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At Covenant Restorations, we're committed to providing top-notch restoration services and empowering our clients with knowledge. We believe that education is an essential part of our mission as a restoration company, which is why we've created this glossary as a free resource for anyone seeking to learn more about the restoration industry.


ABSORPTION:  the process through which a porous solid material draws in a liquid or gas.

ACTUAL CASH VALUE: determination by assessing the monetary worth through a calculation involving the replacement cost, from which a portion representing depreciation is subtracted.

ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSE: a type of coverage where the insurer offers financial assistance to cover extra costs accrued when a home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered incident.

ADJUST: insurance means to investigate, manage, or negotiate a claim for one of the parties involved in the loss.

ADJUSTER: an individual who performs these tasks for one of the parties affected by the loss.

AIR BLASTING: utilizes high-pressure air, sometimes in conjunction with an abrasive substance, to eliminate odors or remove material that is adhered to a surface

AIR SAMPLING: a methodical collection of ambient air in measured quantities for analysis purposes.

AIR SCRUBBER: device or system designed to eliminate contaminants and odors from an airflow. It typically consists of a high-volume air mover connected to a HEPA or carbon filter, effectively removing particulate matter and odors from the air. This technology serves as a means to clean the ambient air within a building.

AS POSSIBLE: is a term used to indicate limitations or qualifiers, suggesting that the specified procedure may not achieve a fully effective result.

ASBESTOS: a non-combustible, inorganic fiber that was previously utilized extensively for insulation and as a binder in composite building materials. Airborne asbestos has been discovered to be extremely harmful, even in small quantities. Friable asbestos, which is powdery and capable of releasing fibers into the air, is considered a significant hazard.

ATTIC: a room or space situated directly below the roof of a building. In contemporary buildings, the attic typically constitutes the space between the roof and the ceiling of the upper story.

AVAILABLE MATCH: denotes that replacement material will be provided based on availability, without a guarantee of exact matching.

ALLOWANCE: funds allocated either as reimbursement or deduction for a specific action or condition.

ANTIMICROBIAL: a substance or condition that restricts or prevents the growth and survival of microorganisms. This term is frequently used to describe compounds found in consumer products that have the capability to inhibit or eliminate the growth of microorganisms.

APPRAISAL: assessment or estimation of the value of an object or property, which may include evaluating the cost of repairs or the decrease in value due to damage. Additionally, it can refer to an arbitration process mandated in numerous insurance policies to settle disagreements regarding the amount of a claim.

ARBITRATION: the process of resolving disputes through a neutral third party or panel instead of resorting to litigation. It necessitates the agreement of the disputing parties, which can be established either beforehand through a contractual clause or after a dispute has emerged. Arbitration proceedings are typically less formal than court proceedings and involve significantly reduced time and expenses.

AS NEEDED: a flexible term often used when precise quantities cannot be determined, signifying that an action will be undertaken until a comprehensive and fully satisfactory outcome is achieved.


BACTERIOCIDE:  a substance designed to eradicate specific bacteria, although it may not eliminate all their spores when used according to the instructions on the label. It distinguishes itself from a germicide by not claiming to eradicate fungi, viruses, or non-bacterial microorganisms.

BACTERIOSTAT: a compound that inhibits the growth of bacteria when applied according to the instructions on the label.

BASEMENT: typically the lowest level of a building, which may be partially or entirely below ground level.

BRACE: a structural component, typically made of metal or wood, used to strengthen or support an assembly or structure. It acts as a strut, supporting or fixing another member in position.

BRICK MOLDING: a wooden molding utilized to conceal the space between a door or window frame and the masonry into which the frame is installed.

BRICK VENEER: a layer of bricks applied to the exterior surface of a wall, secured with ties or mortar, without contributing to the structural integrity of the wall.

BEARING: refers to the section of a beam, truss, or similar structural element that rests on its supports.

BIOHAZARD: refers to a biological agent or condition that poses a hazard to humans or the environment.

BLEEDING refers to the penetration of pigment or residue from a substrate through a top layer of paint. It can also describe the diffusion of colors or dyes within a material, often resulting from wetting.

BLISTERING: is the formation of small bubbles or bulges in a finish coat of plaster or paint. This is typically caused by trapped moisture, exposure to heat, or applying a coating over a surface that hasn't been properly prepared.

BUCKLING: a structural phenomenon marked by deformation or failure, commonly evidenced by bending, twisting, or bowing. This often occurs due to overloading or swelling from saturation with moisture.

BUILDING CODE: a set of regulations and standards established by local or state authorities. These rules govern the design, construction, alteration, repair, use, and occupancy of buildings. Building codes typically outline minimum requirements for architectural, structural, and mechanical aspects, ensuring standards for sanitation, public health, welfare, safety, as well as provisions for light and air.

BUILT-INS: finished components installed as an integral part of a structure, which can include items like cabinetry, shelves, or furniture.

BEARING WALL: a wall that has the capacity to support an imposed structural load.


CABINETRY: refers to the craft of creating cabinets or the cabinets themselves, which are storage units typically found in kitchens, bathrooms, or other areas of a home or building.

CANOPY:  a covering positioned above a niche, pulpit, entryway, loading dock, or similar structure. Additionally, it can serve as a decorative escutcheon for a ceiling fixture, concealing the junction box.

CAPILLARY ACTION: the movement of a liquid within the small spaces or pores of a material, such as soil or porous substances, due to surface tension. This phenomenon elucidates how liquids can rise in absorptive materials to levels higher than the external saturation level.

CARPET PILE: refers to the upright tufts of yarn that emerge from the base of a carpet, constituting its visible surface and wear layer. These tufts of yarn are responsible for providing the carpet's color, texture, and style.

CAULK: refers to a plastic substance applied as a filler in cracks, joints, and connections, either for cosmetic purposes or to seal against water or air infiltration. The term can also describe the process of applying such material.

CAVITY WALL: an exterior wall, typically made of masonry, composed of an outer and inner layer separated by a continuous air space. These layers are connected by wire or sheet metal ties. The enclosed air space serves to enhance thermal insulation.

CERAMIC TILErefers to thin, flat pieces of clay that have been fired, commonly used to cover walls, floors, or other surfaces to create a durable, decorative, and moisture-resistant finish. These tiles are typically affixed using adhesives or mortar, and the spaces between tiles are filled with cement or synthetic grout.

 CHANGE ORDER: a written directive issued to a contractor, typically signed by the owner or an authorized agent as an addendum to a contract. It authorizes a modification or addition to the scope of work outlined in the original agreement. The terms and conditions governing the acceptance and execution of change orders are typically defined in the original contract, including payment terms.

CONTAMINATION: refers to the presence of sewage, waste, chemicals, or other materials that render an object, habitat, or substance unsuitable for use. This is typically due to concerns regarding toxicity and health hazards.

CONTAINMENT:  the process of isolating a contaminated area within a building to prevent the spread of contaminated materials. This is achieved by erecting a barrier, typically made of plastic sheeting or similar material, around the affected area.

CORROSION: the process of deterioration that affects metal, concrete, or other materials through chemical or electrochemical reactions. It typically involves acid-induced oxidation, leading to a loss of surface or structural integrity.

 COVERAGE (INSURANCE): refers to the specific risks or perils to which an insurance policy responds. It also encompasses the property insured and the amounts of insurance provided, as outlined by the insurance policy and any endorsements.

 CRAWL SPACE:  an unfinished space located below the first floor of a building, typically enclosed by the foundation wall. In structures without a basement, this area serves as a substitute for below-ground storage. Additionally, a crawl space can refer to an unfinished interior space of limited height located between floors, often containing ductwork, piping, or wiring.

CROWN MOLDING: a decorative molding installed at the junction of the ceiling and wall. It adds a finishing touch and visual interest to a room.

CULTURED MARBLE: is a material made by casting or molding ground marble mixed with colorants in a resin binder. It is commonly utilized for sinks and countertops due to its durability and aesthetic appeal.

CUPPING: is a concave deformation that occurs in wood flooring or other materials due to uneven moisture absorption. While it can sometimes be temporary, it may also become a permanent condition if not addressed.

CLEAR COAT: refers to a transparent finish applied over a surface to provide protection and enhance its appearance. It can also describe the act of applying such a finish.


DECONTAMINATION: involves eliminating toxic, allergenic, or hazardous substances from a building or its contents.

DEDUCTIBLE: is a predetermined amount stated in an insurance policy that is subtracted from any settlement paid out after a loss. This deductible applies to each occurrence of a loss.

DEHUMIDIFIER or DEHU: a device designed to extract water vapor from the air, thereby reducing humidity levels. Refrigerant dehumidifiers work by chilling air below its dew point, causing condensation that is collected in a receptacle or drained away. Desiccant dehumidifiers, on the other hand, utilize a moisture-absorbing medium to collect moisture, while expelling moist air to the exterior.

DELAMINATE: refers to the process of separation or detachment of a layer from a composite material that was previously bonded together.

DEMO or DEMOLITION: refers to the systematic dismantling of building components to facilitate their repair or replacement.

DISINFECT: means to eliminate infectious materials by destroying harmful microorganisms, thus rendering the surface or object safe from infection.

 DISINFECTANT: refers to any chemical or substance that is capable of destroying more than 99% of unwanted microorganisms that can cause human diseases. However, it may not necessarily eliminate all spores present on inanimate surfaces.

DRY ROT: is the deterioration of seasoned wood caused by a specific type of fungus.

DRYWALL: a wall and ceiling material composed of a gypsum core encased in a paper envelope. It is commonly installed using nails, screws, or adhesive, and is then finished to achieve a smooth appearance with joint tape and compound.

DUCT CLEANING: the process of removing residues, contaminants, or debris from the interior of air ducts. Various methods may be utilized, depending on the configuration of the air system and the type of residues present.

DEODORIZE: means to remove or eliminate offensive odors.

DIAGNOSTICS: involves applying systematic test protocols and software to assess the functionality and operation of computers, peripherals, and other complex devices.


ELECTRONICS: encompasses the management and utilization of extremely small electrical currents, which find applications in fields such as communications, process controls, computers, and various types of equipment. It collectively refers to the technology, theory, and equipment related to the manipulation and transmission of these electrical signals.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: involves the prompt arrival and action of service personnel at a site following a fire or other disaster to address the damage and mitigate further risks or harm.

EXCLUSION: a provision within an insurance contract that restricts coverage by specifying certain perils, causes, or conditions that are not covered by the policy.

EXTRACTION: a restoration process that involves applying a liquid cleaning agent or solvent onto a surface, followed by immediate vacuuming to remove dissolved soils or residues.

EMERGENCY TREATMENT: refers to immediate remedial actions taken in the aftermath of damage to buildings and contents. The purpose is to protect and minimize further loss by swiftly addressing the situation.


FACTORY MATCH: refers to color and styling options that are readily available from standard factory sources, as opposed to customized fabrication or color matching.

FIRE RESIDUE: refers to solid or viscous substances formed during combustion and carried as a component of smoke. These residues may settle out or adhere to surfaces along the path of the smoke.

FLASHING: is a thin, impermeable material utilized in construction to prevent water penetration at critical points such as roof edges, joints, windows, and doors.

FOUNDATION: the structural component of a building that transfers the load from the structure to the supporting earth. Foundations are typically situated partially or entirely below ground level.

FRAMING: a structural system comprised of woodwork that provides rigidity, support, and a surface for the installation of interior or exterior finishing materials in a building.

FUNGI: a class of organisms capable of producing spores, which do not contain chlorophyll and derive nutrients by feeding on organic matter. This category includes molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools.

FLOOR AREA: refers to the space enclosed by the perimeter walls of a room or building, measured from the inside surface of these walls.

FLOORING: refers to any material utilized as the surface layer of an installed floor, providing a wear-resistant and functional surface for walking or other activities.


GROUT: a type of mortar employed to fill joints in unit masonry or ceramic tile. It can also refer to a mixture of cement and water, or similar materials, utilized to stabilize or consolidate unstable earth.

GYPSUM BOARD: commonly known as drywall, is a building material composed of a layer of gypsum sandwiched between two sheets of paper. It is used primarily for interior walls and ceilings in construction.


HARDWOOD: refers to a type of lumber obtained from broad-leaved deciduous trees, such as oak, maple, walnut, and poplar, among others. It's important to note that the term "hardwood" does not necessarily indicate the hardness of the wood.

HEPA FILTER: stands for high-efficiency particulate Air filter. These filters are capable of trapping at least 99.7% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter or larger.

HEPA VAC: a vacuum cleaner that incorporates a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, designed to capture and retain a high percentage of fine particles and allergens during the vacuuming process.

HUMIDITY: refers to the amount of moisture present in the air. It is commonly expressed as relative humidity, which compares the actual moisture content of the air to the maximum amount of moisture it could hold at a given temperature.

HVAC: stands for Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning. It refers to the system responsible for controlling the temperature, humidity, and air quality within buildings for the comfort and safety of occupants.

HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE: is the pressure exerted on one side of a surface due to the presence of water on the opposing side.

HIDDEN DAMAGE: refers to damage that is not readily visible on the surface but may be discovered later during construction or after repairs have been completed.

HOT WATER EXTRACTION: is a cleaning method that involves spraying a heated detergent solution onto a surface while simultaneously vacuuming it up. This process effectively removes dissolved soils and residues from the surface.


INDEPENDENT ADJUSTER: is an insurance adjuster who works independently and handles losses for multiple insurance companies on a fee basis. They are often hired to manage claims when staff adjusters from the insurance companies are not available or when there is a high volume of claims.




LAMINATE: refers to a product created by bonding two or more layers of material together, such as plywood or laminated counters. The process involves bonding these layers into a composite using an adhesive.

LATENT DAMAGE: refers to damage that is not immediately apparent but may become apparent at a later time.

LIABILITY: refers to the legal responsibility or obligation to pay out funds due to some cause or injury, whether actual or potential.

LINE ITEM: refers to a specific task or item listed individually within a work specification or estimate.

LATEX: a type of paint made from an emulsion of finely dispersed particles of natural or synthetic rubber or plastic materials suspended in water.


MARBLE: a metamorphic rock that often exhibits veins or shadings due to the presence of various minerals. In a broader sense, the term can refer to any rock that can be polished, including dense limestones.

MASKING: refers to the process of protecting surfaces adjacent to paintwork, typically using removable tape or paper, to prevent paint from adhering to them. It can also involve applying a pleasant scent to cover up objectionable odors.

A MOISTURE METER: is a device used to measure the moisture content of various materials.

MOLD: a type of microorganism that feeds on organic materials, commonly found in damp environments and responsible for mold growth.

MATCH: refers to the quality of being identical or very similar. It can indicate the degree of similarity between objects, textures, or colors.


NEGATIVE AIR MACHINE: a fan or blower that generates negative pressure by expelling air to the outside while simultaneously drawing air from other areas of the building. It is frequently equipped with HEPA or carbon filters to capture particulates or odors.

NEGATIVE PRESSURE: a state where the air pressure within a confined space is lower than that of the surrounding areas, causing air to flow towards the area of negative pressure. This condition is often intentionally created to contain dust or contaminants and prevent their spread to other areas.

NON-BEARING WALL: a wall that supports no load other than its own weight. It is primarily used as a partition to divide spaces within a building.

NON-COMBUSTIBLE: refers to a material used in building construction that will not ignite when exposed to fire. It describes a building material that meets statutory requirements for ignition resistance and flame spread in applications where such materials are required by regulations or standards.

NEUTRALIZE: means to alter the state of a substance so that it becomes neither positively nor negatively charged, acidic nor alkaline. It also refers to rendering a substance or its qualities inactive.


OIL BASE: refers to a type of paint in which a drying oil serves as the vehicle for the pigment.

ON-LOCATION: refers to tasks or services that are performed at the site where they are needed, rather than at the restorer's plant or another processing facility.

OVERHEAD: refers to expenses that are not directly attributable to a specific job or project. These expenses encompass various operational costs such as insurance, rent, telephone bills, advertising, legal services, office salaries, sales costs, automobile expenses, taxes, licenses, and similar items. Overhead costs are often expressed as a percentage of sales and are incurred to sustain the overall functioning of a business.

OVERHEAD & PROFIT: refers to a combined allowance that encompasses both overhead expenses and operating profit. This allowance is often expressed as a percentage of sales and is designed to cover the general operational costs of a business as well as generate profit for the company.

OXIDIZE: refers to a chemical reaction where a substance reacts with oxygen to form a different substance. This reaction often involves the loss of electrons by the oxidized substance.

OZONE: is a form of oxygen that contains an additional oxygen atom, making the molecule unstable and highly reactive. Due to its powerful oxidizing properties, ozone is utilized as a deodorant or disinfectant in various applications


PACK OUT, IN: refers to the process of packing and transporting a significant amount of personal property to a restoration facility for processing. It also encompasses the return of the items after they have been processed.

PAD: a flat piece of stone, lumber, or metal positioned beneath a girder or beam to distribute the load over a larger area.

PAINT: is a liquid mixture of pigment dissolved in a vehicle, which can be oil, organic solvent, or water-based. When applied to a surface, it dries to form a protective and decorative coating that adheres to the substrate.

PAINT GRADE: refers to moldings that contain finger joints, rendering them unsuitable for clear finishes. These moldings are typically intended to be painted rather than left with a clear finish.

PEELING: refers to a loss of adhesion in a paint film, plaster, or other membrane, causing it to detach from the substrate in flakes or strips.

PENETRATION: can denote any opening in a wall, ceiling, or floor, including those for windows, doors, skylights, plumbing, or lighting.

PLASTER: is a paste-like material typically composed of Portland cement, lime, or gypsum mixed with water and sand. Applied to surfaces while in a plastic state, it subsequently hardens to form a solid surface.

POLICY EXCLUSION: refers to a specific peril or category of property that an insurance policy explicitly excludes from coverage.

POWDER CLEAN: involves removing unwanted residues by applying and agitating an absorbent powder. The powder dislodges and holds the residues, which are then removed along with it.

PRE-LOSS CONDITION: refers to the appearance and state of repair that existed prior to the occurrence of a loss or damage.

PROOF OF LOSS: is a written statement submitted by the insured individual to the insurance company. It contains specific information required by the insurer as a prerequisite for processing a claim.

A PUBLIC ADJUSTER: is an individual who represents policyholders in preparing and presenting their insurance claims to insurance companies. They typically work on behalf of the insured party and may receive a percentage of the loss as compensation for their services.

PUNCH LIST: is a list of tasks or items that need to be addressed or corrected by the contractor near the completion of a project. Completing the tasks on the punch list is necessary to finalize the project.

PLYWOOD: is a composite wood product consisting of three or more thin layers, known as plies, arranged with the grain of adjoining plies at right angles to each other. These layers are bonded together with adhesive resins.



RAFTER: is a structural framing member installed in a series to provide support for the roof deck.

RAKE BOARD: is the trim that finishes the sloped sides of the rafters or overhang on a gable roof or dormer.

RAKE MOLD: is a molding that is installed at the upper edge of rake boards to provide a more finished appearance.

RECOAT: refers to the process of applying an additional layer of finish, such as paint or lacquer, over an existing surface.

REFINISHING: involves removing the existing finish from a surface and replacing it with a new finish.

REFITTING: refers to the process of adjusting a building component to accommodate changes in it or the surrounding materials.

REPLACING: involves providing a property or component as a substitute for one that has been damaged or destroyed. When an exact replacement is not feasible, the new article should be the closest equivalent currently available from regular sources.

RESIDUE: refers to materials that remain after the transporting medium, such as air, smoke, water, or another substance, has been removed or dissipated.

RESTORATIVE CLEANING: involves applying procedures specifically designed to remove damaging residues from a particular surface while preserving as much of the original character as possible. This often entails the use of specialized or unconventional techniques and equipment.

RESTORE: refers to the process of returning a damaged item or property to its pre-damage condition by removing damaging residues or odor. It involves remedying damage or distress while preserving the original components and appearance to the fullest possible degree.

 RISER: can refer to:

  1. The vertical face of a stair step.

  2. Any vertical plumbing, electrical, sprinkler, or air duct line that extends vertically one story or more.

  3. A platform on the stage of a theater or concert hall.



  1. Recovering damaged materials to reduce the amount of loss.

  2. Damaged articles or stock that retain monetary value.

  3. The disposal of such damaged articles through resale.


  1. The act or process of reducing microorganisms to safe levels as determined by public health agencies.

  2. A substance that limits or controls microorganisms when used according to the manufacturer's instructions.

SCOPE or SCOPE OF REPAIR:​ comprehensive and detailed listing of the repairs necessary to address damage at a specific site.

SECONDARY DAMAGE: Damage that occurs as a consequence of primary damage, such as airborne moisture, mildew, corrosion, or fire odors.

SOOT: Fine black particles primarily made of carbon, generated by incomplete fuel combustion. Accumulations of soot can occasionally be released abruptly due to furnace malfunctions known as puffbacks.

SPORE: A tiny organic unit discharged or dispersed as a component of the reproductive cycle of molds and fungi.

STUCCO: An exterior finish, often textured, made of Portland cement, lime, sand, or other aggregate mixed with water to create a durable, plaster-like coating for walls.

SUBFLOOR: An unfinished supporting surface intended for a finished floor.

SUPPLEMENTAL ESTIMATE: An itemized document outlining charges for extra work that was not included in the initial estimate.

SWELLING: The expansion in volume resulting from the absorption of moisture.

SENTIMENTAL VALUE: The esteem that an individual places on objects due to their history or emotional significance, regardless of their monetary value or replacement cost.

SMOKE RESIDUE: Refers to combustion products that persist after smoke has dissipated


TONGUE & GROOVE: Refers to any type of lumber, such as boards or planks, that is milled with a groove along one edge and a corresponding tongue along the other, allowing adjacent pieces to fit together snugly.

TRUSS: An engineered framing device where smaller and lighter lumber is assembled to support loads that would typically require heavier and more costly solid lumber. Trusses often serve the combined function of rafters and ceiling joists.

TOTAL LOSS, TOTALED: Describes an item or structure that has been damaged to such an extent that it is deemed beyond repair or not economically viable to repair.

TRIM: Refers to visible moldings such as baseboards, cornices, and casings that are installed to cover or protect joints, edges, or ends of other materials. It can also denote metal fittings designed for the same purpose. Additionally, "trim" can refer to the act of shaving or fitting materials precisely.


UNIT PRICE: An indicated amount in an estimate or contract representing the cost for a standard quantity of a specific material or service. Unit In Place prices encompass both the material and its installation.

UNSALVAGEABLE: Refers to items or structures damaged to such an extent that restoration or repair is not feasible or cost-effective.


VAPOR BARRIER: A material or membrane employed to hinder the passage of moisture through a wall, roof, or floor. It is also utilized as a covering to prevent the release of condensed water from cold pipes or ducts.


WARPING: The alteration of a surface's original or intended shape due to variances in moisture or temperature.

WATER DAMAGE: The harmful consequences of water or moisture on structures and personal belonging

WATER MARK: A stain caused by water; a common occurrence on velvet fabrics or carpeting where irregular shapes resembling water stains are formed due to varying pile directions; an irregular wavy pattern often seen on moiré fabrics.

WATER STAIN: A discoloration resulting from water exposure is often characterized by a dark outline around the stained area; alternatively, a dye soluble in water is employed to stain wood.


A formal written directive instructing a contractor, subcontractor, or employee to carry out specific tasks, typically including details such as the start date and payment terms.

WATER MIGRATION: The process of water movement within a substance through capillary action; the spread of water, either as a liquid or vapor, to areas beyond the initial impact zone.



YELLOWING: Yellowing refers to the appearance of a yellow tint on surfaces that are white, light-colored, or clear, often resulting from factors such as aging, exposure to sunlight, oxidation, heat, or residues from fires. Improper cleaning methods, such as using highly alkaline detergents on white wool, can also contribute to yellowing. In some cases, the perception of yellowing may be misleading, especially when influenced by background colors.


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