Typical brick chimney with a clay flue liner

Home Inspection Glossary – Part Four

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 fourth installment of these posts to build the glossary. I’ve tried to keep it simple and these are not intended to be exhaustive definitions.

EIFS (exterior insulating and finish system): A system of a foam board insulation, a reinforcing mesh and stucco coating. Somewhat infamous for water infiltration when poorly installed.

façade: The exterior finish of a house.

fascia: Trim, constructed of a variety of materials, used to cover the rafter tails at the edge of a roof.

felt: Fiber-reinforced paper, typically impregnated with asphalt used as an underlayment beneath a roof or wall finishing material.

fire block: Framing component used to prevent the spread of fire within a wall.

fire-rated: Material that has been tested for it’s resistance to fire

flashing: Material, usually metal, that has been bent or folded into place where 2 or more building components come together, e.g. a roof and chimney, intended to prevent water from infiltrating the structure.

flue: A vent pipe, usually clay or metal, used to carry combustion gases to the exterior.

flue damper: An automatic system to close a flue when a furnace is not operating, intended to keep warm air from escape via convention through the flue.

flue lining: A clay lining typically found in a masonry chimney.

flush valve: The valve in a toilet that allows water to flow from the tank to the bowl.

footing: Typically a poured concrete support located below grade. May support a post or a foundation wall.

forced-air heating: Heating system in which hot air is blown through a system of ducts to heat the home. May use gas, oil, or electric to heat the air through a heat exchanger.

foundation: The structural support of a home below the first floor, including the footings. Usually below or partially below grade and typically consisting of concrete or masonry.

framing: Wood structural components of a home, includes walls, beams, floor joists, ceiling joists, rafters ect.