TMold (whether it’s house mold, food mold or even black mold) is a subject that many people don’t know much about. And dealing with it might be dangerous, because mold can easily damage your health if you aren’t well prepared equipment-wise. In this article we’ll try and choose the best respirators for mold so you don’t end up breathing it in. In addition, this page will feature:
- Five best masks for mold that we’ve chosen and their advantages and disadvantages;
- Our top pick out of those five;
- General info on mold and how it’s dangerous for you.
Respirators For Mold & FAQ
Respirator is a face mask that protects you from inhaling something that might be dangerous or unhealthy for you. The classification on this matter includes airborne organisms, vapours, fumes, gases etc. The mold is on the list too. If you have to deal with molds often or have found it in your house or garden, it’s highly recommended to wear a respirator for mold to exclude the possibility of breathing in mold spores. Let’s take on some frequently asked questions about mold and respirators.
What are molds?
Molds are very underexplored at this moment in time: the scientists can’t even point out how many of them there is in the world. The estimates vary from a couple of thousands to 300 thousands species of this fungi. The best indoors conditions for them to grow is a warm, humid and moist room, but the spores can live even in the more harsh conditions (https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm). The four main types of indoor molds that you are likely to find are cladosporium, penicillium, alternaria and aspergillus. The experts though recommend avoiding contact with any type of mold, so testing what kind of mold you’ve encountered might be an expensive yet useless action: just get it removed and avoid breathing the spores in.
Where am I likely to encounter molds?
Well, you probably are not going to like the answer “everywhere” but it’s the closest one we can give to you. Molds grow indoors all year with no preferred season and might be found in almost any environment, although, as we’ve already pointed out, the rooms where it’s warm and humid are more likely to be hit with mold. So first in line to check for molds are always showers and basements.
How can they affect my health?
If you are not mold-sensitive, consider yourself lucky, though even this does not serve as a guarantee of not having health problems after contacting mold. For mold-sensitive people any exposure to molds might provoke such symptoms as itchy skin or eyes, stuffed nose, wheezing at the very least. If a person in addition suffers from asthma or is allergic to molds, the reactions can be very intense and severe, including fever or even breathing difficulties. These severe reactions are more likely to occur if one has been working with mold for a long time or has encountered and breathed in a large amount of mold spores (http://www.euro.who.int/document/E92645.pdf).
You’re more exposed to mold infections if your immune system is weakened due to some kind of treatment or medicine. The lengthy exposure to molds might be the reason for asthma development, which is a dangerous and uncomfortable condition. There have been cases where otherwise healthy children have suffered from respiratory illness and shortness of breath after exposure to mold, so it’s clearly not a joke and might be quite dangerous for you and your children. A mask for mold is an obligatory element of any mold removal procedure.
Is every type of mold equally dangerous?
Exposure to any mold may lead to health problems and short-term reactions we’ve listed before, but one of the common and dangerous indoor molds is black mold. You might have heard people referring to it as toxic mold and it is definitely not a groundless statement. The studies have linked exposure to black mold during infancy to such conditions as asthma, neurological deterioration, movement disorders and even brain inflammation later on. Black mold is easy to detect thanks to its smell: it’s musty, pretty unpleasant and a bit earthy. If you start to notice this smell more often, you should be getting ready to deal with it. Other signs are visible dark spots and rings (from green and brown to black), which might not indicate mold presence at the moment but are definitely a sign of water damage, and as you already know, it’s the best conditions for mold to grow. To fight this safely, you need a good respirator for black mold, and we’ll try to sort you out later on in this article.
How does a respirator protect me?
Well, protecting people from breathing in unwanted stuff is the main purpose of any respirator. In general, there is two main types of respirators: air purifying and working with the supply of air. In this article, we are only choosing the best of air-purifying respirators for mold according to reviews and buyer’s experience (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2018-176/pdfs/2018-176-508.pdf). Every respirator for mold should have a filtering element, whether it’s a filter, a cartridge or something else. To work with mold safely and successfully, you’ll need a protection level of at least N95 (this classification features such markings as P, R and N which means resistant to oil, somewhat resistant to oil or not resistant to oil at all. The number after the letter means what percentage of airborne particles this respirator will filter). All five respirators in our article, including three made by 3M, are marked P100, which is the best you can hope for.
Overall, a good respirator should definitely protect you from any harmful effects mold can have on your health. Most common ways to control mold indoors are by lowering humidity level, fixing leaky roofs or pipes in time and setting up a proper ventilation system in the areas prone to mold growth. There’s a lot of ways of removing mold and you definitely will be able to figure it out on your own, so we’ll just get to choosing the best respirator to do it in, shall we?
The top best product
This respirator offers certified P100 protection, which means that you can be safe and sure while using it for mold removal. It’s certified for professional use and includes a carbon layer that reduces the amount of particles you breathe in. The design is modern and seems to be quite comfortable on the head. The filters can be bought and changed, so the mask is definitely reusable. This one might well be the best mask respirator for mold, but let’s move on to other competitors.
- P100 protection, certified by NIOSH;
- Adjustable and easy to fix head straps;
- Changeable filters that can be bought additionally from 3M;
- No natural rubber latex used;
- Modern design.
Lightweight and durable, so it should not wear down fast.
Certified for professional use, so should be perfectly fine for home purposes.
The construction does not make breathing difficult.
The straps are pretty good and tight according to reviews.
Manufacturer answers the critical reviews and offers help in case a seller didn’t resolve the problem.
The mask doesn’t prevent sweating, which might be a bit discomforting for some people.
Doesn’t differ much from other – also cheaper – 3M products.
One of the more multifunctional respirators on the list. It protects you from mold as well as dust and other particles and at the same time might be helpful for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, running etc. The manufacturer also states that this mask (described as the best respirator mask for mold) will protect you from viruses, bacteria and pollen, which the reviews show to be true. Comes in two sizes and offers best design out of all respirators on today’s list, very contemporary (maybe even a bit futuristic) and definitely eye-catching.
- Weights less than any other respirator in this article.
- P100 protection will filter most, if not all, airborne particles and mold.
- Might be used with any other eye or ears protection gear, which is always a positive.
- Flexible and adaptable.
Feels comfortable on almost any face thanks to two sizes available.
Great design, it might even be used as an everyday accessory if you’re into this type of looks.
Good straps that allow the mask to adapt to your face.
Still can’t be perfect for everyone, some customers aren’t happy with how the mask fits their face.
Very similar to our first mask of the day, this respirator is also made by 3M, certified by NIOSH (P100, you guessed it) and offers changeable filters. Nevertheless, the price is a bit higher, and there must be a good reason why, so let’s take a look. First difference is a drop down feature implemented in this model: its main purpose is to improve comfort level and performance quality that you get with the mask. There’s also improved visibility and more balanced design to add to it, according to a manufacturer.
- Certified for pros, not recommended for DIY.
- Drop-down feature for better comfort.
- Improved visibility.
- P100 certified protection.
P100 certified protection is a must on this list, and it’s here as you might have noticed.
One size but might be adjusted with the flexible straps.
Cheap plastic tabs that attach the filters seem to be a big problem for quite some people in the review zone. The manufacturer offers help though.
One size doesn’t fit everyone.
Second priciest respirator on our list and the most expensive in its category. As usual, it’s P100 certified by NIOSH. Manufacturer makes a bold statement by saying the cartridges are more durable than those made by the competitors (the reviews confirm it though) and includes a hygiene cover that keeps the dust and dirt out of the mask when it’s not on your head. Flexible material should also be good enough for decent comfort level and tight fit.
- Cartridges with prolonged life.
- P100 protection against mold and other particles.
- Hygiene cover protecting the mask from dust and dirt.
- Flexible facepiece and innovative nose bridge design to ensure good fit and comfortability.
Decent flexibility and comfort according to reviews.
Good air flow, no breathing difficulties guaranteed.
This respirator is for those who decided to declare war on mold, not less. It’s a full kit complete by a full facepiece and 3M filters. The protection is second to none (at least on this list), but the price is sky high compared to others as well. The protective gear on this one covers your whole face, so there’s no possible chance of you getting exposed to mold, spores or any particles. So if you’re ready to pay upwards of a hundred dollars for a best respirator for mold, this one is for you. Just two critical reviews out of nearly 100!
- P100 protection and full face cover, will guarantee the best protection you can get.
- Pretty lightweight for its size, so should be comfortable on your face.
- Comes with two pairs of filters, a good investment.
- Worldwide-known manufacturer with a very good reputation.
Certified for professional action.
Fits very tight, so no particles can come inside and ruin the party.
Two sizes, so you can choose what fits you best.
We’ll make it two picks this time, because it’s just not fair to compare this last 3M monster to other competitors. It’s fair to say that if you’re not tight on the budget and willing to get the best mold protection there is on the market, you should go for it, it’s definitely the best respirator for mold removal. It’s expensive, but it gets the job done very well. If you’re looking for a cheaper option though, we’d recommend you to check out the first respirator on our list, which is 3M Mold and Lead Paint Removal Respirator. It offers good protection with great price to quality ratio and will still protect you from most situation where you would need to remove mold in your house or anywhere else.
In this article we’ve reviewed the top 5 best respirators for mold and explained why it’s very important to clean up molds as soon as there’s a sign that it’s there. Hopefully you’ve learned something new today and will now remember how important it is to keep away from toxic molds that can lead to the big health problems. We’ve chosen two of the best respirators for you, but all five competitors are very competent at their job, so you can easily make your own choice basing on the data and links we’ve given to you. Stay tuned for more!