A mold safety mask and other gear for personal protection when removing mold is of the utmost importance. Touching and inhaling mold spores can trigger all sorts of health problems, including respiratory disorders, asthma attacks, infections like sinusitis and pneumonia, allergic reactions, fatigue, and painful inflammation of the joints. The process of cleaning up mold stirs up mold spores and increases the likelihood of mold-related illness. The proper protective gear is necessary in order to protect your health.
You can find personal protective gear for mold removal at most home improvement, hardware and building supply stores. Personal protective gear needed for mold removal includes:
Tyvex coveralls with attached hood and booties or similar clothing (if you don’t own special protective clothing and don’t want to purchase some, you can wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt which you will remove and wash in hot water as soon as you’re finished removing mold)
Note that these are just the things you need to wear for personal protection when removing mold. You’ll need other safety gear, too, like a vacuum with a HEPA filter and large sheets of heavy plastic to tape over doorways and air vents to prevent the spread of mold spores to other areas of the home when working. A negative air machine is also recommended to help remove mold that’s airborne.
There are several different types of mold safety masks available. The type you need depends in part on the size of the area from which you are removing mold.
N-95 Respirator Mask – An N-95 respirator mask filters out 95% of all airborne particles, including mold spores. It’s appropriate for small mold removal jobs involving no more than 10 square feet of moldy materials.
N-99 Respirator Mask – An N-99 respirator mask filters out 99% of all airborne particles, including mold spores. It can be used for small mold removal jobs involving no more than 10 square feet of moldy materials if you want more protection than that offered by an N-95 respiratory mask.
N-100 Respirator Mask – An N-100 respirator mask filters out 99.97% of all airborne particles, including mold spores. It can be used for small mold removal jobs involving no more than 10 square feet of moldy materials if you want more protection than that offered by N-95 and N-99 respiratory masks.
Half-Face Respirator – Half-face respirators are appropriate for mold removal jobs involving no more than 100 square feet of moldy materials.
Full-Face Respirator – Full-face respirators are appropriate for mold removal jobs involving more than 100 square feet of moldy materials.
For more information about removing mold safely, we recommend consulting with a mold removal professional. Most mold removal professionals offer free in-home consultations, so you can get the benefit of some expert advice at no cost to you even if you plan to handle the mold removal job yourself. Here is a link to find mold removal professionals offering free consultations in your area.
We also recommend the ebook A Homeowner’s Complete Guide to Performing Mold Remediation by mold remediation expert Brian Turner. In the book, Mr. Turner explains in detail all the safety precautions you need to take when removing mold. To learn more or get your copy, follow the link.