Glossary of Terms
Synergy Property Inspections

A.A.C. Panel

Autoclaved aerated concrete, also known as autoclaved cellular concrete or lightweight concrete. The product is used as a wall veneer cladding system and typically has a built in cavity system that allows for drainage and drying of any water that may penetrate the veneer. The product in appearance is very similar to that of E.I.F.S. (polystyrene cladding system) in that they both are of similar thickness and are coated in a similar way using a flat plaster system and paint.

 

Asbestos

The name given to a group of materials made up of natural mineral fibre that are very resistant to heat, fire, chemicals and wear due to friction. The material was banned in the 1980's due to the significant health risks associated with the product. The material can become friable and allow small fibrous particles to be released into the air that can lead to health problems. The products were used in houses mainly prior to 1984 but could be found in houses built after this date.

 

Borer

There are up to seven species of borer in New Zealand. The most common is the Common House Borer. Signs that you may have borer in your home timbers, doors or furniture include small (2- 4mm) flight holes on the surface of the timber and piles of fine sawdust. Borer attacks untreated and damp timber. Make sure under the floor is well ventilated to prevent this area becoming damp. For minor, or early infestation, treat the infested areas although this can be easier said than done. Replace badly affected timber.

 

Building Act 1991

The Building Act 1991 come into force in July 1992 and was superseded by the 2004 Act in April 2005. Amongst the many changes the Act introduced Building Consents, Code Compliance Certificates, and reference to The Building Regulations which include the Building Code.

 

Building Act 2004

The Building Act 2004 introduced changes such as - Licensed Building Practitioners, requirements for CCC's to be issued before a developer can sell a house hold unit and Certificates of Acceptance.

 

Building Code

A document that the Building Act 1991 and 2004 refers to that explains the objective, functional requirement and performance levels that a building must meet. It covers aspects such as structural stability, fire safety, access, moisture control, durability, services and facilities. All new building work must comply with the Building Code.

 

Building Permit

A permit that was issued under NZS1900 by the Council prior to the Building Act 1991 come into effect that states the building work has been authorized by the Council and that it is subject to inspections by the Council inspector. A permit should be signed off by the council inspector when the work was completed.

 

Casement Sash

A portion of a window unit that forms a particular frame that holds a panel of glass. A sash is either fixed or opening.

 

Cavity System

A wall cladding system that involves the cladding material supported away from the main wall framing by the use of battens that forms a cavity between the cladding and framing.

 

Certificate of Acceptance

A certificate issued by the Territorial Authority following an application for building work carried out without a Building Consent or for work where the Territorial Authority refuses to issue a Code Compliance Certificate.

 

Code Compliance Certificate (CCC)

Plans and specifications are assessed by building consent authorities (BCAs), usually the council, to ensure the proposed building work will comply with the Building Code. When the BCA is satisfied, it will issue a building consent for the work to proceed. If the work is built to the consented plans and receives a code compliance certificate, it confirms the requirements of the Building Code have been met.

 

Concealed Fascia/spouting system

Spouting that is concealed behind the fascia and is therefore not visible from the ground. Relies on overflow devices such slots/holes in bottom of fascia when the spouting becomes blocked where the conventional external spouting simply overflows the outer edge.

 

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) (Taken from MBIE Website)

We aim is to improve building quality and housing availability in New Zealand. We assist everyone involved with buildings, whether they build, own, live or work in them.
We set standards so homes and buildings are better built, safer and healthier, without needlessly adding to the time and cost of building them. We help landlords and tenants work together well, by giving them advice on what they should and shouldn't do, handling bonds, and settling any disputes quickly and fairly.

 

Weather Tight Services Group (Taken from MBIE Website)

The group is responsible for helping New Zealanders affected by weather tightness problems. Our aim is to help people get their houses repaired. We manage the weather tight homes dispute resolution service and the leaky homes repair scheme. We were set up as Department of Building and Housing in November 2004.

 

Double Glazing

A glazing system that consists of two panes of glass adjacent to each other that are separated by an air gap to
provide noise and temperature insulation.

 

Dry Rot

A fungus that consists of microscopic threads (hyphae) that penetrates the cell structure of timber that leads to decay. The fungus can provide suitable moisture content (between 20% and 30%) to the timber it is attacking by transporting moisture through the hyphae from damp areas. Dry rot typically attacks Pine, beech as well as a number of wood products such as wall paper and cardboard.

 

Exterior Insulation and Finishing System (E.I.F.S)

A cladding system that consists of Polystyrene and an acrylic plaster system used to provide insulation to a house while forming the main cladding system. Prior to 2005 the product was mostly fixed directly to the framing where the insulation properties of the materials were utilized. However as a result of the leaky building crisis, the material is now mostly fixed to cavity battens where the insulation properties are no longer utilized due to the air flow to the internal face of the product.

 

External Spouting

Spouting that is mounted on the outer side of the fascia or exposed rafters and is visible from the ground.

 

Flashing

A component used in providing water tightness to material junctions in wall and roof cladding.

 

Flashing -Apron

An apron flashing runs between the lower edge of a wall and roof cladding junction that provides water tightness to the junction between the wall cladding and the roof cladding.

 

Flashing- Barge

The flashing that runs along the junction at the join between the roof cladding and gable end cladding or fascia to provide water tightness to the roof structure (runs parallel with roof cladding at the edge of the roof).

 

Flashing- Head

The head flashing runs along the top of an external joinery unit such as a window and door that provides water tightness to the framing between the cladding and the unit.

 

Flashing– Hip

The flashing that runs along the junction at the hip portion of the roof to provide water tightness to the roof structure (where roof cladding joins at right angles at the upper end of the sheets).

 

Flashing – Kick out/Deflector

The flashing located at the lower end of a sloping apron flashing at the roof to wall junction that diverts the water away from the exposed wall cladding to prevent water penetrating internally. Typically the water is diverted into the spouting located directly below.

 

Flashing - Ridge

A saddle flashing is installed between the lower edge of the cladding and over a perpendicular parapet style wall such as a handrail of a balcony or perpendicular joists or rafters that provides water tightness to the right angle junction between the cladding and the perpendicular element or component.

 

Flashing - Saddle

A saddle flashing is installed between the lower edge of the cladding and over a perpendicular parapet style wall such as a handrail of a balcony or perpendicular joists or rafters that provides water tightness to the right angle junction between the cladding and the perpendicular element or component.

 

Flashing - Side

The side flashing runs up or down the vertical sides of an external joinery unit such as a window and door that provides water tightness to the framing between the cladding and the unit.

 

Flashing – Valley Iron

The flashing that runs along the junction at the valley portion of the roof to provide water tightness to the roof structure (where roof cladding joins at right angles at the lower end of the sheets and drain into the valley iron or gutter).

 

Flashing Sill

The sill flashing runs along the bottom of an external joinery unit such as a window and door that provides water tightness to the framing between the cladding and the unit.

 

H1 Treated Timber

Timber treated to a level that has resistance to insect attack allows the use of the product in areas that are not exposed to the weather or the ground such as enclosed framing of floors, walls and roof structures.

 

H3 Treated timber

Timber treated to a level that allows the use of the product in areas that are exposed to weather but not in close contact to the ground.

 

H4 Treated Timber

Timber treated to a level that allows close contact or direct contact to the ground and for non structural use such as fence posts, deck framing.

 

H5 Treated Timber

Timber treated to a level that allows structural timber to be embedded into the ground, such as timber used for house piles and verandah posts.

 

Hardboard

Compressed wood fibre material tempered to provide a flat smooth wooden panel used for internal linings.

 

Internal gutter

A gutter that is formed at the edge of a roof surface/s within the boundaries of the external walls and usually passes through the external wall to discharge surface water. The gutter normally relies on over flow devices to prevent internal flooding of the building.

 

Invasive Testing

Specialist testing carried out to parts of the building to determine the level of moisture ingress and or damage. The testing involves drilling holes through the cladding at the risk areas to determine the moisture content of the framing subject to moisture ingress. This could then lead to recommendations to carrying out further destructive testing to determine the level of damage to the dwelling as a result of moisture ingress.

 

Lacquernite

A prefinished hardboard or fibre cement product often used in bathrooms, toilets, laundries and kitchens.

 

Lath

Timber strips or metal grid used as a background for plaster applications on walls and ceilings.

 

Maintenance

Normal minor repairs. For example painting surfaces with normal preparation work. Can also include gardening, cleaning, adjusting.

 

Material – (Heading)

Type of material that predominately has been used in the element/component of the building.

 

Minor Defect

A matter that, in view of the age, type or condition of the building, does not require urgent attention or rectification and could be repaired during normal maintenance.

 

Moisture Scans

Non-invasive moisture tests to determine levels of moisture within surfaces. The testing does not cause any damage to the building but has significant limitations. The scanning method suggests the level of dampness in a material by sending signals approximately 15mm deep into the material. Dampness located further than this distance away may not be identified. Metal objects also return high readings that may falsely alert inspectors.

 

Non Invasive Testing

This generally involves visual inspections and moisture scans.

 

Overflow Device

A secondary or back up means of discharging water from a gutter or external surface to the outside of the building to prevent internal flooding of the building.

 

Plasterboard

Drywall internal linings made up from gypsum plaster and paper linings.

 

Pre - Painted

Factory painted.

 

Producer Statement

A statement provided by or on behalf of a building consent applicant for work covered by a building consent that states building work will or has been carried out in accordance with certain technical specifications.

 

Repairs

Work needed or recommended to improve the condition of a material/element or component to improve durability, prevent failure or rectify failure. Repairs may be subject to professional or expert advice and this should be sought when required.

 

Safety Glass

Glass treated or combined with other materials to reduce the likelihood of injury to person when cracked or broken.

 

Seismic Restraint

Mechanical fixings to prevent the movement of an appliance during earthquakes.

 

Soft Rot

A biological breakdown of wood that is subject to waterlogged conditions for long periods of time and is caused by moulds that live off the little amount of oxygen in the water that are able to break down the wood.

 

Subsidence

Gravitational effect on elements that have become partially or wholly unsound. Often caused by inadequate support from the ground that may be subject constant flooding or affected by voids left from rotting tree roots or drains.

 

Sump

A chamber to collect water from drains that has features to prevent the accumulation of debris.

 

Surface Water

Naturally occurring water which results from rainfall flowing on the property or onto the property including that from a drain, stream, river, lake or sea.

 

Territorial Authority

A district or city council that has the power to issue building consents, carry out inspections, issue Code Compliance Certificates, permit building work under the Resource Management Act 1991 and Building Act 2004.

 

Thermal Imaging

A techinque used to find moisture or heat loss in buildings.

 

Vapour

Moisture in the form of a gas that passes through some building materials that can lead to dampness.

 

Vapour Barrier

A sheet material or coating used to minimize moisture vapour from entering buildings.

 

Visual Inspection

An inspection that requires the inspector to assess the condition of a building in whole or part without moving any parts of the building elements, chattels, furniture or without carrying out any specific invasive or specialist testing.

 

Weather Tightness

The ability of a buildings external cladding and components to prevent external moisture ingress to enter the internal of the building.

 

Weather Tightness Risk

A method of construction used that poses a risk to the likely penetration of external moisture into the building that may lead to damage.