Date
24 July 2017
Cracked ceramic walls in a building corridor (left) and a loose floor tile likely  resulted from extreme weather conditions when concrete contracts then expands. Photos: Facebook, hk01.com
Cracked ceramic walls in a building corridor (left) and a loose floor tile likely resulted from extreme weather conditions when concrete contracts then expands. Photos: Facebook, hk01.com

After the cold spell: Warning on falling tiles goes viral

Extreme cold followed by rising temperatures could cause ceramic tiles on walls to crack and collapse.

People should watch out for falling debris, according to a WhatsApp post that has gone viral.

The message, purportedly from a building architect, says ceramic exteriors contracted during the cold spell and are liable to buckle as rising temperatures in the next few days cause them to expand.

Pedestrians should avoid walking or standing next to ceramic walls, Headline Daily reports.

Meanwhile, some netizens have posted pictures of cracked ceramic walls in building corridors.

Another photo shows a broken glass door, likely caused by blown tiles at its base.

In San Po Kong, concrete debris crashed onto the pavement from an external wall on Monday afternoon. No one was hurt.     

Edmond Wong, head of construction in the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education in Tuen Mun, said concrete contracts and expands under extreme conditions.

He said there should be no imminent danger if buildings are regularly maintained.

However, poorly maintained buildings could see warping of their outer and inner layers in extreme temperatures which could result in wall collapses.

Legislator James To said many building owners do maintenance checks only when instructed by the government, unmindful of potential injuries and the cost of compensating victims.

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