HDB Windows: A Basic Maintenance Guide

Learn the basics of keeping different types of HDB windows in good working condition.

A home without windows would look dull and claustrophobic. Thanks to them, natural sunlight and ventilation can find their way in, and you get to appreciate the sights and sounds outside. In this guide, we look at ways to keep your different types of HDB windows in good working condition.  

Thinking of getting a brand new HDB flat? You may be interested to read our guide here on the different types of BTO flats available.

Scenic views is usually a factor when choosing a new home - PropertyGuru Singapore

The presence of scenic views is usually a factor when choosing a new home

Installation and replacement

HDB window installations are no laughing matter. To ensure no one gets hurt from such window installations, they need to be carried out safely in compliance with HDB’s safety requirements.

If you are installing or replacing new windows, make sure you engage a BCA-approved window contractor listed on HDB’s directory. HDB also has a rather detailed list of requirements for works pertaining to different parts of the window.

For example, HDB requires only zinc casting corner brackets for the corners of a window leaf. For aluminium sliding windows, the sliding panel width should not exceed 1.2m.

You can head over to HDB’s website to view these detailed requirements.

The three types of HDB windows

HDB flats typically have three types of windows:

  1. Casement windows: These are windows, or part of a window, that open with the use of hinges, friction stays, or pivots.
  2. Sliding windows: As its name implies, these windows slide horizontally along a frame.
  3. Louvred windows: These windows come with fixed or adjustable panes. Fixed ones have their glass panes fixed on the window frame at an angle. Adjustable ones can be opened using a lever at the side.

Repairing and maintaining aluminium windows

If you own or are living in an HDB flat, it is your responsibility to make sure your windows are well-maintained. Windows that are poorly maintained can risk falling off, seriously hurting passer-bys below.

It is recommended that you conduct checks on your HDB windows once every six months. HDB has a useful video guide here on how to check your windows.

If you’re considering upgrading to a new HDB flat, why not check out our guide here on HDB’s sales launches?

Aluminium casement windows

Replace cracked HDB windows immediately - PropertyGuru Singapore

Replace cracked windows immediately

For casement windows, make sure that the rivets are not broken or rusty. Screws should also not be rusty or appear like they are about to fall off. A small mirror will come in handy to inspect the steel screws and rivets on the top and underside of the window panel. For friction stays, these should remain properly secured and unbent.

Here are some typical problems you may encounter with your casement windows:

  • Difficulty closing: This may happen because the friction stays are stiff. It’s also likely that the sliding track is obstructed due to dirt or other obstructions. Simply remove any dirt or debris, or apply lubricants to the sliding track and the window’s moving components. If you notice that any parts have become loose or appear to be missing, get a BCA-approved window contractor listed with HDB to come down.
  • Cracked glass: Your window was probably hit by an object. Make sure you engage a  BCA-approved window contractor listed with HDB to replace the cracked panes.
  • Loose rubber gasket: The gasket may have loosened from prolonged exposure to the elements and repeated opening and shutting of the windows. To resolve this issue, simply push in the gasket so it remains tight in the window groove. If the gasket is broken or appears brittle, replace it and ensure it is fitted snugly into the inner frame of the glass.

Wooden casement windows

If the casement windows in your flat are wooden, you may have observed the following at one point or another:

  • The windows have started to sag
  • Certain parts have decayed
  • Hinges are loose and rusty
  • Louvres have detached

The above may occur due to wear and tear over time and exposure to weather elements. Make sure that you replace decaying or detached parts, tighten the screws for hinges, and replace any rusty or missing screws.

You can also engage a BCA-approved window contractor listed with HDB to replace the entire window. Alternatively, you can seek HDB’s approval to replace the wooden casement window with aluminium casement windows if the window parts cannot be repaired.

Aluminium sliding windows

If you have aluminium sliding windows, always check to see if the entire window panel slides smoothly through the track. A problem commonly faced is that of the window panel running out of the track. This could be due to damaged or dislodged rollers caused by wear and tear. The safety stopper at the upper frame could also be loose or missing.

What you can do to remedy the situation is to tighten any loose track screws with a screwdriver. Alternatively, you can engage a BCA-approved window contractor listed with HDB to do the following:

  • Fix or replace the roller if it is damaged
  • Replace missing or rusty screws with new stainless steel screws
  • Replace loose or corroded rivets with new stainless steel screws

You may also encounter loosened rubber gaskets, cracked glass, or have window panels that can’t slide smoothly. These are also common problems faced with aluminium casement windows described earlier, and you can apply the same remedies.

Adjustable louvred windows

These windows are usually found in your flat’s toilets or kitchen. Check them to ensure that the locks for the levers work properly and that the glass panes are securely placed and uncracked. A common issue faced by flat owners is lock levers that are too tight.

This could arise because the window has remained in the same position for a long period of time. What you can do is to simply apply some lubricant to the pivot joints.

Fixed louvred windows

Fixed louvred windows are usually found in your flat’s toilet. Check your timber louvred windows to make sure they are in good condition. If you notice that the paintwork for the timber frame has started to peel, apply a new coat of paint.

Also, make sure that the glass panes are secure and not cracked. If you need to replace the window or broken panes, engage a BCA-approved window contractor listed with HDB.

If you would like to know about HDB’s guidelines for works pertaining to windows and grilles, you can visit here. These guidelines cover things such as whether you require a permit to install venetian blinds or to replace grilles at your service yard.

If you would like to learn more about keeping pests away from your home instead, why not read our guide here?


To get more guides like this, check out PropertyGuru.

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