If you have just recently become a proud owner of a new HDB flat, read on how to maintain the following 8 common HDB flat features and keep them looking pristine.
#1. Floor Tiles
Design: PRDT Interiors
In general, HDB flats are equipped with homogenous floor tiles which are non-porous and hence easy to maintain. To get the most out of these tiles, a proper, regular maintenance routine is a must. Remove the dirt and grime on the floor tiles with the vacuum cleaner and use baking soda paste for stubborn stains. To keep the tiles shiny, use warm water and tile cleaner or mild detergent mixed with a bit of vinegar solution. To clean the gaps in between the tiles, fill them with a paste of 3/4-cup baking soda, 1/4-cup hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon of mild dish soap prior scrubbing.
Tip: To prevent the tiles from being scratched, use furniture floor protectors or glides which are made from either felt or silicon. Avoid heavy impact to prevent the tiles from being chipped.
#2. Parquet Flooring And Skirting
The parquet flooring is made of wood sealed with hard-wearing varnish. However, unlike the tiles, the parquet floor is more vulnerable to scratches and requires more delicate clear. For cleaning of the parquet, only use products that are specifically formulated for parquet floors and avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools. Remember to vacuum the parquet before mopping since dirt and grime will leave scratches on the floor. Use as little water as possible to prevent water damage, and ventilate the room as soon as possible after cleaning.
Tip: Use furniture floor protectors or glides made of either felt or silicon and take care not to drag heavy furniture around. Avoid dropping things on the floor to prevent the floor from being dented.
The internal partition walls for the new HDB flats are built of drywall and are of the Severe Duty grade. This means the drywalls are able to take on a loading of up to 25kg at each point. Hence, similar to concrete walls, Severe Duty grade drywalls can support common fixtures such as television sets and wall cabinets used with appropriate anchors. To know the types of anchors to use, HDB has provided a set of sample anchors (from light to heavy-duty) in the Household Shelter. Use wall paint such as the eggshell paint as it resists stains, and scuffs and hence it is easier to clean. Use a damp cloth with a small amount of detergent with vinegar to clean the walls, and remove excess moisture to prevent water damage. Remember to ventilate and air the room to dry the walls faster.
Tip: Do the pushpin test to find out whether if the wall is a drywall. Press the pushpin on the wall and if the pin pushes into the wall easily, it is drywall. Lightweight Precast Concrete Panel (LPCP) is used in wet areas, such as the kitchen and toilets.
#4. Timber Doors
Design: Urbancraft Studio Works Pte Ltd
Timber doors are made of wood. The best way to maintain a timber door is to thoroughly clean it with a slightly damp cloth. The timber door must be dried as soon as possible after it has been cleaned. As timber doors are susceptible to waterlogging, it is important to keep them dry as much as possible. Hence, you should install shower screens or shower curtains to keep the water from splashing onto the doors.
Tip: Keep the bathroom timber doors from getting wet by using a self-adhesive surface protective transparent film and keep the bathroom well-ventilated after use.
#5. Kitchen Sink
As baking soda is a fantastic cleaning agent and odour absorber, pour a handful of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar, down the drain. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes before pouring the boiling water down the drain.
Tip: Prevent the food debris from clogging the kitchen sink with a kitchen sink strainer. Never pour oil, or oily soup into the sink as the it will solidify, and the food will get stuck (due to the viscosity of the oil which coats the pipe walls) and damage the drainage system.
#6. Clothes Drying Rack
Design: Salt Studio
The clothes drying racks are useful in helping you stay organised, while easing the laundry-day blues. They are installed either in the service yard or the kitchen where they are exposed to the cooking fumes. To degrease and keep the drying racks in tip top condition, use warm water with mild detergent and wipe down the racks with a damp cloth every week. This prevents the grease from the cooking fumes from accumulating.
Tip: To keep the clothes drying racks from warping, spin dry the heavy laundry (usually jeans) to around 50% dry.
#7. Home Fire Alarm Device (HFAD)
Image from vigilantesecurity
From 1 June 2018 onwards, the new HDB flats are equipped with a Home Fire Alarm Device (HFAD); an automatic smoke detector installed in the kitchen ceiling which triggers an alarm whenever any smoke is detected. It is a safety device which provides early warning of a fire. SCDF recommends that battery-operated HFADs should have a 10-year life span. For HFADs that are powered by dry-cell batteries, they need to be replaced frequently.
Tip: Test whether the HFAD is in working condition by pressing the Test/Reset button located on the front. If the HFAD is working, a light will blink and an alarm will sound. Press the Test/Reset button until the alarm stops. To reset the device. If there is an ongoing renovation, cover the HFAD with a plastic sheet to keep out the dust.
#8. Dual-Flush Low Capacity Water Closet (WC) Suite
Design: Hock Hoon
New HDB flats are now installed with water-efficient WCs as part of the national water conservation drive. Aside from being eco-friendly, the water-efficient WC also helps to lower the water bill too. The WCs need to be cleaned and disinfect regularly to ensure keep mould, germs and even viruses at bay. A study has found that 27% of the toilet seats involved the study contained alarmingly high amounts of mould, yeast, and germs. To remove the toilet bowl stains, leave the bleach overnight. After cleaning the WC with soap and water, use a disinfecting wipe (or any disinfectant product) before applying another layer of disinfecting spray.
Tip: To make the cleaning of the WC easier, you can consider installing a hand-held bidet spray at the side. Always keep the lid closed when flushing the toilet to prevent the germs from spraying into the air.
This article was originally posted on Renonation.sg, Singapore’s leading renovation and interior design site.