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SCUBA Mask Care & Maintenance
Even though taking care of a SCUBA mask is easy, proper and thoughtful care will help you get the most out of all your SCUBA gear and your diving mask is no exception.
Let’s break it down and find out why!
In episode 006 we’re going to talk about how to prepare a SCUBA mask for its first dive and general SCUBA mask care and maintenance.
It’s time to dive in!
A little more information about what I covered in the divecast. Here goes…
Snorkels Go on the Left
While not necessarily a hard and fast ‘rule’ akin to ‘always breathe’, recreational divers typically keep their snorkel on the left.
I bring this up because during the live stream I got my left and right mixed up which I do occasionally trying to think from the perspective of the viewer.
Why is the snorkel on the left?
We put our snorkels on the left to prevent interference with our primary and alternate regulator hoses which are on the right. This is important so that underwater you don’t try using your snorkel as a regulator when you’re underwater. It’s less confusing and ensures that the snorkel doesn’t block or entangle your regulator hoses.
SCUBA Mask Care | Pre-Dive Inspections
There are a few things to check on your mask prior to each dive. They’re easy and will take just a minute or so once you know what to look for.
This is a great exercise to go through early enough in your dive trip planning to allow time to repair/replace your mask if needed.
I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you check to see if your mask is broken before you dive. Viewing your mask at an angle with respect to a light source can; however, give you some indication if the lens is scratched or the condition of the coatings.
If you have inserts that allow you to read up close (little stick on ‘reader’ lenses) it’s good to make sure they are in place so you know you’ll be able to read your gauges once your diving.
The frame of a good quality mask is durable but it’s good to just look it over to verify that it isn’t cracked before you travel and then again as soon as possible when you’ve reached your destination in case any damage occurred in transit.
Over time the silicone of your mask skirt may begin to deteriorate due to ultraviolet light exposure or age. This can result in the material losing some of it’s flexibility preventing a good seal.
The strap on your SCUBA mask is important and checking it before you travel and then before each dive will help keep you comfortable and safe.
The silicone material used on our SCUBA masks is very good and will last a long time but it can be susceptible to high temperature or ultraviolet light and should be check for elasticity and cracking or tearing prior to each dive.
Also make sure the buckles are working properly.
While the neoprene is very likely to last as long as a mask, it’s possible for the velcro that is commonly used to adjust these straps to lose its velcro-ness. This may allow the strap to loosen on your dive. If you set your mask and leave it alone this is unlikely to be an issue but if you frequently adjust your mask strap this can wear out the velcro. I had this happen to me on a dive in Bonaire and had to tie the strap to the mask buckle to finish the dive.
For instructors or other people who dive in chlorinated water on a regular basis you may find that the neoprene deteriorates due to the constant immersion in chlorine. Aside from rinsing your gear in clean fresh water and checking it before you dive there’s not much to do about this. Chlorine can be hard on some materials.
The surface interval’s over… get out there and dive!