Your scuba or snorkel mask is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will need to enjoy the underwater environment. It is usually the first piece most diving buy and one piece of equipment that if not the right one can make your diving experience miserable. Below is some of the most frequent questions and solutions to common issues.
How long does a scuba mask last?
A good quality mask such as one made with tempered glass and high grade silicone has a very good lifespan. A mask that is well taken care of and stored properly will often last 10 to 20+ years.
How to care for and store a scuba mask?
Masks will need regular washing with warm water, a mild soap such as dish soap and a soft brush or cloth. Rinse with fresh water, dry and store in a container or case in a cool, dry place away from direct light. The silicone mask strap and skirt can seem an attractive toy to animals so make sure it is not accessible to pets.
My scuba masks always gets foggy, how do I make it stop?
New masks all need a good wash before use to remove any manufacture oil or dust. Dish soap, hot water and a soft brush or cloth, wash and rinse a few times on the inside of the glass. This process also needs to be repeated on a regular basis, the cleaner the inside glass is the less the fog will stick to it. Once clean a commercial de-fog such as Sea Gold or Sea Drops will help keep things clear.
The silicone around my mask has turned cloudy and yellow, what can I do?
Crystal silicone will naturally take on an opaque or yellowed appearance due to UV in sunlight as well as exposure to chemicals such as those found in make-up and sunscreen. This is a cosmetic reaction and does not degrade the ability for the mask to make a seal. To prevent or slow the process make sure to wash your mask regularly, store it clean in a container away from sunlight. Another way to prevent this is to get a mask made with colored silicone as his will protect it from UV.
My scuba mask leaks, do I need to replace it?
Masks can leak for many reasons, here are the most common:
-Hair, either hair stuck under the seal at the top or mustaches. Best way to prevent this is make sure your hair is pulled back away from your face and that you are clean shaven. If you would prefer to keep the mustache you can get better results with product such as Mustache seal.
-Improper wear is another common issue, the mask strap should be level on your head, above the ears and not overly tight. An over tight strap will cause the silicone to be crushed onto your face not allowing it to rest on your face for a comfortable seal.
-Damage to the mask will cause leaks. Inspect the silicone skirt and frame for any damage, gaps or cracks.
-A mask that is the wrong size for your face shape can cause leaks and will be uncomfortable. Make sure the mask skirt is resting on your temple, sitting on the corner of your eye is too small and back onto your hair line is too big.
-Poor quality masks will always end up leaking. A good mask should always be made with high quality silicone. Any mask skirt made with rubber, low grade silicone or PVC will not conform to your face shape, will degrade quickly and will not be comfortable.
What should I look for in a scuba or snorkel mask?
Fit is the most important. When you try on a mask place it on your face without the strap and breathe in through your nose you are looking for an airtight seal. Also watch for any uncomfortable pressure points on the forehead, nose and cheeks. Other features you may want to look for include style, color and optional lens replacement.
Is there a mask I can wear over my glasses?
Trying to wear a mask over glasses will squish the glasses into your face and cause the mask to leak. Best options are to wear contact lenses or get a prescription mask. We carry 2 models of masks with pre-made lenses to make it fast and easy to get an optical mask for most prescriptions. If you have a more difficult prescription custom lenses are available as well. Click this link for prescription mask options.