The Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced that there are 700 cases of dislodged tiles in the first half of January, with more than half of the cases involving tiles installed by the HDB.
The spokesperson for the board stated that the number of cases reported is “consistent with the experience of previous years, where there tends to be a higher number of feedback on the dislodgement of tiles during the colder months”.
The HDB said dislodgement of tiles is due to “natural deterioration and differential thermal expansion or contraction of the tiles, which results in a loss of adhesion between the tiles and the screed surface over time”.
The spokesperson also said that significant changes in temperature can also cause more stress to be built up beneath the tiles and contribute to the loss of adhesion.
“This exceeds the industry standard of a one-year Defect Liability Period. HDB will also assist all affected residents to inspect their flats, lay protective sheets over the affected tiles and provide a list of repair contractors whom they can engage,” the spokesperson added.
During last year’s Parliament in April, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong stated that flat owners are responsible for the maintenance of their flats, including repairs for general wear and tear.
He said that in private developments, developers generally only rectify dislodged tiles during the 1-year Defect Liability Period (DLP). Some developers may offer repair for dislodged tiles for a slightly longer period, for example, three years, but those are generally done on a goodwill basis.
The minister then said that HDB’s practice has been more generous, besides helping flat owners repair dislodged tiles originally provided by HDB during the 1-year DLP, it also offers goodwill repairs for dislodged tiles for up to 15 years.
“For flats that are older than 15 years of age, HDB will help carry out inspections and assist the owners to remove and dispose of the affected tiles. HDB can also provide owners with a list of registered repair contractors, whom they can then engage on a private basis,” he stated.
Some home-owners posted pictures on their Facebook account, complaining of their experience on the matter.
Ms Joanna Lim wrote a Facebook post and tagged Ang Mo Kio Town Council, saying that her house walls’ tiles just came off and she has absolutely no idea where to begin.
She also noted that she had called HDB and they promised her that someone will give her house a visit on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Mr Jimmy Oh also wrote on her Facebook on Monday, saying that he has been living in the flat for 15 years.
“The floor tiles started to pop up around 1.30pm and the pop up really sound like you are caught in a earth quake,” he wrote, adding that the floor tiles that were popping up one by one.
He noted that the affected area stretch from the main door in the form of a T shape and end at my dining table.
“This pop up of floor tiles gave us inconvenience as we would have to find a place to stay in while HDB contractor do the hacking and re-tiles for our living room. My question here is will HDB bear the full cost since they said they only cover flat owners for floor tiles with flat up to 15 years,” he wrote.
He then stated that should the HDB insist him to pay for the tiles and all relevant costs, his next person to visit will be the MP.
“I don’t think it will be fair for me to pay for it as I have purchase a flat that I can stay till I pass on and not expecting the floor tiles to pop up after 15 years of staying in it., Who would want to buy a HDB flat that would have their floor tiles pop up exactly after 15 years of staying in it? Furthermore, we paid more than $300,000 for it,” he wrote.
He then wrote that his neighbor living on the same floor as him, faced same issue of living room floor tiles pop up on Sunday and this was their third encounter. There is another unit on the 14th floor faced same issue too and this was the second time they faced this issue.
Mr Ivan Soh also posted the pictures of his wall tiles, saying, “These tiles were laid by HDB, in my home. And they popped in the cold weather.”
He noted that the tiles scratched the side of his refrigerator and noted that his flat is over ten years.
HDB also posted on its Facebook page on Monday (15 january), saying that it is aware that some flat owners have encountered dislodged tiles in their homes recently.
It also advised members of the public who encounter the issue to carefully move the dislodged tiles to a safe area, and cover the affected spot with cardboard for safety.
The board then suggests members of the public to call Branch Hotline at 1800-225-5432 during weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm or the Essential Maintenance Services Unit (contact details are listed on the lifts at your blocks).
“Our colleagues will arrange an appointment to visit your flat, and provide a list of contractors who can carry out the repair work,” it said.