Cement is a hygroscopic material which reacts with water (either in liquid or in vapour form). Cement must be kept away from both wetness (actual water such as leaks, flooding, etc. which can be seen with the naked eyes) and dampness (Moisture in the air which cannot be seen, but which is always present to some extent). Moisture is a great enemy of the cement.
When water vapour passes through the multi-layer paper/ jute/polyethylene sacks cement gets hardened to forms lumps and destroys the quality of the stored cement.Hence cement should be stored in such a manner that no moisture or dampness is allowed to reach cement either from the ground or from the environment. Extra Precautions in storing of cement should be taken both at site and at a warehouse.
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Cement plays a key role for binding and hardening properties. A chemical reaction takes place in presence of moisture which is called “hydration”. The Initial setting starts once the hydration starts taking place inside the cement. Cement gets hardened if initial setting proceeds over a period of time and sometimes it becomes useless for all structural purposes.
It is therefore advisable not to store cement bags for long periods and use it as early as possible after manufacturing. It is recommended to use cement bags within three months after manufacturing date which is written or printed on cement bags.
The strength and durability of the structure are mainly dependent on strength on the cement. It is therefore very important to use fresh and good quality of cement. The quality of cement remains good only when moisture is not penetrating or has not prevented inside the cement.