Extensive works required for HIP upgrading

Workers washing the walls of the facade of a HDB flat to prepare for a fresh coat of paint, part of the the Home Improvement Programme in Toa Payoh Lorong 8, on Oct 27, 2018.
Workers washing the walls of the facade of a HDB flat to prepare for a fresh coat of paint, part of the the Home Improvement Programme in Toa Payoh Lorong 8, on Oct 27, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Victor Tan Thiam Siew for his feedback (Review Home Improvement Programme processes, May 11).

The Home Improvement Programme (HIP) offers residents improvements within their flats and addresses some of the common maintenance issues in older flats.

To streamline the work process and reduce down time for residents, teams of workers including tilers, plasterers, waterproofing workers, electricians and plumbers are deployed to carry out the upgrading works in a systematic manner.

In particular, toilet upgrading requires extensive works.

These include removing and installing/reinstating fittings, fixtures, and wall and floor tiles; replacing the soil/waste pipes; repairing spalling concrete; applying waterproofing membrane and conducting at least two rounds of water tests.

Given the extent of the improvement works, 10 working days are required to complete the works, which have to follow a prescribed sequence.

As Mr Tan mentioned in his letter, no work was carried out on some days.

This is because time is needed for the wet works, such as the grouting and waterproofing membrane, to cure and dry.

In addition, when the water test is being carried out, the toilet is flooded for a period of four hours and no other work can be carried out in the toilet during the test period.

When this happens, the workers will work on other areas within the flat, such as carrying out repairs to spalling concrete and cracks, and replacing the main entrance door.

We understand that the improvement works may disrupt residents' normal schedules.

However, we need to ensure that toilet upgrading is done properly so that there are no ceiling leaks, as this could pose further disruption to residents. We seek residents' understanding on this.

Those who have difficulties with the schedule can approach the information centre for assistance.

On Mr Tan's suggestion to install concrete air-conditioner ledges for older flats, there are currently no plans to do this under the HIP.

Residents are advised to ensure that their air-conditioning units and the supporting stainless steel brackets are securely fixed and well maintained.

Leow Beng Kiat

Director (Upgrading Construction Management)

Housing & Development Board

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2019, with the headline 'Extensive works required for HIP upgrading'. Print Edition | Subscribe