Bad Bags Weaken Cement Prematurely

It is almost impossible to obtain unspoiled, bagged-Portland-cement-powder because cement manufacturers insist on punching large numbers of holes in the bags. These bag-holes hurt the user-consumer. These bad cement bags suck in humidity from the atmosphere at an alarming rate. When the user transfers cement into air-tight containers, the cement can last for years. If left in the manufacture's bags, the cement becomes lumpy in a short time, especially in high humidity weather.

Bo's notes on cement mixes for small projects.

Drawing Below : Nominal CAD Concept Model For an Anti-Humidity Cement Shed (Solar Heated)

Solar heating helps keep cement unspoiled for much longer. Storing heat in the floor moderates the heat while tending to dry the interior. The "transluscent" plastic (blue in picture) must be faced to the south, (within northern hemisphere).The ideal design would benefit from naturally conveyed solar heat, using a solar chimney to increase heat transfer. The transfer of heat to building foundation could be fan driven and solar panel powered for grid free connection. The solar system always captures a little more heat in the concrete floor than outdoor ambient temperature. Moisture is thus driven away by "reversing condensation". Moist air will not condense on bags if the bags are kept a little warmer than the humid-out-door air. Condensation occurs near ordinary concrete floors because they are most frequently colder than the humidity in the air. Doors must normally  be kept closed to gain heat in the solar shed and the floor. Thus condensation is considerably repelled by the stored heat and from bags while they retain solar heat gains.

Note: These pages are placed in the public domain and are furnished "as is". The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the concepts in this series. All authorities should be satisfied first, as might be required, by relevant laws, before any building proceeds.

Open Letter To Bagged Cement Vendors

Dear ___________,


There is a big problem with bagged cement. I ordered 40 bags the other week and most bags had absorbed enough moisture that I could hear rattling particles inside. I moved each bag personally so as to place them inside an air-tight seal of plastic. Some broken bags had hard lumps. I have sifted quite a bit which is not pleasant and wastes time. Worse yet is to know that my building effort is compromised by degraded product. Some bags have what appear to be rain satins on the paper. How can the cement industry not realize the difficulty of builders and supply chains, with exposures to weather?


This is a unnecessary problem forced into the marketplace. The cement bags ruin cement for the consumer because businesses, cannot make up for these bag holes. Why degrade an important product?


I was hoping you could make a big complaint at a distributor to manufacturer level. Present these facts. Ask for a reasonable solution. All they need to do is stop punching holes in the plastic liners, inside the paper bags. This should save them a step in packaging. One engineer told me they need the holes in order to simplify bag filling. Another engineer said the cement would harden if initially sealed. No scientific rational was given. I can store Portland Type I cement in air tight containers for years, without getting lumps. Many other industries protect products from rain and humidity.


I felt badly receiving this order which in fact was an attempt to save your company delivery time through smaller deliveries. I have been buying just 6 bags a week which seems my only way to avoid my present problem. I have ended up getting a collection of the worst cement in your inventory. Putting out fresh cement in your yard will collect new moisture and degrades more bagged cement. Why waste resources and money?


I hate to bother you with returns which your well-meaning staff has offered. I also prefer conservative measures which stop waste and money. I will suffer this time, perhaps a loss to me of 20% value. I will post this letter on my web page blog.


Thanks for your consideration,

Bo Atkinson

Spam filters are in use, if your personal email doesn't get through, try calling: 1-207-342-5796. Unsolicited sales which are not directly related to discussion of this work are not welcome.

Comments are invited. Consultancy or constructive cooperation is offered. These research reports are in the public domain and are furnished "as is". The author makes no warranty, express or implied, for any purpose. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this research. Bo Atkinson, Tel : 207 342 5796 . . . (MaineUSA)

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