Chimney sweeps use long rods with a heavy metal bristle structure around the tip; it sort of looks like a giant bottlebrush. We lay down a drop cloth or plastic to protect your home, use a shop-vac to keep dust levels down, and wear a mask and goggles in order to keep dust and debris out of our eyes and nose. Our goal is to scrape all the coating that has built up from fires off of the chimney lining so that it falls down the chimney to be vacuumed and swept away later. This sweeping is done to remove creosote. That is a thick, hard coating of toxic debris that is created when wood, fossil fuel or tar is burned.