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in
07-03-2003, 09:19 AM
Something strange happened at our house yesterday. Someone was in the bathroom uptairs, minding his own business, when suddenly, a soft 'crack' could be heard.

Then the sound spread. (imagine the sound of a windscreen cracking but in slow-mo). If that wasn't bad enough, the floor cracked and pushed up the tiles (like tree roots cracking up a road pavement). Its so bad that the bathroom door can now only open a couple of inches.

This is strange because (a) we do not have trees growing in our upstairs bathroom. (b) I don't think there was an earthquake yesterday. We're baffled and suspect that it could be due to the current heat wave.

Any idea what could have caused this?

lady-o-leisure
07-03-2003, 10:24 AM
Oh My goodness... it happens in USJ too? I should show you pictures of my home. Now has 3 tones on tiles on one floor coz i cant get the same colour anymore. The tiles popped up too and looked like a miniature mountain range. But then again, we do get earthquakes here in Taiwan. Time to get wood flooring.

jericho
07-03-2003, 12:44 PM
in,

can you tell us your location.

is your house renovated not long ago or when is the last time it was renovated ?

i doubt the crack has anything to do with the current heat wave. more towards earth movement or bad workmanship on the floor tiles.

in
07-03-2003, 01:21 PM
I'm at USJ 3/2. Our house had minor renovations done about 2 years ago. But, the bathroom tiles are original from 10 years (?) ago.

However, there was major renovations done on houses at both sides of our house and also the house behind us. All was done within 3 years and and half a year ago.

jericho
07-03-2003, 01:51 PM
is there any cracks on the ceiling downstair where the bathroom is located upstair ?

i don't think the renovations have anything to do since it was done years ago.

since your house is located near the new USJ 3A, do you notice any crack on your house walls during the USJ 3A piling works ?

in
07-03-2003, 02:14 PM
Directly below the upstairs bathroom, is the downstairs bathroom. I'll need to check on the ceiling when I get home.

As for the USJ 3A thing, our house is not that near the site. However, if you mention about cracks on the wall. There were cracks on my kitchen wall, after my neighbour renovated/extended her kitchen.

Its a little bit hard to explain unless you see it for yourself. We haven't called anyone in to look into the matter yet, mostly likely either tomorrow or Sunday. We'll see that the repair guy/contractor has to say.

Beethoven
07-03-2003, 02:31 PM
I used to stay in an apartment at 2nd floor, in Setapak. The floor tiles in the living room came out like what you had described, same thing happen to the neighbours' houses.
When we complaint to the management, they said it's due to the cement was not "dry" enough before the tiles were being layed. This thing happen 7-8 years later after the apartment was built.

Thoongchai
08-03-2003, 12:19 AM
Dear neighbour,

I'm a contractor living in USJ, do you mind if I take a look at the problem?

You can contact me at 019 - 260 2103

Regards.

jsu
08-03-2003, 09:20 AM
This is a common problem lah. I have seen many such cases. The popularity of glazed floor tiles in Malaysia is something I always have trouble understanding when there are so many alternative timber flooring types available here. Firthermore, they are only marginally more expensive.

sinleong
10-03-2003, 11:52 PM
happened to my kitchen too. apparently there are water seepages beneath our floor. as it dries up after a hot day, the cement shrinks during the cool of the evening, pushing up the tiles.

empress_julz
11-03-2003, 12:06 AM
sounds like the stuff out of a horror movie.

call a lawyer and sue the contractor responsible for the damages, plus psychological damage. they'll have to pay your lawyer's fees too.

usually though, when they hear you're going to do this, they'd want to 'settle'.

make sure you take pictures and get an expert opinion (two will be better.)

also make sure you get a representative from the contractor's office to come down. scream at him and pull his ears for employing shoddy sub-contractors. (this is always done, it's malaysia)

you shouldn't have to foot the bill for this, and make sure you don't.

bring it to the press as well if you can. why not have everyone who's had experiences of the sort band together and write an article on it?

i have to say the workmanship with regards to residences in malaysia is low. here in europe ppl build things that last centuries, even the houses and the apartments are expected to last forever.

and for the money we pay, we should expect better.

sinleong
12-03-2003, 12:34 AM
For my kitchen, it was Sime UEP responsible for laying the tiles....

kwchang
12-03-2003, 01:06 AM
Not true really.. SIME UEP subcontracts the construction jobs to others. I'll betcha the crooks are probably the subcontractors

yokeimmvivian
12-03-2003, 01:05 PM
kw, it is called vicarious liability. SIME UEP picked the subcons.

in, whatever info you may discover, please keep us up to date.

patrick
12-03-2003, 03:12 PM
Calm down folks. This is not a strange phenomenon. I have seen many. I understand it's usually a combination of both poor workmanship on the laying of tiles and also due to the different contraction and expansion rate of the floor and the tiles. This happens not only in bathrooms but often in kitchen floors too.

Whilst ceramic floor tiles are nice to feel and look, this is one of the problems. I would suggest you consider laminated wooden floor boards now that the prices have dropped quite considerably.

Rgds,
Patrick

empress_julz
12-03-2003, 08:07 PM
and no one's brought these ppl to court/ the authorities?

if it's that common it should be in the news. esp since sime UEP prides itself in being some premier developer.

kwchang
13-03-2003, 12:15 AM
Laminated wooden floor boards are fussy creatures to have. You cannot wet the floor because the stuff will expand and you will find pieces of the floor boards swelling up like wet tissue paper I believe.

If you love wood floors, then go for the real thing - strip wood flooring. They are really beautiful but expensive.

As for bathrooms, unless you are in England where they carpet the bathrooms, tiles are the default. So get a good contractor.

empress_julz
13-03-2003, 12:18 AM
carpeting for floors is sick. dust and dirt and fur and hair and sometimes little children stick to it. vacuuming is so intensive. ppl with money in europe usually tile or put wood boards in their house when they get the chance to. marble maybe.

the real reason why there's so much carpeting in europe, england notably, is cos the contractors don't lay the flooring well... i.e. the cement is bumpy. so they carpet the floor because carpetting covers these imperfections well. and, it's cheaper.

and as for parquet flooring, yes you can't get it too wet. my family had a house in SS15 which we rented out to mainland chinese students. what a mistake! those ppl trashed the parquet floor... they did their washing upstairs in the common area! we had to strip everything and redo the flooring for the entire top floor because it had been ruined by the constant flooding. what a mess.

but to do anything in malaysia or anywhere else.... go for a reputable contractor.try to save the RM 200 and end up spending RM 2000 later on. doesnt make economic sense.


///EJ

kwchang
13-03-2003, 12:42 AM
Uhh...empress, you gotta get back home to see what laminated wood floor is. I think Europe is a bit backward about using synthetic stuff since marble is so well known there. It is not parquet.

The stuff Patrick mentioned (pl correct me if I'm wrong, Patrick) is actually some synthetic stuff made to look like wood and simulate wood-strip flooring which is more expensive. Some of them are made from compressed wood fibre (like chip-board) and they are usually laminated with one layer of simulated wood-grain which I think is purely paper but some are formica. Then they have a protective film on top which is transparent and give some wear resistance. However the whole board isn't water proof and the core contents will swell when wet.

Thanks for explaining the reason for carpets.

empress_julz
13-03-2003, 04:35 AM
kwchang, europe is certainly not backward with wood flooring - "parquet" for instance is a french word, for a good reason too. and with regards to laminated composite wood flooring - the ppl who invented it were the scandinavians, (i.e. perstorp flooring of sweden) not malaysian.

and i've not heard europeans complain that their laminated wood flooring expands like wet tissue when it comes into contact with water. if that happened, someone gets sued and for good reason too.

i can even go across the street to tutto brico (the hardware shop) and buy laminated composite wood flooring to fit my house. i can have the proper ones put in by a contractor, or maybe i'd like the do-it-yourself ones that click together like a jigsaw.

between wood and marble, wood is used more widely in europe than marble with regards to flooring. marble is unaffordable to the average person, and if you want to install it in an apartment let's say (which is where most europeans in cities reside) the building authorities will shoot you for suggesting because it weighs too heavy on the structure.

i've seen the stuff in malaysia and over here. unfortunately, malaysian factories and contractors try to come up with close copies of the real thing but fail. real laminated wood flooring can take quite a bit of water with ease. (though not a bad flood.) if malaysian companies respected intellectual property rights more and bought the technique over from the guys who spent the few million euro developing it, there wouldnt be the problem of the floor going all 'kembang' after 2 mops.

the wood products here really Impressed me. especially the ones from scandinavia. you can even buy your house in a container box! i know a family who literally built their 3 storey bungalow out of a box. it was all made from wood and it looks gorgeous. they live in the richest area in milan. the average person here could not possibly dream of a house like that.

as for flooring, well hey... you name it, they have it. laminate, composite, wood flour, sawdust composites, wood-plastic composites, stained, dark, natural... it's all here.

the scandinavians notably invest billions in wood research, from genetically modified trees for faster growth, to forest maintenance, better wood products, better tools to use on wood, etc. they have a whole culture of lumberjacks and scientists and environmentalists who love the wood, which we lack in malaysia.

we do have some wonderful wood resources but i would be sceptical on malaysia going too deep in the forest - we are not known for our conservation efforts. hopefully things will change.

as for housing, a lot has to change. there hasn't been a single aspect of malaysian houses that can surpass their european counterparts in terms of quality, durability and strength - be it the paint (it has to stay on the walls without cracks minimum 15 yrs in italy), the flooring, the cement (notice the cracks on the walls, esp near the doors) , the fact that asbestos ceilings are still widely used, etc.

cheers.

///EJ

in
13-03-2003, 09:58 AM
Hi everyone. Thanks for your concern and suggestions. Firstly, with regards to my bathroom, I'm sure you'll agree that anything wood is out of the question.

I have spoken to an old family contractor friend who came to have a look. He suspects that the tiles broke because of air bubbles from the glue under the tiles. Because of the current heat wave, it expanded a little bit too much. (Sorry my chinese is really bad, and I think that is what he said).

Anyways, I haven't gone round to shopping for new tiles yet, perhaps this weekend. Until then, its cold showers every morning in the downstairs bathroom.

empress_julz
13-03-2003, 04:53 PM
have u contacted Sime UEP? what did they say?

MPPJ screwed something up whilst doing roadworks outside my friend's corner lot. somehow, a tree collapsed on his brick fence and put a massive hole underneath. they were able to claim for damages later on, but remember... they need a *written valid receipt* to verify so don't forget to at least get that in order!

i.e. hire a reputable contractor who is able to do so, not some half past five fella... but if u know this contractor, i trust yr judgement.

humvee
13-03-2003, 10:36 PM
From what I have read,the problems appear to stem from some very basic structural in nature. I am by no means an engineer but I totally agree with empress that the people responsible i.e developers & contractors should be held accountable. I have lived in KL/PJ /SJ in different houses for many yearsbut have never encountered these problems .Believe me, they are not common at all.If the basic structure is unstable then whatever flooring installed will buckle.
If assuming the floor/structure is stable, ceramic tiles,are I believe longer lasting and easier to maintain in the long run As labour is relative cheaper in Malaysia the installation of tiles is definately recommended.Here in Canada where labour is very expensive I had to choose between wood and tile.I chose laminate wooden floors when I had to do my kitchen.As empress rightly pointed out the technology is very good from Scandinavia. I installed the floor myself and it looks beautiful,easy to maintain.Just mop with a bucket of water with 1/2 cup of vineger. However these wooden laminate floors are not suitable for the bathroom

sfliew
13-03-2003, 10:50 PM
Move into USJ in Aug 1994,
1996 - have to make water pipe diversion due to underground leaking.
1998- termite treatment, when toilet door fell off
2002 - water mark on ceiling and crack appearing on wall seem getting more
2003 - have to chage the "Ball" for the overflowed tangki
2004 - sinkhole?
This is life in USJ!!

pcyeoh
14-03-2003, 01:30 PM
What are the chances that what was originally discussed (exploding tiles) happens before your very eyes? One in a hundred thousand. Well, I don't know what to say. Half an hour ago I was having my favourite Har Mee or better known as Penang Hokkien Mee at Chow Yang Coffee Shop in SS2 when right before my very eyes, two pillar tiles ( 6" x 10") literally exploded. I just couldn't believe what I saw and when I relate it to what I have read here, I was wondering whether there was a deeper meaning in there. Could have used my mobile to call the X-Files team here. The tiles flew two feet from their original spot on the pillar. Thank God, nobody was sitting next to them or else the victim would need a complete face job looking at the debris left on the floor. I was about 3 feet away to suffer from the fall out. Of course, I was unable to finish off the bowl of mee because by now the soup would have changed taste with some sand added to it. As usual, this kay por chee started to examine the situation closely and I found that there was absolutely nothing behing the tile. So I concluded that the tile must have been plastered in air tight manner with hollowness behind and that pressure together with heat just exploded it. Those who don't believe just go there and look. Talk about first person experience.

empress_julz
14-03-2003, 10:48 PM
from what i'm hearing it's more than a one in a hundred thousandth chance that some structure or other in buildings in malaysia explodes.

i really think our building standards are poor.... look at the spate of collapsing houses and apartments, all built in the wrong type of land. nobody bothered to get proper geologists reports.... you want a house there? just build lah.

stupid attitude that leads to loss of money and life.