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Signs Your Basement Walls May Not be Stable

If your foundation walls are not structurally sound, you'll start to notice various warning signs. Learn more about what to keep an eye out for in your walls.


The signs of basement wall failure will look different depending on if your walls are built from concrete block or poured concrete. It is important to understand the signs your foundation is telling you. Learn more about the different signs of wall failure below.

Horizontal Cracking

Horizontal cracks near the middle of the wall are among some of the first symptoms you will notice in the case of a bowing wall. Horizontal cracks usually start out small and increase in width and length over time as the exterior soil continues to put pressure on the wall.

Even noticeably small cracks should still be looked at by a professional to understand WHY the problem has started and how to properly correct or stabilize your wall.

wall cracks

Star-Step Cracking at Corners

Stair-step cracking is another common sign that your bowing or cracked wall is becoming increasingly worse. As the wall bows more severely in the middle, the corners are held up by adjacent walls, creating the stair-step cracking effect.

This is a problem that can seem alarming to homeowners and Signs Your Basement Walls May Not be Stable.

Pushing-in at the Bottom of the Wall

If your basement walls begin to push in severely, you may notice the wall sliding inward near the bottom. This happens when the concrete floor in the basement holds the bottom row of blocks in place as the rest of the wall cracks and pushes in.

While this problem may not be as noticeable as stair-stepping or horizontal cracks in the wall, it should still not be ignored.

Sliding in at the Top of the Wall

Another sign that your wall problem is becoming more severe is when the wall begins to lean in at the top. When this happens you are dealing with a very serious structural problem because the connection of your foundation wall to the framing of the house has been compromised.

Having the framing of your home be compromised is also not a problem that should go ignored.

Fix Your Walls with Expert Help

Tar Heel Basement Systems comes across problems just like these every day. Educating our homeowners about their basement wall problems can help prevent the problem from growing larger and becoming more costly.

If your basement walls are showing signs of distress or wall failure, don’t hesitate and call our local office today.

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