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News / Pier & Beam Foundations: What Kind Of Piers Do I Have?

Friday, December 17, 2021
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Pier & Beam foundations have been around for a while. Most older homes have them, and even some newly-constructed homes feature the pier & beam style.

If you have a crawlspace, you have a pier & beam home.

They have a lot of advantages. For one, pier & beam homes are less susceptible to getting damaged by shifting soils. This is a major advantage in East Texas, where our ground hardly ever seems to stay still.

The most important part of the pier & beam is, of course, the pier itself. It’s what “holds your house up” off the ground, and it pays to know what kind you have.

There are really 5 types of pier commonly found in East Texas:

Timber Piers

Wood is one of the oldest construction materials, and some homes–older ones, mostly–still have wooden piers holding them up.

While timber piers are typically constructed from strong wood–like Bois d’Arc–they are still susceptible to rot and decay, like all wood is.

Stacked Stone & Mortar

Stone is another classic material, and older homes will still sometimes have stacked and mortared stones acting as a pier.

It looks nice, and if your home is constructed with uncut stone it really adds to the aesthetic. However, that mortar will eventually rot away, which can cause instability, endangering your home.

Stacked Brick & Mortar

Sturdier than both stone & wooden piers, stacked brick & mortar piers are commonly seen throughout East Texas, especially on older “company” homes built early in the 20th century.

A lot of people like the way these piers look, but just like with stone piers the mortar will eventually deteriorate. This could cause some foundation problems over time.

Cinder Block Piers

Cinder blocks aren’t the most attractive building material out there, but they’re affordable, strong, and easy to work with. 

Cinder block piers don't require mortar, meaning that your home isn't in danger from mortar deteriorating. If you have cinder block piers, there may be some deterioration over time, but it shouldn’t be your primary concern.

Poured Concrete Piers

Poured concrete piers are a single piece of concrete, and cylindrical concrete piers are the most common.

As you can imagine, concrete piers are really strong and–as long as they don’t shift–will last a long time. If they do shift, they can be pretty difficult to replace, especially if they’re partially buried underground.

Worried About Your Pier & Beam Home? Contact Lone Star Foundation Repair

If you’re wondering what kind of piers you have, we’d be willing to bet that you’re having a foundation problem. Lone Star Foundation Repair is here to help, and we have extensive experience repairing pier & beam foundations in East Texas.

Contact us today to schedule a free inspection.

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