Homeowners urged to water houses as dry weather takes its toll

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Almost half of houses surveyed (48%) in South Australia are already experiencing cracking. Tasmanian homes are nearly as bad, with 45% of houses already showing cracks as the drought bites. Bone dry conditions in NSW and Victoria are also causing similar damage: 36% of houses in NSW and 38% of Victorian homes are cracking. The building advisor says that if these cracks are left unchecked the cost of damages could run into tens of millions of dollars. Archicentre also warns that the water restrictions in NSW may trigger further house cracking by 10% to 15%. Robert Caulfield, managing director of Archicentre, says that: "With water restrictions implemented throughout Sydney and regional areas in NSW, the moisture in the ground is changing quite dramatically. When the soils dry out, strain is put on the house structure and cracks appear overnight." "Home owners should water their houses to avoid the severe consequences," says Caulfield. He advises that while it is important not to panic when you see a crack appearing in your house, you also need to keep a close eye on your home and get professional advice before undertaking any major works.

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