AdvantaClean Don't Just Bleach It: Mold 101
We’ve been in this industry for a while now, and it never fails to surprise us when we learn that folks simply try to just use bleach to eradicate mold growths in their homes. While the pungent chemical may seem like a good option to rid a surface of mold, we’re here to set the record straight. Don’t just bleach it!
First, some facts about mold:
- Mold Grows Quickly: Mold spores need only moisture, temperatures above 40°F and organic material to begin growing, and can begin spreading in 24-48 hours.
- Mold Destroys the Value of Your Home and More: Professional Builder Magazine warns that mold will dramatically lower the value of your home. A home worth $250,000 can easily contain a $100,000 mold problem and will be difficult to sell at any price. Additionally, mold can lead to serious structural damage to your home.
- Bleach and Detergent Will Not Eliminate Mold: Bleach and detergent are useful for removing mold on nonporous surfaces. However, materials such as ceiling tiles, carpeting and wallboard will have deep mold penetration and may need to be replaced. Mold will re-grow on cleaned surfaces if all sources of moisture and humidity are not eliminated.
- Mold Cleaning is Hazardous: It can only take 3-5 microscopic mold spores to cause an allergic reaction. Some molds contain mycotoxins which are toxic and known carcinogens. Vibrations and movement will cause mold to release their spores - it’s easy to accidentally knock hundreds of thousands of spores loose from a single patch of mold.
There may be several sources you can find online that suggest using bleach for mold removal. But the truth of the matter is that using chlorine bleach to kill mold is probably one of the worst things you can do. While it is true that bleach can kill some mold in some places sometimes, bleach only works to remove mold on hard, impermeable surfaces like bathtub and shower surrounds or tiles. On a surface with any pores, like drywall or hardwood floors, it won’t kill mold, let alone keep it from coming back.
So, Why Not Bleach?
- Containing about 90% water, bleach can actually promote mold growth
- It’s most likely just removing any color from the mold
- Bleach is extremely harmful to many surfaces as it is extremely corrosive
- You’re at risk of contaminating more of your home with easily spread mold spores