Stair-step pattern cracks appear exactly how they sound. They run in a diagonal line, tapering down or climbing upward in the shape of a staircase. These are especially noticeable in brick foundations, running along the seams between each brick. Stair-step cracks will worsen over time and are often accompanied by bowing walls.
Foundation cracks that run horizontally across basement walls indicate a serious structural issue. These are usually a sign of bowing walls caused by excessive pressure or shifting soils due to frost heave or oversaturation. Bowing walls may eventually fail if they are not corrected, leading to more damage and costly repairs.
Diagonal foundation wall cracks are one of the most common signs of settlement. However, they shouldn’t go unchecked. These types of cracks occur when some sections of your home settle more quickly than others. Some foundation wall cracks may be wider at the top than at the bottom, indicating that part of the foundation is sinking away from the rest.