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Construction Terms and Slang

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Mansard Roof
A roof which rises by inclined planes from all four sides of a building. The sloping roofs on all four sides have two pitches, the lower pitch usually very steep and the upper pitch less steep.

Mantel
The shelf above a fireplace. Also used in referring to the decorative trim around a fireplace opening.

Mason's Hammer
(or Bricklayer's Hammer) Tool shaped like a chisel to trim brick or stone.

Masonry
Stone, brick, concrete, hollow-tile, concrete block, gypsum block, or other similar building units or materials or a combination of the same, bonded together with mortar to form a wall, pier, buttress, or similar mass

Mastic
Heavy-consistency compound that may remain adhesive and pliable with age. Is typically a waterproof compound applied to exterior walls and roof surfaces.

Matched Lumber
Lumber that is dressed and shaped on one edge in a grooved pattern and on the other in a tongued pattern.

Maximum Occupancy Load
The maximum number of people permitted in a room and is measured per foot for each width of exit door. The maximum is 50 per foot of exit.

Melt Point
The temperature at which the solid asphalt becomes a liquid.

Membrane
A generic term relating to a variety of sheet goods used for certain built-up roofing repairs and application.

Metal Edge
Brake metal or metal extrusions which are secured at the perimeter of the roof to form a weather-tight seal.

Metal Lath
Sheets of metal that are slit and drawn out to form openings. Used as a plaster base for walls and ceilings and as reinforcing over other forms of plaster base.

Migration
Spreading or creeping of a constituent of a compound onto/into adjacent surfaces. See bleeding.

Mil Thickness
Measurement used to determine thickness of a coating. 1 mil = .001 inch (1/1000).

Millwork
Generally all building materials made of finished wood and manufactured in millwork plants and planing mills are included under the term "millwork." It includes such items as inside and outside doors, window and doorframes, blinds, porchwork, mantels, panelwork, stairways, moldings, and interior trim. It normally does not include flooring, ceiling, or siding.

Mineral Spirits
A by-product of petroleum, clear in color, a solvent for asphalt coatings.

Miter Joint
The joint of two pieces at an angle that bisects the joining angle. For example, the miter joint at the side and head casing at a door opening is made at a 45 angle.

Moan Back!
(slang) Exclamation: Come on back.

Mock-Up Testing
Controlled air, water and structural performance testing of existing or new glazing systems.

Modify
(slang) To alter by accident, e.g., "Boss, I just modified your fender with my dozer."

Modulus
Stress at a given strain. Also tensile strength at a given elongation.

Moisture Content of Wood
Weight of the water contained in the wood, usually expressed as a percentage of the weight of the ovendry wood.

Molding
A wood strip having a coned or projecting surface used for decorative purposes, e.g., door and window trim.

Monitor
A large structure rising above the surrounding roof planes, designed to give light and/or ventilation to the building interior.

Moose
(slang) A well intentioned person with little if any social skills.

Mopping
In roofing, a layer of hot bitumen mopped between plies of roofing felt. Full mopping is the application of bitumen by mopping in such a manner that the surface being mopped is entirely coated with a reasonably uniform coating. Spot Mopping is the procedure of applying hot bitumen in a random fashion of small daubs, as compared to full mopping. Sprinkle mopping is a special application of installing insulation to the decks. It is done by dipping a roof mop into hot bitumen and sprinkling the material onto the deck. Strip Mopping is the application of bitumen in parallel bands.

More Than Half A Bubble Off
(slang) (1) Someone not quite "on the level" or honest. (2) Someone not stable. See also: On The Bubble.

Mortar Types
Type M is suitable for general use and is recommended specifically for masonry below grade and in contact with earth, such as foundations, retaining walls and walks. Type M is the strongest type. Type S is suitable for general use and is recommended where high resistance to lateral forces is required. Type N is suitable for general use in exposed masonry above grade and is recommended specifically for exterior walls subject to severe exposures. Type 0 is recommended for load-bearing walls of solid units where the compressive stresses do not exceed 100 lbs. per square inch and the masonry wall not be subjected to freezing and thawing in the presence of excessive moisture.

Mortise
A slot cut into a board, plank, or timber, usually edgewise, to receive tenon of another board, plank, or timber to form a joint.

Mucker
(slang) A person that uses a shovel, rack, or come-along to move freshly poured concrete.

Mud
(slang) (1) Wet concrete. (2) Drywall joint compound.

Mud Cracks
Cracks developing from the normal shrinkage of an emulsion coating when applied too heavily.

Mullion
A vertical bar or divider in the frame between windows, doors, or other openings that supports and holds such items as panels, glass, sash, or sections of a curtain wall..

Muntins
Horizontal or vertical bars that divide the sash frame into smaller lights of glass. Muntins are smaller in dimensions and weight than mullions.