Q&amp-As on cement for SA Home Owner


Q:  What are different cement applications for the home?


Cement is used to build a solid, durable house and create attractive features that add real value to a home. A good quality cement can be used with confidence by DIY enthusiasts and small building contractors for all concrete, mortar and plaster jobs. Some examples are:

  • For reliable concrete foundations and slabs, use a general purpose cement such as Lafarge Buildcrete
  • For  smooth, crack-free screeds for floors, a quality product such as Buildcrete will ensure good results
  • Lay and finish blocks and bricks for walls with a user-friendly mortar made from Buildcrete for consistent quality results
  • Well-designed driveways, paths and steps can be made with Lafarge Buildcrete or    the premium technical cement, Powercrete Plus. These cements are also used in the Lafarge range of ArteviaTM decorative concretes, which give unique and beautiful finishes
  • An attractive patio floor can be created with ArteviaTM Polish or Exposed 
  • To construct a water feature or pond for a tranquil garden, an ‘extended' cement such as Lafarge Buildcrete is recommended. The concrete mix will be easier to apply and will produce an impermeable (less chance of leakage) finished result  
  • Garden walls (plastered concrete block or maintenance-free face brick) give privacy and security. Use a good quality general purpose cement such as Buildcrete


Lafarge cements such as Fastcast or Rapidcem will have probably already been used to manufacture concrete blocks or bricks and roof tiles.


The range of quality cements from Lafarge South Africa are designed to suit the

particular application, have guaranteed performance and are also formulated to be

more environmentally-friendly.

Q:  What are creative ways that home owners can use cement?


One of the most popular ways of giving a property an individual touch and enhancing its value is to use ArteviaTM decorative concretes for feature floors in the home, decorative driveways, pathways and patios. Beautiful long-lasting colours, textures and patterns are achieved using Lafarge cements blended with high quality colour pigments.

A striking example of a stylish ArteviaTM Polish floor.


Q:  What are the benefits of using cement?


The primary benefit is to produce virtually any shape of concrete structure with a long life cycle and minimal maintenance requirements.


The formulation of a cement gives concrete different properties to suit the required applications on a project. For example, Buildcrete 32,5R makes a concrete mix more workable (easier to place and finish), produces hardened concrete that is stronger, more impermeable and durable, and gives better off-shutter finishes. The strength performance of Buildcrete also results in significant savings compared with an average general purpose cement.


A significant benefit of Buildcrete 32,5R is that it is environmentally-friendly. It is formulated with fly ash and releases 50% less greenhouse gas in its manufacture than a standard ordinary Portland cement.


Q:  How do cement applications in a home add value to the property?


Cement provides the opportunity for a wide variety of applications that are strong, long life and low maintenance. Adding soundly-constructed features contributes genuine value to a property.


Q:  What are the latest trends for 2013?


Lafarge South Africa works closely with its customers to keep in touch with their needs and anticipate future needs. Reflecting this, the company was the first manufacturer to introduce a complete range of cements with lower carbon footprints making them more environmentally-friendly.  Backed by the unparalleled technical resources of its parent company Lafarge, the world leader in cement, Lafarge South Africa provides new generation extended cements that are better value and contribute to building productivity.


Q:  What are the safety measures that should be followed when using cement?

Cement is such a commonly available product that many people use it without giving any thought to personal protection. When cement powder comes into contact with water - this includes the perspiration on your skin or the moisture in your eyes - it forms chemicals that are alkaline (caustic). If not washed off promptly, it can cause a skin reaction or caustic burn. It is important to take sensible handling precautions. Please take notice of the safety advice on the back of a cement bag:

  • Never let children play with cement - always remember it is an industrial chemical
  • Always wear protective clothing, boots, gloves and safety glasses
  • Wash cement off skin immediately with water and mild soap
  • Thoroughly rinse any cement in eyes with water and seek medical attention if  

irritation persists

  • Keep a straight back and bend at the knees when lifting bags of cement


Q:  How can cement be used in a home to make it attractive?


Lafarge cement products such as Buildcrete and Powercrete Plus are used to make the company's innovative concretes AgiliaTM, HydromediaTM and ArteviaTM:

  • AgiliaTM is a remarkably fluid, self-compacting concrete that is providing the solution for striking concrete finishes such as aesthetically-detailed panels providing focal features on upmarket homes
  • HydromediaTM is Lafarge's unique technology breakthrough in permeable concrete that drains stormwater rapidly from walkways, streets and parking areas
  • The ArteviaTM range of decorative concretes provides architects, developers and homeowners with wide scope for creating aesthetically appealing and durable features in a home. This ranges from concrete paving in a slip-resistant ArteviaTM Exposed finish that highlights the beauty of the selected stone used in the concrete mix, to ArteviaTM Polish which is an attractive, durable, marble-like finish for flooring throughout the home.



ArteviaTM Exposed combined with cobbles creates

a beautiful driveway.




Lafarge HydromediaTM was used to upgrade the

Kliptown Orphanage courtyard.






Located in 64 countries with 68, 000 employees, Lafarge is a world leader in building materials, with top ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates & Concrete businesses. In 2011, Lafarge posted sales of 15.3 billion euros.

Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark, in recognition of its sustainable development actions. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, in order to develop materials to respond to customer needs, but also breakthrough solutions to meet tomorrow's challenges. Lafarge devotes 130 million euros to innovation each year, half of which goes towards research into reducing environmental footprint.

For more information on Lafarge, visit the website www.lafarge.com




For further information, please contact:


Charlene Lamb

Country Communications Manager

Lafarge South Africa




Issued by:

Bridget von Holdt

Inzalo Communication

Tel: 011 646-9992 / 082 6100650