A piece of concrete ceiling fell on a child after he sprayed water at it. The Town Council and HDB visited the unit to do a thorough check on the site.
HDB stated that the spalling concrete was was cause by severe rebar corrosion. And the corrosion most probably happened due to water ingress from the above ceiling which caused the concrete ceiling to fall.
Authorities have said that repair works for the flat will be done on May 22.
This is the full statement from HDB.
“HDB was alerted to an incident of spalling concrete on Tuesday afternoon (19 May 2020). Our officers visited the flat the same day, and found spalling concrete in the ceiling of the toilet.
Spalling concrete occurs when steel bars embedded in the ceiling start to corrode, due to the ingress of moisture and acidic elements. Over time, this causes the concrete ceiling cover to crack and fall off. This is a natural wear and tear process which occurs in older buildings, such as this flat which is 45 years old. It tends to occur more frequently in moisture-prone areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms, where the humidity will speed up the carbonation process, which causes spalling concrete. However, spalling concrete is non-structural in nature and will not affect the building’s structural integrity.
We have helped the family to clear the debris arising from the spalling concrete, and will be carrying out repair works in the flat on Friday (22 May 2020). As this is a rental flat, HDB will bear the cost of repair.
With regular maintenance, spalling concrete in HDB flats, if it occurs, is usually minor and can easily be repaired. If there are signs of spalling concrete, flat owners should carry out repairs early to prevent the problem from deteriorating further and affecting a larger area. In the event rental tenants discover any defects such as spalling concrete or ceiling leak, tenants should report to HDB so that HDB can carry out the necessary repairs. More details on the repair works are available on the HDB InfoWEB.”