The best defense against moisture penetration and the prevention of cracks in basement walls is good drainage near the foundation wall. A small amount of dampnessmay sometimes be considered normal for an older home, due to the older construction methods and standards. If a damp caoting of the foundation was appliedaround the perimeter of the foundation, it may have aged and is no longer useful. Typical lifesapn of damp proofing is about 40 years. Most codes today recommend waterproofing the basement walls.
If any depressions around the foundation exist, they should be filled and graded away from the house. Pitch slope of soils away from foundation. Slope should fall away from the foundation at a minimum of 1/2 inch per foot and extend at least 10 feet away from the foundation.
Verticle settlement cracking may also be noted, although most of these cracks are small hairline cracks that are not significant structural defects.and are considered normal for most homes. Stair-step cracks/or stress cracks noted may be more of a concern and indicate settlement of the foundation has occured. These types of cracks may allow moisture to penetrate and enter the building envelope. Sealing/repointing of cracks is recommended. Reparging of a brick foundation is recommended to prevent additional deterioration.
Major cracks/and bulges on foundation wall will occur if the has been significant movement of the soil grade beneath the foundation walls. These cracks may indicate that correction to the exterior grade is necessay, If tree roots may be pushing against foundation where he tree should be removed. If water is moving toward the foundation pusing the soil against the basement walls, corrections will be necessary.