Flash Floods in Singapore

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16 March 2022 - 9:23, by , in Waterproofing Singapore, No comments

Flash flooding is not a new phenomenon in every country. Flash floods result from intense rainfall. Like the usual floods you all know, they are caused by heavy rainfalls as well as broken dams and overflowing lakes. It spreads rapidly to roads, homes, buildings, and other places that contain water. 


Singapore has recently experienced a major overflow of water. Continual heavy rainfall forced them to close other roads and caused severe traffic jams. Even Bukit Timah Plaza in Singapore was affected. It was the month’s second strongest rainfall. Additionally, the rainfall recorded on Bukit Panjang Road was Singapore’s highest rainfall recorded in a single day since 1981.


How do flash floods occur?


In many countries, every rainy season brings floods and flash floods that affect every resident. No matter where they live, whether rich or poor, floods affect everyone. There is nothing anyone can do to stop or prevent them.


Flash flood is basically from the word “flash”, the quick response to heavy rainfall. In a short period, the water can increase up to inches depending on the situation, whether it might be an overflow of lakes or dams, clogged rivers, water canals, or any water passage that cannot accommodate more water. 


The recent flash flood incident in Singapore was caused by a clash of winds blowing from the north and south. There has been a heavy downpour due to too much moisture and pressure added to the clouds. In the constant flow of water to the ground, there is not enough room for water to circulate and flow in other areas, resulting in high flood levels.


According to Koh Tieh Yong, a weather and climate scientist at Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), some air is forced upwards when two strong winds cross each other. Rain clouds form as a result of this force of air, causing heavy rainfalls. 


In addition to sewer flooding, flash floods can also occur. Several factors can cause sewer flooding, including clogged or blocked pipes and heavy rainfall. Floods are often caused by some people flushing their personal items down both public sewers and home drainage pipes that are not supposed to be flushed. Common items such as feminine napkins, tissue, and baby wipes or newspapers. It stacks together on drainage pipes causing blockages and flooding.

Photo: Jeremy Long


Flooding of Singapore’s Bukit Timah Plaza


Singaporeans have posted on social media different angles of why there was heavy rain in Bukit Timah plaza. The videos showed water dripping from the ceiling and wet floors throughout the mall.


According to a news article by CNA, tenants of the mall’s shops were using blowers to dry the wet floors. The heavy rain that began around 10:30 was non-stop and soaked some areas of the mall with carpet floors as well.

Photo: Jeremy Long


One of the employees from the plaza also mentioned that one of the ceilings below the escalators had collapsed the same morning. The plaza’s management also decided to stop the escalator from operating due to the damage caused by the flood.


The flood has started to enter the Bukit Timah plaza from the pedestrian walkway nearby. It gradually started from the ceiling of the mall until it eventually collapsed, which had led to more area for water to get inside the mall’s vicinity.


Because of the incident, the National water agency PUB issued flood risk warnings to cover four different locations where water levels in local drains and canals had peaked up to 90%. These areas include Upper Bukit Timah Road from Hazel Park Terrace to Chestnut Drive, Kranji Expressway at Woodlands Road exit, Sime Darby Centre, and Sunset Drive/Sunset Way.


What Can I Do to Prevent Leakage in My Home?


Even if you don’t live in a space as big as Bukit Timah Plaza or your drainage system is not as wide as the country’s, you should still protect your interior from flooding. By doing so, you prevent leaks in the interior. Even let’s say you live in a high-rise building, water leakage can cause as great damage as floods.


Water leakage is hard to prevent from houses because there are so many possible passages where water can get through. It can get through walls, floors, and roofs. However, you may think that as of now, there is not much moisture or water penetrating through these places, but take note that these small amounts of water may be the start to cause bigger damage. This includes moulds and structural damages.


Nevertheless, you can worry less if you follow a few simple tips to waterproof your home’s surroundings.

Repair and inspect the roof


The roof is the primary part of your home that keeps you protected from all weather. Therefore, having a properly maintained roof can help prevent leaks. Try to do roof check-ups, especially when rainy days are ahead. Replace parts that need replacements and, if possible, create a passage for water to get through.


Some households have roof gutters. This gutter catches the water that falls into the roof. This can also catch dried leaves, small branches, and other stuff that falls to the roof. Because it can accommodate both, this causes the gutter to clog. With that in mind, make sure to clean the gutter to get rid of the dirt and prevent the stocked water from getting into your walls and possible interior leaks.


Waterproof foundations

If you can notice small cracks on your walls, you must be quite worried. These small cracks are already an opening for water to cause leakages.


Make sure that you do a full check-up around your house and look for cracks that might need repair. Either it may need minimal repairs like using seals or hydraulic cement or a complete wall restoration. 


Leak Proof your doors and windows

Doors and windows are easily accessed by heavy rainfalls, especially for houses that have high windows and are near the ground. For windows and doors, weather stripping seals are used to prevent water from entering your home. This is also used in other countries that experience snow.


This is also done not only to protect your home from leakage but can also be helpful to improve thermal efficiency.


Inspect the plumbing system

You might wonder how water is getting inside your house after everything else is fixed. Maybe you should start considering checking on your pipes. These pipes are where your water flows all over your house. These are connected to your kitchen sink, toilet bowls, bathtub, and other areas where there is access to water.


Restoration for plumbing may cost a lot when not fixed early. To avoid further expenses, replace damaged or rusty pipes that can no longer withstand more water flow, including old valves, as soon as possible.


Find a water restoration expert.


In instances that you have no other way to solve leakage issues at home, There are available water leakage professionals that can come in handy. These people will fix the problem for you. They can also guide you to simple and practical tips on how to make your house leakproof.


Waterproofing your home as early as possible is the best way to prevent leakage, which eventually may cause more trouble. If you have no idea how to fix the damages on your own, you are always free to seek help from professionals. This is also great if you need further assistance on how to find minimal leaks around the house on your own. 


Singapore Waterproofing: “The Leakage Expert”


Singapore Waterproofing is a professional waterproofing and coating company and has been providing customers with works in construction, waterproofing, and other general contract work. The company has always maintained high standard services for the past nine years. 


Singapore Waterproofing offers an on-site analysis to figure out the solutions that will best suit the needs of your property. Aside from waterproofing, the company also offers other services such as painting and coating, minor works in construction, and other general contract work, to ensure that ceiling leaks will not be a problem for a long time.


Up to this date, Singapore Waterproofing is one of the leading waterproofing companies which is specialized in various waterproofing solutions based in Singapore. Singapore Waterproofing always makes sure to provide the best services by using advanced and high-quality technology that can help give their clients the service that they deserve.

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