In the Philippines, we don't usually distinguish cement types when building our homes or even offices. When ordering cement, a construction foreman would usually just ask for general purpose cement -- regardless of whether this will be used for load-bearing beam or mortar for wall plaster.
Leading cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines has been promoting the correct use of cement, explaining that there are different types for different applications. The most common, general purpose cement, is ideal for structural applications as this is designed to help concrete develop strength for load -bearing. But there is also a masonry cement especially made for plastering and finishing.
Eduardo Latap, a masonry supervisor for a large construction company, has seen for himself the benefit of using masonry cement for plastering or finishing off walls.
“Mas magandang pang-plaster ang masonry cement kumpara sa general purpose. Hindi agad natutuyo at hindi agad nagkakabitak-bitak kapag ipinapalitada. Mahirap kasi kapag nagkaron ng hairline cracks sa pader. Bukod sa pangit tingnan, kailangan pa ulit masilyahin. Kung hindi, madami kang magagamit na pintura para matakpan ang cracks,” he says.
Constancio Gulingan, a masonry and carpentry trainer of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Kalinga, adds that masonry cement is not only easier to use; it's also more economical.
“Mas madaling gamitin ang masonry cement na pang-palitada kasi mas madikit ang mortar at mas madaling ipahid. Mas marami ring pwedeng ihalong buhangin kaya mas makakatipid ka. Sa isang bag ng general purpose, dalawang bag na buhangin lang ang pwedeng ihalo; sa masonry, kahit tatlo okay pa,“ he explains.
Holcim Philippines notes that skilled masons can try to replicate masonry cement’s properties onsite by blending Portland or general purpose cement with hydrated lime. But quality will not be uniform, and the additional time required to prepare the blend will add to the construction time and increase project cost.
To address the need for a quality masonry cement product, Holcim Philippines developed Holcim Wallright - the first of its kind in the country. This is becoming the preferred option by home builders and professional users not only for its easy applicability, but also for the significant savings it brings.
Melda Madrid, a hardware store owner in Tugegarao City, says she recommends Holcim Wallright to her customers after having used it in building her own house.
“Mas nakatipid kami sa Wallright, at masaya ako sa resulta -- mas makinis at mas maputi ang dingding,” she says.
Indeed, it pays to know how to use the right cement. You not only get better results, you also end up spending less.