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We are currently experiencing the same issue. It was clear that the ground level of our tri-level home's floors were installed without rebar. A previous repair to the damage involved only raising the floor, by building a new level floor above the old, collapsed floor--up to, but not under the hearth. Since the chimney sits on the foundation and the hearth on ...


Most gas fireplace inserts can be fitted with a circulating fan: http://www.amazon.com/Electric-Fireplace-Replacement-Blower-brands/dp/B005CFLE30 That said, while your mantle may be getting too hot to touch, it (hopefully) was installed per manufacturer instructions and to code.


What we did with our 32 year old brick fireplace was paint it white. It was a lot easier than trying to clean the brick and grout.

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