Here is an overview of the stair step crack on the west wall of this Haubstadt, IN home. Stair Step Cracking is an indication of foundation movement. You can determine the origin point of the movement by finding the highest portion of the stairs. As the steps lower, the movement is less, but still enough to move the wall. In this case, the southwest corner of the home is hinge point, or start of the movement.
Here's the southwest corner of the home. You can see that there's a rusty, crusty mineral build up discoloring the wall. This is a sign of long term water intrusion. This causes the expansive soil to expand and the hydro-compact-able soil to sink. This makes the walls move.
Here's a long straight crack along the south wall. This is a bulge, where the block foundation is being pressed inward by pressure from the expansive soil outside the basement.
Here's another picture of stair step cracking along the west wall. In this case. the movement starts at the northwest corner of the basement. If you're keeping count, that means 3 foundation walls in the basement are moving!
This Haubstadt, IN home's basement might look familiar to you. It might look an awful lot like your basement. Foundation problems like cracking basement walls are pretty common in Gibson county and the surrounding areas. Foundation cracking, cracked basement walls, and bowing or bulging walls are caused by expansive soil. The expansive soil, like clay soil for example, swell when water is introduced and that expansion can place tremendous amounts of pressure on a foundation wall. See what happens when a basement wall suffers from a foundation settlement or bulging problem.