When you think of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in your home, the go-to product is usually bleach, particularly chlorine bleach. It is a well-known product and is used by over 85% of American households, whether it be cleaning their homes, or even whitening their discolored clothing items. A lot of us think that we can tackle the black mold spots with the use of bleach, however, it is not as effective as you may think. The adverts are correct, bleach can kill bacteria and viruses, but it is limited in terms of effectiveness when it comes to treating mold. What is the reason for this, well we are going to discuss the limitations of bleach, and also the implications of using bleach to treat your mold issue?
It’s Mostly Water
You may not think it but bleach is actually 99% water based. So if you were to treat the mold infested area with bleach, you are going to get the opposite effect. The water components encourage the growth of mold, rather than killing the bacteria. If you apply or have already applied bleach to the contaminated surface, for example, a poorly ventilated attic or basement then the water element will remain, and allow the spores to continue to grow. Typically mold targets hardwood surface, as it allows it to embed inside the pores where the moisture will be, and therefore the mold will continue to spread.
Bleach can make the mold worse
You may not think it but it is true, the structure of chlorine bleach prevents it from penetrating porous materials, like wood or dry walls. The unfortunate thing about mold is that the roots and bacteria actually grow inside these materials, thus rendering bleach ineffective in this case. Another disadvantage of treating mold with bleach is that you can discolor the surface or make it seem brighter, which people often mistake for the mold problem being solved. However, it will reappear.
It is Dangerous
There is a reason for the safety guidelines which accompany a bottle of bleach is because if your skin is exposed to the substance, or worse your eyes it can cause serious burns. Yet this is not the main danger that it can pose, it gives off chemical fumes. So if your mold issue is in your attic, and you opt to treat the problem with bleach, it can allow certain gases to build up and generates quite a potent and toxic vapor. Now we are not saying that you are going to instantly poorly if bleach has been used in your attic, but we do need to make you aware that you could be at risk to toxicity as a result of the gas that it gives off.
The EPA advises against it
The Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA do not recommend the use of treating mold with bleach-based products. As a rule, if the EPA recommend not doing something or advise against a particular product, or method then it is best to take their advice.
How do I get rid of my mold problem?
There are products on the market that have been specifically designed to target mold and moisture build up in a safe, and to an EPA regulated standard. We personally feel that the best product out there is PureGreen24 when it comes to treating mold. To put it simply, it can do what bleach can’t, and that’s the ability to penetrate through porous surfaces, with the added bonus of no toxic gases.