As a home inspector and former builder, there are many technical terms that I may use that are unfamiliar to the average home owner. While I always try to break things down to layman’s terms while conducting the home inspection, I thought it might be useful to have a home inspection glossary to refer buyers to. This is the third installment of these posts to build the glossary. I’ve tried to keep it simple and these are not intended to be exhaustive definitions.
brick veneer: A single layer of brick on the exterior of a home, serving purely cosmetic purposes. Typically connected to a structural frame or block wall by brick ties.
brick tie: A corrugated, galvanized metal strap used to tie together courses of brick, or attach a brick veneer to another surface.
BX cable: Armored cable often used in applications were plastic-jacketed cable may be damaged, such as in basements, crawlspaces or through masonry walls. The jacket is typically grounded and provides ground to metal junction boxes along its path.
carbon monoxide (CO): An odorless, colorless gas produced by burning fuel. CO can cause nausea, headache, flue-like symptoms and even death.
carbon-monoxide (CO) detector: An electronic device used to detect carbon monoxide. Can be battery operated, hardwired or a combination. May also be found as a combination device with a smoke detector.
circuit: A group of wires connected to a circuit breaker of fuse providing electricity to a number of devices or fixtures.
circuit breaker: An over-current protection device that disconnects a circuit if too much current is drawn at one time. Prevents wires from overheating and potentially catching fire.
cleanout Typically a threaded cast iron, galvanized, PVC or ABS cap located in a drain line to allow access to the interior of the pipe to insert a snake or inspection tool.
combustion air: Fresh air provided to serve a combustion appliance such as a furnace or water heater. A furnace located in a confined space such a closet may not have enough combustion air available which can result in incomplete combustion, which lowers efficiency and can create carbon monoxide.
downspout: Gutter component that carries rainwater from the gutter to the ground. It is recommended to extend the downspouts 5-6 feet from the foundation to keep water out of the house