2018 just keeps on giving. I don’t mean that in a bad way really, it’s just, who would have thought so many ‘incidents’ could have taken place within the first two weeks of the new year? First, we had the floods, then the continuous rain all of last week, and now we have exploding floor tiles all over Singapore. If I didn’t know any better, I would say this is like something out of the X-Files and the world as we know it, is coming to an end. Armageddon is upon us people, run!
Again, I don’t mean to sound like a broken record or a wet blanket, but it seems like this exploding floor tiles are only limited to Housing Development Board (HDB) flats. There have been no reports of any private condominiums or landed property suffering from these weird phenomena. Then again, maybe it has just not been reported in the news, I don’t know. Whatever the case may be, it is not something to be taken lightly. The broken tiles will not cause your HDB block to collapse or anything, but someone could get seriously injured.
Imagine if an ‘exploding’ floor tile suddenly broke apart and small pieces of tile went flying through the air and hit someone in the face or worst still, the eye? That would not be good. According to Mr Bobin Thomas, his wife and two children woke up to the sound of floor tiles in their dining room "exploding" one by one in their flat at Block 638A Punggol Drive on Sunday (Jan 14) morning.
Mr Thomas told Channel NewsAsia that when he and his wife saw the tiles start bending inwards, they immediately grabbed their children, a two-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy, and left the house. "The tiles started bending inwards one by one (like there was) an invisible force. It was like something you see in the movies," said Mr Thomas.
"We called our children and got ourselves out of there," added the 35-year-old IT engineer.
The question here is, who were the contractors and is this a case of shoddy workmanship that caused the floor tiles to crack and break? Mr Tan Chim Hoon, an adviser at Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Suppliers Association, said poor workmanship may be a possible cause of the cracks, and the recent chilly weather may be another reason. I can understand that weather can play a part in this as both hot and cold weather can cause materials to expand and contract, causing them to break. But If this is so, would all houses suffer the same fate? The fact that only HDB flats suffered from this problem and even then, only some units, it is possible that poor workmanship is at fault.
One would then ask, did the same contractor do the renovations for all these flats or was it the HDB appointed contractor who did the basic tiling works for these flats that are to be blamed. Of course, we cannot point the finger till all the investigations are completed and the results prove otherwise. However, moving forward, the biggest worry is that more of the current Built-to-Order (BTO) flats will suffer the same fate. HDB flats are currently being built at record speeds, and are this factory fitted, semi-fabricated units that are put together like huge Lego pieces neglecting quality control? Who knows? But I’ll be damn sure to double check my new BTO flat when I move in next year.