Adulterated cement in some instances has been responsible for building collapse in the country. This article tends to highlight the menace of substandard cement and what you should know about your cement.
Cement adulteration is basically the addition of non-cement material to cement. Where cement is supposed to help in bonding to get strength needed for structures, this adulterated cement will refuse to bind when mixed during construction.
Suffice it to say, there has been an upsurge in the adulterated cement in recent times.
In addition to losing its binding ability, adulterated cement reduces in strength resulting in weak structures. It is consequential to point out that most of the adulteration takes place in warehouses and/or at the construction site.
So if you are building or thinking about building, here are some of the things you need to know about the cement you are using:
Usually, cement is supposed to be very fine, therefore if cement have lumps of any kind, you shouldn’t trust it. Stone dust is a common addition when cement is adulterated so lumps of any size are an indication of the otherwise fine cement.
Aside from the stone particles, many other items may give away, through texture.
Colour of the cement
Whether dark or light, the cement in one bag should be of uniform color. It should not be white in places then dark gray in others. Usually, when it has been tampered with, a bag is opened and a little poured out then non-cement materials like crushed anthill soil, sand, ash and clay are added. The cement at the top of the bag may therefore have a different color from that at the bottom, or vice versa.
The bag is probably the easiest thing to check, if you would like to know whether it has been compromised after it was acquired from the industry. There are two things you especially need to look out for:
Spout: Look closely at the area around the spout of the cement bag to see if it has been tampered with.
Glue: You may find fresh glue on the bag that was used for re-packaging. “The glue cannot still be fresh when the bag was transported all the way from Lagos to Maiduguri.
Cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. If none of these happens then its not cement or maybe its just adulterated cement.