STORING CEMENT BAGs

Did you know that cement can absorb moisture from the atmosphere if stored incorrectly? This can affect the quality and the strength of the cement. So, here are some great cement tips and tricks on how to store cement bags on site.

  • When storing cement bags, it is important to keep it in a building or structure that is dry (and leak-proof and moisture-proof if possible).
  • When stacking cement bags, keep the bags off the floor. A good solution is to stack them on pallets or wooden planks (about 15-20cm off the floor). Adding a plastic sheet underneath the pallets or planks will also help to keep moisture out.
  • Another tip for the storage and handling of cement is to keep the cement bags away from any exterior walls (at least 60cm all-round).
  • Another tip for stacking cement bags is to stack them as close to each other as possible. This reduces the amount of air flowing around the bags and reduces the chance of the bags absorbing any moisture.
  • It is best to keep the width of the stack to about 3m (or the length of four bags) and the height to no more than 10 bags when storing cement bags. Also, keep in mind that the cement bags should be packed alternately length-wise and cross-wise. This prevents the stacks from falling over.
  • You will also increase the lifetime of cement if you stack the cement bags in such a way that you can remove and use them in the order they were received (FIFO – First In First Out) (cement normally starts deteriorating after about three months inland and one month at the coast). You could also stick labels on the stacks to keep track of when the cement was purchased.
  • Another great tip on how to store cement bags on site is to keep different types and strengths of cement separate. For example, don’t stack 32,5R and 42,5R together. This way it will also be easier to keep track of your inventory.
  • If you absolutely have to store cement for long periods of time, it is always a good idea to cover the stack in a water-proof layer such as plastic or tarp as cement is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb moisture from the air.
  • When handling cement bags, ensure that you follow the following cement tips and tricks:
    • Always move cement by two persons and not one at a time and when lifting use your legs(knees) and not your back)
      • Don’t drop the bags as this can damage and weaken the packaging
      • Roll the bags over before lifting them as this loosens the cement and will prevent the bags from splitting open
      • Carry the bags by supporting the underside and they will not sag in the middle and split
      • Store the bags flat with the broad side down, never upright or on the sides.
    • When storing cement bags, it is important to remove any sharp objects and any foreign substances like foods or other chemicals as this affects the quality of the cement.

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Sources: http://civilblog.org/2014/11/13/how-to-store-cement-on-site/ http://www.screedscientist.com/floor-screeding/storage-and-handling-of-cement-and-aggregates/