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Abatement – Abatement is the action of minimizing the presence and danger of hazardous material such as lead, asbestos, and mold by reducing it in amount, degree, or intensity. In regards to water damage or sewage backup, abatement is the ability of a water damage restoration technician to contain, control, and completely eliminate water related bacteria and/or sewage-related pollutants.

Absorb – This term is used, in regards to water damages, to describe the temporary ability of porous materials to hold and retain liquid water and water vapors over a period of time.

Absorption – Absorption is used to describe the temporary holding of moisture in porous and semi-porous building materials (carpets, sub-floor padding, and sheetrock) that have been water damaged.

Access Flooring – This term is used to describe a raised area of a floor that has removable panels to allow access to the floor and space below the primary floor. For example: in office buildings, a computer floor is often an access floor. In the event of water damage, access floors must be carefully examined by the computer personnel first and only then by water damage technicians.

Acoustic Materials – Acoustic materials are materials, planned to absorb sound and noise, such as carpet and acoustic tiles. These materials are often highly absorbents, and tend to hold a lot of water, moisture, and humidity after a water-related damage.

Allergen – An allergen is a normal substance such as a drug, pollen, or microorganism that causes an acute defensive reaction in a person's immune system. These reactions include sneezing, itching, skin rashes, and respiratory irritations.

APR – APR stands for Air Purifying Respirator.

Back Pressure – Back pressure is a result of improper use of air drying equipment during water damage restoration projects. It happens when air drying fans are positioned improperly under wet carpets and to wall cavities. Back pressure is caused by the restriction of air velocity while trapping humidity in surfaces such as walls or cabinets.

Backwashing – Backwashing is the process of removing sewage effluents from contaminated buildings. Flooding contaminated areas with fresh water and detergents makes contaminates flush out of their settled sources.

Base Flood Elevation (BFE) – The computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base flood elevations are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles. The BFE is the regulatory requirement for the elevation or flood-proofing of structures. The relationship between the BFE and a structure's elevation determines the flood insurance premium.

Biological Contaminants – Agents derived from, or that are, living organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. that can be inhaled and can cause many types of health effects including allergic reactions, respiratory disorders, illness and disease in persons who are exposed or susceptible. Also referred to as biological pollutants, bio-pollutants, microbiologicals, and microbials.

Biohazard – The term biohazard is used to describe any type of biological waste. Often, this biological waste is pathogenic in nature or contaminated in some way. Biohazard also includes infectious agents that present a risk or potential health risk. Biohazard can be found in water damaged buildings where bacteria is present because of a sewage backflow or where fungi is allowed to grow and the condition eventually affects the health of the building's occupants. Biohazards must be eliminated by professionals because, if improperly handled, both sewage bacteria and wet building material fungi are known to cause serious health effects. In addition, if  improperly handled, the contamination is most likely still present in the building, causing a higher risk of exposure to the occupants.

Bioremediation – Bioremediation is a cleanup and decontamination process using naturally occurring or specially cultivated microorganisms to digest contaminants naturally and break them down into non-hazardous components.

Gallons per Minute (GPM) – GPM is a unit of measure used to indicate the rate of water flow. It signifies how many gallons are pumped out by equipment, an outlet or a drain from a water source every minute.

Gas – The gaseous state is a state of matter wherein the material has very low density and viscosity. A gas can expand and contract in large proportions as a response to temperature and pressure changes. A gas can easily diffuse with other gases and can uniformly distribute itself throughout any vessel or container. A gas can be changed to another state of matter through the combined effect of increased pressure and lowered temperatures.

Gleying – Gleying is a term used to describe the formation of black, gray, greenish or blue-gray color in soils after a flood.

Granite –  Granite is a medium to coarse and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Rich in quartz and potassium feldspar, granite occasionally contains individual crystals larger than the groundmass. Granites can be pink, dark gray or black and depends on the chemistry and mineralogy. This type of rock is common throughout the world, but certain areas are well known for producing commercial granite. Due to its relatively impervious and inflexible qualities, granite is widely used as a dimension stone and is used by engineers to establish a plane of reference for measurements. Granite is also commercially used as flooring tiles in homes, buildings and monuments.


Gravel – Gravel is basically a natural accumulation of rounded rock fragments that are larger than two millimeters and less than 63 millimeters. These include fragments from boulders, cobbles, pebbles, granules or any combination of these rock particles. Gravel is used in many commercial and industrial applications as a mixture for concrete. Gravel is also used in rural areas as a surface for roadways where there is minimal traffic.

Grease Fire – A grease fire refers to the type of fire resulting from cooking oil or any other flammable cooking or lubricating materials. These types of fires are classified as Class B, F or K fires.

Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) – A GFI is a safety device installed in a home or a structure that aims to interrupt surges in electricity from the electrical power lines, appliances and other electrical devices and components.

Gutter – Also called a downspout or eavetrough, a gutter is a channel attached to the eaves of the roof for the purpose of diverting water away from the foundation of a home. Gutters are made of various materials, but are usually made of vinyl, plastic, copper or galvanized iron sheets.

Gypsum – Gypsum is hydrated calcium sulphate, a pale sedimentary rock that is usually ground and mixed with plasters, cement and fertilizers. Gypsum is used to make plasterboard or drywall.

Incident – An incident is an event caused by humans, or due to natural occurrences, which requires emergency action or services. Such events, like a wildfire, require immediate attention to prevent injury or loss of life and to prevent damages to property and natural resources.

Incidental Damages – An incidental damage occurs coincidentally with another loss or disaster. An example is water damage caused by firefighters during the attempt to stop a raging fire.

Independent Adjuster – An independent adjuster is an independent contractor employed by a property and casualty insurance company to act as their representative to settle claims put forward by their insured clients. The adjuster's job is to evaluate the merits of these claims and recommends courses of actions to the insurance company. Independent adjusters are hired by insurance companies.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – The IAQ within and around homes, buildings and structures refers to the quality of air in these areas in relation to the health and comfort of its occupants. Some of the indoor air pollutants that can cause problems for air quality include microbial contaminants coming from mold or bacteria, chemicals like carbon monoxide and radon, natural or synthetic allergens, and other diffused matter in the air that can cause adverse health effects. These air pollutants have been known to cause respiratory problems like asthma. According to recent findings, indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air and poses a greater health hazard if not addressed appropriately. Ways to improve indoor air quality include proper ventilation, filtration, and source control. Restoration companies techniques for analyzing IAQ include the collection of air samples to be analyzed for mold, bacteria, chemicals and other health stressors. These analyses can lead to the determination of the sources of contaminations so proper remediation can be performed.

Infiltration – An infiltration is a term used in restoration to the leaking of outside air into a home or building through cracks, fissures and holes in windows and walls. The differential in pressure between conditions indoor against that outside is causing these seepages to occur.

Infrared Drying – Infrared drying is a process used in restoration to enhance the drying process of an area or an object using infrared lamps or heaters through electromagnetic radiation. An electrically-operated infrared heater or lamp uses a filament (usually tungsten or carbon) that is enclosed in a heat-resistant casing or tube of quartz glass. A filling on an inert gas, usually halogen, is placed inside the quartz tube to prevent filament degradation.

Iinspection – Inspection is the process of looking carefully at something. In restoration terminologies, inspection refers to the careful investigation of a structure for possible damages, which includes structural, water, fire, smoke and microbial damages. During home sales, a pre-sale home inspection is often required before escrow, to check for possible structural, chemical, water and mold damages in the home for sale.

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) – The IICRC is a non-profit organization devoted to the certification and standard setting for the flooring inspection, floor covering, specialized cleaning and disaster restoration industries. It aims to set standards within these industries and promote ethics, effective communication and technical proficiency. Aside from its role as a governing body, the IICRC also provides and disseminates information to maintain productive and fair recommendations throughout the industry. This is done to provide protection for the consumers, workers in the industry, and the environment.

Insulation –  Insulation is a material used to prevent or inhibit the conduction of heat, sound or electricity. Electrical wires are coated with waterproof plastic or rubber coatings to protect against moisture or water, which can act as a good conductor. Building insulations are used to slow down the transfer of heat through walls and ceilings to provide comfort by maintaining a uniform temperature and to reduce energy costs. Heat transfers are reduced in homes and buildings through the construction of double walls or hollow tiles lined with thermal insulation materials. Soundproofing, on the other hand, provides acoustic insulation or the reduction or elimination of sound intensity.

Investigative Demolition – An investigative demolition is used in the restoration process to check or investigate possible damaging conditions in a home or building through the removal of certain building components. An example is to detach a panel of a drywall to check or test the conditions of the inner wall for water damage or mold infestation.

Irritant – An irritant is a substance that causes inflammation or allergies in certain organs like the skin, eyes, lungs and other parts of the body. Irritants can be certain chemicals or minerals or can be organic substances.

Jack Rafter – A jack rafter refers the part of the common rafter that is shorter than the usual length of the main rafters and is used for framing a hip rafter, a valley rafter or both.

Job Scope – The job scope refers to the restoration work, the procedures to be followed, and the safety and precautionary measures to be observed when performing fire, flood, sewage, smoke and water damage restoration of homes, buildings and other structures including their contents.

Joist – A joist, used in structural terms, refers the horizontal or parallel beams or bars of timber, metal or concrete that run from wall to wall, beam to wall, or beam to beam to support ceiling rafters, roofs or floors. A beam is bigger and distinct from a joist. Usually, joists are supported by beams. A bandsill is another term for joist used in the construction industry, and is a term used by southeast US home inspectors.

Kick Plates – Plates attached to the bottom portion of a door that can resist bumps, blows and scratches are called kick plates. These are usually made of metal sheets, but any durable material can also be used.

Knick Knack – Also called bric-a-bracs, whatnots, dust collectors, and stuff, knick knacks refer to small items that an individual collects and displays on a shelf as decoration. In flood or sewage damage cases, knick-knacks that were contaminated are usually discarded, unless the item has some significant intrinsic value to the owner.

Labels – Labels are forms of documents that are attached to containers of chemicals, detergents or cleaners. Labels provide detailed information on the product, safety considerations and proper application. Restoration and cleaning personnel should read clearly, understand and follow the instructions provided in product labels to ensure their safety.

Laminate – A laminate is a material that is formed by bonding two or more layers of material together in a process called lamination. A laminate is often used in interior finishing and acts as scratch or wear surfaces in countertops or cabinets.

Laminated Beam – A laminated beam is a wooden structural item used in construction and finishing and is made by laminating several pieces of wood together under heavy pressure.

Lamination – Lamination is the process of placing layers of materials between layers of plastic and sealing them with heat and intense pressure. This is usually done with a thin layer of adhesive.

Latent Damages –  A certain event can cause damages that are not presently visible or can occur after some time. These types of damages are called latent damages. An example is the occurrence of floods. If drying occurs naturally without proper restoration procedures, latent damages can occur after a few days such as mold infestations, deterioration of wood and structural damages.

Latex –  Latexes may be natural or synthetic. Common forms are the milky sap that comes from certain plants that coagulates when exposed to air. Latex is used in gloves or used as backing for carpets.

Lead – Lead is a material used in paint and pipes of many older homes, and is considered hazardous to health. Proper handling and removal of lead-based materials should be consulted with the local environmental protection agency and coordinated with qualified restoration companies.

Ledges – Rooms, enclosures and other areas sometimes have narrow, shelf-like projections along the tops of partitions and along walls or doorways. These projections are call ledges.

Light Fixtures – Light bulbs or lamps are held and contained in mechanisms called light fixtures. Light fixtures sometimes have horizontal and vertical ledges, which is prone to collect dust.

Light Switch – Light switches control the on-off functions that provide power to light fixtures. They are found in a variety of locations, particularly near doorways and restroom entrances. In restrooms, these are common contact point where germs can be transmitted. During toilet overflow or sewage restoration, light switches should be typical areas that need disinfection.

Linoleum – A resilient flooring material that is made from coating burlap or canvas with powdered cork, rosin and solidified linseed oil is called linoleum. Pigments are added to the materials to provide color. Inlaid linoleum is the finest linoleum flooring and is made by inlaying solid pieces of linoleum. Other linoleum varieties like the patterned types are cheaper, but are not very durable to wear and tear.

Lintel – A lintel is a horizontal support used over a door or a window and usually made of angled iron bars.

Load Bearing – The load bearing of a building is a wall, partition or pilaster that supports the load of the structure.

Marks – Marks are visible impressions, indentations or traces by an external object left on a surface. Marks should be repaired immediately to prevent permanent impressions.

Marmoleum – Marmoleum is a type of linoleum floor covering that is formed by coating a layer of linseed oil, powdered cork and rosin on burlap or canvas sheets. To create the desired pattern or color, color pigments are added into the mixture. During restoration work, it should be considered that linoleum is sensitive to alkalis, acids and solvents to avoid damage.

Masonry – Masonry refers to the construction of structures using materials such as tile, marble, brick, cement, stone, granite or similar materials, which are bound together by mortar. Masonry is a highly durable form of construction.

Mechanical Contractor – Professionals engaging in plumbing, piping and HVAC work are referred to as mechanical contractors.

Membrane – Membranes are thin and pliable roofing materials on flat roofs.

Metal Fixtures – A metal fixture is a device that is part of a system that is configured for a particular use in a home, particularly in kitchens or restrooms. This includes soap dispensers, towel dispensers, tissue dispensers, doors, latches, doorknobs, handles, railings, trimmings and light fixtures.

Microbes – Microbes are microscopic microorganisms that include algae, viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc., and have the possibility of harboring or carrying a disease. There are disinfectants and cleaners that are designed to kill certain strains of microbes that harbor diseases.

Microbial Volatile Organic Compound (MVOC) –MVOC is produced during metabolic processes of microorganisms resulting in the distinctive musty, moldy and mildew odors.

Microorganisms – Microorganisms are microscopic organisms that include bacteria, fungi and viruses. These microorganisms can carry pathogens that can cause diseases and these should be controlled through careful cleaning and maintenance.

Migration – Migration refers to the passage of water and moisture through walls due to absorption. The term can also be used to describe the passage of smoke and soot through pressure.

Mildew – A coating or discoloration on moist surfaces due to molds or fungi is called mildew.

Mineral Deposits –Mineral deposits are hard, scaly residue that forms on tubs, toilets, urinals, sinks and shower surfaces. These deposits are extremely difficult to remove.

Mitigate – Mitigate means to lessen or compensate for a previous event that had significant impact on a structure or area.

Moisture Meter – Also called a hygrometer, a moisture meter is used to measure the moisture content of the structure, structural components and contents. Moisture meters can either be penetrating or non-penetrating.

Molds – Molds are a form of fungi that are naturally occurring in nature. These microorganisms produce enzymes that digest dead organic matter and help in the natural process of decomposition. However, mold infestations that occur within the home and other establishments can cause serious health risks to its human inhabitants. Molds are attracted to moisture, particularly on damp areas or surfaces, which have exposure to water damage. Molds propagate through spores released in the air and lands on moisture-rich surfaces.

Morphology – Morphology is the form, shape, or structure of a surface, object or organism.

Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) – MHSW includes household wastes that have corrosive, flammable, toxic, ignitable or chemically reactive properties. The term is also designated to other household items that require special disposal procedures such as batteries, portable fire extinguishers, fluorescent light bulbs and thermostats.

Mycotoxins – Mycotoxins are a diverse class of compounds that are poisonous or hazardous to one's health. These are produced by microorganisms like molds, mushrooms and other fungi. Mycotoxins are produced on mold spores and they can remain toxic even if the spore is dead.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – NIOSH is a federal agency that makes recommendations on values for exposure limits of various industrial and commercial substances.

Natural Gas – Natural gasses are hydrocarbon gasses that are composed primarily of 80-percent methane. The gas is created by methane-producing organisms in marshes, bogs and landfills. It is an important fuel source and is simply referred to as gas when compared with other energy sources.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – NEPA was passed by Congress in 1969 as the basic national law for the protection and care of the environment. NEPA sets all policies and procedures for the protection of the environment. Part of this function includes the authorization of Environmental Impact Statements as well as Environmental Assessments, which will be used as analytical tools for decision making for state and federal environmental managers.

Negative Air Machine (NAM) – NAM is an electromechanical device that is used to create a negative air pressure in an enclosure. This device is used for restoration work to prevent the spread of contaminants to other areas in a structure. This includes asbestos abatement and microbial remediation.

Negative Pressure Drying – Negative pressure drying is a method used for water damage restoration by withdrawing moisture out from walls, floors, crawlspaces, cavities and other areas.

Non-bearing Wall – A non-bearing wall is part of a structure that does not support anything and carries only its own weight. It is used mostly as a barrier than as a support.

Non-porous – Materials that have poor absorption and evaporation rates are call non-porous. These materials have a permeance factor of < 1.

Nylon – Nylon is a group synthetic material made from coal, water, air, petroleum, natural gas and agricultural by-products. Nylon is mold, mildew and insect resistant and produces hydrogen chloride when disposed of in fire.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – OSHA is a US government agency that regulates and enforces the safety and health of employees, particularly in hazardous occupations such as firefighting and restoration work. OSHA is also responsible for the qualification and certification of personnel protective equipment (PPE).

Odor – An odor is a scent or a substance that affects the sense of smell. Odors can be pleasant or can be disagreeable as in the case of sewage or smoke. Deodorizers are used to mask odors after restoration work.

On-Location – In restoration terms, on-location refers to the process of restoring an item at the loss site like a home or commercial establishment that experienced damage.

Open Drying Process – Open drying is the process of drying out a structure after water damage through opening windows and doors to increase natural airflow inside the structure. Open drying, however, is not recommended unless the outside humidity is 50 percent or lower.

Open Web Steel Joist – An open web steel joist is a roofing steel truss that has a criss-cross pattern.

Oxidation –  Oxidation is the process of removing hydrogen atoms or electrons from a compound or the addition of oxygen atoms to create oxides. This process applies to metals (ex: iron converts to rust or iron oxide), nonmetals (ex: sulfur is converted to sulfur oxide), and organic matter (ex: carbon is converted carbon oxide; hydrogen is converted to hydrogen oxide).

Oxidizing Agent – An oxidation agent, also called an oxidant, oxidizer or oxidiser, is a chemical compound that readily transfers oxygen atoms that results to the conversion of metals, nonmetals, and organic matter to oxides.

Oxyacid – An oxyacid is a type of acid wherein the hydrogen atom attaches to the oxygen atom resulting in a created atom that is attached to the central atom. An example is sulfuric acid and is used for several industrial and cleaning purposes.

Pack-Out – During restoration work, a pack-out refers to the moving of contents out of a damaged structure to access work areas and perform restoration work in-plant.

Pad – A pad is a concrete slab. The terminology is also used to refer to the underlay or padding of carpets.

Paint – Paint is a liquid or liquefiable material or mastic composition that when applied to a surface or substrate will be converted to a thin layer of solid opaque film after drying. Paints are used to protect, preserve, decorate or add functionality to an object or surface. Basic types of paints are latex or water-based paints and enamel or the solvent-based paints.

Particles of Incomplete Combustion (PIC) – PICs are generated wastes that are produced after a fire and come from ignited materials.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) – Also called Personnel Protective Equipment, PPEs are safety equipment worn by technicians, tradesmen and restoration personnel. PPEs are designed to protect personnel from exposure to pathogens, chemicals and hazardous substances. These include hard hats, rubber gloves, rubber boots, goggles, face masks, and respirators. All restoration personnel are required to wear PPEs at all times during cleaning and disinfection work.

Phosphate – A phosphate is an ester of phosphoric acid that is used in detergents as a softener.Plaster – A plaster is mixture of limewater and sand and is applied over wood, plasterboard, blue or brown board as a veneer to achieve an interior finish to a wall or ceiling.

Plenum – A plenum is a part of an HVAC system that refers to the main air duct supply for the return air. This is usually installed above a ceiling or below a floor.

Plinth – A plinth is a piece of wood located at the base of a door casing for decorative purposes. It also refers to the block or slab used to support a column.

Post-Conditions – Post-conditions are resulting conditions after a previous event that has affected structural components and contents. Example is smoke, soot, gases, and heat stress occurring after a fire or smoke damage. Another post-condition is mold, fungi, mildew, or water absorption after water damage.

Pre-existing Conditions – Pre-existing conditions refer to the scratches, dents, normal wear and tear of a structural or building component or its contents that existed before an occurrence of water, fire and other related damages.

Prefabricated Building – A prefabricated building, or prefab as they are more commonly known, is a structure constructed or assembled on-site using pre-engineered components.

Preparation – The preparation stage is the important first step when beginning any cleaning or restoration task in a structure. This includes the gathering of proper supplies and making certain that the structure is unoccupied before entering and performing restoration work.

Pressure Power Washing – Pressure power washing is a restoration process that utilizes a pressure-washing machine to remove and clean affected surfaces from dirt, smoke, soot and other remnants.

Puff Back – Puff back occurs when a clogged or malfunctioning furnace discharges deposited soot throughout the house and cause smoke and soot damage to the structure and its contents.

Quality Assurance – The term quality assurance refers to the system of procedures used in selecting a good quality approach in management and labor within an organization and a restoration job site.

Quality Control – The term quality control is a system of procedures and standards that controls the quality of the production and installation of materials at a restoration job site.

Radiant Heating System – A radiant heating system is an electrical heating system that distributes heat through electrical cables installed within baseboard panels.

Rafter – A rafter is a parallel beam that is used to support roof and ceiling framing.

Remedial Investigation – A remedial investigation is performed to collect the data required to make an adequate characterization of an area or site for the purpose of identifying, evaluating, and developing effective remedial and restoration strategies. The remedial investigation process includes the following: determining the nature and extent of the contamination; risk assessment to health and environment; and conducting treatability tests to evaluate effectiveness and performance of treatments considered.

Remediation – In restoration work, remediation refers to the clean-up action used to reduce, isolate or remove contamination from a home or a business establishment, thus preventing exposure of people and animals to these contaminants. Examples are flood removal from basements or kitchens or mold remediation from drywall.

Residue – Residue in restoration terms refers to the remains from fire, smoke, soot, gases, floodwater, sewage, etc.

Restorative Cleaning – Restorative cleaning is part of the restoration process and refers to the cleaning or removal of smoke, soot, gases, floodwater, and sewage residues from a structural component or the contents therein.

Restorative Drying – Restorative drying is part of the restoration process and involves the process of extracting moisture, rolling, and dehumidification to dry out a structure.

Retaining Wall – A retaining wall is a vertical structure that is used to restrict or prevent the flow and movement of soil or water.

Restoration – The term restoration means to perform activities and remediation work to return a site to approximately the same condition as it was before any incident or alteration has taken place. Restoration usually follows remediation, like in the case of flood, sewage or fire damages.

Roof Drainage Systems – Roof drainage systems are structural components that are used to divert or carry away water off a roof and away from the home or building.

Salvage – Salvage is the actual or monetary recovery of a damaged component or item through remediation or restoration work.

Sand – Sand is made of small grains of rock and substrate particles that are generally 0.06 to 2 mm in diameter. Sand is larger than silt and is smaller than the size of gravel. When tracked into household floors from footwear, sand is very difficult to remove by picking up even with a wet mop. It can cause clogs in drains and should be removed by sweeping or vacuuming.

Secondary Damages –Secondary damages are results caused by primary damages or losses. Examples are flood and water damage, which can result in corrosion, rust, mold, mildew, fungi, odor and other after-effects if improper remediation and restoration work is performed.

Sheet Vinyl – Sheet vinyl is a flooring material sometimes used in kitchens and restrooms and has the appearance of linoleum that is cut into pre-sized tiles.

Sludge – Sludge or sewage sludge contains solid residues that settle from municipal, commercial, or industrial sewage treatment plants. These are also referred to as biosolids or processed organic wastes.

Smoke Residue – Smoke residues are gas products of combustion that are made visible by the presence of carbon particles.

Smoke Stain –Smoke stains are discoloration and texture changes on walls and surfaces caused by oxidation after the combustion of various materials.

Solvent – A solvent is an agent that can dissolve a solid, liquid or a gaseous solute to form a solution for a variety of purposes. The most common solvent is water, and is termed the universal solvent. Organic solvents contain carbon-based chemicals. Solvents have low boiling points and can evaporate easily. Solvents can also be removed from a solution through distillation. Organic solvents are used in dry cleaning, paint thinners, glue, spot removers, detergents, perfumes and other chemical syntheses. Inorganic solvents other than water are used in chemical research and technological functions and processes.

Soot – Soot is fine particles that are formed from the incomplete combustion of fuels. Soot can be powdery, oily or tar-like depending on the type of combustion fuel.

Spores – Spores are small, specialized reproductive structures that are adapted for dispersal and survival for long periods of time. Spores are part of the life cycle for many plants, algae and fungi

including molds.

Sporicide – Sporicides are disinfecting agents that are used to exterminate bacteria and fungi.

Squeegee –A squeegee is a cleaning tool that is edged with rubber and is used for removing water from floors. Window squeegee are sometimes used to remove water and cleaning solutions from windows.

Sterilization – Sterilization is the process of completely eradicating an area or an object from all contaminates and microorganisms.

Stress Crack – Cracks in plaster and drywall that are caused by heat or moisture expansion are called stress cracks.

Structure – A structure refers to a walled or roofed building that is above ground. This includes a manufactured home or a building.

Subcontractor – A subcontractor is a person or a company that has a contract for a specific portion or a project in restoration work.

Subfloor – Subfloors are underlying flooring that is used to support a finished floor and can be used as a structural support for lateral loads.

Submersible Pumps – Submersible pumps are hermetically-sealed water pumps used in flood or water removal processes. These pumps are submerged into the body of water where it draws water and pushes it out into a discharge outlet.

Substrate – Substrates are the underlying materials that support layers of other materials on a surface.

Subsurface Drying – Subsurface drying is a water damage restoration process that forces air or uses negative air pressure to dry out an underlying surface, such as subfloors under carpets or insulation within drywalls.

Subsurface Flood Extractor – Flood extractors are water damage restoration tools that have specially designed suction plates that draws water from carpets and underlying pads into a vacuum chamber.

Sump Pump - Sump pumps are electric pumps that are installed in basements to prevent or remove water from basement areas.

Thermostat – A thermostat is a device that automatically turns heating or air conditioning on or off to control temperatures within a home or building and maintain desired temperatures.

Threshold Limit Values (TLV) – TLVs refer to the exposure limit that restoration workers are allowed exposure to a particular hazardous substance within an 8-hour period and during a 40-hour workweek. The guidelines and values are set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), which is then controlled and implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Total Loss – A total loss refers to the condition of a structure or an object that is not economically feasible to repair. This level in particular is set when cost to repair exceeds 80 percent of the actual value.

Toxic Substances – Toxic substances are hazardous or poisonous substances that can cause physical harm to living organisms.

Treated Lumber – Treated lumber is pressure-treated wood that contains a percentage of chromium III, arsenic V and copper. Treated lumber is used in exterior construction to withstand the environment, weather, termites and fungal decay.

Trim – Trims include moldings, baseboards, doors and window casings, etc. and are basically constructed from wood, plastics or metals.

Ultra Low Volume (ULV) Fogger – A ULV fogger is an electromechanical device that is used to distribute and regulate the dispersal of disinfectants and fragrances.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light – UV light is part of the sun’s energy that reaches the surface of the earth. Ultraviolet light has short wavelengths in the non-visible electromagnetic spectrum. UV light in excess can be harmful to plants and animal life, and excess levels are blocked off by the ozone layer. In restoration work, UV lamps are used for drying and for detecting organic deposits in surfaces like urine deposits in carpets.

Unclog – To unclog means to remove an obstruction from a drain, sink or pipe through mechanical (plumber's snake or auger) or chemical means (acids, baking soda, etc).

Under-floor Crawl Space – Under-floor crawl spaces are the area between the ground and the underside of the floor that are part of a structure or foundation.

Underlayment – An underlayment consists of wood panels that are used under a finished floor to provide a smooth finish.

Unsalvageable -Unsalvageable refers to an object or structure that has undergone damage that is already of zero value or non-reusable as restoration may not be possible.

Vapor Barrier – A vapor barrier is a water-resistant material that is used to prevent moisture and vapor seepages into a structure, particularly basements.

Veneer – A veneer is a thin layer of material, usually made of wood, plastic or metal, which is glued to another material or substrate to provide strength and durability. It is also used to provide decorative features in a surface.

Vinyl – Vinyl material is composed of thermoplastics and is constructed from chlorides through the process of polymerization.

Vinyl Asbestos Tile (VAT) –VATs are tiles that contain asbestos and these were widely used as floorings in schools, hospitals, and other public buildings before the 1980s. Usage was discontinued when the hazardous effects of asbestos were established.

Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) – VCTs are glass-fiber finished flooring materials that are widely used in commercial and institutional structures. Vinyl Composition Tiles replaced the asbestos tile as the flooring of choice for high-traffic areas due to its low cost and easy maintenance requirements. VCTs are applied to smooth and leveled sub-floors using a specialized vinyl adhesive. After installation, VCTs are waxed and then these are buffed using specialized tools and materials to produce an excellent interior finish.

Volt / Voltage –A volt is a measure of electrical potential. Current is measured in amperes.

Vulcanization –Vulcanization is a chemical process performed on rubber compounds and these are used in a variety of industrial and commercial purposes. With vulcanization, rubber compounds lose the plasticity properties and become irreversibly hardened after processing.

Wall Covering –A wall covering is any material used to cover a wall's surface as a final finish.

Warping –Warping refers to the physical change of a surface, wall, floor, or ceiling from its original shape as a result of water or heat damage.

Watermark – A watermark is a stain on a material's surface that is caused by water.

Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaners – Wet/dry vacuum cleaners are cleaning and water extraction tools used to suck up water from floors and carpets using a vacuum motor and a wet recovery tank.

Xerophlic Fungi –Xerophlic fungi are types of microorganisms that can grow in dry conditions.

Xylene –Xylene, with a chemical formula of C6H4(CH3), is a toxic solvent used for pesticides, paints and varnishes.

Yellowing – Yellowing refers to the yellowish cast on any clear, white or light-colored material due to aging, heat or cleaning.



Glossary