Cement is one of the most important materials that are used in the construction industry. This makes it very essential for one to check the quality of cement before using. Shared below are below are few tips for checking the quality of cement before using:

Packaging Date: The strength of cement depreciated over time and hence it is very essential to check the manufacturing date. The manufacturing date is very mentioned in the cement bags. In general, cement should be used within 90 days from the date of manufacturing. Strength depreciation of cement over the time is shared below:

AGE OF CEMENT % REDUCTION IN STRENGTH
  3 months   20-30
  6 months   40-50
  12 months   50-60

 

Colour: Another very good way of understanding the quality of the cement is through its color. Good quality cement is of uniform color (grey color with shades of green)

 

Lumps: Good quality should be free from lumps. These lumps are formed when cement comes in contact with moisture which affects the strength of the cement

Rubbing Test: Good quality cement when rubbed between fingers should feel smooth. Signs of any sort of roughness indicate that the cement is contaminated with sand.

 

Temperature: When bare hands are inserted in the bag of cement. Good quality cement will feel cool and if it feels warm, it means cement has come in touch with moisture and is contaminated

 

Float Test: Take some cement from the cement bag and throw it in water. Good quality of cement will float for a while before settling down.

 

Setting Test: Immerge a thick paste of cement into the water for 24 hours. Good quality of cement will not develop any cracks.

 

Strength Test: Last but very important means of understanding if the cement is of good quality or not is by understanding its strength. A block 25X25X200 mm should be prepared. This block should now be immersed into water for 7 days at a stretch. Post 7 days, place the block of cement on supports that are around 15cm apart. Now load it with 34kg of weight. If the quality of cement used in preparing the block is good, there would be no signs of failure.

These are a few easy methods that one can use to check the quality of cement at home.