ADDENDUM:  An addition to a completed written agreement. Most commonly a change to a contract or explanation of points within a contract.

ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSE (ALE): Form of extra expense insurance provided by homeowners insurance policy for temporary shelter due to damage by a covered peril that makes the house temporarily uninhabitable.

ADJUSTER: An individual who values insurance losses for one of the parties of the claim.

AS NEEDED: A reference to unknown quantities of materials, required time or necessary methods to achieve a particular result.

AUTHORIZATION: Legal empowerment to perform restorations services.

AVAILABLE MATCH: A reference to closest approximate substitute available for irreplaceable damaged materials.

BETTERMENT: An improvement that adds to the value of real property.

BIOHAZARD: A biological agent that constitutes a threat to living organisms and/or to the environment.

BROKER: An individual or firm who acts as an intermediary between the insurance company and homeowner or business.

BUILDING CODE: A series of ordinances enacted by a local governing entity, establishing minimum requirements that must be met in the construction and maintenance of buildings. 

BUILDING ENVELOPE: The exterior of a structure (building) that encompasses exterior walls, floor, windows, roof, etc. and separates the conditioned areas from non-conditioned areas and which defines the environmental space within.

BUILDING PERMIT: A written authorization from a statutory authority to proceed with construction of a project and is generally bases on approved drawings and/or specifications as required by local building code and zoning requirements. 

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE: Commercial coverage that reimburses a business owner for lost profits and continuing fixed expenses during the time that a business must stay closed while the premises are being restored because of physical damage from a covered peril, such as a fire or flood. 

CATEGORY OF WATER: The range of contamination in water, considering both its originating source and its quality after it contacts materials present on the job site. Time and temperature can also affect the quality of water, thereby changing its category. (IICRC S500)

CATEGORY 1: Water that originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. Examples of Category 1 water sources can include, but are not limited to: broken water supply lines; tub or sink overflows with no contaminants; appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines; melting ice or snow; falling rainwater; broken toilet tanks, and toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives. However, once clean water leaves the exit point, it may not remain clean once it contacts other surfaces or materials.

The cleanliness of Category 1 water may deteriorate to Category 2 or 3 for many reasons, including but not limited to: contact with building materials, systems and contents; mixing with soil and other contaminants. Some factors that influence the potential organic and inorganic load in a structure include the age and history of the structure, previous water losses, general housekeeping, and the type of use of the structure (eg. nursing homes, hospital, day care, warehouse, veterinary clinic) and, elapsed time or elevated temperature. Odors can indicate that Category 1 water has deteriorated. (IICRC S500)

CATEGORY 2: Water that contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Category 2 water can contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological). Examples of Category 2 water can include, but not limited to: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines; overflow from toilet bowls on the room side of the trap with some urine but no feces; seepage due to hydrostatic pressure; broken aquariums and punctured water beds.

The cleanliness of Category 2 water can deteriorate for many reasons, including but not limited to: contact with building materials, systems and contents; mixing with soil and other contaminants. Some factors that influence the potential organic and inorganic load in a structure include the age and history of the structure, previous water losses, general housekeeping, and the type of use of the structure and, elapsed time or elevated temperature. (IICRC S500)

CATEGORY 3: Water that is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Examples of Category 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap regardless of visible contact or color; all forms of flooding from seawater; ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams, and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment, such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather-related events. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances. (IICRC S500)

CAUSE AND ORIGIN: The precise location and mechanism by which a fire originates. 

CHANGE ORDER: A contract alteration modifying the initial scope of work and/or project schedule; requires written, mutual agreement between parties.

CONTAINMENT: A physical barrier constructed to isolate a contaminated area within a structure for the purpose of restoring the affected area without spreading contaminants to other parts of the building. 

CONTAMINATION: The presence of undesired substances; the identity, location and quantity of which are not reflective of a normal indoor environment, and may produce adverse health effects, cause damage to structure and contents and/or adversely affect the operation or function of building systems. (IICRC S500)

CONTENTS: Personal property, including furniture and clothing, distinguished from the building or structure.

CONTENTS MANIPULATION: The required handling and positioning of personal property during the course of repairs or emergency services. 

COVERAGE: The scope of protection provided under an insurance policy typically naming covered perils, property and locations covered, and the limits of indemnification. 

DEBRIS: The waste material from construction or a peril; damaged building or contents components awaiting disposal.

DECONTAMINATION: The removal of toxic, allergenic or dangerous substances from a building, contents or a space. 

DEDUCTIBLE: A clause within an insurance policy that states a specified amount that is subtracted from the settlement of each covered incident, payable by the insured. 

DEHUMIDIFICATION: The process of removing moisture from air. (IICRC S500)

DEMOLITION (DEMO): The dismantling or removal of a structure or its components.

DEPRECIATION: The amount or percentage by which something decreases in value over time. 

DIRECT DAMAGE: Physical damage to real or personal property. 

EMERGENCY REPAIRS: The process of providing remedial action to a loss site to mitigate further damage. 

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: The rapid response of service personnel, equipment and/or materials to a damage site after a fire, flood or other disaster to mitigate further damage. 

EQUIVALENT: Equal in utility, value and appearance.

HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE: Any solid, liquid or gas that has the potential to harm humans, other live organisms, property or the environment. 

HEPA: High Efficiency Particulate Air (filter). A filter that is capable of removing 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size.

HIDDEN DAMAGE(S): Compromised or degraded materials concealed from view during Scope determination. 

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE: A package insurance policy providing property and liability coverages tailored to the needs of most homeowners and condominium owners. 

IICRC S500: A specific set of practical standards for water damage restoration. It is based on reliable restoration principles, research and practical experience. In addition, there has been extensive consultation and information obtained from numerous sources. These sources include, but are not necessarily limited to the scientific community, international, national and regional trade associations serving the professional restoration industry, chemical formulators and equipment manufacturers, cleaning and restoration training schools, restoration service companies, the insurance industry, allied trades persons and others with specialized experience. It is subject to further revision as developments occur in technology, testing and processing procedures.

INDEPENDENT ADJUSTER: An individual who valuates insurance losses on a contract basis for the insurance company. 

INSTITUTE OF INSPECTION CLEANING AND RESTORATION CERTIFICATION (IICRC): The IICRC is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. In partnership with regional and international trade associates, the IICRC serves more than 25 countries with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

INSURED: The person(s) protected under an insurance contract. 

LIABILITY: The obligation to pay a monetary award for injury or damage caused by ones negligent or statutorily prohibited action.

LIKE KIND AND QUALITY: A substitution of materials or methods that is equivalent to or better in type, function and value. 

LINE ITEM: A description in the Scope stating an action or an item which may include unit cost and/or price.

LOSS: A reduction in the quality of value of a property or a legal liability.

LOSS OF USE: A provision in homeowners and renters insurance that reimburses policy holders for any extra living expenses due to having to live elsewhere while their home is being restored, following a covered peril. 

MITIGATION: Actions designed to stabilize and/or protect and secure structural components, contents or the environment.  

MOISTURE: Diffuse wetness that can be detected as vapour in the atmosphere or as a condensed liquid contained in materials or on the surface of objects. 

MOLD: A type of fungus, ubiquitous in nature, which feeds on organic materials and requires a form of moisture to grow. Some species may pose potential health risks. 

NAMED INSURED: The individual or parties insured, designated by the inclusion of their name(s) on the policy.

NON-POROUS: A substance or material that is not permeable to water, air, or other fluids.

ODOUR: An olfactory sensation experienced by individuals, often assumed to have an unpleasant connotation.

PACK-OUT: The inventory, packing and transport of contents.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE): Clothing, helmets, goggles or other gear designed to protect the wearer's body or clothing from injury by physical, chemical, biohazard, and airborne particulate matter for job-related occupational safety and health purposes.  

POLICY: A written contract for insurance between an insurance company and policyholder stating details of coverage. 

POLICY LIMITS: A maximum amount of insurance payable for a covered loss.

PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: A property's appearance and state of repair prior to a damaging incident.

PROOF OF LOSS: A written statement submitted by the insured to the insurance company, containing certain information required by the insurer as a precondition to closing a claim. 

PSYCHROMETRY: The study of the relationship between atmospheric air mixtures (air, humidity and temperature). Psychrometry deals with measuring and understanding the thermodynamic properties of air and water vapor mixtures, to enable restorers to properly analyze and manage conditions during drying. (IICRC S500)

RENTERS INSURANCE: A package policy similar to homeowner's insurance except that dwelling coverage is limited to betterment's installed by the renter.  The policy also includes coverage for renter's liability. 

REPAIR: To restore appearance and function after damage; to fix.

REPLACE: To provide an equivalent property or building component as a substitute for that which has been damaged or destroyed. 

REPLACEMENT COST: A method for establishing property value for purposes of determining the amount the insurer will pay in the event of a loss. 

RESERVE: Funds set aside by an insurer to cover claims as they are reported.

RESTORATION: To return to a normal, former or pre-damage state.

RESTORATION INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION (RIA):  The oldest and largest trade association representing the restoration and reconstruction industry with over 1,100 member firms worldwide. RIA serves and represents the interests of its members by promoting the highest ethical standards; providing education, professional qualification and certification opportunities; positively influencing regulations and governmental actions; and advancing the safety, image, efficiency, and competitiveness of industry members.

RESTORATIVE CLEANING: The application of procedures designed to remove residues while retaining as much of the original character as possible. 

RESTORATIVE DRYING: The removal of water and excess moisture and humidity from a structure and damaged materials following an unwanted release or infiltration of water from several possible sources, and returning that structure and its components, systems and contents to a pre-damage state of moisture content and humidity. (IICRC S500)

SALVAGE: To recover damaged property or damaged property which retains monetary value.

SCOPE OF WORK: A detailed listing of the repairs required to restore a property to its pre-loss condition. 

SENTIMENTAL VALUE: A property restoration reference to objects assigned importance by their owners that is not supported by the objects' monetary value.

SMOKE: Solid and liquid airborne particulates and gasses that evolve when material undergoes pyrolysis or combustion, together with the quality of air that is entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass.

SOOT: A submicron black powder generally produced as an unwanted by-product of combustion or pyrolysis.  It consists of various qualities of carbonaceous and inorganic solids in conjunction with absorbed or occluded organic tars and resins.

STANDING WATER: A term used in property restoration to describe excess water that required removal. 

SUPPLEMENT: An addendum to an original Scope or estimate.

TEMPORARY REPAIRS: Property restoration reference to structural or content related work for the purposes of securing property, mitigating damage or supporting rebuilding activity.

TENANT IMPROVEMENTS: Betterments performed by a tenant.

TOTAL LOSS: Property reference to damaged structural components or contents whose repair costs exceed their value.

UNSALVEGABLE: Damage beyond the possibility of cost effective restoration and having no apparent market value.

VISUAL INSPECTION:  The inspection of a loss site without the use of instruments. 

WATER DAMAGE: The destructive effects of water or moisture on buildings and personal property.

WORK AUTHORIZATION: A two party contract signed by a property owner or agent and a contractor authorizing the contractor to perform damage repairs. The insurance company is not a party to this contract; however the insurance company often provides the payment for the repairs as part of an insurance claim. The insurance company provides approval for the value of the repairs but does not authorize the repairs.