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Glossary - G

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Gable: The end of a building as distinguished from the front or rear side. The triangular end of an exterior wall from the level of the eaves to the ridge of a double-sloped roof. In house construction, the portion of the roof above the eave line of a double-sloped roof.

Gable End: An end wall having a gable.

Gable Roof: A type of roof with sloping planes of the same pitch on each side of the ridge. Has a gable at each end.

Galvanize: To coat a metal with zinc by dipping it in molten zinc after cleaning.

Gambrel Roof: A type of roof which has its slope broken by an obtuse angle, so that the lower slope is steeper than the upper slope. A double sloped roof having two pitches.

Gang Nail Plate: A steel plate attached to both sides at each joint of a truss. Sometimes called a Fishplate or Gusset.

Gas Lateral: The trench or area in the yard where the gas line service is located, or the work of installing the gas service to a home.

Gaskets: Pre-formed shapes, such as strips, grommets, etc., of rubber or rubber-like composition, used to fill and seal a joint or opening either alone or in conjunction with a supplemental application of a sealant.

Gate Valve: A valve that lets you completely stop, but not modulate, the flow within a pipe.

Gauge: The thickness of sheet metal and wire, etc.

Gauge Board (Spot Board): Board used to carry grout needed to patch small jobs.

General Contractor: A contractor responsible for all facets of construction of a building or renovation.

General Contractor (Prime Contractor): A contractor responsible for all facets of construction of a building or renovation.

GFI or GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters): Special devices capable of opening a circuit when even a small amount of current is flowing through the grounding system.

GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete): Material used in wall systems that resembles but generally does not perform as well as concrete. Usually a thin cementitious material laminated to plywood or other lightweight backing.

Girder: A main beam upon which floor joists rest. Used to support concentrated loads at isolated points along its length, usually made of steel or wood.

Girdle: A large principal beam made of steel, reinforced concrete, wood or combination of these, used to support other structural members at isolated points along its length.

Glass: A hard, brittle substance, usually transparent, made by fusing silicates under high temperatures with soda, lime, etc.

Glass-Base: Roll roofing product built on a fiberglass base sheet constructed with a heavyweight TAMKO fiberglass mat, coated with weathering-grade asphalt. Used as a base sheet in select TAMKO modified asphalt and fiberglass roofing systems and as an alternate for TAMKO Type 43 Coated Base Sheet in any TAMKO specification. Hot-asphalt applied or mechanically fastened.

Glass-Seal: 3-tab self-sealing fiberglass shingles with a traditional square-tab design. A thick layer of weathering-grade asphalt gives them extra waterproofing protection. They are U.L. Class A fire rated and backed by a 20-year limited warranty. Algae-resistant granules optional.

Glaze Coat: In roofing, a light uniform mopping of bitumen on exposed felts to protect them from the weather, pending completion of the job.

Glazing: A generic term used to describe an infill material such as glass, panels, etc. Also the process of installing an infill material into a prepared opening in windows, door panels, partitions, etc.

Glazing Bead: In glazing, a strip surrounding the edge of the glass in a window or door which holds the glass in place.

Glazing Channel: In glazing, a three-sided, U-shaped sash detail into which a glass product is installed and retained.

Globe Valve: A valve that lets you adjust the flow of water to any rate between fully on and fully off. Also see Gate Valve.

Gloss (Paint or Enamel): A paint or enamel that contains a relatively low proportion of pigment and dries to a sheen or luster.

Gloss Enamel: A finishing material made of varnish and sufficient pigments to provide opacity and color, but little or no pigment of low opacity. Such an enamel forms a hard coating with maximum smoothness of surface and a high degree of gloss.

Glued Laminated Beam (Glulam): A structural beam composed of wood laminations or lams. The lams are pressure bonded with adhesives to attain a typical thickness of 1 ½" . (It looks like 5 or more 2x4s are glued together).

GPF (Gallons Per Flush): The unit of measurement by which flow rate of toilets are measured and regulated. Current U.S. regulations for toilets require a maximum of 1.6 GPF.

GPM (Gallons Per Minute): The unit of measurement by which the flow rate of faucets and showerheads is measured and regulated.

Grade Beam: A foundation wall that is poured level with or just below the grade of the earth. An example is the area where the 8' or 16' overhead garage door "block out" is located, or a lower (walk out basement) foundation wall is poured.

Grade MW: Moderate Weather grade of brick for moderate resistance to freezing used, for example, in planters.

Grade NW: No Weather brick intended for use as a back-up or interior masonry.

Grade SW: Severe Weather grade of brick intended for use where high resistance to freezing is desired.

Graduated Payment Mortgage (GPM): A fixed-rate, fixed-schedule loan. It starts with lower payments than a level payment loan; payments rise annually, with the entire increase being used to reduce the outstanding balance. The increase in payments may enable the borrower to pay off a 30-year loan in 15 to 20 years, or less.

Grain: The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibers in wood.

Granules: The mineral particles of a graded size which are embedded in the asphalt coating of shingles and roofing.

Gravel: Loose fragments of rock used for surfacing built-up roofs, in sizes varying from 1/8" to 1¾."

Grid: The completed assembly of main and cross tees in a suspended ceiling system before the ceiling panels are installed. Also the decorative slats (munton) installed between glass panels.

Ground: Refers to electricity's habit of seeking the shortest route to earth. Neutral wires carry it there in all circuits. An additional grounding wire or the sheathing of the metal-clad cable or conduit protects against shock if the neutral leg is interrupted.

Ground Iron: The plumbing drain and waste lines that are installed beneath the basement floor. Cast iron was once used, but black plastic pipe (ABS) is now widely used.

Ground System: The connection of current-carrying neutral wire to the grounding terminal in the main switch which in turn is connected to a water pipe. The neutral wire is called the ground wire.

Grounding Rod: Rod used to ground an electrical panel.

Grounds: Guides used around openings and at the floorline to strike off plaster. They can consist of narrow strips of wood or of wide sub-jambs at interior doorways. They provide a level plaster line for installation of casing and other trim.

Groundwater: Water from an aquifer or subsurface water source.

Grout: A hydrous mortar whose consistency allows it to be placed or pumped into small joints or cavities, as between pieces of ceramic clay, slate, or tile. Also, various mortar mixes used in foundation work to fell voids in soils, usually injected through drilled holes.

Grout or Grouting: A cement mortar mixture made of such consistency (by adding water) that it will flow into joints and cavities of masonry work to fill them solid.

Gun Consistency: Sealant formulated in a degree of viscosity suitable for application through the nozzle of a caulking gun.

Gunite: A construction material composed of cement, sand or crushed slag and water mixed together and forced through a cement gun by pneumatic pressure, used in the construction of swimming pools.

Gusset: A flat wood, plywood, or similar type member used to provide a connection at intersection of wood members. Most commonly used at joints of wood trusses. They are fastened by nails, screws, bolts, or adhesives.

Gutter: Metal or wood trough at the eaves of a roof to carry rain water from the roof to the downspout.

Gutter Strap: Metal bands used to support the gutter.

Guy Wire: A strong steel wire or cable strung from an anchor on the roof to any tall slender projection for the purpose of support.

Gypsum Board: See Drywall.

Gypsum Keene Cement: Material used to obtain a smooth finish coat of plaster, for use over gypsum plastic base coats only and in areas not subject to moisture. It is the hardest plaster.

Gypsum Plaster: Gypsum formulated to be used with the addition of sand and water for base-coat plaster.

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Stephen Stanczyk
 Licensed Home Inspector #221


Safe Haven Home Inspections
PO Box 124
Kapowsin, WA  98344


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