Do a search on Google, and you will find lots of advice that recommends that bleach should be used to kill mold. This is bad advice. This article explains the reasons why you should not use bleach to clean mold.
Mold Removal Basics
Mold is a biological agent and will grow in the presence of moisture, the ideal temperature, and an ample food source. If mold is discovered, the first step is identifying the moisture source and ensuring it is fixed. The next step is the actual remediation of the mold using proper equipment and procedures.
Mold removal is referred to as remediation because special precautions, equipment, and work procedures are used to prevent cross-contamination. In addition, professionals wear protective gear because they understand that mold spores can cause health problems. The goal of mold remediation is to remove mold-contaminated materials to restore the fungal ecology to healthy levels in the indoor environment.
Killing mold is not effective because negative health impacts can be triggered by exposure to both live and dealt mold spores. Because of this, the primary source and secondary contamination must be removed.
Based on your understanding of these three points, it becomes clear why spraying bleach on mold is not an effective solution to a mold problem.
Specifically, avoid using bleach to clean mold for these three key reasons:
1. Bleach Is Not Effective At Killing Mold!
Many people think they can spray bleach onto the mold, kill it, and then walk away from their mold problem. This approach is ineffective and actually makes your mold problem worse.
Chlorine bleach may kill some of the surface molds. Still, it will have no impact on mold growing on porous surfaces (wood, drywall, etc.) because mold has roots that embed themselves into the material it is growing on.
Since chlorine cannot penetrate and destroy the roots, it will remain on the surface. In fact, spraying chlorine bleach will worsen the mold problem because the water in bleach provides the moisture source mold needs to proliferate and thrive.
2. Bleach Is Dangerous!
Bleach is corrosive that can irritate and damage the skin. It also releases chlorine gas during the spraying and evaporation process that will impact the eyes and respiratory system. Chlorine bleach also generates a by-product called dioxins, which are linked to cancer.
If you intend to use bleach for household cleaning projects, always follow the directions and do not mix it with other chemicals like ammonia. Since bleach can make you sick, take precautions: use protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator, particularly if you are working with stronger concentrations of bleach.
3. Bleach Loses Its Strength!
Bleach is not effective on mold because the chlorine evaporates. In fact, the longer bleach sits on a shelf, the more ineffective it will become because chlorine can escape through the plastic container. Considering this fact, it becomes clear that spraying mold with bleach diluted in water is the most ineffective approach to dealing with mold.
In conclusion, keep these points in mind if you are reaching for that bottle of bleach to get rid of mold:
- Mold needs moisture to grow. If you spray bleach diluted in water, you are actually providing moisture to the mold. This is a counter-productive strategy to dealing with your mold issue.
- Trying to kill the mold is not an effective long-term strategy because both live and dead mold spores can negatively impact health.
- The most effective strategy for dealing with mold is to first address and fix the moisture source, then remove all the mold-contaminated materials using precautions to prevent cross-contamination.
We hope now you understand why you should not use bleach to kill mold!