By Chander S Jeena,
Our house is our happy place, we take care of it with love and affection that is why while preparing for the festive season one of the first things we focus on is how our house can be revamped or renovated to make it ready to welcome merriment and celebrations. Especially post COVID pandemic, a lot of people are undertaking special projects like kitchen renovations, paint, or overall revamping or even fixing long due damages or maintenance.
Home renovations, revamping, makeover, and painting are neither inexpensive nor are they an easy task to undertake, imagine how it would feel if a task as lengthy as this is ruined because of a faulty low-quality material such as cement, primer, paint, chemical waterproofing, adhesives, etc. these are basic, yet the most important material used. The quality of these materials determines how long and well the work will last.
Mostly when one undertakes such kind of work, one trusts the contractor to get the required paint, cement, adhesives, etc. But leaving this completely on someone else might not be the wisest choice. You would be surprised to know that counterfeiting or fake or substandard or adulteration in these products is quite common. Only last year a big fake cement manufacturing unit was busted in Agra which was duping customers by packaging it as the branded Cement. This year another fake cement manufacturing unit was busted in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Fake cement is just not being sold in the retail market, but fraudsters are also cheating customers through fake websites. So, it would be a good idea to inspect the products being brought in for your home.
Responsible brands invest heavily into developing good quality products, using fake or substandard products could be disastrous and dangerous. As they are made with low quality and unsafe chemicals which are harmful for the health of your family.
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What harm could fake material cause?
– Fake or substandard or adulterated cement would not bind the construction material together and everything will start falling apart soon. Absence of good quality cement would compromise the structural integrity of the building or structure. It would also lead to cracks becoming visible on the surface and water damage may not be avoided as it should be. Plaster might start falling off before time too
– Fake paint could release harmful fumes which are extremely dangerous
– Fake adhesives could lead to serious accidents due to the furniture or other things not holding for long
How does one make sure that the product being used is an original?
– Always buy from authorised sellers only be it online or offline
– Before buying the product, check the packaging and the logo, compare it with the original logo given on the legitimate website of the brand. If there are any discrepancies, then it might be a low-quality copycat product
– Since brands invest considerably into manufacturing top quality products, they also invest into curating protective packaging. Most well-known brands have packaging which protects the product from moisture and tampering. Flimsy packaging is an indication that it is not authentic. For instance, branded cement comes in moisture proof bags. Many ply board brands, paint and adhesive companies are using tamper proof seals and other anticounterfeiting solutions to prevent pilferage and counterfeiting
– While buying online make sure that the website is legit and not a fly by night operator that will rob you off your money
– Don’t fall for unbelievably attractive offers. A common method used by frauds is to lure customers with heavy discounts and attractively low prices. Brands may extend festive offers, but they will never go below a certain point. Beware of people extending more than normal discounts and willing to negotiate a lot
Using digitally enabled authentication solutions such as QR Codes on cement bags, paint buckets, etc, would instantly reveal the originality of the product and can make a huge difference and ensuring safety of the consumers. This requires a nominal investment from the brand side. Unfortunately, this is not a practice adopted by many in this area in our country. In the current scenario our vigilance is our best bet in avoiding the dangers of using fake cement in our homes.
(The author is Associate Director, Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA). Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)