Repairing Spalling Concrete In My HDB Flat

I live in a fifty-eight-year-old HDB (Housing and Development Board – Singapore’s public housing) flat. It is therefore not surprising that parts of the ceiling in the old flat may break loose and be at risk of falling on my head. This problem is common in older flats. This issue is known as “spalling concrete”.

Parts of the ceiling in my kitchen and the bathroom broke one-and-a-half years ago.

Spalling Concrete in my HDB Flat

I contacted the Housing and Development Board (HDB). The same day, a staff member by the name of Mr Tan called me and made an appointment to come to my flat for an inspection. Mr Tan showed up less than a week later. As the broken pieces looked like they might dislodge soon, Mr Tan pried the loose pieces off with a screwdriver.

Broken Piece of Spalling Concrete in my HDB flat

As you can see from the picture above, some of the dislodged pieces were pretty huge and heavy. It would be a catastrophe if any of these pieces were to fall on anyone living in the flat.

As the Covid 19 pandemic was still raging and not quite under control at the time, Mr Tan explained that there was a manpower shortage and with the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, it might take a while before he could arrange for an authorised contractor to fix my ceiling. However, he assured me that there was no danger of anyone being hurt since he had already removed the broken and loose pieces.

Mr Tan also explained I could source for a contractor on my own to take on the repair works. Alternatively, the HDB could arrange for a contractor to resolve the spalling concrete issue under the goodwill repair assistance scheme. He could arrange for a contractor to inspect the issue and submit a quote. HDB and I would then co-share the cost in a fifty-fifty arrangement.

I chose the latter option as I would be assured that the contractor appointed to do the job would be duly authorised by the HDB. If there was any issue with the repair, I would be able to fall back on the HDB to pressure the contractor to provide proper after-sales service.

After close to a year, the contractor came to repair the spalling concrete. He also repainted the repaired areas. Now my ceiling looks as good as new.

Repaired Ceiling – Spalling Concrete Issue Resolved

The spalling concrete repair cost depends on the extent of repair work required. The cost to repair my ceiling was $104. I paid $52 for my share of the cost. I am extremely grateful for the support from HDB.

For more information, please click on this link on the HDB website on how to repair spalling concrete.

The Health Benefits of Strawberries, and Recommended Brand

Health benefits of eating strawberries

Strawberries are my son’s favourite fruit. He makes a smart choice, because not only are they low in fat and calories, they are also full of antioxidants. Other benefits of consuming strawberries include lowering our blood pressure, regulating our blood sugar and protecting us from cancer. Strawberries also increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or the good cholesterol in our bodies.

Strawberries are full of Vitamins C and B9, polyphenols, fibre, manganese and potassium. They also provide iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B6, K, and E.

When we consume strawberries, we improve our heart health, skin and eyes. They are extremely delicious either on their own or in desserts. Strawberry shortcakes and pancakes with strawberry syrup are popular desserts.

Fresh strawberries spoil extremely quickly. Here are top 5 tips to keep them fresh longer:

  1. Wash strawberries only when you want to eat them.
  2. Do not cut the stems or strawberries till you are ready to eat them.
  3. Keep them dry by wrapping them in paper towels.
  4. Store them in a single layer in the refrigerator.
  5. Seal them in air-tight containers or zip lock bags.

If you see Tony’s WA strawberries from Australia at your local supermarket, do give them a try. They are of good size and very sweet. I usually have to throw out a couple of mouldy strawberries, from other farms, from a punnet after a week or less.

However, I bought two punnets of Tony’s WA strawberries a little over a week ago. Due to my busy schedule, I forgot to eat them. When I finally remembered to eat them, I was pleasantly surprised that I did not have to throw out a single strawberry. Although the strawberries were a little dehydrated, they still tasted great. For the very first time, I didn’t have to waste any of the fruit. They were priced well too, at only about SGD5 or USD3.50 per punnet!