Let’s assume that you have recently finished up your house’s construction work and there are a couple of cement bags left. Now you are willing to store those bags for the future. While storing the cement bags, the main concern will be whether the cement goes bad or not.
The answer is YES, cement can go bad over time. Like other materials, cement also has an expiry date, and if you don’t use it within that particular time, it will lose its quality as well as compressive strength.
In today’s article, we have discussed the reasons why cement goes bad, the consequences of using expired cement, and tips for storing cement. So, let’s begin then.
Why Does Cement Go Bad?
Like other materials, cement also comes with an expiry date or you can say it has a shelf life. Basically, cement has a shelf life of 3 months but it can be stored for 6 to 12 months. Now, let’s talk about why and how cement goes bad.
First, we have to understand what cement goes bad actually means. Going bad means, cement starts losing compressive strength. Strength is the key thing of cement and the cement is declared bad whenever the cement failed to provide the required compressive strength.
Whenever the shelf time of the cement passes which is three months of bagging, the cement starts to deteriorate. With time, cement starts to absorb moisture from the environment, and then the hydration process starts and it transforms cement from powder to lumps. And for this, the compressive strength of the cement starts decreasing.
Is It Good to Use Expired Cement?
Now you know that, with time cement starts losing compressive strength and becomes weak. That’s why it is suggested that do not use expired cement. According to experts, when the age of cement reaches 3 months or more, compressive strength reduces by 20 to 30%, when reaches 6 months, 30 to 40% reduced and after a year, 50% reduces.
When you will use this cement in your structure, it won’t be cured properly. And will be failed to act as the binding materials. Your structure will be in danger as there will form cracks, crumbling, etc. Generally, cement gets hardened in 24 hours but when you are using expired cement, it won’t get hard in 24 hours.
But you can use it for flooring and non-structural work if you want. But for the main structure, it’s a big no.
If still, you are willing to store cement and prevent the cement from going bad, then you will need to store them properly. But you shouldn’t store them for more than a year. To store it, make sure the bags are not placed directly on the floor. Use a wood plank and keep it above 6 inches from the floor. From the back, side, and top, maintain a gap of 2 ft. Stack height shouldn’t exceed 10 bags, keeping 8 bags will be better. Cover the bags with tarpaulins to keep moisture away.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)
How do I know if cement is bad?
After opening the cement bag, if you find lumps there then you can say that the cement is bad. Fresh cement will be in powder form and there won’t be any lumps.
How long will an opened bag of cement last?
After opening a cement bag, you will need to use that within that day. Because after opening the bag, cement will start absorbing moisture and it will create lumps. If you left it for later, then you won’t get proper strength.
Does Portland cement go bad?
Yes, it doesn’t matter which type of cement you are using. Every type of cement can go bad. That’s why it’s better to use the cement within 3 months.
Are cement bags waterproof?
No, cement bags are not waterproof but they are water-resistant. With time, the cement bags start losing water resistance.
To sum up, cement doesn’t have a lifetime guarantee. That’s why it’s better to use cement as soon as possible. And if you couldn’t then try to use that within three months from the manufacturing date to get better compressive strength.