Walls in many areas of your home can fail due to not being properly reinforced from the beginning. For example, a cinder block basement wall may have not been built using the proper width block, reinforced steel, or the block cells not poured with concrete. This can cause the wall to fail and bow into the home. Steel beams are used to reinforce the wall so that it does not continue to move. They are custom cut to fit from the concrete floor to the bottom of the floor joists. Then they are locked in place as a permanent repair. Cracks in the wall can either be vertical, horizontal, or stair step. In all cases when detected early the wall can be saved without having to replace it. Since most walls have dirt behind them, it is almost impossible to straighten the wall back to the original position. The dirt is usually removed before the wall can be pushed back into place. I caught early, just reinforcing it is good enough.
My basement wall is moving into the house, do I have to tear down the entire wall to fix this problem?
Not if you catch it in time. A good rule of thumb is to measure the crack. Usually ¼ of an inch crack can tell us how much the wall has moved and what measures have to be taken to repair it.
My brick wall is bowing and it appears not to be causing any other problems to the house. What will happen if I continue letting this problem happen?
You run the risk of the wall collapsing. Not having enough walls ties behind the wall usually causes this to happen. Eventually they wall can fall down.
The brick on my second story without any weight on it is cracking. Can this lead to a more severe problem?
Yes. Brick walls are not supposed to crack. When you leave it alone it can get worse and even fall off.