SINGAPORE: In a startling turn of events, a Facebook user named Teddy Ho recently shared two videos in the Singapore Home DIY group, showcasing a bizarre and concerning incident that unfolded in his living room.
On the afternoon of 8 October, at approximately 3:20 pm, the tiles in his living space seemingly exploded, causing extensive damage.
The explosion of tiles encompassed multiple areas of Ho’s living room, including underneath his dining table, in the hallway, and in front of his television set.
The aftermath left a trail of cracked, dislodged, and completely shattered tiles, prompting a wave of speculation and advice from concerned netizens.
Some users urged Teddy Ho to report the incident to the Housing and Development Board (HDB), a governmental agency overseeing public housing in Singapore.
They also mentioned that similar incidents had been reported in various locations.
Others recommended that he investigate whether the incident falls within the 15-year period during which HDB may assist with necessary repairs.
Exploring the causes of unexpected tile issues in flats
Several reasons might have contributed to this phenomenon of unexpected tile explosion.
Experts cited by Channel News Asia have suggested that the cooler-than-usual climate, combined with humidity, might be contributing to this phenomenon.
Dean Lim, Vice-President of the Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Suppliers Association (RCMA), pointed out that moisture trapped beneath the tiles could react to sudden temperature changes.
For instance, extended use of a ceiling light in the flat below generating heat could disrupt the bonding of cement, causing tiles to dislodge.
The cooler weather itself might result in more significant expansions and contractions, potentially leading to tiles popping.
Alvin Wong, Managing Director of the interior design firm Aristo Group, echoed this sentiment, suggesting that rapid drops in temperature could cause cracks.
However, experts noted that while weather plays a role, poor workmanship is a significant contributor to the problem.
Associate Professor Zhao Zhiye from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering emphasized that proper bonding between tiles and the adhesive material behind them could reduce thermal expansion and stress concentration.
Contractors also highlighted that poorly made cement screed, which can result from incorrect mixing proportions of sand, cement, and water, may lead to air pockets underneath tiles that eventually pop.
Since June 2015, tilers have been required to use pre-packed cement, which is pre-mixed to the right proportion but is more expensive than raw cement and sand.
In addition to weather and workmanship, natural wear and tear as moisture in cement screed evaporates over time can cause tiles to crack and pop.
Experts cited by Straits Times have also outlined similar factors that play a role in tiles separating from the floors of these flats.
These factors predominantly involve weather variations, construction quality, and the effects of natural wear and tear.
MND’s guidelines on maintenance and repairs for dislodged tiles in HDB flats
The Ministry of National Development (MND) had previously issued a written response in February 2021, emphasizing the responsibility of flat owners for maintaining their properties, which includes addressing issues related to general wear and tear.
However, the MND clarified that HDB would offer assistance to flat owners for repairing dislodged tiles originally provided by HDB, for a period of up to 15 years.
In cases involving flats older than 15 years, flat owners would be required to engage their own contractors for tile replacements.
HDB could furnish these owners with a list of repair contractors for private engagements.
Additionally, residents may seek advice by calling the HDB branch hotline at 1800-225-5432 or contact the Emergency and Maintenance Services Unit, the details of which are typically listed on the lifts at HDB flat blocks.
South Korean trainee doctors resign in protest against med-school quota increase policy
OCBC allocates one-off payment to junior employees to cope with rising cost of living
US couple’s decision to skip showers in Malaysia over discoloured water criticised
Good Samaritan earns praise for assisting lost girl in Geylang
Bishan HDB maisonette sets record with S$1.48M sale
STB grants support for Taylor Swift concerts, foresees economic boost for Singapore
NUS holds 19th, NTU climbs to 32nd in Times World University Rankings 2024
Leaks and condensation issues persist for some Tengah residents using CCS
NParks investigates alleged wild chicken capture in Pasir Ris Park
Netizens amused by ‘washrooms basic cleaning’ course on SkillsFuture
Road fatalities in Singapore surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023
Bayer cuts dividends to legal minimum to tackle debt burden
Singapore2 weeks ago
PM Lee encourages more births in the year of the dragon amid declining fertility rates
Singapore1 week ago
Singapore surpasses nursing recruitment target in 2023 amidst high attrition rates
Featured6 days ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Comments7 days ago
PAP Marcus Loh accuses WP’s MP of alleged dishonesty on debate about reserves
Parliament2 weeks ago
SG Parliament rejects PSP’s motion calling for changes in reserves policies
Civil Society7 days ago
Singaporeans stand firm in support for Palestine amidst police scrutiny
Civil Society4 days ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Community1 week ago
Connectivity struggles in Tengah town prompt online user discussion