above-grade wall: a wall that is mostly above grade and enclosing
conditioned space. access: that which enables a device, appliance or equipment to be
reached. access panel: a closure device used to cover an opening into a duct, an
enclosure, or equipment. accessibility: level of access a building offers people with disabilities. accessible: in the opinion of the inspector, can be approached or entered
safely without difficulty, fear or danger. accessory structure: an additional building to the primary building. activate: to turn on, supply power, or enable systems, equipment or
devices to become active by normal operating controls; examples include
turning on the gas or water supply valves to fixtures and appliances, or
activating electrical breakers or fuses. actual knowledge: the knowledge possessed by an individual, as opposed
to that discovered through document review. addition: an extension or increase in the conditioned space of a building. adverse conditions: conditions that may be dangerous for the inspector
and may limit the walk-through survey portion of the inspection. adversely affect: to constitute, or potentially constitute, a negative or
destructive impact. air intake: an opening in a building's envelope whose purpose is to allow
outside air to be drawn in to replace inside air. aisle: an exit access component that provides a path of egress travel. alarm signal: a signal indicating an emergency, such as a fire, requiring
immediate action. alarm system: warning devices, installed or freestanding, including, but not
limited to: carbon-monoxide detectors, flue gas and other spillage
detectors, security equipment, ejector pumps and smoke alarms. alteration: any construction or renovation to an existing structure other
than a repair or addition; also, a change in a mechanical system. appliance: utilization equipment, generally other than industrial, that is
installed or connected as a unit to perform one or more functions. approved: acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction; also, accepted by
an internationally recognized organization, such as InterNACHI. arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI): a device intended to provide
protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics
unique to arcing, and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc
fault is detected. authority having jurisdiction (AHJ): an organization, office, or individual
responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for
approving equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure. The AHJ
is often the building owner, health department, insurance agent, or fire
marshal. automatic: that which provides a function without the necessity of human
intervention. automatic fire-extinguishing system: a system of devices and equipment
that automatically detects a fire and discharges in an attempt to put it out. automatic sprinkler system: an automated sprinkler system for fire-
protection purposes. balcony: exterior floor projecting from and supported by a structure without
additional independent supports. band joist: dimensional lumber used as a perimeter joist of the building
framing. basement: that portion of a building which is partly or completely below
grade. basement wall: a wall of a building that is mostly below grade. bathroom: a room containing plumbing fixtures, such as a water closet,
urinal, bathtub and/or shower. bedroom: a room used for sleeping purposes. bidet: a toilet-like plumbing fixture designed to promote posterior hygiene;
not a toilet. bonding: the permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically
conductive path that ensures electrical continuity, and the capacity to
conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed. branch circuit: the circuit conductors between the final over-current device
protecting the circuit and the outlet(s). building: the primary building subject of the commercial inspection. building code: rules and regulations adopted by the governmental
authority having jurisdiction over the construction and/or remodeling of the
commercial property. building department: local authority having jurisdiction over the
construction, alteration and use of a property. building envelope: the enclosure that defines the heated/cooled area of a
building, namely, the exterior walls and roof. building systems: components, assemblies and systems that are a part of
the overall building and property such as pavement, flatwork, structural
components, roofing, exterior walls, plumbing, HVAC, electrical
components, fire prevention, etc. built-in: permanently installed. chimney: a structure containing one or more flues for removing gases to
the outside atmosphere. cladding: something that covers or overlays, often used to describe
exterior wall coverings or metal that covers windows, doors or fascia for
weather protection. cleanout: an accessible opening in the drainage system used for the
removal of possible obstructions and for inspections; an opening in a
chimney that provides access to the flue for cleaning purposes. clearance: the minimum distance through air measured between the
surface of something heat-producing and the surface of something
combustible. clearly identifiable: capable of being recognized by a person of normal
vision. client: the party that retains the inspector and pays for the inspection. code official: the officer or other government-designated authority charged
with enforcement of building codes. combustible: describes any material that will burn. commercial cooking appliances: appliances used in a commercial food
service establishment for heating or cooking food. commercial property: the building structures and improvements located
on a parcel of commercial real estate. These may include structures such
as buildings with residential units operated for profit, mixed-use buildings,
strip malls, motels, factories, storage facilities, restaurants and office
buildings. component: a permanently installed or attached fixture, element, or part of
a system. concealed: rendered inaccessible by the structure or finish of the building.
Wires in concealed raceways are considered concealed, even though they
may become accessible by withdrawing them. condition: the plainly visible and conspicuous state of being of a material
object or thing. conditioned space: an area or room within a building being heated or
cooled. connector: the pipe that connects a fuel-burning appliance to a chimney. consultant: a person with particular expertise in a subject who assists the
inspector with portions of the inspection. contamination: an impairment of the quality of the potable water. crawlspace: the area within the confines of the foundation and between
the ground and the underside of the lowest floor's structural component. cross-connection: any connection between two otherwise separate piping
systems, one of which contains potable water, and the other that contains
something that could contaminate the potable water. crown: the sloped top of a masonry chimney designed to shed water away
from the flue; also called a splay or a wash. damper: a valve or plate for controlling draft or flow of gases, including air,
in a vent or ductwork; a manually-operated plate for controlling draft in a
flue. deck: exterior floor system supported on at least two opposing sides by an
adjoining structure and/or post, piers, or other independent supports. decorative: ornamental; not required for the operation of essential systems
and components of a building. defensible space: an area around a building designed to slow the rate of
an advancing wildfire. deferred-maintenance items: deficient items that cannot be remedied with
routine maintenance, generally caused by neglect. describe: to report, in writing, a system or component by its type or other
observed characteristics to distinguish it from other components used for
the same purpose. destructive: an act of demolishing, damaging or probing any system,
structure or component, or to dismantle any system or component that
would not be taken apart by an ordinary person in the course of normal
maintenance. determine: to arrive at an opinion or conclusion pursuant to examination. disconnected: shut down. dismantle: to open, take apart or remove any component, device or piece
that would not typically be opened, taken apart, or removed by an ordinary
occupant. duct: a passageway, tube or conduit utilized for the transmission of air and
vapors. due diligence: a level of care in the inspection process that varies,
depending upon the scope of work agreed upon by the inspector and
his/her client. dwelling unit: a single unit providing complete, independent living facilities,
including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and
sanitation. easement: that portion of a land or property reserved for use by a person
or agency other than the owner of the property. easily visible: describes systems, items and components that are both
conspicuous and in plain sight, absent of the need for intrusive inspection
techniques, probing, disassembly, or the use of special equipment. egress: a means of exiting. emergency shutoff valve: a valve designed to shut off the flow of gases or
liquids. energy analysis: a method for estimating the annual energy use of a
building. energy-recovery ventilation system: a system that uses air-to-air heat
exchangers to recover energy from exhaust air for the purpose of pre-
heating or pre-cooling outdoor air prior to supplying the air to an interior
space. engineering service: any professional service or creative work requiring
engineering education, training and experience, and the application of
special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences
to such professional service or creative work as consultation, investigation,
evaluation, planning, design and/or supervision of construction for the
purpose of assuring compliance with the specifications and design, in
conjunction with structures, buildings, machines, equipment, works or
processes. enter: to access or go into an area to observe visible components. evaluate: to assess the systems, structures and/or components of a
building. evidence: plainly visible and conspicuous material objects or other things
presented to the senses that would tend to produce conviction in the mind
of an ordinary person as to the existence or non-existence of a fact. examine: to visually examine; to look for and identify material physical
deficiencies in systems, structures or components of a building through a
non-intrusive physical inspection. See inspect. existing: buildings, facilities or conditions which are already in existence.
This Standard is designed to be used to inspect existing commercial
properties. exit discharge: the portion of a means of egress between the termination
of an exit and a public way. exposed: capable of being inadvertently touched by a person because it is
not suitably guarded, isolated or insulated. exterior property: the open space on the property. exterior wall: an outside wall of a building, either above or below grade. extermination: the control or elimination of insects, rats, vermin or other
pests. fenestration: products with glass and non-glass glazing materials,
including skylights, roof windows, vertical windows, opaque doors, glazed
doors and glazed block. fire apparatus access road: a road, fire lane, public street, private street,
or parking lot lane that provides access from a fire station to a facility. fire code official: the fire chief or other authority charged with the
enforcement of a code. fire department master key: a special key carried by fire department
officials which will open key boxes on commercial properties. fire-resistance rating: the time that materials or assemblies can withstand
fire exposure. fireplace lintel: a horizontal, non-combustible member that spans the top
of the fireplace opening. firewall: a wall separating buildings or subdividing a building to prevent the
spread of fire. fixture: component. flood-level rim: the edge of a fixture from which water overflows. floor area, gross: the floor area within the inside perimeter of the exterior
walls. floor area, net: the actual occupied area not including accessory areas,
such as corridors, stairways, restrooms, mechanical rooms and closets. flue: a passage through which gases move from the fire chamber to the
outer air. foundation: the base upon which the structure or wall rests (usually
masonry, concrete or stone), and generally partially underground. function: the action for which an item, component or system is specially
fitted or used, or for which an item, component or system exists; to be in
action or perform a task. functional: performing, or able to perform, a function. functional drainage: the emptying of a plumbing fixture in a reasonable
amount of time without overflow when another fixture is drained
simultaneously. functional flow: a reasonable flow of water supply at the highest and
farthest fixture from the building main when another fixture is operated
simultaneously. further evaluation: a degree of examination beyond that of a typical and
customary, non-intrusive physical examination. fusible link: a form of fixed-temperature heat-detecting device sometimes
used to restrain the operation of an electrical or mechanical control until a
certain temperature is reached, usually signifying a fire. garbage: the animal or vegetable waste resulting from preparation or
consumption of food. grease: animal fat, vegetable shortening or oil used in preparing food or
resulting from cooking. grounded: connected to the earth or to some conducting body that serves
in place of the earth. grounded, effectively: intentionally connected to the earth through a
ground connection or connections of sufficiently low impedance, and
having sufficient current-carrying capacity to prevent the buildup of
voltages that might otherwise result in undue hazards to connected
equipment or to persons. ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI): a device intended for the
protection of personnel that functions to de-energize a circuit. grounding electrode: a device that establishes an electrical connection to
the earth. habitable space: space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating and/or
cooking. Bathrooms, closets, halls, storage areas and utility spaces are
not considered habitable spaces. hearth: the floor within a fireplace. hearth extension: non-combustible material in front of and at the sides of a
fireplace opening. heated slab: slab-on-grade construction in which the heating elements are
placed within or under the slab. hood: a device that directs and captures grease-laden vapors and gases
from a cooking appliance. humidistat: a device used to automatically control relative humidity. identify: to notice and report. immediate cost: estimated cost of remedying an existing safety hazard, or
repairing a system or component that will likely fail within a year. imminent danger: a condition which could cause serious or life-threatening
injury or death. infestation: the presence of insects, rats, vermin or other pests. infill: area of the railing system bounded by the railing posts, cap, rail and
the deck. infiltration: the uncontrolled inward air leakage into a building. inspect: to examine readily accessible systems and components safely,
using normal operating controls, and accessing readily accessible areas, in
accordance with these Standards of Practice. inspected property: the readily accessible areas of the buildings, site,
items, components and systems included in the inspection. inspection: the process of an inspector collecting information through
visual observation during a walk-through survey of the subject property,
conducting research about the property, and then generating a meaningful
report about the condition of the property based on the observations made
and research conducted by the inspector. A commercial inspection
requires the inspector to make observations, conduct research, and report
findings. inspector: one who performs the commercial property inspection. installed: attached or connected such that the installed item requires a tool
for removal. interview: to discuss with those who have knowledge about the subject
property. intrusive: destructive. key box: a lockable device which permits the fire department to access the
building in an emergency. labeled: devices, equipment or materials to which have been affixed a
label, seal, symbol or other identifying mark of product evaluation. ledger: dimensional lumber attached to the building framing and used for
supporting the section of a deck adjacent to the building. life expectancy: average function time, in years, assuming regular
maintenance. listed: equipment, materials or services included in a list published by an
organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ),
and concerned with evaluation of products or services, that maintains
periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials, or
periodic evaluation of services, and whose listing states that the
equipment, material or service meets appropriate designated standards, or
has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose. mantel: a shelf or horizontal ornament above a fireplace opening. manual: capable of being operated by a person. material: having significant importance, as in "material defect." This term
is reserved for describing things of significant importance. material defect: a condition of a commercial property, or any portion of it,
that would have a significantly adverse impact on the value of the real
property, or that involves unreasonable risk to people on the property. The
fact that a structural element, system or sub-system is near, at or beyond
the end of the normal useful life of such a structural element, system or
sub-system is not, by itself, a material defect. means of egress: a continuous and unobstructed path out of a building to
a public way. mezzanine: a semi-permanent, freestanding stair-and-deck system,
typically constructed of fiberglass grating, heavy-duty steel and/or
aluminum, and installed between two permanent/original floors within an
industrial or commercial building in order to provide an open space on and
under which can be created informal office areas, storage for inventory,
tools and industrial equipment, etc. mold: a form of fungus. Some molds can cause disease in humans. non-combustible: a substance that will not burn when subjected to fire. normal operating controls: devices, such as thermostats, that would be
operated by ordinary occupants which require no specialized skill or
knowledge. observations: those potential items of interest noted by the inspector
during the walk-through survey portion of the inspection. observe: to visually notice. obvious: a condition or fact not likely to be ignored or overlooked. occupancy load: the number of people permitted in a building based on
the means of egress. occupant: any individual living in, sleeping in, or having possession of a
space within a building. operate: to cause systems to function or turn on with normal operating
controls. operational: systems or components capable of being safely operated. oral consultation: a limited visual inspection of specific systems,
structures or components of a building where no written report is prepared
by the inspector, and the inspector's findings, opinions, conclusions and
recommendations are orally communicated by the inspector to the client. owner: any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or
equitable interest in a property. panelboard: a panel, including buses and automatic over-current devices,
designed to be placed in a cabinet accessible only from the front. permanently installed: fixed in place (i.e., screwed, bolted or nailed), as
distinct from components, systems or appliances considered portable or
freestanding. Phase I: a type of fireplace and chimney inspection that exceeds the
standards required by a traditional home inspection. physical deficiency: a major defect, a significant deferred-maintenance
item, or a component or system that has exhausted most or all of its
remaining useful life (regardless of its actual life expectancy), or a safety
concern, or anything that could potentially cause the need for an expensive
repair. pitch: angle or inclination, usually of a roof. plenum: an air compartment or chamber that connects one or more ducts
and forms part of an air-distribution system. premises: a lot, plot, parcel of land, property or building. pressure drop: the loss in pressure due to friction or obstruction in pipes,
valves, fittings, regulators and burners, and the length of pipes and the
number of elbows. pressure regulator: a device placed in a gas line for reducing, controlling
and maintaining the pressure downstream of the device. primary building: a building that an inspector has agreed to inspect,
excluding all accessory buildings, with the exception of the primary parking
structure. primary parking structure and surfaces: a building and appurtenant
surfaces for the purpose of vehicle storage associated with the primary
building. public way: a street, alley or yard open to the outside and leading to a
public area. publicly available information: information that is accessible or available
to anyone upon request. raceway: an enclosed channel or conduit designed expressly for holding
wires or cables. ramp: a sloped walking surface. readily accessible: describes the area of the subject property that has
been made available to the inspector at the time of the walk-through
survey portion of the inspection, and/or a system or component that, in the
judgment of the inspector, is capable of being safely observed without the
need of portable ladders, the removal of obstacles, the detachment or
disengagement of connecting or securing devices, or other unsafe or
difficult procedures to gain access, and/or a document that has been made
available to the inspector for use in the research portion of the inspection. readily ascertainable: describes information that is available to the
inspector within reasonable time at a nominal cost so that it can be
practically reviewed during the research portion of the inspection. readily available: describes the information, personnel and documents that
are made available quickly to the inspector. receptacle: a contact device installed at the outlet for the connection of an
attachment plug. recreational facilities: spas, saunas, steam baths, swimming pools, tennis
courts, playground equipment, and other exercise, entertainment or
athletic facilities. remaining useful life: a subjective estimate or guess made by the
inspector based upon his observations and experience as to the number of
remaining years that a component will be functional before needing
replacement. removable: capable of being transferred to another location easily. repair: the reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building. replacement air: air deliberately brought into a structure to compensate for
the air being consumed or expelled. report: the written communication describing the issues discovered from
observations made and research conducted by the inspector and which, in
the inspector's opinion, are likely to be of interest to his/her client. A report
may contain photos or digital images of observations made during the
walk-through survey portion of the inspection, and/or copies of documents
reviewed during the research portion of the inspection. representative number: a sufficient number to serve as a typical or
characteristic example of the item(s) inspected. representative sampling: a small quantity of components of any system or
structure, enough like others in its class or kind, to serve as an example of
its class or kind. research: the process of gathering information through the review of
documents and interviews to augment the observations made during the
walk-through survey portion of the inspection. This research may include
reviewing readily available documents, such as previous inspection
reports, building permits, code violation notices, and environmental
studies. This research may also include interviews with readily available
personnel, such as building managers, tenants and owners. roof assembly: a system designed to provide weather protection and
including the roof covering, underlayment, roof deck, insulation, vapor
retarder and interior finish. rubbish: waste materials other than garbage. scope of work: work that deviates from this Standard, depending on
budget, time constraints, purpose of the inspection, age of the subject
property, and risk-tolerance of the client, which the inspector and client
have agreed to. screw-lamp holder: a lamp base that requires a screw-in-type lamp, such
as a compact fluorescent, incandescent, or tungsten-halogen bulb. short-term cost: estimated cost of repairs which may not require
immediate attention, but which should not be delayed for more than two
years. shut down: turned off, unplugged, inactive, not in service, or not
operational. single-wall metal chimney: a field-constructed chimney not permitted in
one- and two-family dwellings. sleeping unit: a room or space in which people sleep. smoke alarm: a single or multiple alarm responsive to smoke and not
connected to a sprinkler system. smoke detector: a device that senses particles of combustion. solid fuel: wood, coal, pellets, and other materials that can be burned for
heat. special consultant: a person with particular expertise in a subject who
assists the inspector with portions of the inspection. special equipment: any tools or devices other than those normally used by
an inspector to perform a typical and customary, non-invasive, physical
examination of the systems, structures and components of a building,
including, but not limited to: levels, probes, meters, video or audio devices,
and measuring devices. Standard: often used to mean InterNACHI's Standards of Practice for
Inspecting Commercial Properties. storefront: a non-residential system of doors and windows typically at
ground-floor level of a commercial building. structural component: a component that supports the building's dead and
live loads. structure: an assemblage of various systems and components that
function as a whole. subject property: the commercial property that is the subject of the
inspection. suggested remedy: an opinion offered as to a course of action to repair a
deficiency. Suggested remedies are outside the scope of a commercial
inspection. sump: a tank or pit that receives sewage or wastewater that is typically
located below the drain system, and so must be emptied by mechanical
means. sump pump: an automatic water pump powered by a motor and typically
controlled by a float for the removal of wastewater from a sump pit. system: an assembly of various components which function as a whole. technically exhaustive: a comprehensive and detailed examination
beyond the scope of a commercial property inspection that might involve,
but would not be limited to: specialized knowledge or training, special
equipment, measurements, calculations, testing, research, analysis,
meters, scaffolding, dismantling, probing or troubleshooting; also, where
the cost of obtaining information or the time required to conduct a portion
of the inspection and prepare that portion of the inspection report could
outweigh the likely usefulness of the information obtained, or could be
detrimental to the orderly and timely completion of the client's transaction. thermostat: an automatic control device used to maintain temperature at a
set point. thimble: the tube or lining through a wall that a connector passes through
to enter a flue or that a flue passes through to exit a roof. timely access: access to the subject property and documentation required
by the inspector to perform the inspection. toilet room: a room containing a water closet or urinal, but not a bathtub or
shower. trap: a fitting that provides a liquid seal to prevent the emission of sewer
gases and odors. tree crown: the branches growing out from a tree, including twigs and
foliage. unsafe: in the inspector's opinion, a condition of an area, system,
component or procedure that is judged to be a significant risk of injury
during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due to damage,
deterioration, improper installation, or a change in accepted commercial
construction standards. valve: a device used in piping to control the gas or liquid supply
downstream of the device. vapor retarder: a vapor-resistant material, membrane or covering, such as
foil, plastic sheeting or insulation facing, that limits the amount of moisture
vapor that passes through a material or wall assembly. ventilation: the natural or mechanical process of supplying and removing
air from any space. verify: to confirm or substantiate. visible: that which may be easily observed during the walk-through survey
portion of the inspection. walk-through survey: that portion of the inspection where the inspector
makes non-intrusive, visual observations of readily accessible areas of the
subject property. wall protector: non-combustible shield between a wall and anything heat-
producing for the purpose of reducing required clearance. workmanlike: executed in a skilled manner. yard: an open space on the same lot with a building. zone: a conditioned space within a building controlled by a single device.
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