Your window to the underwater world, scuba masks are an important piece of scuba giving gear. They are also one of the first pieces of gear you’ll want to own rather than rent, even as early as your first scuba certification. Most divers put a great of effort into finding and selecting the right kind of mask with the perfect fit for themselves. It’s no wonder then that a Dive Mask is also a piece of equipment that divers are fondly attached to. So if you’re as fond of your scuba diving mask as I, here’s a look at some tips I’ve found useful along the way regarding problems with your mask or just tips on taking better care of it.
When buying a scuba mask, it’s very important to look at the silicon skirting around the mask. The skirting and shape of the mask must fit your face well to provide you with a comfortable fit. The quality of the silicon should be good. Higher quality silicon is usually found in the more expensive models and will feel softer and more flexible than poorer grade silicon.
Another important consideration to make while picking out a dive mask is the nose pocket. Different types of masks have different shaped nose pockets. Check that your nose fits comfortably in the pocket without touching your nose. This will help protect and cushion your nose as well as have necessary air pockets that’ll help equalizing and purging water out in case any gets in.
Brand new masks usually have a coating of silicone left over from the manufacturing process on the lens that will cause it to fog constantly, no matter how many defogging agents you try. So, first you’ll have to treat it to remove any traces of this coating before using it on a dive. You can rub the inside and outer glass surfaces with a tiny pearl of toothpaste using your index finger and leave it overnight, before wiping it off with a soft cloth or washing it. Another way to go is to burn the residual coating on the lens by running the tip of a flame over the lens.
If you frequently face a foggy mask, pay closer attention to your breathing. More often than not you’ll notice you tend to try breathing out your nose unconsciously before you expel air out your mouth. When you breathe out through your nose, even slightly, the warm air from your body creates condensation, or fog, on the inside of your mask. Breathing out your mouth only will help your mask will stay crystal clear. Adjust your breathing technique and pay closer attention to consciously avoid breathing out your nose, unless you’re clearing your mask. This will prevent your mask from fogging up despite using a de-fogging agent.
One of the most important things to ensure your mask stays with you a long time is to keep it out of contact with direct sunlight as much as possible. Harsh Sunlight and high temperatures attack the rubber and silicone of masks, turning the translucent soft silicone into a yellowing harder mass, that causes mask leaks and degradation over time. Mask bands and straps exposed to sunlight, form cracks and may break easily when stretched. Always store your mask inside its case in a cool dark place but not moist. If you have a silica gel packet or desiccant, place this inside your mask case to keep the moisture at bay.
*reblogged from http://aquaviews.net