Building Terms and Definitions

Abrasives: Substance that is rough or scratched.

Admixture: Material other than water, aggregate, or basic cementitious material added to the batch before or during job mixing.

Aggregates: A granular material such as sand.

Basecoat: The total of all stucco coats applied prior to application of the finish coat. Any stucco coat is applied before the application of the finish coat. The combined scratch and brown coats make up the basecoat.

Bonds: Adhesion of stucco to other surfaces that it is applied against.

Bonding Agent: A compound applied as a coating to a suitable substrate to enhance a bind between it and the next layer, as between subsurface and a succeeding stucco application.

Brown Coat: In multiple coat work, the second coat is applied over the scratch coat. In two-coat work, a brown coat refers to the double-up basecoat. The brown coat is the coat directly beneath the finish coat.

Building Paper: Also referred to as tar paper or black paper it comes in different ratings such as 30 minutes or 60 minutes. The minute rating refers to the time it takes for water sitting on the paper to pass through it.

Cementitious: Made of or from cement.

Checking: Development of shallow cracks at closely spaced but irregular intervals in the plaster surface. (Also known as craze cracks.)

Coat: A thickness of stucco applied in a single operation.

Cold Joint: The juncture of fresh stucco application adjustment to set plaster.

Control Joints: A flexible metal component designed to control the shrinkage of cement plaster. It is usually placed at each floor break of a building.

Craze Cracks: Fine, random cracks or fissures that may appear in a plaster surface, caused by shrinkage.

Cured: The process of cement hydrating and chemically changing to become hard.

Delamination: Coming unglued or unbonded from something.

Dens Glass Gold: Trade name for resinous coated, glass-fiber mat-faced, water-resistant core gypsum sheathing board.

Diversion Flashings: A flashing that is used to redirect the flow of rainwater.

Eaves troughs: Plastic or metal troughs that redirect rainwater from the roof to the ground.

Efflorescence: A deposit of salts or bases, usually white, formed on the plaster surface. Water-soluble substances emerge in solution from within the plaster and are deposited during evaporation.

Face Seal Wall Assemblies: Refers to the strategy of rain penetration control, which relies on the elimination of holes in the exposed exterior face of the assemblies.

Finish Coat: The final layer of stucco (job-site mixed or pre-manufactured) applied over basecoats or direct to concrete, comprised of either cementitious or acrylic material

Flashing: A thin, usually metal material used to prevent water entry or to direct the flow of water in the desired direction between two or more materials or surfaces.

Floating: Act of compacting and leveling a stucco basecoat; the act of bringing the aggregate to the surface of finish-coat stucco.

Framing: Structural members such as studs, joists, headers, beams, columns, girders, trusses, etc of wood or steel.

FogCoat: A fine mist of cement-based paint color used to provide uniformity on the integral colored cement finish coats.

Lath: Generally the reinforcement base to which plaster is applied, is secured to a substrate with appropriate fasteners. Commonly a welded wire mesh, woven wire, or an expanded metal mesh.

Parging: The application of a thin portland cement coat over a solid concrete or masonry wall, generally without lath reinforcement, to improve the aesthetic appearance of the exposed wall area.

Rainscreen: A method of handling water penetration, enhancing venting, and improving the drying capacity of the wall assembly, consisting of a water-resistant outer cladding, a measurable drained and vented cavity, and a water-impermeable backup wall.

Oriented strand board (OSB): It has replaced plywood as wood sheathing and is made from logs that are chipped and glued together.

Scoring: Grooving by scratching or scoring, usually horizontal, of the scratch coat to provide mechanical keys for the brown coat.

Soffit: The underside of a structural component, such as a beam, arch, staircase, or cornice.

Substrate: Same as sheathing.

Tyvek: Trade name for a house wrap that is made from fine, high-density polyethylene fibers. Tyvek is more tear-resistant than building paper.

Weep holes: Small holes in the bottom of windows that allows water to drain out.