HDB flats in Singapore
A view of a newly constructed public housing estate in Singapore Reuters

Singapore's Housing and Development Board (HDB) have so far received 700 cases of dislodged tiles in January.

Among the cases, nearly half of them involved tiles installed by the flat owners, while the rest were installed by HDB.

"Dislodgement of tiles occurs due to natural deterioration and differential thermal expansion or contraction of the tiles, which results in a loss of adhesion between the tiles and the screed surface over time," HDB said responding to media queries.

"Significant changes in temperature can also cause more stress to be built up beneath the tiles and contribute to the loss of adhesion," said HDB.

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Floor tiles of residents of HDB flats at multiple locations like Punggol, Sengkang, Bukit Panjang, Woodlands, Hougang and Jurong West have 'exploded' over the weekend, complained the residents.

Residents were scared out of their wits by this uncanny event. One woman, residing Jurong West said it sounded like loud fireworks.

Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Suppliers Association adviser said the recent chilly weather may be the reason for the cracking. He also didn't rule out the possibility of poor workmanship.

While tiles may crack if they are sub-standard, they may also face the same fate if the concrete has not been left to cure for sufficient time or a suitable adhesive was not used.