Mold Removal 101: What Kind Of Respirator Do I Need For Mold

If you are asking, “what kind of respirator do I need for mold,” then you might be suspecting fungal growth in your home. Since mold spores can be dangerous in large amounts, you would need to wear at least an N-95 respirator to keep you safe and healthy.

If you are going to spend long periods exposed to mold or working a mold-covered object, then you will need more than a respirator. Continue reading to learn more about the respirators you can use and the equipment you will need when working with mold.

what kind of respirator do i need for mold


What Respirator Should You Use When Working With Mold?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wear at least a disposable, NIOSH-approved N-95 mask or respirator to protect your mouth and nose from inhaling mold. You can purchase these masks from most home supply stores near you.

However, when you need to spend more than four hours working next to mold, you need a better respirator. The CDC recommends using a half-face or a full-face respirator which you can also buy at your local home supply store.

When wearing these respirators, you must wear them correctly and fit the well before entering a mold-infested area. These respirators can only protect you if they are worn correctly and put on securely.

Although NIOSH-approved respirators can keep an average adult safe, it would be best to keep in mind that they are not designed for children. It would also be best to keep children as far away as possible from large mold infestations.


What Other Equipment Can You Use To Protect Yourself?

If you are cleaning mold out from a flooded home or suspect that there is a large amount of mold in a building you are entering, then you will need more than a respirator to keep yourself safe. To increase mold protection, you can wear gloves and goggles along with your mask.

It would be best if the pair of gloves you wear extends up to the middle of your forearm. If you are going to use detergents, a regular pair of rubber gloves may do. However, if you will need to use disinfectants, bleach, or harsh chemicals, it would be best to wear gloves made from natural rubber, PVC, or neoprene.

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As for your goggles, any pair that fully covers your eyes and does not have ventilation holes will do. These goggles will prevent mold and mold spores from being in contact with your eyes. To add protection, you can also wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when cleaning out or working with mold.


Why Should You Wear Protective Equipment When Working With Mold?

Mold is everywhere as it travels by releasing fungal spores into the air. As such, you inhale a small amount of mold spores every time you go outside.

In small amounts, they can cause no harm to humans and animals. However, mold and its spores can cause adverse health effects when inhaled in large quantities.

If you breathe in a large amount of mold, you may experience allergic symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, coughing, dizziness, and skin and eye irritation. Excessive mold exposure is worse for people with asthma and respiratory illnesses, as the spores can increase the frequency and severity of symptoms and asthma attacks.

If a person with a compromised immune system gets into contact, inhales, or swallows mold or mold spores, they can develop infections. With that being said, you or a remediation specialist should remove the mold growth as much as possible to prevent complications. If you decide to clean the mold out yourself, you might find this article on the five easy steps to clean mold off a concrete floor.


When Is A Complete Set Of Protective Gear Necessary?

Personal protective equipment is necessary when you see or suspect the growth of mold. If your home or a building is damp, then there is most likely a mold infestation within. To learn more about what causes mold, check out this helpful article: What Causes Green Mold? A Complete Remediation Guide.

Mold likes to grow on organic material that is moist. With that being said, you should wear at least a respirator when you enter flooded buildings, approach items with high moisture content, high-humidity areas, and fire-damaged facilities.

You should also wear respirators when you approach water-damaged materials as mold may already be growing nearby. If you need to clean up, grab your belongings, or otherwise stay in that area for long periods, then it would be best to wear goggles, gloves, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts.



“What kind of respirator do I need for mold” is a great question, as the asker acknowledges that mold is indeed harmful when breathed in. To protect you from breathing in mold and its spores, you should wear at least a NIOSH-approved N-95 respirator.

If you believe that you will get prolonged exposure to the fungus, then you should opt for a half-faced or full-face respirator paired with goggles, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. That way, you can accomplish whatever task you need to do while keeping yourself safe from harmful airborne spores.

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