How long does cement last? Cement Lifespan  

How long does cement last

Cement lasts for 3 months after opening. Hydration is the process that occurs when cement mixes with water. Because of this, preventing cement from becoming wet is essential even throughout the three-month window. Cement should be kept dry and away from any sources of moisture for this very reason. Nonetheless, cement’s strength should be verified before use if it has been kept for over three months.

How to store cement?

Cement loses its quality and efficiency if not stored correctly. Here are some guidelines for cement storage:

  1. Dry Environment

Cement should be kept dry, out of the rain and humidity. Store cement in a covered area, such as a warehouse or storage shed, to protect it from direct sunlight, rain, and harsh weather conditions.

  1. Temperature Range

The ideal range for storing anything is between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius (50 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit). Condensation within the bags, which can occur when the temperature within the bag fluctuates by more than this amount, is avoided. The rate of hydration might be increased by exposure to high temperatures or decreased by exposure to low temperatures.

However, cement shouldn’t be kept where the temperature often rises above freezing or below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. High heat and cold can negatively impact the cement’s performance and quality.

  1. Off the Ground

Cement bags should be stored off the ground to prevent them from absorbing moisture through their bottoms. Racks, shelves, and pallets can heighten the items more conveniently. The ideal storage height is 6 inches from the ground, so raise it on a sturdy tarp or wooden board.

  1. Sealed Bags

Make sure there is no room for air or moisture to enter by sealing the bags well. Cement should be stored in an airtight container if the bag has been ripped or broken.

  1. First In, First Out (FIFO)

Cement should be used backward in time (FIFO storage style). This prevents bags from gathering dust and prioritizes using the newest supplies.

Bags should have the purchase or receipt date prominently displayed to facilitate FIFO storage and the tracking of cement age.

  1. Bulk Storage

Cement should be kept in silos or storage bins impervious to moisture and other environmental hazards.

  1. Regular Inspections

Inspect cement for clumping, damage, and moisture regularly. Immediately throw away any bags that have been punctured or torn.

  1. Proper Handling

Bags should be handled carefully to prevent tearing or puncturing that might let moisture in. Instead of dragging bags, use a dolly or forklift to transport them.

14 Different types of cement and their Storage Life 

14 Different types of cement and their Storage Life
    Types of cement Lifespan Before use
Portland pozzolana cement (PPC) 3 months from the date of manufacture
Ordinary Portland cement (OPC)3 months
Rapid-hardening cement3 to 6 month 
Extra-rapid-hardening cement1 month of its of manufacturing
Low-heat cementlast around 3 to 6 months
Colored cement6 to 9 months 
Portland-limestone cement (PLC)3 to 6 months
Expansive cement6 to 9 months
Air-entraining cement6 to 9 months
White cement6 to 12 months
Blast furnace slag cement6 to 9 months
High-alumina cement3 to 6 months
Sulfate-resisting cement3 to 6 months
Quick-setting cement6 to 9 months

Factors Affect the Cement shelf life. 

Below are some factors that might extend or shorten cement’s shelf life:

  1. Moisture

Moisture is a major element that can shorten the life of cement. Excessive moisture can cause cement to clump and become useless, as the material is extremely moisture-sensitive. Cement must be stored in a dry place, away from the elements, to prevent it from becoming damp and unusable.

  1. Temperature

Cement’s storage life can also be affected by the temperature it’s kept at. Both extremely high and low temperatures can damage the cement, rendering it useless. Cement should be kept in a cool, dry area without any heat sources.

  1. Packaging

Cement’s shelf life is greatly increased by careful packaging. Keep cement in its original packaging since this will provide the most protection from environmental elements, including moisture and temperature. Tears or punctures in the container might let air or moisture in, lowering the cement quality.

  1. Storage Duration

Storage conditions can have a role in cement’s durability. It’s crucial to follow the suggested timeframe printed on the packaging when storing cement. Cement loses quality over time, so don’t let it last too long. The strength and longevity of concrete buildings can be severely reduced by using outdated or expired cement.

  1. Quality of Cement

The quality of the cement itself also plays a significant role in determining its durability. If you want your cement to last longer and perform better in building projects, make sure you get it from a respected manufacturer and go for high-quality cement. Cement should be purchased from reliable vendors that stand behind their products and can guarantee their quality and durability.

What to do with expired cement?

What to do with expired cement

Any cement that is past its expiration date should be thrown away immediately. As a result of ‘chromium VI’ being linked to allergic dermatitis, health and safety standards mandate a use-by date on cement.

Expiring cement can be removed in two basic ways, both involving transportation. The cement can either be dumped in a landfill or taken to a recycling facility. Moving wet cement is more difficult and spoils faster than moving dry cement. 

However, cement may be carried to a dump or manufacturing factory for a fee, or you can rent a truck and do it yourself. To prevent the cement from drying out, renting a truck with sufficient capacity for the job is recommended. Put the cement in a sealed container and take it with you when you go to the garbage landfill. Cement may be recycled by being broken up into little pieces once it has hardened. 

Additionally, when handling cement, you should never touch fresh or old cement with your bare hands because of its harsh chemicals, which can cause severe irritation or even burns. 

Again, Harmful vapors can be released from wet cement, so store it in an airtight container. Wear long sleeves and gloves, and don’t wear anything delicate or anything you wouldn’t want the cement to get on. 

In addition to protective clothing, you should wear robust boots or shoes and maybe goggles. Chemical burns are no laughing matter. Don’t waste your time and gas going to a landfill just to find out they won’t accept your wet cement or charge you to dispose of your trash.


How do you know when cement is bad?

A float test will confirm your suspicions. You only need a few tablespoons of cement and a pail of water to do this. Cement is highly quality if its particles float on the water’s surface for a while before sinking.

Can hardened cement be reused?

You shouldn’t do it. Lumpy cement will not blend smoothly. It’s also possible that it won’t grow as much power as you anticipate.

Does dry cement expire?

Portland cement will keep its quality eternally as long as it is stored dry. Bagged cement kept for a long time in a dry environment may become lumpy due to mechanical compaction, known as a warehouse pack.

How do you store leftover cement?

Keep them out of the rain by putting them in a dry, contained space. Tarps or other watertight coverings should be used to cover stacks of cement sacks. Do not keep them on hard surfaces like concrete or wood. Place them on a high platform covered with a plastic sheet to prevent any water from reaching them.

Final Verdict

The longevity of cement depends on various factors such as the quality of the cement, the conditions it’s exposed to, and the maintenance it receives. In general, properly mixed, placed, and cured cement can last for decades or even centuries. However, it’s important to note that over time, cement can deteriorate due to factors like environmental conditions, moisture, freeze-thaw cycles, chemical exposure, and structural stresses.