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  • Writer's pictureZayed Ahmed

Becoming Familiar with the Exterior Part of the Property - Part 1

Updated: May 17, 2021

The first step towards learning how to process work orders correctly involves becoming familiar with how the houses are built. This video starts exactly with just that. We start by explaining some items that you will come across in the exterior part of the property.


Hello, this is Zayed Ahmed, Founder, and CEO of ASL BPO. This is a first among a series of videos that I plan to make about property preservation training aimed to train my processors and of course to help anyone along the way too. On this first edition, I would like to touch base with the type of properties that we encounter when processing work orders and provide a walk-through on some of the terms used to describe materials that are present on the exterior of the property. The three topics that we will be discussing today are:

A) Type of Properties

B) What the exterior walls of these properties are made of

C) Roof associated materials and their terms that a processor needs to be familiar with.

Type of Properties:

Normally the most common type of houses that you will encounter is the Single Family Homes. These houses are aimed for one family to live in and can have an area from 800 to more than 3000 square footage. The houses can have an attached or detached garage.

Another type of house that you can encounter albeit less frequently is Mobile Homes. Mobile homes are basically manufactured structures that were made in a factory and given an attached chassis and then were transported to a site used for homes. These houses can be distinguished by the fact that often have a rectangular shape and will have open space underneath the structure called a crawl space which can be sometimes covered by frames called skirting.

The third type of property that you can encounter are condo and multifamily homes, which are basically apartment-like buildings.

Type of Exterior Walls:

The most common type of exterior walls that are present in these properties is Sidings. Sidings are made of vinyl which is a type of polyester and acts as a wall cladding or an exterior material applied to the walls of a house to protect them against the effects of deterioration.

Another type of exterior wall is Stucco. Stucco consists of cement, lime and silica applied in several layers over wood or metal strip and can be very clearly distinguished from sidings by the fact that they have a smooth surface. Lastly, you may also encounter brick houses as well.

Materials and terms associated with Roof:

Roofs on these properties can be made of much different material. One of the common types of material that they are made of is Asphalt Shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most widely used roofing covers in North America. Some other type of roofing covers that you may see rarely are slate roofing, and roof tiles made of concrete, clay, and aluminum shingles. All these types of roof covers are on slanted roofs and not on flat rooftops. On flat rooftops, the most common type of roof cover is flat rubber rolled roof.

Below the roof coverings, there are two to three more layers present to prevent roof damage to the house. One of such layers is called the roof sheathing which is basically plywood that is placed on top of the roof frame which is called rafters. To cover the sheathings, felt paper is placed which is a plastic layer to prevent water damage and leakage into the sheathing. Sometimes, an extra layer of ice and water shield is also present.

Roof Edging are L-Shaped strips usually made of metal installed along the roof edges to allow water to run off the edges.

Roof flashing is pieces of metal sheet that are used to cover and protect the joints and angles from water leakage, especially in places where the roof comes in contact with a wall or chimney.

A chimney by the way is a vertically elongated structure on the roof, directly below the fireplace to ventilate smoke produced by the fireplace of the homes.

Roof Eaves or Soffit which are basically the same thing is the horizontal lower edge of a sloped roof.

Roof fascia on the other hand is the vertical band portion under a roof edge. A good way to remember the difference between soffit and fascia is that fascia is the vertical part while soffits are horizontally placed on the underneath portion.

Finally, Gutters and Downspouts, which are made of either vinyl or aluminum are used to drain rainwater that falls on the roof. Gutters are channels that are fixed along the edge of the roof while downspouts are drain pipes that carry the rainwater from the gutter to the ground.

That concludes the discussion, on the next video, we will talk about some more terms associated with the exterior of the property to further familiarise what you may encounter in this field.

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May 27, 2022

I got to know many things about the roof which roof repair experts failed to tell me while working on the roof. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information.

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