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Friday, May 17, 2024

Glossary of Common Restoration Terms - N

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
NIOSH is a federal agency that makes recommendations on values for exposure limits of various industrial and commercial substances.

Natural Gas
Natural gasses are hydrocarbon gasses that are composed primarily of 80-percent methane. The gas is created by methane-producing organisms in marshes, bogs and landfills. It is an important fuel source and is simply referred to as gas when compared with other energy sources.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
NEPA was passed by Congress in 1969 as the basic national law for the protection and care of the environment. NEPA sets all policies and procedures for the protection of the environment. Part of this function includes the authorization of Environmental Impact Statements as well as Environmental Assessments, which will be used as analytical tools for decision making for state and federal environmental managers.

National Priorities List (NPL)
The National Priorities List includes identified locations across the United States where hazardous wastes were found in the environment or within the vicinity. Initial evaluations on these locations showed that potential health risks can be accorded to human inhabitants or significant harm can occur to the environment. NPLs are sometimes called Superfund sites because the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) can allocate Superfund money for the investigation, clean up and restoration of these sites.

Natural Flow
The natural flow of natural streams is the flow that is still unaffected by stream diversion caused by external forces like modifications in land use. Restoration work in changes for natural flow should be done particularly if such changes are causing flooding to nearby habitable communities.

Neat is a word that describes an orderly and organized environment, facility or enclosure.

Negative Air Machine (NAM)
NAM is an electromechanical device that is used to create a negative air pressure in an enclosure. This device is used for restoration work to prevent the spread of contaminants to other areas in a structure. This includes asbestos abatement and microbial remediation.

Negative Pressure Drying
Negative pressure drying is a method used for water damage restoration by withdrawing moisture out from walls, floors, crawlspaces, cavities and other areas.

Net Water Demand (Net Water Use)
The amount of water needed in a particular service area is called net water demand. Net water demand includes the irrecoverable losses from the distribution system (pipe leaks, etc.), outflow leaving the service area, and evapotranspiration of applied water (ETAW) in that particular area. It does not include reuse of water within the service area.

Neurotoxins are poisonous substances that disrupt the body's nerve function.

A niche is a certain organism's role, position or function in an ecosystem. If certain niches are destroyed, this could affect the overall function of the ecosystem.

Nitric acid produces a salt or an acid-alcohol product called nitrate. It is produced naturally by decaying plant or animal matter, agricultural fertilizers, manure and sewage. Artificially manufactured nitrates are used in industries as fertilizers or even explosives. In environmental terms, nitrates in the soil are used for building amino acids and proteins in plants. Some nitrates that are not absorbed by plants and the soil can be transferred into groundwater.

Nitrogen is a colorless and odorless gas element with the symbol N and is found in animal and vegetable tissues or proteins. Nitrogen is used to manufacture ammonia, nitrate acid and other compounds.

Nitrogen Oxides
Smog and acid rain are caused by certain air pollutants that include nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen oxides are produced naturally in the environment, but it can also be artificially generated by the combustion of fuels.

Non-bearing Wall
A non-bearing wall is part of a structure that does not support anything and carries only its own weight. It is used mostly as a barrier than as a support.

Materials that have poor absorption and evaporation rates are call non-porous. These materials have a permeance factor of < 1.

Non-residential areas are locations and structures that are not for residential purposes. This includes but are not limited to churches, farms, nursing homes, schools, clubhouses, recreational buildings, government buildings, merchant locations, agricultural structures, industrial structures, warehoused, hotels and motels with rentals less than 6 months duration.

Normalized Demand
Normalized demand is the process of adjusting actual water use in a particular area within a given year. This is done to account for abnormal occurrences involving water supplies like dry weather conditions, agriculture, rationing programs, floods and other irregularities.

Nutrients are substances that nourish living things.

Nylon is a group synthetic material made from coal, water, air, petroleum, natural gas and agricultural by-products. Nylon is mold, mildew and insect resistant and produces hydrogen chloride when disposed of in fire.


This glossary is another free service, provided by RestorationSOS® as a part of our comprehensive service pledge. We believe that knowledge is a key element in a smooth and successful restoration project.

The terms in this glossary are commonly used during fire and water damage restoration projects. These terms are likely to be included in the estimate and contract, and are usually translated into the final cost. Please feel free to contact us with any question or concern.

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