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jrepp 10-30-2007 03:05 PM

Quikrete Shelf Life
Anyone know what the approx shelf life of unopened Quikrete concrete mix might be?

ron schenker 10-30-2007 04:25 PM

I've used some that was 2 years old and it was fine. However I think you should contact them through their website and hear it straight from the horse's mouth

concretemasonry 10-30-2007 09:04 PM

Quikrete Shelf Life
It depends on how old it was when you bought it and how you and the others ahead of you stored and handled it.

Material Tester 10-30-2007 11:16 PM

As long as the material is still loose or will become loose with a little shaking Quikrete is a cement based product and cement really doesn't have a limit on shelf life as long as it hasn't been exposed to excess moisture or water.

randa 01-15-2008 08:41 PM

hi guys,

I hope not to be asking too goofy of a question here, but here goes:

my question has to do with the reliability (sturdiness) of the quikrete mortar bags

I know this sounds pretty wacky, so let me explain

we have 25 80# bags of quikrete mortar mix left over from a block wall project from a few years back (my dad passed away two years ago, he built the wall maybe a year or two before)

living in the southwest where there's not much inclement weather, we have it stacked on pallets, against the stucco house wall, on a back patio that is fully covered by a roof

it's been there a while, as I say, and we have offered it as a freebie to a church group, who say they want it, but have been slow about coming to collect it; in the meantime, the first layer of paper on the bags has started to split and peel back (probably from the strong sun here) but the interior bags, with one exception, seem okay

this is a very dry climate (high desert), tends to be windy seasonally

are we facing a probable/possible mess here? how likely is it that the bags will split and spill massively when they are collected and loaded onto a truck?

what precautions should we/could we take?

is the mortar mix still good?

do I really need to call the quikrete folks?

thanks, I really do appreciate the help,


oh yeah, and : craftsmen rule!

Tscarborough 01-15-2008 08:52 PM

Cementious products absorb moisture from the air through the paper bag. While they may not feel hard in the bag (or may also feel hard and be good from being packed), if it is more than a year old, it may not reach full design strength. Mortar mix is usually packaged with a plastic liner, but regular concrete mix is not, so the mortar mix has a longer life expectancy.

The essential question is:

Is it worth the small amount of money to risk doing the work and having it fail and having to redo it?

As a rule, we work on a two week turn, and any bag goods in our warehouse older than 6 months are considered junk, suitable only for rip-rap or soil stabilization. In an arid climate in a protected environment, raised off the ground and covered by poly, bagged concrete/mortar will last for years. Under any other situation, it is a gamble.

randa 01-15-2008 09:26 PM

thanks Tscarborough, for your prompt reply

I don't want anyone to have project failure, certainly, so, even tho we are very arid here, maybe this stuff is no longer suitable for normal use

it was covered, altho not for the last year, our bad on that

otoh, I hate to see any potentially useful material end in the landfill, so I will ask around and see if someone could use this for rip rap or stabilisation, we have had some serious erosion problems locally in the last year, in the runoff/arroyo areas

thanks again Tscarborough, much appreciated,


AllanJ 01-15-2008 10:43 PM

The multiple layers of the bag operate on a united we stand divided we fall principle. So with the outer layer biodegraded due to sun or whatever, you do stand a significant chance of the bag's cracking in half when you pick it up.

If you can arrange things so the bag just slides gently onto a cart or plywood ramped down onto a cart, you shouldn't have problems.

There may be a non-critical application where concrete that doesn't cure well because the mix was too old can be tolerated. I would say that low stone walls, patios, and fence post footings are OK.

randa 01-16-2008 01:40 AM

thanks AllanJ, for the heads up on how to handle the bags, and for the additional information on possible applications

being that it's high desert here, we do have very strong sun, and extremes of temperature from day to night, so we'll be sure to handle the bags with care

I'll be careful to make sure whoever might be interested in the mix understands the possible problems and condition of it before they take it

thanks again, very much

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