Wall cracks in Punggol flats 'do not affect structural integrity': HDB

Ms Mazuwina Mohamad, 34, and her husband, Mr Jumani Samat, 35, pointing out cracks in the wall of their Punggol flat. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 
Ms Mazuwina Mohamad, 34, and her husband, Mr Jumani Samat, 35, pointing out cracks in the wall of their Punggol flat. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 

SINGAPORE - The cracks found in some new flats in Punggol do not affect the structural integrity of the building, the Housing Board said on Thursday.

It was responding to media queries about wall cracks in the Waterway Banks Build-to-Order development. Some residents had expressed safety concerns when complaining about these cracks.

A spokesman for HDB said the fissures are "non-structural hairline cracks", and that all building projects will have some issues at the end of the construction period.

"The cracks may be caused by shrinkage and expansion of building materials, or movement such as vibrations from renovations," she added. "Upon feedback, we will inspect and arrange for the necessary repairs."

About 850 households have collected their keys to Waterway Banks, which comprises 1,016 units. Less than a fifth of these households have reported on issues related to wall cracks, said HDB.

Security Mohamad Rizan Mazlan, 39, was one resident of the project who spotted cracks in his four-room flat. He has found at least eight cracks in his bedrooms since collecting his keys in February. His neighbour, housewife Mazuwina Mohamad, 34, also has at least 15 cracks in her unit.

Both residents approached their building services centre, which sent workers to plaster the cracks. But new cracks have appeared since.

"It's very unsettling because it keeps recurring. You patch up one spot, and another crack pops up next to it," said Ms Mazuwina.

HDB said it has made arrangements with these residents to look into the recurrence of these cracks.

Last year, HDB flats scored above the national average in a standard industry measurement for quality assessment.

Stressing that HDB is committed to delivering quality flats, the spokesman said: "This high... score is an affirmation that the quality of HDB flats has not been compromised despite the ramp-up of our building programme in the last few years."

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg