller light fixture.
Tuck-Pointing: The re-grouting of defective mortar joints in a masonry or brick wall.
Turnkey: A term used when the subcontractor provides all materials (and labor) for a job.
Turpentine: A volatile oil used as a thinner in paints and as a solvent in varnishes. Chemically, it is a mixture of terpenes.
TW: A moisture-resistant thermoplastic conductor that can be used in dry or wet locations, has no outer covering and is not heat-resistant.
Two-Part Sealant: A product composed of a base and curing agent or accelerator, necessarily packaged in two separate containers which are uniformly mixed just prior to use.
Definition Source: International Association of Certified Home
Inspectors, Inc., www.nachi.org
Title: InterNACHI: Inspecting the World
Access Date:= 11 September 2011