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HDB Flat Exploding Tiles Aren’t Uncommon – 2000 Complaints Received a Year

If you think you’re the only suay bugger whose HDB flat floor tiles just exploded, don’t worry, you’re not alone – there will be about another 1999 fellas who will face this issue too in 2018.

That is, if the trend doesn’t go up (or go down lah, but we if we had to bet we’d bet on it going up).

In parliament last year, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong reported that the HDB received about 2000 complaints about exploding tiles a year in 2015 and 2016.

Or, about 0.2 percent of HDB flats a year – there are presently 1 million HDB flats in Singapore.

When pressed in parliament to explain the causes of tiles cracking, Wong explained:

“Tiles, like all fittings, fixtures and finishes in a flat, are subject to wear and tear over time. They may dislodge due to various reasons, such as differential thermal expansion and contraction of tiles, or the natural deterioration of the bond between the tiles and the screed surface. All these can cause a loss of adhesion between the tiles and the screed surface, and the dislodgement of tiles. In the past two years, HDB received about 2,000 cases of dislodged floor tiles per year. This works out to a nationwide yearly average of about two cases per 1,000 dwelling units, or 0.2% per year.”

Wong added that flat-owners (or “lease-owners” if you prefer since all flats have to be returned to the HDB eventually), are responsible for the maintenance of their flat.

Any repairs must be reported during the 1-year Defect Liability Period, though the HDB might grant some goodwill in some instances:

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

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.”

So, if you’re one of those affected by exploding tiles, do you agree with this reader that HDB should bear the cost of repair for original HDB fittings, even if the Defect Liability Period has passed?




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