A Glossary Of Home Inspection Terms

Author: VisionQuest Home Inspections, LLC | | Categories: Home Inspection , Home Inspection Company , Plumbing Inspection


Every industry has its language and terms. These words and phrases can be confusing to anyone who is not part of the daily operations of a specific sector, and the home inspection business is no exception.

To help you understand the terms, acronyms, and phrases regularly used during home inspections, VisionQuest Home Inspections, LLC has created this handy reference guide. Here, you’ll find valuable information allowing you to comprehend and communicate your home’s specific needs effectively.

ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS is a common thermoplastic polymer. It is used only for drain lines as a rigid black plastic pipe.

Air infiltration
Air infiltration is the exchange of air through cracks and gaps in the outside shell of a building. Infiltration increases heating and cooling costs and reduces the comfort level of occupants.

Base flashing
Base Flashing is used at the joint between the roofing surface and a vertical surface such as a wall or a parapet, guarding against water penetration to the roof deck. They are secured with mechanical fasteners.

Btu (British Thermal Unit)
A British thermal unit (Btu) is a measure of the heat content of fuels or energy sources. It is the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of liquid water by one degree Fahrenheit at the temperature at which water has its greatest density (approximately thirty-nine degrees Fahrenheit).

CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate)
Chromated copper arsenate is a wood preservative or pesticide that is forced into wood under high pressure to protect it from termites, other wood-boring insects, and decay caused by fungus. It is generally used to impregnate timber and other wood products, especially those intended for outdoor use.

Cutoff valves
They are valves used to shut the water off, generally located under sinks or behind bathtub and shower access panels. They cut off either the hot or cold water or both at the source without cutting all water off throughout the house.

Gable roof
It is the most common roof shape in cold or temperate climates; it is constructed of rafters, roof trusses, or purlins. The pitch of a gable roof can vary greatly. However, gable roofs generally have sloping planes of the same pitch on each side of the ridge and each as a gable at each end.

GFI or GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters)
The ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is a fast-acting circuit breaker designed to shut off electric power in the event of a ground fault within as little as 1/40 of a second. It works by comparing the amount of current flowing through the grounding system.

Heat pump
A heat pump is a device that uses compression and decompression of gas to heat and or cool a house.

Radon is an odourless, tasteless, and invisible gas caused by the natural decaying of uranium below the ground. These gases seep through the soil through cracks in the earth and the foundation of homes. Radon is considered to be the number two cause of lung cancer next to smoking.

Infrared camera
Infrared cameras are used to identify potentially problematic moisture issues, air leaks, overheating electrical components, or other problems.

This is the thermal resistance of a glazing system. The R-value is a reciprocal of the U-value. The higher the R-value, the less heat is transmitted throughout the glazing material.

RPM (Revolutions per minute)
Revolutions per minute are the number of turns in one minute. It is a unit of rotational speed or the frequency of rotation around a fixed axis.

The sheathing is the structural covering, usually, wood boards, plywood, gypsum, or wood fiber, used over studs or rafters of framed buildings as the first layer of outer wall covering nailed to the studs or rafters.

Weep hole
A weep hole is a small opening that allows water to drain from masonry or glazing structures. They are located at the bottom of the object to allow for drainage.

If you’re looking for a certified home inspector in the Metro Atlanta area, reach out to VisionQuest Home Inspections, LLC. We are David and Tami Schonleber, and we have decades of experience in the home inspection industry. We are detail-oriented and founded on the goal of providing our customers with as much information as possible so they can make worry-free decisions. We are also known for our speed, flexibility, and safe and functional results.

View our full list of services here, browse through some of our testimonials here, or get in touch with us here.


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