HDB explores two new repair methods for ceiling leaks

February 3, 2021

HDB corridor

The two new repair method identified are overlaying waterproofing membrane system and nanotechnology waterproofing system.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has been exploring new technologies to improve on current repair methods for ceiling leaks, said Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim on Tuesday (2 February).

In fact, two new repair methods have been identified – namely, overlaying waterproofing membrane system and nanotechnology waterproofing system.

These new methods provide “alternative repair options for residents who do not wish to hack their toilet tiles or who prefer to keep the existing finishes in their toilets”, said Faishal.

For complex and recurring issues that are unable to be rectified by contractors, HDB will “assist in the investigations and provide advice where possible”, he added.

Recommended article: HDB Renovation Permits and Guidelines: A Guide to Renovating Your HDB

He was responding to MP Liang Eng Hwa (PAP-Bukit Panjang SMC) and MP Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap’s (WP-Aljunied) questions amid recent spates of complaints on ceiling leaks and external wall seepage.

Liang asked about HDB’s approach to assist the flat dwellers.

Faishal explained that the responsibility for repairs on ceiling leaks which occur as a result of wear and tear over time will be shared jointly between the lower and upper-floor flat owners.

He noted that both the lower and upper-floor flat owners would have “to jointly investigate and carry out the repairs”.

“In most cases, leakages can be amicably resolved when flat owners exercise mutual understanding and cooperate with one another,” he said.

“In cases where the leak is caused by wear and tear, HDB may offer assistance with repairs and co-share the cost of repairs under the Goodwill Repair Assistance (GRA) scheme,” he added.

Under the scheme, 50% of the ceiling leak repair cost will be paid for by the HDB, while the other 50% will be equally shared between the lower and upper-floor flat owners.

But if the leak at the lower-floor is due to renovations done at the upper-floor flat, then the upper-floor flat owner will be “fully responsible for rectifying the leak and bearing the full repair cost”.

For ceiling leaks occurring at top floor units, Faishal said the town council will be responsible for addressing the leak since the roof forms part of common property.

The external walls of HDB blocks also form part of common property managed by town councils.

Suggested read: Should You Call the Police or HDB to Deal With Neighbour Disputes?

“As they are subject to wear and tear over time, town councils are advised to keep them in good condition by carrying out regular maintenance and repairs where needed,” said Faishal.

In responding to Faisal’s question on whether HDB will consider introducing a national programme for facade repair of ageing HDB blocks, Faishal said there are currently no such plans since such issues can be prevented through regular maintenance by town councils.

He revealed that HDB assists town councils by co-sharing 50% of the façade repair costs.

From the second half of 2021, the Building and Construction Authority will require a Periodic Façade Inspection “to be carried out for all buildings above 20 years old and above 13 metres in height”.

“The objective is to improve public safety, by facilitating the early detection of potential issues and the timely repair of façades,” said Faishal.

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