Glossary

AIR BRICK

Ventilated brick allowing airflow to cavities or sub floor voids.

BARGE BOARD

Fascias for a gable end.

CAVITY WALL


Outer and inner brick or blockwork skins with a space in between, the two skins connected at intervals with metal wall ties.

CEILING JOIST


Structural timbers usually laid horizontally which support the ceiling and/or floor above.

CONDENSATION


Condensation occurs where warm moist air meets cold air.

DAMP PROOF COURSE (DPC)

A damp proof course is a horizontal layer of impervious material incorporated into the walls near ground level so as to prevent ground moisture from rising into the brickwork.

DAMP PROOF MEMBRANE (DPM)


A horizontal usually plastic layer built into solid concrete floors to prevent ground moisture rising up into the property.

DOWNPIPE


Vertical pipe for carrying rainwater from a roof gutter to the ground or to a drain.

DRY ROT (Serpula Lachrymans)


Dry rot eats timber from the inside out.

EAVES


The rafter ends where they overhang the main walls.

FASCIA


Finishing detail of the front face of the rafter ends – often the gutters are fixed to fascia.

FLASHING

Weatherproofing detail between two abutments, for example a chimney and pitched roof or a lean-to roof and a vertical wall.

FLOOR JOISTS

Structural timbers supporting the floors above and often ceilings below.

FLYING FREEHOLD


Situation where one property ownership is above another one.

FOUL DRAIN


Below ground drain taking away foul waste from the property to the main sewer or septic tank/cesspit.

FOUNDATION


Solid construction below the ground to support the main walls of the property.

GULLY


A gully is a drain for surface or foul water incorporating a trap to catch debris in order that it can be easily cleaned out.

HIP TILE


Tile provided at the junction between the hip and the roof pitch.

INSPECTION CHAMBER


Access to the drains for the purposes of rodding them through and clearing any blockages (also known as a man-hole).

JAPANESE KNOTWEED


An invasive plant which spreads quickly.

JOISTS


Horizontal beams supporting the floor.

LINING FELT (also known as Sarking Felt)


Felt lining that is provided over roof structure but under roof tiles or slates to catch any water that may be blown under the main roof covering.

PARTY WALL


A shared wall between two neighbouring properties.

PURLIN


Structural roof member which supports rafters at their mid point.

RAFTERS


Structural timbers supporting main roof - usually at an angle forming a pitched roof.

RENDER


A compound, usually cement based, applied to the outer face of a wall.

RISING DAMP


The term given to the process by which moisture rises up a wall due to the absence, or failure, of a DPC.

RSJ


Rolled Steel Joist often used to support remaining structure where brickwork is removed.

ROOF PLATE


Timber plate that sits on top of a wall and provides the fixing junction to the wall and the rafter feet.

ROOF TRUSS


Manufactured off site these structural roofing trusses are nailed together with plates at their junctions and are supplied to site already made up (also known as a factory-made truss).

SOFFIT


Finishing detail laid underneath the rafter ends between the fascia and the wall of the property. Often ventilated in pitched roofs.

SOIL AND VENT PIPE


Foul waste is carried to the drains via this pipe which is usually vented up through the property and well away from window opening.

SOLID WALL


A wall of solid brickwork usually 9” (one brick thick) with no cavity.

STRUCTURAL MOVEMENT


Under normal circumstances structural movement would occur within 2 years of construction unless a building is modified or there is a drain defect or other external influences such as proximity to trees.

SURFACE WATER DRAIN


Drain taking surface water waste from either drives or roofs usually to soakaways.

VALLEY


Junction between two roof pitches.

VALLEY GUTTER

Gutter formed between two sections of pitched roof.

WET ROT (Contiophora Puteana)


The term given to a destructive fungal decay in timber which can spread rapidly.

WOODWORM

The general term to infestation by certain wood-boring insects.