Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on incidents of spalling concrete in HDB flats
Feb 6, 2018
Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Minister for National Development
(a) how many cases of spalling concrete happening after the defects liability period has the HDB received for flats that have undergone the Home Improvement Programme (HIP); and
(b) whether the HDB will consider additional support or subsidies for flat owners in such cases as flats age and the integrity of structural materials such as ceiling reinforcement bars deteriorate.
Spalling concrete is the flaking of concrete from the ceiling due to the corrosion of steel reinforcement bars in the concrete floor slab. The corrosion is caused by the ingress of moisture and acidic elements, and can lead to cracking and bulging of the concrete cover over time. This is a natural wear and tear process, and is generally a surface maintenance issue which can be mitigated through regular painting of the ceiling. With regular maintenance, spalling concrete is usually minor and can be easily repaired.
The repair of spalling concrete is one of the essential improvements carried out under the Home Improvement Programme (HIP), where it is fully funded by the Government. However, this does not preclude the re-occurrence of spalling concrete or occurrence in another area of the flat, as wear and tear will continue over time.
This is why there will be cases of spalling concrete even after the completion of HIP or its defects liability period (DLP). Based on experience, after the 1-year DLP, an average of about 13 such cases per 1,000 dwelling units are reported to HDB per year.
For all spalling concrete cases after the DLP, flat owners can request for assistance under the Goodwill Repair Assistance (GRA) scheme, where HDB will help to carry out the repairs and co-pay 50 per cent of the repair cost.