Glossary of Terms
Agricultural Pipe (or Drain)
Flexible or rigid pipe with perforations or slots used for below ground-level drainage, usually set in trench filled with gravel (e.g. blue metal) and directs subsurface water away from buildings.
Sheet metal shield (usually galvanized iron) installed during construction of timber floor and wall frames near ground level, placed between floor bearers and piers/dwarf walls/stumps to reveal the passage of termites from ground up into building; sometimes can be installed in existing buildings.
Moulding (usually timber) that surrounds window and door openings, covering jointing between frame and wall lining; sometimes base of door architrave penetrates ground (e.g. concrete floor/path) increasing susceptibility to moisture/fungal decay and undetected termite entry.
Roof-like cover providing shelter or shade over windows and doors; may be constructed of a variety of materials, sometimes timber framed.
A platform (or deck) projecting from the wall of a building; may be balustraded or railed, covered or uncovered.
Usually turned or square infill members between staircase treads or balcony/verandah floor and handrail.
Framework of handrails and uprights (balusters and newel posts) that forms a protective barrier at the open side of a staircase or balcony/verandah.
Usually timber, fixed to visible sloping edge of a roof (usually parallel to roof rafters, cf fascia board); prone to fungal decay, particularly at ends/joins.
Timber (or metal) cap that covers the top of a barge board and edge of the roof, prone to fungal decay, particularly at ends/joins.
Small timber member, usually rectangular in cross section, used to fix linings, claddings or roof materials to timber frames, e.g. ceiling batten, tiling batten.
Window or group of windows that forms a bay of recess in a room projecting beyond the line of the wall.
Horizontal, load-bearing structural member supported at two or more points.
Subfloor structural member, commonly 100mm x 75mm hardwood spanning between piers and walls and supporting the floor joists; where masonry is moist, point(s) of contact prone to fungal decay; in the absence of ant capping, prone to undetected termite entry; may show Lyctus borer damage to sapwood edge//corner.
Horizontal member (often 100 mm x 50 mm softwood) forming base of structural wall frame; often obscured from inspection by wall linings/skirting; may sustain concealed fungal decay damage if adjacent to leaking shower tray.
A bend or curve in an otherwise straight length of timber, perhaps caused by under specification or other factors (including pest damage).
Concealed roof gutter used between roofs, behind parapets or in valleys; blockages can lead to fungal decay damage to adjacent roof and wall frame timbers.
Galvanised steel wire or strip built into brickwork at regular intervals to link internal and external sections of wall in either brick veneer or cavity brick construction.
Type of construction in which a structural timber frame is tied to a single brick external wall which is usually non-load bearing; as with timber frame construction, substantial amounts of wall frame timber are obscured from normal inspection by wall lining materials.
Covered structure near swimming pool used for changing, entertaining etc.
Cantilever (ED) Beam / Joist
Beam or joist with one unsupported end projecting beyond a point of support.
Window with one or more sashes hinged vertically to a frame; opens out like a door.
Ceiling which follows the line of the roof structure sometimes with some roof frame timbers exposed.
Product used to make waterproof seal to joints, usually flexible, for example silicon.
Structural members (often 100 mm x 50 mm softwood) to which the ceiling is fitted; in flat/skillion roof structures roof rafters may function as ceiling joists and these timbers are usually obscured from direct inspection.
Window in the upper part of a room admitting light from above an adjacent window.
Horizontal structural roof frame members which tie opposite roof rafters together to prevent roof spread or deflection of rafters; usually above underpurlins.
Compressed Fibre Cement Sheet
Extra-high density sheeting made from cement and fibre often used for water resistant flooring and wall cladding in wet areas, for example bathrooms.
Protective casing for electrical cables, especially for use in exposed and underground situations.
Capping or covering on top of wall or pier as a decoration and to protect masonry from water penetration from above.
Ornamental moulding used to conceal join between ceiling and wall or column; often plaster board, occasionally timber.
Process of improving the quality of concrete by preventing rapid drying out.
Continuous layer of impervious material placed in a masonry wall to prevent the upward (or downward) movement of moisture; deterioration can lead to rising damp which can facilitate fungal decay damage to adjacent timbers, for example skirting boards.
Usually timber, material forming the flooring of a deck or balcony; often hardwood (e.g. tallow wood) or treated pine.
The surround of a door opening, often timber comprising two vertical door jambs and the door head.
A vertical window in a sloping roof with its’ own gable projection through the main roof.
Double Hung Window
A window with two sashes which both slide vertically over one another and are balanced by cords and weights by springs.
Usually metal or plastic pipe for conveying rain-water from roof guttering to stormwater drainage, ground, tank or other part of the building; when not connected to stormwater drainage and drains to ground, may contribute to excessive moisture in subfloor area.
Groove or recess on underside of sill to prevent horizontal movement of rainwater.
Brick wall from footing level to underside of floor framing; often inspected for presence of termite mud leads.
Part of the roof that overhangs the exterior wall.
Preformed gutter that is fixed to the fascia board for carrying rainwater from the roof to the downpipe; blockages and deterioration can lead to fungal decay damage due to roof leaks.
Sheet material, panelling or boards fitted as lining material to eaves; can suffer localized fungal decay damage due to roof leaks.
Section of timber resulting from a cut across the grain thus exposing the ‘ends’ of the fine tubes or vessels that carried water upwards in the tree; this part of building timbers is usually the most susceptible to moisture absorption and fungal decay damage.
Pier built into masonry wall, usually attached to dwarf wall supporting floor frame.
Vertical or horizontal joint in a construction to allow for thermal expansion / contraction or creep.
Fixed to lower ends of roof rafters, roof gutters often fixed to fascia; fungal decay often begins at cut ends (joins, corners) or sections affected by leaks.
Internal masonry wall that divides a building into separate sections to resist the spread of fire.
Strip or sleeve of impervious material, for example, lead fitting to shed water or to cover a joint so as to prevent moisture entry; deterioration/failure can result in fungal decay damage to adjacent timbers.
Structural timbers supporting the flooring, (e.g. panel flooring or floor boards) often comprising bearers (usually 100 mm x 75 mm hardwood) resting on piers/dwarf walls that support floor joists (usually 100mm x 50 mm hardwood) to which flooring material is fixed.
A horizontal timber member, usually hardwood, that rests on brickwork or sandstone and supports the ends of floor joists; may sustain fungal decay damage if in contact with moist masonry.
A vent or chimney structure that provides an outlet for gases and products of combustion.
The structural base of a wall or pier supporting the mass of the building, transferring the load to the foundation.
Temporary mould including supporting framework constructed to shape fresh concrete until it hardens to become self supporting; old unnecessary formwork timbers that are left in contact with the ground under buildings are prone to fungal decay and can facilitate termite entry.
The section of ground that supports the mass of a building.
Sometimes referred to as “borer dust” the small pellet-like droppings of insects; the characteristics of some borer frass may be an aid in the identification of the borer, for example Anobium punctatum frass is often coarser and more granular than that of Lyctus.
A building that stands unattached to any others.
The vertical wall or panel that forms a triangular section under a pitched roof; may be brick or timber framed and clad in a variety of materials.
The bonding of zinc protective coating over iron or steel to prevent corrosion (rust).
Freshly felled timber that still contains a relatively high amount of moisture; also referred to as unseasoned timber; may have increased susceptibility to certain insect pests of timber; for example some species of Bostrichids (auger beetle).
A structural beam that supports ceiling joists from above (usually spans the middle of a room).
A type of timber that comes from trees classified as angiosperms (flowering plants usually with broad leaves), for example eucalypts, tallowwood, maple; magnified cross-section reveals pores known as xylem vessels giving rise to the term ‘pored timber’; the term does not refer to the strength or hardness of timbers cf. softwood.
The top section of a frame within an opening (e.g. of a window or door)
Roof shape in which the sloping surfaces are pitched on all sides of the building.
Brickwork which is raised above floor level, (e.g. around shower or fireplace).
Window in which the sash is hinged at the bottom and moves inward at the top.
Materials installed in buildings as thermal or acoustic barriers including fiberglass batts (inserted between ceiling joists and wall coverings); presence in roof voids can restrict inspection access.
Vertical sides of frames of window or door openings.
Structural timbers supporting the flooring material (floor joists) or to which ceiling linings are fixed (ceiling joists).
Thermal insulation material used around pipes and duct work.
Horizontal structural member spanning an opening, for example at top of windows and doors; some older buildings may have timber lintels hence termite damage to window/door frames may have structural implications.
Refers to structural units that are laid in mortar, for example brick, concrete block, stone, terracotta etc.
Thin pliable sheet material that is often impervious to moisture, for example as used beneath concrete slabs.
A vertical member dividing a window or door frame into sections; exterior (and possibly interior) base of window mullions sometimes sustain localized fungal decay damage caused by rainwater ingress.
Stair post into which handrail is fixed.
Horizontal blocking fitted between studs to hold them straight and for fixings of linings.
A low wall that rises above the edge of a roof, balcony or terrace.
Building board made from compressed fibres bonded together with an adhesive – available in low, medium or high density grades, some with water-proofing added.
Timber or fabric cover to curtain rod or blind fittings, or to a sliding door to conceal the tracks.
The lateral movement of moisture from one side of a wall to the other, for example from exterior walls or leaking shower recess walls to interior surfaces; can cause staining and deterioration of wall finishes and possibly fungal decay damage to timbers in direct contact with excessive moisture.
Open timber framework structure over a path, terrace or patio; often covered with climbing plants; if constructed of low durability timber (e.g. Oregon), may sustain fungal decay damage, particularly at base of posts of these are in direct contact with the ground.
Vertical structural member of footings in concrete or brick.
Rigid lining board made of a core of gypsum plaster set between and bonded to outer coverings of heavy paper.
Fabricated timber panelling formed by bonding together, under heat and pressure, a series of timber veneers alternately at right angles to one another.
A roofed entrance to a building.
Structural roof member sloping down from ridge to eaves providing the principal structural support for the roofing material.
Wall built to hold back earth or other material and resist lateral pressure from the retained material; when constructed of hardwood sleepers, can facilitate termite harbourage. Masonry or treated pine are termite-resistant alternatives.
The vertical sides of an opening (e.g. of window or door).
Horizontal apex of two roof planes, usually the highest point of a roof.
Concrete or baked clay tile used for covering the ridge or hip of a tiled roof, usually with flanged/overlapping joints and pointed with cement; if cracked or pointing deteriorates can lead to fungal decay damage to adjacent roof frame timbers.
The vertical face of a step in a flight of stairs.
The vertical movement of moisture up a masonry wall often causing staining and deterioration of wall finishes; usually cause by failure of original damp course; usually can travel as high as about a metre; can lead to fungal decay damage to adjacent timbers (e.g. skirting boards).
Structural frame designed to carry the loads of a roof over the full span without intermediate support.
Common reference to fungal decay of timber that results from high moisture content that may be caused by a variety of circumstances.
Pliable waterproof membrane that is fixed under roof coverings and/or wall claddings usually with foil layer to give thermal insulation effect.
Usually flexible, these materials are applied to joints between building materials (in liquid or plastic form) to prevent entry of moisture.
Usually refers to timber from which most of the moisture has been removed as a consequence or air of kiln driving.
Two buildings/residences that share a common wall.
Thin pieces of timber, slate or other material, often oblong shaped and fixed in overlapping rows for covering roofs, walls and awnings.
Hinged or otherwise moveable cover or screen often fixed externally to windows (sometimes louvred).
The horizontal member at the bottom of a window frame.
A roof that consists of a single sloping surface without a ridge; often with barge boards on each side.
A moulding, often timber that covers the joint between the wall lining and the floor; sometimes fixed with screws to allow regular removal for inspection for termite activity in otherwise concealed bottom plates.
Glazed opening in a roof or ceiling designed to admit daylight into the space below.
Slab On Ground
Type of floor structure consisting of reinforced concrete (usually with thickened edges) placed directly on suitable ground over waterproof membrane.
Usually refers to the underside of part of a building (e.g. eaves, archway, lintel etc).
A type of timber that comes from trees classified botanically as gymnosperms (i.e. conifers/pines – usually with needle-like leaves), for example cypress pine, radiata pine, oregon; referred to as ‘non-pored’ timber; the term does not refer to strength or hardness of timbers cf. hardwood.
The horizontal distance between points of support of load-bearing structural members.
Small moulding (usually timber) fixed over the joint between a window (or door) frame and the reveal of an external wall.
Stairs component, the inclined structural members that support the treads(/risers) on each side; in exterior steps, base of stringers may sustain fungal decay damage and/or concealed termite entry, if in direct contact with ground.
In roof construction, structural support to purlin which transfers roof load to wall frame or strutting beam.
In roof construction, structural beam used to support struts where no internal walls are available.
Vertical structural member in wall framing to which lining or cladding is fixed; generally concealed from direct inspection for pest damage e.g. termite damage.
One of a row of buildings attached together by common/party walls.
Timber Frame Construction
Type of construction in which the structural members are timber.
Horizontal structural timber member forming the top side of wall framing or timber member laid on (strapped to) top of masonry wall (to carry ceiling joists and support rafters).
Strata titled two-storey attached building.
A drainage or plumbing fitting, usually in the shape of a P or S, which retains water to form a water seal to prevent movement of foul air into the building.
The horizontal section (which is stepped onto) of a staircase.
Mouldings (usually timber) fixed around doors, windows, joinery etc.
A frame designed to carry loads over a full span without intermediate support.
Horizontal structural roof member supporting the rafters (from underneath at right angles) and itself supported usually by struts.
The intersection of two sloping roof surfaces to form an open drain/gutter.
Timber boarding that supports the valley gutter.
An open or partly open section of a building, usually at front or side, that is roofed.
A single-storey attached dwelling.
Boards (often timber) designed to function as an effective exterior overlapping wall cladding for timber-framed buildings.
Holes or openings left in the vertical joints of a masonry wall above the level of a flashing or at the bottom of a cavity to permit the drainage of any water that may otherwise accumulate; also used at base of masonry retaining walls for drainage.