Strengthening your Home using Good Quality Cement

A beautiful structure is not just enough to fulfill your wish of owning a durable home. More than fancy features, you need to focus on functional things that make your home long lasting. One of the main factors that affect the strength of the building is cement. Therefore, you need to ensure that right quality cement is used for your home construction. You can also assess the quality of your builder by assess the quality of cement he is using.
Don’t be worried if you don’t know how to check for the quality of cement. Read through the article to know the features of best quality cement.

Different grades of cement
The type of cement used for construction varies based on its purpose. Certain factors like functional requirement of structure, design parameters, durability characteristics, and environmental conditions affect the selection of cement for appropriate application. However, among many types of cement, Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is used for constructing residential buildings.

The most important part in determining the best quality cement is to check for its grade. A grade determines the strength of the cement after 28 days of application. 33 grade, 43 grade, and 53 grade are the three grades of OPC used in India. The 33 grade cement means that the compressive strength of the cement is 33N/mm2 when tested as per Indian Standards under standard conditions. The other grades are also defined the same way.

  • 33 Grade OPC is used for general construction works like plastering and finishing works in normal environmental conditions. However, its use is virtually phased out today.
  • Coming to the 43 Grade OPC, it is the most commonly used grade for home construction. It has its applications in plastering, finishing works, precast items, foundations, brick work, and compound wall and so on. It has more strength development than the 33 grade cement.
  • 53 Grade OPC develops strength very fast. High rise building constructions use 53 grade cement. This is applicable for use in structures where high grade concrete is required.

The other thing you need to know about cement features, is its color. It is available in different colors like gray and white. The residential building construction uses gray cement for general constructions and white cement for architectural beauty, interior and exterior decorations.

Tips to purchase good quality cement
Apart from the grades of cement, a consumer should know about some other things while purchasing. Here are some tips that may help you purchase right quality cement.

  • Always ensure that you choose a reputed manufacturer
  • The foremost thing you need to check is the presence of BIS certification mark
  • Check the grade of the cement that you wish to use for your building construction based on your requirements
  • Make sure that the cement bags are not hand-stitched. They have to be sealed with machine stitching. Also do not purchase bags that are torn on one side and stitched in later.
  • Check for the manufacturer’s name or trademark on the bag. Also find the manufacturing date on it.
  • It is better to avoid cement bags that are older than six weeks from the date of manufacturing.

Checking the quality of cement
All of us know that the best quality cement has to be used for building our home. However, most of us are not aware the type and quality of cement that a builder is using in construction. Specific features like soundness, fineness, setting time and compressive strength of cement are generally checked in a laboratory. But apart from that, there are some other things that need to be verified on our own. Below are some factors that help you in checking the quality of cement.

  • When you insert your hand in a cement bag, it should give a cool feeling
  • It should be greenish gray in color
  • There should be no lumps or dust in the cement
  • If you throw a small quantity of cement in a bucket of water, the cement should float for a few minutes before it sinks. The immediate sinking of cement indicates the presence of impurities
  • Take some cement, prepare paste, and place on a plate giving a square shape. When it is immersed slowly into a bucket of water, ensure that it does not lose the shape and that it hardens after 24 hours
  • When you take a pinch of cement in your hands and rub between the fingers, it should give a smooth finish

Though you purchase the best quality cement, it’s necessary to ensure proper storage to avoid the destruction of quality. The cement bags should be placed close together to reduce air circulation. They have to be placed away from wet and damp areas at the site of construction. During monsoons, they should be covered with polythene. Ensure that the cement bag is not opened until its immediate use for mixing.

Purchase, storage, and use of the best quality cement impart efficient structure and strength to your building. Hope this information helps you in assessing the quality of the cement.

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