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Are Masks Helpful During Mold Removal | Protecting Health

Published by 911 Restoration Central Arkansas on April 6, 2022 in category: Water Damage Restoration

Are Masks Helpful During Mold RemovalDuring the mold removal service, the disaster restoration crew often wears face masks and recommends that you do the same. Are they really helpful? Aren’t mold spores microscopic? Does your face mask help protect you against mold spores?

If you are wearing a suitable mask, the CDC suggests that it can protect you against microscopic COVID-19 and mold spores during mold removal service or inside a mold-infested property.

However, you must also consider the type of face mask you are using. Regular surgical masks, for instance, aren’t designed to protect you from pathogens but are geared towards protecting others around you – specifically the person a surgeon is performing surgery on.

This article will examine the best type of mask for mold removal service and how it protects you if you have suffered water damage on your property.

 

Are Masks Really Helpful During Mold Removal?

If you can smell or see mold on any surface on your property, you are most likely breathing its spores as well. Mold spores get released long before you start seeing or smelling them. This is a defense mechanism that mold uses for its survival and is why the species is so resilient. 

People who don’t suffer from any breathing or lung conditions can experience a range of health implications if there is mold in their homes. From a stuffy nose to a sore throat, coughing, allergies, and more, these are symptoms of mold spores in the air. 

The effect is much worse for people who have breathing difficulties, a lung condition, or a weakened immune system. They may suffer from skin rashes, wheezing, tightness in the chest, or have to deal with more fatal implications.

You can stop the mold spores from entering your lungs in a mold-infested area or during mold removal with a suitable mask. Surgical masks, as mentioned above, aren’t designed to stop microscopic organisms from entering the lungs. N95 masks, on the other hand, are designed just for that. 

Now used most commonly for COVID-19 protection, the masks were originally designed to stop dust, microbes, and spores in through the filter on the right side of the mask. The masks were commonly used by scientists, miners, construction workers, and individuals in similar industries.

Mold spores are virtually everywhere, be they within your property or outside. The only difference is that the concentration of these spores is much higher in places with a mold infection than out in your street. 

A Closer Look At The Best Contender – The N95 Masks

N95 respirators have a built-in filtration system and are the next best thing after a chemical respirator. These lightweight masks are used in almost every environment because of their versatility. They have been approved not only by the CDC, but OSHA, FDA, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

There are three types of N95 respirators:

  • Minimum masks. These are suitable for your day-to-day wear and can protect you from minor mold contaminations. 
  • Limited masks. Also known as half or full-face masks, these are suitable for medium-sized contaminated areas ranging between 10 feet to 100 feet. They have a P100 filter that needs to be changed regularly for maximum effect. 
  • Full masks. Also known as full-face respirators, these are heavy-duty face masks suitable for severe mold contamination and during the mold removal process. These masks are often preferred by mold removal and other disaster restoration companies.

Unlike many masks, the N95 respirators often have an assist valve that helps you avoid discomfort and eliminate sweat buildup under your mask. These are perfect for people who dislike masks because it makes them uncomfortable. The exhalation value does not impede the mask’s level of protection during mold removal.

It is important to note that while N95 respirator masks can protect against mold spores and microbes, the minimum and little masks aren’t suitable for protection against gases and chemicals. This is why the mold removal crew needs to use full masks only, and if you wish to supervise the service yourself, you will also need to wear one. 

You will need to wear a full; mold protection mask when:

  • Tearing down severely mold-infested walls or structure
  • Using chemicals to kill mold off
  • Drying the walls. The fans will spread the mold spores before getting rid of them. The dispersal can be particularly harmful to your property. 
  • Stripping or removing paint/wallpaper from moldy walls
  • Dealing with moldy furniture
  • Construction after the mold removal process has been completed
  • General flood cleanup

While masks effectively protect yourself against mold spores, you should still avoid risking your life during the mold removal process. 911 Restoration of Central Arkansas has IICRC certified experts who are ready to undertake the risk on your part and help you with mold removal, water damage restoration, and a range of other disaster restoration services. Call us today to schedule a service or get a quote! We offer FREE quotes to property owners, along with a 45-minute response time. 

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