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Construction deterioration & building durability glossary

Article & glossary hosted by A. Sebastian Engineering and Investigation Services

Flood conditions resulting in extensive inundation and property damage. Typically characterized by the evacuation of people and livestock and the closure of both primary and secondary roads. Also see Minor Flooding and Moderate Flooding.

Geologically, marble refers to certain crystalline rocks composed primarily of calcite or dolomite-metamorphosed limestone. In the stone and construction industries on the other hand, the term "marble" refers to any rock that can take a high polish. This even includes a few limestones and granites. The purest from is white statuary marble, best exemplified by product mined in the Carrara area of Italy. Commonly found marbles contain various impurities which produce a whole spectrum of patterns and colors. Because is softer than most other construction stones, marble can be worked more easily and is used mainly for ornamentation. The downfall is that marbles are often more expensive. They also tend to be sensitive to exposure to atmospheric pollutants and acids from any sorce, so many are not suitable for exterior use even when protective transparent coatings are used.

to the French mašon (Latin matio or machio), "a builder of walls" or "a stone-cutter" masonry
Brick, stone, concrete, hollow-tile, concrete-block, gypsum block, or other building units, bonded together with mortar (usually).

A mill-mixed cementitious material to which sand and water must be added. See ASTM C 91.

Natural or manufactured building units of burned clay, concrete, stone, glass, gypsum, etc.
Hollow Masonry Unit: One whose net cross-sectional area in any plane parallel to the bearing surface is less than 75 percent of the gross.
Modular Masonry Unit: One whose nominal dimensions are based on the 4 in. module.
Solid Masonry Unit: One whose net cross-sectional area in every plane parallel to the bearing surface is 75 percent or more of the gross.

Essentially water, quantitatively (and sometimes qualitatively) determined by definite prescribed methods which may vary according to the nature of the material. For example, ASTM D 4263 (Standard test method for indication of moisture in concrete by the plastic sheet method) is a test method used to indicate the presence of capillary moisture in concrete.

Moisture barrier
a special building paper fastened over the sheathing on the inside face of the cavity. It is lapped and taped to provide a third level of protection against moisture penetration. moisture content
Term which in engineering indicates the percentage moisture content (which equals the weight of moisture divided by the weight of dry material multiplied by 100). The moisture content of a concrete aggregate, soil or mineral sample consists of two portions, namely, the free or surface moisture which can be removed by exposure to air, and the inherent moisture which is entrapped in the the material, and is removed by heating at a specific temperature (in the case of most coal for example, this temperature is 200 degrees F or 93.3 degrees C). Moisture content syn: inherent moisture; water content.

A plastic mixture of cementitious materials, fine aggregate and water. See ASTM Specifications C 270, C 476 or BIA M1-72.
Fat Mortar: Mortar containing a high percentage of cementitious components. It is a sticky mortar which adheres to a trowel.
High-Bond Mortar: Mortar which develops higher bond strengths with masonry units than normally developed with conventional mortar.
Lean Mortar: Mortar which is deficient in cementitious components, it is usually harsh and difficult to spread.

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