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EAVE: Lower portion of the roof that overhangs the exterior walls of a house or commercial building.

EFFLORESCENCE: An encrustation of soluble salts, commonly white, deposited on the surface of concrete, brick, mortar, stone or stucco; usually caused by free alkalies leached from concrete or mortar as moisture moves through it.  Efflorescence is an important symptom used by home and building inspectors to determine moisture intrusion.

EFFLUENT: The liquid discharge from a septic tank after bacterial treatment.

EIFS: Acronym for Exterior Insulation and Finishing System. Also known as synthetic stucco or Dryvit. An exterior finish for a building or home composed of polystyrene foam covered with a synthetic stucco. This type of stucco (in contrast to traditional, porous cement-based stucco) is waterproof and is sprayed on.

ELEVATION: The drawings of the front, sides, or rear face of a commercial building or home.

ELL: Extension or wing of a building or house at right angles to the main section.

ENCLOSURE:  The use of rigid, durable construction materials that are mechanically fastened to the substrate in order to act as a barrier between lead-based paint and the environment.

ENGINEERING: The application of scientific knowledge for the design, control, or use of building structures, equipment, or apparatus.  Engineering evaluations are beyond the scope of a commercial building inspection or a home inspection.

EPA:  The United States Environmental Protection Agency.

ESCUTCHEON: A flange on a pipe, used to cover a hole in a floor or wall through which the pipe passes. The hardware on a door to accommodate the knob and keyhole.

EXCAVATION: Cavity or pit produced by digging the earth in preparation for building or home construction.

EXPANSION JOINT: Flexible joint used to prevent cracking or breaking due to thermal expansion and contraction.

EXPOSURE MONITORING:  The personal air monitoring of an employee's breathing zone to determine the amount of contaminant (e.g., lead) to which he/she is exposed.

KEYSTONE: A wedge-shaped detail at the crown of an arch.

KING POST: In a roof truss, the central upright piece.

KNEE WALL: Low wall in upper story resulting from 1 1/2 story building or home construction.

KNOB AND TUBE: An early electric wiring system without conduits, where insulated wires are supported with porcelain knobs and tubes when passing through wood construction members.

RADIANT HEATING: A system using heating elements in the floors, ceilings, or walls to radiate heat into the room.

RAFTER: One of a series of inclined structural members from the ridge of the roof down to the eaves, providing support for the covering of a roof.

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RAIN CAP: A device installed at the upper termination of a chimney or vent to prevent rain from entering the interior of the chimney or vent.

REBAR: Steel reinforcing bar.

READILY ACCESSIBLE: Available for visual inspection without requiring moving of personal property, dismantling, destructive measures, or any action that will likely involve risk to a home inspector, building inspector or property.

RECREATIONAL FACILITIES: Spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, exercise, entertainment, athletic, playground or other similar equipment not inspected by a home inspector or commercial building inspector.

REGISTER: The open end of a duct in a home for warm or cool air.

REINFORCED CONCRETE: Concrete in which webbing or steel bars have been embedded for strength.

REINFORCING RODS: Steel rods or metal fabric placed in concrete slabs to increase their strength. Also called rebar.

RETAINING WALL: A wall, either freestanding or laterally braced, that bears against an earth or other fill surface and resists lateral and other forces from the material in contact with the side of the wall, thereby preventing the mass from sliding to a lower elevation.

REPRESENTATIVE NUMBER: Quantity of components chosen by a home inspector or commercial building inspector, usually one per room for multiple similar interior components such as windows, and electric receptacles; one on each side of the building or home for multiple similar exterior components.

RIDGEBOARD: Horizontal wood framing member to which the top of rafters are attached.

RISE: The vertical height between two treads.

RISER: The vertical board in a stairway between two treads.

RISK ASSESSMENT:  An on-site investigation to determine the existence, nature, severity, and location of lead-based paint hazards, and the provision of a report by the individual or the firm conducting the risk assessment, explaining the results of the investigation and options for reducing lead-based paint hazards.

ROMEX: Nonmetallic sheathed electric cable.

ROOM EQUIVALENT:  A lead inspection term refering to an identifiable part of a residence, such as a room, a house exterior, a foyer, staircase, hallway, or an exterior area.

ROUGH-IN: Putting up the skeleton of the building or home.

RUN: Horizontal distance of a flight of stairs, or the horizontal distance from the outside wall to the ridge of a roof.


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Glossary of Inspection, Architectural, and Construction Terms
Commeercial Building Inspection Seattle Building Inspector Construction Architetcure