Yes, Cement loses its strength over a period of time. Cement is available in the form of a fine powder and it has a tendency to absorb moisture from the atmosphere. When it absorbs moisture it hydrates, and consequently the useof that cement does not contribute to the strength development.
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Cement [simple_tooltip content=’To make or become worse or lower in quality’]deteriorates[/simple_tooltip] in quality when stored for longer period. Cement starts deteriorating after approximately three months. It is advisable to use cement within three months of its bagging. If usage is required even after 3 months of its manufacturing then always perform the test for its strength. Hence cement bought first should be used first.
Generally, cement is bagged in Jute bags (gunny bags). Jute bags are neither airtight nor damp-proof and also do not prevent absorption of moisture. Vice versa cement bagged in woven polythene or craft papers are not likely to deteriorate to the extent mentioned above. The loss of strength also depends on the condition of the godown.
The loss of strength characteristic of cement at different interval of times is as given below in the table.
Age of Cement
% Reduction in its Strength
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The Strength of any concrete structure majorly depends on strength of the cement. If you use the fresh cement (at least 3 month old cement), it imparts high strength to your structure and makes it long lasting. Uses of old cement therefore can lead to various problems such as developing cracks, leakages, corrosion etc. which will increase your maintenance cost and life of your structure will be less.
Thus, using old cement without testing can make your life unsafe and unhealthy too, snatching your happiness.