Things to Look For:
Algae: Microorganisms that may grow to colonies in damp
environments, including certain rooftops. They can discolor
shingles. Often described as "fungus."
Alligatoring: A condition of paint or aged asphalt
brought about by the loss of volatile oils and the oxidation
caused by solar radiation. Causes a coarse checking pattern
characterized by a slipping of the new paint coating over the
old coating to the extent that the old coating can be seen
through the fissures. "Alligatoring" produces a pattern of
cracks resembling an alligator hide and is ultimately the result
of the limited tolerance of paint or asphalt to thermal
expansion or contraction.
Asbestos: A common form of magnesium silicate which was
used in various construction products due to its stability and
resistance to fire. Asbestos exposure (caused by inhaling loose
asbestos fibers) is associated with various forms of lung
disease. The name given to certain inorganic minerals when they
occur in fibrous form. Though fire-resistant, its extremely fine
fibers are easily inhaled, and exposure to them over a period of
years has been linked to cancers of the lung or lung-cavity
lining and to asbestosis a severe lung impairment. A naturally
occurring mineral fiber sometimes found in older homes. It is
hazardous to your health when a possibility exists of exposure
to inhalable fibers. Homeowners should be alert for friable
(readily crumbled, brittle) asbestos and always seek
professional advice in dealing with it.
migration of a liquid to the surface of a component or into/onto
an adjacent material.
Blister: An enclosed raised spot evident on the surface
of a building. They are mainly caused by the expansion of
trapped air, water vapor, moisture or other gases.
Blue Stain: A bluish or grayish discoloration of the
sapwood caused the growth of certain mold like fungi on the
surface and in the interior of a piece, made possible by the
same conditions that favor the growth of other fungi.
Bubbling: In glazing, open or closed pockets in a sealant
caused by release, production or expansion of gasses.
Buckling: The bending of a building material as a result
of wear and tear or contact with a substance such as water.
Carbon Monoxide: CO. A colorless, odorless, highly
poisonous gas formed by the incomplete combustion of carbon.
Cohesive Failure: Internal splitting of a compound
resulting from over-stressing of the compound.
Condensation: Water condensing on walls, ceiling and
pipes. Normal in areas of high humidity, usually controlled by
ventilation or a dehumidifier.
deterioration of metal by chemical or electrochemical reaction
resulting from exposure to weathering, moisture, chemicals or
other agents or media.
Crater: Pit in the surface of concrete resulting from
cracking of the mortar due to expansive forces associated with a
particle of unsound aggregate or a contaminating material, such
as wood or glass.
Crazing: A series of hairline cracks in the surface of
weathered materials, having a web-like appearance. Also,
hairline cracks in pre-finished metals caused by bending or
forming (see Brake Metal).
Cupping: A type of warping that causes boards to curl up
at their edges.
Damp proofing: A process used on concrete, masonry or
stone surfaces to repel water, the main purpose of which is to
prevent the coated surface from absorbing rain water while still
permitting moisture vapor to escape from the structure.
(Moisture vapor readily penetrates coatings of this type.) "Damp
proofing" generally applies to surfaces above grade;
"waterproofing" generally applies to surfaces below grade.
Decay: Disintegration of wood or other substance through
the action of fungi.
Distortion: Alteration of viewed images caused by
variations in glass flatness or in homogeneous portions within
the glass. An inherent characteristic of heat-treated glass.
Drippage: Bitumen material that drips through roof deck
joints, or over the edge of a roof deck.
Dry Rot: See Fungal
Feathering Strips: Tapered wood filler strips placed
along the butt edges of old wood shingles to create a level
surface when re-roofing over existing wood shingle roofs. Also
Fungal Wood Rot: A common wood destroying organism which
develops when wood containing material is exposed to moisture
and poor air circulation for a long (6 months +) period of time.
Often and incorrectly referred to as dry rot.
Fungi (Wood): Microscopic plants that live in damp wood
and cause mold, stain, and decay.
Incompatibility: Descriptive of two or more materials
which are not suitable to be used together.
Lead Based Paint: Lead is a highly toxic metal that was
used for many years in products found in and around our homes.
Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral
problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death.
Children 6 years old and under are most at risk, because their
bodies are growing quickly.
Migration: Spreading or creeping of a constituent of a
compound onto/into adjacent surfaces. See bleeding.
Mud Cracks: Cracks
developing from the normal shrinkage of an emulsion coating when
applied too heavily.
Mushroom: An unacceptable occurrence when the top of a
caisson concrete pier spreads out and hardens to become wider
than the foundation wall thickness.
Photo-Oxidation: Oxidation caused by rays of the sun.
Ponding: A condition where water stands on a roof for
prolonged periods due to poor drainage and/or deflection of the
Pop-Out: See Stucco Pop-Out.
Radon: A naturally-occurring, radioactive gas which is
heavier than air and is common in many parts of the country.
Radon gas exposure is associated with lung cancer. Mitigation
measures may involve crawl space and basement venting and
various forms of vapor barriers.
Scrap Out: The removal of all drywall material and debris
after the home is "hung out" (installed) with drywall.
Seasoning: Removing moisture from green wood in order to
improve its serviceability.
Settlement: Shifts in a structure, usually caused by
freeze-thaw cycles underground.
Sludge: Term for the waste material found in sump pump
pits, septic systems and gutters.
chipping or flaking of concrete, bricks, or other masonry where
improper drainage or venting and freeze/thaw cycling exists.
Splitting: The formation of long cracks completely
through a membrane. Splits are frequently associated with lack
of allowance for expansion stresses. They can also be a result
of deck deflection or change in deck direction.
Ultraviolet Degradation: A reduction in certain
performance limits caused by exposure to ultraviolet light.
UV Rays: Ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Veining: In roofing, the characteristic lines or "stretch
marks" which develop during the aging process of soft bitumen's.
Warping: Any distortion in a material.
Moisture existing as a gas in air.