Glossary: W


WaferboardA mat-formed panel made of wood wafers randomly arranged and bonded with a waterproof binder.
Wafle SlabA concrete slab that has ribs running in two directions forming a waffle-like grid.
WainscotA protective or decorative finish wall covering applied to the lower part of an interior wall.
WarpA variation in a board from a flat, plane condition.
Waste PipeHorizontal plumbing pipes that connect a fixture to the soil pipe.
Water RepellentLiquid that penetrates the pores of wood and prevents moisture from penetrating without altering the desirable qualities of the wood.
Water RetentionThe property of a mortar that prevents the rapid loss of water by absorption into the masonry units.
Water StopA rubber or plastic diaphragm placed across a joint in cast concrete to prevent the passage of water through the joint.
Water TableThe level below the ground where the soil is saturated with water.
Water-Based CoatingsCoatings formulated with water as the solvent.
Water-Cement RatioIn a concrete or mortar mixture, the ratio fo the amount of water (minus that held by the aggregates) to the amount of cement used.
Water-SmokingA process used to drive off the remaining water from clay products before they are fired in the kiln.
Water-Struck BrickBrick made in a mold that was wetted before the clay was placed in the mold.
Water-Vapor PermeabilityThe rate of water-vapor transmission through a given area of flat material of a given thickness induced by a given vapor pressure difference between the two surfaces under specified temperature and humidity conditions.
Water-Vapor Transmission RateThe steady-state vapor flow in a given time through a given area of a body, normal to specified parallel surfaces, under specific conditions of temperature and humidity at each surface.
WaterproofingA material used to make a surface impervious to the penetration of water.
WattThe unit of measurement of electrical power or rate of work. It is a pressure of one volt flowing at the rate of one ampere.
Wavelength (Sound)Wave is one complete cycle of sound vibration passing through a medium (such as air) from compression through rarefaction and back to compression again. The physical length of this cycle is termed the wavelength. Wavelengths in air vary from about 1&1/16″ for a 20,000-cycle per sec. (see Frequency) sound, to approximately 56&1/2′ for a 20-cycle per sec. sound — the two approximate extremes of human hearing sensitivity. There are waves outside of this range, but generally, they cannot be heard by humans.
WeatherabilityThe ability of a plastic to resist deterioration due to moisture, ultraviolet light, heat, and chemicals found in the air.
Weathered JointA mortar joint finished so the mortar slopes outward, allowing water to shed away from the joint.
WeatheringChanges in the strength, color, surface, or other properties of a material due to the action of the weather.
Weathering IndexA value that reflects the ability of clay masonry units to resist the effects of weathering.
Weathering SteelA steel alloy that forms a natural self-protecting rust.
Weep HoleSmall openings at the bottom of exterior cavity walls to allow moisture in the cavity to drain out.
Welded-Wire FabricA form of steel reinforcing made from wire strands welded where they cross, forming a mesh.
Wet SandTo smooth a finished joint with a small-celled wet sponge. A preferred method to reduce dust created in the dry sanding method.
WHIWarnock Hershey International, an independent fire-testing laboratory.
Wilton ConstructionCarpet formed on a loom capable of feeding yarns of various colors.
Wind LoadAny load on a building caused by pressure or suction developed by the wind.
Wind UpliftUpward forces on a building caused by pressure or suction developed by the wind.
Window WallA type of metal curtain wall composed of metal framing members containing operable sash, fixed lights, ventilators, or opaque glass panels.
WinningA term used to describe the mining of clay.
Wired GlassGlass made with a wire grid embedded in it.
Wood PreservativeSubstance that is toxic to fungi, insects, borers, and other wood-destroying organisms.
Workability(1) Describes the ease or difficulty with which concrete can be placed and worked into its final location.(2) In relation to mortar, the property of freshly mixed mortar that determines the ease and homogeneity with which it can be spread and finished.
Working JointsJoints in exterior walls that allow for expansion and contraction of materials in the wall.
WrackingWhen a building component, such as a wall, is forced out of plumb.
Wrought ProductsProducts formed by any of the standard manufacturing processes, such as drawing, rolling, forging, or extruding.