Tip: Walk around the exterior of the house looking at the foundation for cracks or patched cracks larger than 1/8”, shifting at crack locations, bowing of the foundation in or out, and mortar deterioration. Inside the basement/crawl space, look for cracks and shifting that may have been covered up by siding, vegetation or landscaping. Step cracking less than 1/8” along mortar joints without block/brick shifting or cracking is usually considered standard settlement. Horizontal mortar cracks continuing along a wall or cracks through blocks/brick are indicators of a possible larger concern and should be evaluated by a licensed structural engineer. Finished walls in a basement can hide many initial issue indicators. Examine drywall for cracking, bowing, and being plumb (vertically straight).