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Is Time To Waterproof Your HDB or Condo Bathroom For Long Term Benefits

  • 3 min reading time

Understanding Waterproofing for Toilet Ceilings in HDB and Condos: Why Negative Waterproofing Might Be Your Best Bet

Waterproofing your toilet ceiling is crucial in humid places like Singapore, where leaks and mold can become big problems. There are two main types of waterproofing: positive and negative. Let’s break down what each one is, how they work, and why negative waterproofing might be the best choice for your HDB flat or condo, especially if your upstairs neighbors aren't willing to help.

What is Positive Waterproofing?

How It Works Positive waterproofing is done on the outer side of the surface that faces water directly. Think of it as putting a raincoat on the ceiling from the upstairs unit. This is usually done during construction or major renovations.


  • Strong Barrier: It stops water right at the source.
  • Long-Lasting: If done properly, it can last a long time.
  • Prevents Damage: It helps prevent structural damage and mold growth by stopping water from getting in.


  • Neighbor Access Needed: You need permission from your upstairs neighbors, which can be hard to get.
  • Costly and Disruptive: It's often expensive and can be disruptive since it might involve major work in the neighbor's unit.
  • Wear and Tear: If not applied correctly, it can wear off over time, leading to leaks again.
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What is Negative Waterproofing?

How It Works Negative waterproofing is applied to the inside surface that faces your unit. Think of it as putting a waterproof layer on your ceiling from inside your own home. This is usually done when you can't access the source of the leak directly.

Additionally, negative waterproofing can include the use of elastomeric coatings. These coatings not only prevent water from penetrating the surface but also block atmospheric humidity, providing an extra layer of protection against Singapore’s humid environment.


  • Easy to Do: You don’t need access to the upstairs unit, so it’s less disruptive.
  • Affordable: It’s generally cheaper than positive waterproofing.
  • Quick Fix: It provides immediate relief from leaks and dampness.
  • Humidity Protection: Elastomeric coatings can prevent atmospheric humidity from entering the surface, reducing the risk of mold and dampness.


  • Regular Maintenance: It may need to be reapplied regularly to stay effective.
  • Treats Symptoms: It deals with the water that has already seeped in, rather than stopping it at the source.

Why Negative Waterproofing Might Be Your Best Choice

  1. Practicality: You can do it without needing help from your upstairs neighbors. This means no waiting or negotiating.
  2. Less Disruption: It’s less invasive since the work is done inside your unit.
  3. Cost-Effective: It’s usually more affordable than positive waterproofing.
  4. Quick and Easy: It provides a quick solution to leaks and moisture issues.
  5. Humidity Protection: Elastomeric coatings used in negative waterproofing can block atmospheric humidity, providing extra protection against mold and dampness.
  6. Effective Even with Wear: While both methods can wear off, negative waterproofing is easier to reapply if needed.


Both positive and negative waterproofing have their benefits, but negative waterproofing is a practical and cost-effective solution for toilet ceiling leaks in HDB flats and condos, especially when you can't rely on your neighbors to help. It allows you to address leaks and dampness quickly and independently, ensuring your home stays safe and comfortable. Additionally, the use of elastomeric coatings in negative waterproofing offers protection against atmospheric humidity, making it a comprehensive solution for the humid environment in Singapore. If you're dealing with persistent leaks and uncooperative neighbors, negative waterproofing might just be the hassle-free fix you need.


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