Ceiling of Serangoon HDB Flat Looks Like a Cave Due to Kitchen’s Water Leakage

Even though Singapore’s an urban country, there’s no doubt that some of us might want to get a bit closer to nature at times.

But probably not as close as this house in Hougang, which has a ceiling that makes the house look like a cave of sorts.

In fact, the ceiling of the kitchen in the house now looks like a scene right out of Frozen due to the stalactites that have formed from water leaks in the house’s ceiling.

The homeowner, a 69-year-old man, has even started joking that his house is “Little Guilin”, a local park in Bukit Batok with granite rock formations.

Here’s what happened and why this resident’s house has turned into a “cave”.

Found Out That Water Leaks Caused the Stalactites to Form, Problem Only Surfaced in Recent Years

When speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the homeowner of the flat on the seventh floor of Block 127 Serangoon North Avenue 1 recalled how the issues with his kitchen ceiling started in recent years.

The homeowner, surnamed Wu (Hanyu pinyin), added that he has lived in his flat for over 30 years and that the water leakage issues only started around two years ago.

Eventually, the leakage caused the stalactites and many marks that looked like pockets of water to form on Mr Wu’s kitchen ceiling.

In total, almost ten stalactites have formed on the kitchen ceiling of Mr Wu’s house over the past two years.

When reporters from Shin Min visited his home, they also noted that Mr Wu had placed several buckets on the kitchen floor to collect the water that was dripping from the ceiling.

As for how he discovered the water leakage situation, he explained that he only realised after the stalactites had formed as he rarely walked to the “back” of his house in the past.

According to him, this is because he usually sleeps in his living room. Hence, he did not pay much attention to the kitchen ceiling back then.

Reported to Relevant Authorities But Couldn’t Find Source of Leakage

And this isn’t the first time Mr Wu has come forth with his story.

In particular, he recounted how he contacted the relevant authorities last September after discovering the stalactites in his house.

However, even though the relevant authorities deployed personnel to his house to conduct checks, they were unable to find the source of the water leak.

Initially Wanted to Rent Room to Tenants But Decided Not To Due to Water Leakage

He added that he had intended to rent a room in his house to a couple and that they were supposed to move in after the new year.

However, despite his original plans, he eventually decided against it as he was concerned that the severe water leakage issues in his house would affect the couple.

He added that he chose not to rent the room also because he did not know when his house’s ceiling would be repaired.

Might Have Been Caused by Renovation Work Upstairs

As for why Mr Wu’s cav- I mean, ceiling, has ended up like this, it seems like Mr Wu has some speculations of his own.

He brought up how renovation works in the unit above him eight years ago once caused cracks in his house’s ceiling as the contractor back then carried out hammering-related works on the unit upstairs.

As a result, the lights in his master bedroom and toilet ended up falling from the ceiling.

Even though the contractor did help him repair his ceiling after the damage, he believes that the renovation works, which took place in 2015, still might have caused the water leakage.

In particular, he said that the contractor’s renovation works might have resulted in “internal cracks” in the internal part of his ceiling, which might have caused the water leakage.

He then expressed his hopes for the relevant authorities to figure out the exact cause of the water leakage soon and for them to devise a plan to solve the issue.

Mr Wu added that the prolonged water leakage in his kitchen’s ceiling is “bothersome” for him.

Neighbour’s Reaction

On the other hand, here’s what Mr Wu’s upstairs neighbour has to say.

The neighbour, who declined to be named, told Shin Min that Mr Wu did not tell them about the issue when he first found out about it and that they were completely unaware of his plight.

In addition, the neighbour claimed that they only found out about Mr Wu’s situation after the relevant authorities came to their house and told them that they had to carry out tests to determine the cause of the water leakage in Mr Wu’s house.

After the neighbours agreed to cooperate with the tests, the authorities installed a pipe to direct the water flow from their basin towards another direction.

Based on the authorities’ explanation, this was to determine the cause of the water leakage in Mr Wu’s home.

This arrangement continued for around three months before the authorities concluded that the water leakage did not come from the neighbour’s unit.

The neighbour added that they only asked the authorities to remove the equipment for their tests just two weeks ago before Chinese New Year as they did not want the equipment to affect their celebrations.

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Experts’ Opinions

And here’s what the experts have to say.

Mr Lim Ah Bah, a consultant from the Singapore Renovation Contractors & Material Suppliers Association (RCMA), said that the gradual accumulation of water droplets containing calcium carbonate cause stalactites to form.

He also highlighted that it generally takes a few years of water leakage for such stalactites to form on ceilings.

As for Dr Sky Tan, the former president of RCMA, he said that the waterproofing of Mr Wu’s ceiling might be the issue.

He pointed out that the durability of the waterproofing depends on the renovation standards and suggested Mr Wu should conduct checks on his ceiling regularly and arrange for waterproofing work to be carried out on his ceiling.

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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News