Pier repair/minor leveling
We've been in a 100+ yr old house in Mobile, AL for 1 1/2 yrs. All in all pretty good shape, but there are signs of typical uneven settling... door frames out of square/doors catching and wood flooring bowed where the fireplace hearths don't settle as fast as the neighboring piers. Compared to some other posts, these seem minor, but i still want to at least arrest the settling before real 'creeping' starts. Some questions...
I keep reading about steel shims... can someone describe these for me? I was planning on just shimming the jacked up beams with 1" or 5/4" treated pine. Are steel shims just cut steel plate?
Mortar issues... several of the brick piers have severely lost mortar (some an inch or more into the brick). I've heard elsewhere not to tuck point mortar into load bearing piers as the new mortar will behave differently and could cause spalling of the brick. I was thinking to repair these piers because I think its a sign that those are under a praticulary heavy load. Anyone ever had a similar feeling? Also, should I go with a completely new pier or can I clean up the exisiting brick and use them again? (I was going to do the latter).
all for now... many thanks.