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Proudly Serving Jacksonville Since 1979

Jacksonville, Florida is known for many things, especially the climate and wildlife. Despite mild temperatures, many homeowners prefer to have in their home a fireplace and chimney. This helps to lower utility bills during seasonal transitions and also adds to the ambiance and decor of the home. At Hudson Chimney, we understand the magic that transforms a home when a fire is lit in a beautiful hearth. We also know the importance of maintaining fireplaces and chimneys to keep them safe and efficient. We make it our priority to keep our neighbors and families in Jacksonville safe season after season.Proudly Serving Jacksonvile - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

Why Choose Hudson Chimney

In over 20 years, Hudson Chimney has serviced countless families, businesses, and contractors, bringing safe fire appliances into residential and business spaces in and around Jacksonville. Located in Middleburg, Florida, we’re located in the heart of our service area and are well-versed in local and state fire and safety regulations. When we come into your community and your home, we treat you as neighbors. We live and work in the area, and it’s our goal that residential fires become a thing of the past for our communities.

We are certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), Independent Safety Commission (ISC), C-DET, and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), Georgia Chimney Sweep Guild (GCSG), and the Florida Guild of Professional Chimney Sweeps (FGPCS) of which owner Mark Hudson is President and Founder. At Hudson Chimney, education is a valuable asset and ongoing experience. When you choose Hudson Chimney, you will get a professional with the training and experience necessary to complete the job, as well as the backing of an established, licensed, and certified company.

Comprehensive Chimney Care for Jacksonville

In order to offer the best services to our service area in Jacksonville, Florida and surrounding communities, we strive to have certified technicians on staff who are experienced and formally trained. We offer preventative chimney maintenance year round, as well as chimney leak repairs, masonry repairs, routine maintenance, installations, parts replacements, and more.

Hudson’s Service Area

Though we serve a large area in Northeast Florida, there are certain cities and towns where we work every day, including:
Middleburg
Orange Park
Green Cove Springs
Saint Johns
Saint Augustine
Jacksonville Beach
Neptune Beach
Atlantic Beach
Ponte Vedra Beach
Penney Farms
Macclenny
Baldwin
Gainesville
Melrose
Keystone Heights
Starke
Palatka
Crescent City
Welaka
Fort White
Hawthorne
Palm Coast
Lake Butler

If you reside in any of these cities and would like to find a new chimney sweep company for all of your chimney needs, give Hudson Chimney a call today at 904-282-4159. If you don’t see your city name, or your zip code here, we may be able to work with you when you call to speak with a chimney expert.

You can also contact us online with this online form.

Don’t Delay! Have Your Chimney Swept Now to Beat the Fall Rush!

Despite what you may think about summer, it may be the best time to think about your chimney system. In fact, summer is the best time to have chimney work done! This includes installations, conversions, repairs, and routine maintenance. Your chimney requires certain preventive services in order to continue to work safely and efficiently year after year. Your chimney should be swept–and when you schedule during the summer, you beat the fall rush.Chimney Swept Before the Fall Rush - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

The Fall Rush

The period that occurs every year between October and January is called the fall rush. This is the time that chimney professionals are busy with emergency calls, repairs, and installations. If you wait until fall to schedule your chimney sweep, you may not get the desired appointment time, the technician you want, or even the company you trust. If it comes to waiting for an appointment time, many homeowners may even take the risk and use a fireplace that hasn’t been swept or inspected. This can put the family at risk and create bad habits that cause damage to the system. Schedule now, and avoid the fall rush altogether.

Why Schedule a Sweep

Chimney sweeps are one of two very important appointments that continuously keep your chimney system working for you. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections keep the chimney system safe and efficient year after year. Fortunately, many chimney sweep companies offer a chimney sweep that includes an inspection. Hudson Chimney offers chimney sweeps that include overall assessments year-round, and we encourage our customers to schedule during the summer.

What to Expect

When you schedule a chimney sweep with Hudson Chimney, you are guaranteed the best courtesy and care to accompany your chimney work. Our first priority is the safety of our customers in and around Jacksonville. We hope to accomplish this task, first, by offering the best services, and then by treating each job with professional courtesy and expertise.

We start by tarping the area in front of the fireplace and a high-speed vacuuming system that collects the soot from entering your living space or affecting your carpet and floor. Once ready, we use brushes and rods, hand brushes, and a vacuum to clean soot and creosote from top to bottom. The damper will be cleaned and checked for correct installation. The exterior masonry is checked, with close attention to mortar, brickwork, and crown. Your technician will document all findings and present you with photos and video footage along with a written evaluation. This inspection is for your records and should be kept in case you need it for homeowners insurance for a sale, or even for an appraisal or refinance. Most of all, when you schedule a chimney sweep, you can rest assured that your chimney system is ready for the first fire this fall.

If you’re ready to schedule your chimney sweep, and you own a home or business in the Jacksonville area, Hudson Chimney is here for you.

Call 904-282-4159 or contact us online.

Preventing Odors With Spring Cleaning

Now that spring is in full swing, you’ve probably already noticed the humidity is rising. You might also notice the odors coming from your fireplace. A dirty chimney can be stinky, and warm weather makes it worse. In order to prevent odors, add your chimney to your spring cleaning to-do list!

A Clean Chimney

After a long winter, it’s important to schedule a chimney sweep. Whether you burned a fire everyday or sporadically, it’s now time to have it cleaned. A cleaning will help keep water and moisture out this summer and  prevent odors that will threaten to run you out of house and home! Cleaning your chimney now also means that it’ll be ready for the first fire of the season when cooler temperatures arrive. While the professionals are getting a look at your chimney, they’ll also determine if there are any damaged portions of the system that may bring down efficiency, allow animals or weather inside, or cause those odors that can range from barbecue pit to smoldering carcass. Call the professionals today and let us take care of it so you don’t have to!

Hudson Chimney Cleans Chimneys

At Hudson Chimney, we take your safety and your comfort seriously. We want your chimney to work properly, your home to be pleasant, and your flue to be clean for a better burn this fall. When we come in and clean your chimney, we will use our tools to clear away all the soot and creosote that not only makes your chimney and fireplace stink, but also makes it dangerous. This same creosote is made up mostly of tar and is highly flammable. Don’t put off your chimney sweep another day!

When you schedule your chimney sweep with Hudson Chimney, a technician will arrive and section off your fireplace opening with plastic to contain the mess. We then set up a high-speed vacuum system. We use our brushes and rods to clear out debris before collecting it into the vacuuming system. Your chimney sweep will include the cleaning and adjustment of your damper, an inspection of the exterior of the masonry including the masonry and crown. You will also receive a full report once the job is done. Once you schedule the chimney sweep, you won’t need another chimney inspection for 12 months. There’s really no reason not to schedule a chimney sweep now!

Give Us A Call!

If you’re looking for a company located in Jacksonville area that has decades of experience, reputable certifications, and is able to handle all of your comprehensive chimney care, look no further than Hudson Chimney of Middleburg, Florida. We’re looking forward to your call. Schedule your spring cleaning chimney sweep now by calling 904-282-4159!

A Home Inspector is Not a Chimney Inspector

If you are familiar with real estate, mortgage brokers, or state and municipal codes, you may be familiar with home inspectors. The are NOT to be confused with a chimney inspector. Expecting a home inspector to properly assess the complex workings of the chimney system? That’s like expecting a sport’s car expert to inspect an RV. They are similar, yes. They have some of the same features, yes. However, there is a lot more to the RV than the car. Likewise, there is a lot more to a chimney than meets the eye.

A Home Inspector is Not a Chimney Inspector Image - Jacksonville FL- Hudson ChimneyThe CSIA Difference

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has been the industry standard for training, education, and certification since the 1980’s. Members are required to undergo aggressive training and field hours. They also have to re-certify every three years by way of exam or continued education.

Only a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps® (CCS) has the experience and expertise to inspect the entire chimney system properly. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) along with CSIA recommends annual chimney inspections. There are three levels of inspections:

  • Level One
    This is the annual inspection. It’s scheduled when no changes are made to the chimney system. This inspection is a visual check of all easily accessible parts of the chimney system.
  • Level Two
    This inspection should be scheduled when the chimney system is changed in any way. For example, when fuel is changed, appliances are installed, or there has been parts repair or replacement. This will happen when a level one inspection requires further investigation. It involves accessing hidden portions of the chimney system.
  • Level Three
    This is the most thorough inspection. It’s scheduled when a level two inspection requires further investigation. During a level three inspection parts of the home can be removed. This allows access to all parts of the chimney system. These include areas surrounding the chimney system, like in attics, crawl spaces, and behind walls.

Why These Levels of Inspection are Important

The three levels of chimney inspections include any issue that might arise with the chimney. Even the level one inspection is more thorough than that of a home inspector. According to Total Home Inspection the home inspector will assess the visible parts of the chimney. These include the flashing, masonry, and chimney cap. However, a home inspector or general contractor does not have the trained eye that a certified chimney sweep does. By the time a chimney reaches the level of damage that an inspector checklist describes, (damaged brick, cracked joints, staining) it could be overwhelming. Regardless, there is more than likely extensive damage that would have been noticed first by a certified chimney sweep.

Legal Documentation

Scheduling an inspection of your chimney may be for real estate sales, property ownership transfer, or an insurance policy. No matter the reason, you want to be sure your documentation will be accepted. Hudson Chimney not only offers inspection services. We offer video documentation of the interior of the chimney, as well as a detailed report for your records. The CCS credential is what your insurance, loan, or real estate broker will look for. Choose a certified chimney sweep every time.

Call Hudson Chimney and ask about our inspection services today or request an appointment online!

5 Tips for Making and Keeping Appointments

As the evenings get cooler and days grow shorter, we’re inching closer to burning season. If you have a fireplace, stove, or other heating appliance you are probably in tune with the signs that tell you burning season is coming quickly. If fall is approaching and you haven’t had your chimney cleaned since last burning season, you should schedule a chimney sweep now. While scheduling your chimney maintenance you can keep this five things in mind to ease the process.

5 Tips For Making and Keeping an Appointment Image - Jacksonville FL - Hudson Chimney

Find a Chimney Sweep You Can Trust

Before scheduling your chimney maintenance, you should find a chimney sweep that is CSIA certified. Check online reviews, and call if you have questions before scheduling an appointment. You will be spending your hard-earned money and putting your home in the hands of this chimney sweep, so you should be able to trust them.

Schedule in Advance

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. Schedule these appointments in advance, and avoid the hassle of scheduling during the fall rush or during the winter. It’s often frustrating to schedule chimney maintenance during the winter because you can’t use your chimney for 24 hours before the appointment. If you need repairs, replacements, or rebuilds your chimney will be out of commission for even longer. Avoid this headache by scheduling in advance.

Prepare for Your Chimney Sweep’s Visit

Prepare for the chimney maintenance by discontinuing use of the chimney for 24 hours prior to the cleaning. Before the visit you should also clear a space of about 6 feet in front of the fireplace or appliance, as well as remove all sentimental items and valuables from the mantel and around the fireplace.

Maximize Your Time With the Sweep

Some chimney sweep companies might not allow distractions while their CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) works, but this is a great time to learn about the chimney system. Hudson Chimney is happy to accommodate homeowners who’d like to watch our technicians work. Ask questions while our sweep is working—he’ll let you know if he’s too busy to interact with you. It is our goal as CSIA members to educate homeowners above all else. Chimney safety starts with you.

Follow Recommendations from the Sweep

Depending on what your technician is doing, whether a sweep or inspection, he should offer expert advice. You should listen to the professionals you hire to work on your chimney. There is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, but when it comes to a professional opinion about a repair or replacement, you should plan these things sooner rather than later. When you wait to repair a damaged chimney you can cause more damage and raise the risk of fire.

It’s important to schedule and keep chimney maintenance appointments, and by keeping these tips in mind you can avoid missing something important that may save you time and money.

If you’re ready to schedule your chimney appointment call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 or request an appointment online.

Water Damage and Your Chimney

Since your chimney extends from your roof, it is exposed to all of the elements of weather, including rain and snow. While masonry chimneys are built to last the lifetime of a house, this constant exposure to water from rain and melted snow can cause damage and deterioration to a chimney, especially if it is neglected. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) claims that water is the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney and recommends regular maintenance to prevent expensive repairs due to water penetration damage and deterioration. Hudson Chimney would like to tell you more about how water damages your chimney and how we can help prevent this damage and deterioration.

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How can water damage my chimney?

According to the CSIA, all of the masonry materials that are used to build a chimney can suffer from accelerated damage after being exposed to water for a long period of time. Water causes the bricks and mortar to erode, and during the winter when the temperature drops below freezing, any water that has been absorbed into the bricks and mortar will freeze and expand. When the weather warms up, this water will thaw and cause the masonry materials to crack and break apart. This type of damage is also known as spalling, and if left unrepaired, it can lead to bricks and pieces of mortar falling from the chimney as well as the collapse of the entire structure. If water leaks into a chimney, it can also cause rusting damage to the liner, damper, and other metal components, and it can even damage the interior of your home by staining ceilings and walls.

How can Hudson Chimney protect my chimney from water damage?

Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians have several ways to prevent water penetration of your chimney: chimney caps, flashing, and waterproofing.

Called the least expensive way to prevent water penetration of a chimney, a chimney cap keeps water from even entering into your chimney. We have several different types of caps, and our chimney experts can help you find the perfect cap for your chimney and install the cap to completely cover the opening. Chimney caps have other benefits as well, including keeping birds and animals out of the chimney and preventing hot embers and sparks from jumping out of the chimney to ignite an accidental fire. We also have chimney caps that can help improve the draft in your chimney if you have problems with backdrafting.

Consisting of pieces of metal, flashing wraps around your chimney where it meets the roof to keep water from getting in at that point. In our years of working on chimneys, we have seen inadequate flashing systems that are coming apart and actually let water enter into the chimney. We construct customized flashing systems to completely protect your chimney from water penetration. We also work with state-licensed roofers to ensure the flashing fits correctly along the roof.

Using a 100% vapor permeable formula, our chimney technicians can waterproof your chimney by applying a coat of this formula to your entire chimney. We use ChimneySaver products that are designed especially for chimneys. This formula provides a barrier on your masonry chimney that keeps water from leaking into the bricks and mortar but allows fumes and vapors to easily escape so that they do not become trapped to cause further damage.

Protect your chimney from water damage this winter. Contact us at Hudson Chimney to schedule an appointment for one of our water penetration prevention services.

Chimney Sweeping Logs Are Not a Substitute for a CSIA Professional

Have you ever wondered why you need to have your chimney professionally swept annually? Of course, your chimney gets pretty dirty from regular fires in the fireplace, but soot and dust is not the most important reason for this maintenance task. Your chimney should be cleaned professionally once a year to remove the accumulated creosote from the inner walls of the flue. A compound that forms naturally as a result of the combustion process of burning wood, creosote is extremely flammable and is the main cause of chimney fires. It is essential to get all of the creosote out of your chimney so you can enjoy your fireplace without worrying about this fire hazard. You may have seen chimney sweeping logs, a product that claims to remove and reduce creosote from your chimney, and considered that they could be a substitute for a chimney sweeping by one of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney professionals from Hudson Chimney. However, this is not the case, and chimney sweeping logs can even lead to dangers in your home. We would like to tell you more about why you should never substitute a professional chimney cleaning by using chimney sweeping logs.

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WHAT CHIMNEY SWEEPING LOGS DO

Burning a chimney sweeping log in your fireplace or stove releases chemicals that use catalytic action to remove a portion of accumulated creosote from your chimney. These chemicals cause creosote to flake off and break away from the chimney wall. While this product does remove some of the creosote, the CSIA has its concerns. The claims of chimney sweeping logs are not completely accurate and can lull homeowners into a false sense of security.

THE RISKS OF CHIMNEY SWEEPING LOGS

As we said earlier, creosote is very flammable, so when pieces of creosote are falling down your chimney after flaking off, they could easily catch on fire and lead to a devastating chimney fire. Even if the creosote does not ignite on its way down, the pieces end up at the bottom of your chimney to gather on the smoke shelf and form together to cause yet another fire hazard. Any creosote remaining in your chimney, whether or not it is stuck to the walls of the flue, poses a dangerous fire hazard.

WHY A PROFESSIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEPING IS SO CRUCIAL

Firstly, you can trust our CSIA-certified sweeps at Hudson Chimney to completely remove all of the creosote from your chimney. We know far too well the dangers of creosote, and we take great care to be sure we have gotten all of the accumulated deposits out of your chimney. Not only do we thoroughly clean your chimney, but we also provide a professional inspection with every chimney sweeping. Our sweeps will closely examine the interior and exterior of your chimney to look for any damage that needs to be fixed for your fireplace and chimney to function effectively and safely. If any debris such as nests from birds and animals or leaves are blocking your chimney, we will also remove the blockage to prevent any accidental fires or carbon monoxide leaks.

Have you had your chimney professionally swept this year? Stay away from chimney sweeping logs, and contact us at Hudson Chimney to make an appointment for a safe chimney this winter.

Be Sure No Animals Have Taken Up Residence in Your Chimney Before You Light a Fire

Hearing strange noises coming from your chimney is a sure sign that birds or other animals like squirrels or raccoons have mistaken your chimney for a tree and moved inside for the winter. If you have a family of birds or animals living inside your chimney, you should never attempt to smoke them out by lighting a fire. This can result in severely burning or killing the animals and creating an even larger problem. Our staff at Hudson Chimney is used to dealing with these critters invading chimneys, and we can safely remove them to allow your fireplace and chimney to be used without problems. We would like to tell you more about how to deal with birds and animals in your chimney by sharing with you some information from Chimneys.com.

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BIRDS

Typically, birds will build nests on the smoke shelf or just above the damper, but some types of birds build their nests on the sides of chimney liners. You can even have multiple bird nests inside your chimney at one time. The biggest problem you can have with a bird nest in your chimney is that the nest can block your flue, and this can lead to carbon monoxide being forced back into your home. As nesting materials are highly flammable, there is also the risk of a chimney fire. Birds also carry diseases like histoplasmosis, which can cause blindness. If you have migratory birds such as chimney swifts living in your chimney, it is illegal to have these birds removed. You will have to wait until the late spring when they leave their nests to have these nests taken away from your chimney.

SQUIRRELS

Squirrels build nests by packing them very tightly, which makes them difficult to remove. Hudson Chimney has heard reports of chimney sweeps needing hours to remove nests that were over 15 feet long! Not only do the nests of squirrels block the flue of your chimney, but squirrels themselves can open up the damper and enter your home to cause even more damage.

RACCOONS

If you have a raccoon in your chimney, we strongly recommend that you leave its removal to professionals and do not attempt to get the animal out yourself. Raccoons can be very aggressive and will bite you. They also carry diseases like rabies and roundworm.

HOW DO I KEEP BIRDS AND ANIMALS OUT OF MY CHIMNEY?

The best way to keep these critters from taking up residence in your chimney is to have a good quality chimney cap installed at the top of the chimney. Be sure the cap is equipped with metal mesh siding, and you will also want to choose a cap constructed from copper or stainless steel as birds and animals can tear up caps made from aluminum.

Heard sounds of birds or animals coming from your chimney? Contact us at Hudson Chimney as soon as possible to ask for our help on removing these critters safely.

How Ivy Can Damage Your Chimney

Although the look of ivy climbing up your masonry chimney can be a beautiful sight, this climbing vine can actually damage its structure. Especially if your home was built before 1930, ivy may cause deterioration of the bricks and mortar of your chimney. Masons did not use mortar mixed with Portland cement to construct homes until after 1930, and the earlier mortar mixes are not nearly as strong and durable, according to Today’s Homeowner. Climbing vines like ivy can easily grow into any existing cracks in the bricks and mortar, and this growth can quickly worsen that damage. Our staff at Hudson Chimney knows that many people love the appearance of climbing vines growing against their chimneys, but we would like to tell you more about why ivy and other similar plants can damage your chimney.

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What kind of damage can ivy and other climbing vines do to my chimney?

Certain types of ivy such as English ivy grow very aggressively and will attach themselves into cracks and other eroded areas in the masonry materials of your chimney. Additionally, it can be challenging to even see spalling and erosion damage of the bricks and mortar when your chimney is covered by ivy. One of the biggest problems with ivy growing into your masonry chimney is that if you attempt to pull away any ivy growth to check for cracked or missing bricks, you risk the possibility of pulling down your entire chimney structure.

What can I do if I want to keep the ivy growing on my chimney?

Hudson Chimney can professionally inspect the condition of the masonry materials of your chimney to see if it can support the growth of climbing vines without suffering from further damage. Well-built masonry chimneys typically do not have problems with damage from ivy and other climbing vines. Our expert chimney technicians will know if your chimney was built with mortar containing Portland cement, and we will make any necessary repair recommendations that should be done that will allow you to keep your ivy growing against your chimney.

Does Hudson Chimney have any recommendations of better climbing vines to plant?

We do suggest that you avoid any aggressive vines such as English ivy. Virginia creeper and Boston ivy are great alternatives to consider planting. You can also keep these vines from growing directly against the chimney by installing a support made of wire, lattice, or trellis around your chimney. Non-attaching climbing vines such as roses, wisteria, clematis, and jasmine can easily grow along this type of support without any possible damage done to your chimney. Even better, you can move the support to make chimney inspections and repairs easier.

If your older chimney is covered with ivy, contact us at Hudson Chimney. We can inspect the condition of your chimney to be sure no damage has been done.

Is Your Chimney Up to Modern Standards?

When you decide to buy an older home, it is important to realize the responsibility you will have as a homeowner to keep up with the maintenance issues and updates that can be involved. If your house has a fireplace and chimney, making sure everything meets current building codes and standards is crucial. You do not want to risk having to deal with a chimney fire or a carbon monoxide leak in your home because your chimney and fireplace system are not up to codes. Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technicians at Hudson Chimney have much experience with bringing older chimneys up to modern standards and can inspect your fireplace and chimney system to make any recommendations to update your system. While we have seen chimneys that do not meet the current height requirements as well as chimneys that have suffered major spalling damage that has jeopardized the structural soundness, the most common update we do is to install a new chimney liner because the chimney is unlined. Many older homes have unlined chimneys, and this can be quite a hazard. We would like to tell you more about the importance of chimney liners by sharing with you some information from the CSIA.

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Why is a chimney liner so important?

Chimney liners serve three essential functions:

1. To protect your home from heat transfers to combustibles.

Without a chimney liner, the high temperatures from a fire can easily ignite combustible materials such as wood.

2. To protect the bricks and mortar of the chimney from corrosion from the byproducts of combustion.

Studies have proven that when combustion gases are allowed to penetrate into masonry materials, the life of the chimney is reduced. A chimney liner keeps these acidic gases from eating away at the mortar joints of your chimney.

3. To provide a correctly sized flue for the optimum efficiency of your heating appliance.

In order to function properly, modern fireplace inserts and stoves need a correctly sized flue. If the flue is too large, you can experience draft problems that will lead to smoke lingering too long inside your chimney, to the accelerated accumulation of creosote, and to the production of carbon monoxide.

If your older chimney is unlined, Hudson Chimney can increase the safety and efficiency of your heating appliance and chimney by installing a new liner. After inspecting your chimney, we will recommend the type of liner you need. Not only do we offer stainless steel liners, but we can design and install a custom liner to correctly match the size of your heating appliance. Contact us today to schedule an inspection of your older chimney to be sure it is up to modern standards.

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