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BY DAVID MYRICK, OWNER
Warning: This article is not for those with sensitive stomachs. If that’s you, turn back now!
When you blow your nose, I’m pretty sure whatever you “dispense” on the tissue shouldn’t be black. But that’s what used to happen to me when I started Valor Mold Removal in 2006.
I realize that’s WAAYYYYY more information than you ever cared to hear. But I assure you there is a point—one that relates to the quality of your mold remediation project.
Just bear with me for a couple of minutes.
There are three kinds of respirators that mold remediators can use…
When I opened my company, I invested in half-mask respirators. One, because I didn’t know what I was doing. Two, because I was on a shoestring budget and half-masks are cheap—about $40 a pop. I could buy three of them for the price of one full-face respirator, which cost around $150. Half-masks were a good way to keep costs low.
My crew and I used half-mask respirators for the first year the company opened. After a while, I started noticing something alarming after I’d do a remediation job…
When I blew my nose, what came out was black.
Because half-mask respirators protect like garbage… and I was inhaling all that nasty stuff I was remediating every day.
To understand why I developed this unhealthy condition, you have to know a little about how respirators protect against inhaling harmful particles.
Respirators are rated based on Protection Factor (PF). This rating is based on how many particles a mask lets in per 100 particles. Here are the Protection Factors for the three main respirators that mold removal companies use:
In other words, a half-mask lets in 10 particles per every 100 (100 ÷ 10 = 10). Full-face respirators let in two per every 100 (100 ÷ 50 = 2). And PAPRs let in virtually zero per every 100 (100 ÷ 1,500 = 0.06).
That means for every 100 particles, 10 of them were penetrating my half-mask respirator. I was inhaling thousands of particles on every job. Considering that mold removal kicks up thousands of mold spores, you can see why I was “blowing black.”
Naturally, we dumped the half-mask respirators after that. We started using full-face respirators, which provided us with MUCH more protection. The proof? My nasal passages began working “correctly” again, if you know what I mean.
Our full-face respirators cost about $150 each—over three times the price of half-mask respirators. But the health benefits made them more than worth the price of admission.
We used full-face respirators up until 2019. Then we switched to the “Cadillac” of respirators: the PAPR.
The one big drawback of full-face respirators is that they’re hard to breathe in. So much so that athletes use them during cardio training to increase their workout intensity.
Doing demolition and remediation in these masks was the definition of tough labor. We could work for only six hours per day! Plus, you can’t wear glasses with full-face respirators because it messes with the seal. That made things tough on our bespectacled technicians (me included).
That’s why I upgraded to PAPRs in 2019.
A PAPR contains a battery-powered fan that fills the mask with HEPA-filtered air. Unlike a full-face respirator, you don’t have to breathe against the filter. The PAPR is always under positive pressure, so you can breathe without straining.
This meant our technicians could work harder and longer each day. And since PAPRs go over the entire head, our technicians could wear glasses with no issues.
Each PAPR costs us $1,500. That’s 3,650% more than half-face respirators and 900% more than full-face respirators. But trust me: They’re worth every single penny.
Our technicians are breathing in virtually ZERO harmful particles during mold remediation. And because the PAPRs are so comfortable, our techs can perform their jobs at a higher level.
As I mentioned above, wearing PAPRs increases productivity. But investing in PAPRs also demonstrates that we genuinely care about the health of EVERYONE involved in your project—including you.
Think about it this way…
If a company is only willing to give its technicians crappy $40 half-masks, the company is obviously not concerned with their safety. And if the company isn’t concerned with the safety of its employees, what makes you think they’ll take the proper measures to protect YOU?
At Valor Mold Removal, we don’t “thumb our nose” at your safety. We take every possible measure to create the healthiest remediation experience for you.
Even if it costs us 3,650% more.
We remove mold the right way… and it would be an honor to hear from you.
Fill out this form to contact us. We’ll follow up with 24 business hours.