Singapore

Tiles popping up or cracking in HDB flats in several areas

Contractors say there could be other reasons, such as quality of the tiles


Residents of HDB flats in several areas who found tiles in their homes popping up or cracked are advised to move them to a safe spot and cover the affected space with cardboard.

The Housing Board also said in a Facebook post yesterday that it was aware of the cases reported in Sengkang, Woodlands, Toa Payoh, Bukit Panjang and Jurong West.

Residents of these places had posted on Facebook over the weekend videos and photos of dislodged tiles, mostly on their floors.

Some home owners attributed the damage to the cooler weather, with temperatures falling to 22 deg C for most of last week.

Sengkang resident Johnson Ng told The Straits Times the living room tiles of his Fernvale flat, which he has lived in for about 10 years, popped up yesterday.

The 34-year-old property agent, who lives with his parents and brother, said the tiles shattered partially, and he broke the remainder that was blocking the front door so he could get out of his home.

He called HDB, and its officers went to his home later.

As a temporary measure, they covered the tiles with cardboard.

"I know some of my neighbours have the same problem but they have rectified it," said Mr Ng.

"I think it is the weather. It is too cold, maybe the tiles contracted."

Bukit Panjang resident Rachel Chong posted a video on Facebook on Sunday of tiles that had popped and fallen from her kitchen wall.

She also guessed that the weather was the cause.

Contractors said there could be other reasons.

BONDING

Mr Richard Lam, 55, director of general contractor firm Wellbase Builder, said: "Sometimes it is because the cement is not mixed properly so the bonding is not 100 per cent, and sometimes it is because of the quality of the tile."

The 55-year-old has worked in construction for 19 years.

Mr Jayden Shen, founder of Hua Seng Contractors, said his firm received three queries on tiles popping up in the past week - two from HDB flats and one from a condominium.

Last April, the Ministry of National Development, in response to parliamentary questions, said tiles are subject to wear and tear.

"Flat owners are responsible for the maintenance of their flats, including repairs for general wear and tear," said the ministry.

It added that HDB helps flat owners repair dislodged tiles originally provided by the board during the one-year defect liability period, and "offers goodwill repairs for dislodged tiles for up to 15 years".

"For flats that are older than 15 years, HDB will help carry out inspections and assist the owners to remove and dispose of the affected tiles," said the ministry.

Owners can get a list of registered repair contractors from the board, and engage them on a private basis, it added.

Yesterday, HDB also said residents can call its branch hot line on 1800-225-5432 for advice, or the Emergency and Maintenance Services Unit, details of which are listed on lifts at each block.

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