How to store cement in an appropriate manner?

Proper storage of cement shall permit easy access for inspection and identification. Cement shall be stored in suitable weather-tight structures, to protect the cement from dampness. It shall not be piled more than ten bags in a stack and shall be arranged in header and stretcher fashion as far as possible. While removing the bags for use, the “First in First Out (FIFO)” rule shall be applied. For further details, the Technical Service Department of TOPCEM Cement may be contacted. 

The binding property and strength of cement depend upon its capacity for chemical reaction, which can take place in the presence of water. Cement if not stored properly can absorb moisture from the atmospheric air or any other source and react with it chemically. The strength of such type of cement-when used would be adversely affected to the extent such reaction would have taken place. 

Cement godown at the construction site. 

In most construction projects godowns are constructed at site for storage of a few days’ requirement of cement. Even though such godowns are temporary, they must conform to the following requirements 

  • The walls must be plastered and made damp-proof
  • The roof must be given an appropriate waterproofing treatment
  • The floor must be raised at least 80 cm above the ground level to prevent any inflow of water. The flooring may consist of a 15 cm thick layer of dry bricks laid in two courses over a layer of earth consolidated to a thickness of 15 cm above the ground level
  • For further protection, cement bags should be stacked at least 10-20 cm clear above the floor by providing wooden battens and planking arrangement. For saving timber concrete may be used
  • If windows are provided, they should be few in number, small, and normally kept tightly closed to prevent the entry of atmospheric moisture from outside
  • A newly constructedgodownshould not be used for storage of cement unless its interior is thoroughly dry 

Sometimes cement requirement of a day or two may have to be stored at the site in the open. In such cases, cement bags should be laid on a dry platform made of wooden planks resting over brick-masonry concrete, dry sand aggregates raised about 15 cms above the ground level. The stack must be kept fully covered with tarpaulin or polythene sheet and protected against atmospheric moisture. The covering shoots must overlap each other properly. Temporary storage in open areas should not be adopted in wet weather. 

For extra safety during the rainy season, the stacks of cement bags should be enclosed completely in polythene sheets (at least 700 gauge thick) or similar material if it is anticipated that cement would not be required for a prolonged period. This can be achieved by making a large loose sack of the polythene sheet and arranging cement bags within it with flaps of the sheet closing on the top of the pile. Care should be taken to ensure that the polythene sheet is not damaged at any time while in use.