Building a dream house is once in a lifetime opportunity and each one of us strives to get a perfect house having required strength, aesthetics, durability, provision for future expansion etc. To achieve these qualities one has to select the right resources (material like cement, steel, bricks, tiles etc as well as human) at the right time. We should remember that there is no BACKSPACE in constructions.
It is the chief resource that has its usage right from the first day of construction till the finishing jobs. Whereas, it has been observed that selection, storage and proper usage of it are often ignored may be due to lack of knowledge to workmen, non-familiarity with the materials of client etc.
Lets us have a glimpse of this incredible material:
What is Cement?
Cement can be broadly understood as a material which binds solid matter such as sand or aggregate into a compact durable system.
It has its vast usage in a house construction, some of them are:
- Kachha/ Mud mat below footings
- Brick Masonry
- Stone Masonry
- Concrete(RCC):Foundation, Column, Beam & Slabs
- Beneath flooring
- Beneath tiling
- Roof waterproofing
Type of Cement & Its Selection
There are varieties of cement available in markets such as OPC 43 grade, OPC 53 grade, PPC and further admixture addition on these grades, most common grade among them being PPC (Portland Pozzolana cement).
It is recommended to purchase of it from the reputed company. However, the following points should be kept in mind while selecting it:
- ISI mark should necessarily be on its bag. For PPC (Fly ash based) it should be IS 1489-1991(Part-1) and for OPC 43/53 grade it should be IS 269-2015.
- The grade and type of it should be printed on its bags.
- Week and Year of manufacturing of cement should be printed on its bags. Age of cement should be checked as it is not advisable to use cement older than three months.
- One can also ask for a copy of manufacturer’s test certificate from the dealer and can easily cross-check its conformity to the respective BIS codal provisions.
- Selection of special admixture additive, if required, should be done with the consent of your engineer/architect.
Storage of Cement
Storage of it needs due attention and proper precautions, some of them are as below:
- Selection of place for storage of its bags also plays a major role. Storage shed/room/area of it should be water/moisture proof. As cement quickly reacts with moisture/water resulting in hardening and become useless. In case of moist atmosphere covering its bag by sheets such as polythene, tarpaulin etc is advisable.
- A distance of around two feet from walls and from the ceiling of storage area should be kept to nullify any chances of moisture contact though dampness or leakage.
- It should be placed over wooden planks or waterproof sheets (Polythene or tarpaulin) and should not be in direct contact with the floor, placing of cement bags should be proper so that, not more than ten to twelve its bags are arranged in a single stack.
- It should be purchased considering the near future requirement only i.e., 2 to 3 months as it loses its strength with age when stored. It is better to use it within 3 months from the date of its manufacturing.
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