We often hear about people encountering mold either in their home or business and wanting to clean it up themselves, right away. Their first instinct is usually to hit it with some bleach. Bleach kills everything, doesn’t it? While it is important to address the situation quickly, using bleach is not recommended as a way to treat mold. Not only is it not the most effective way to kill fungi but it can be harmful for the person who is using it for this inappropriate application.
The use of bleach for mold control
Using bleach to kill and remove mold is not an accepted practice for certified mold remediators. Why? Bleach appears to kill mold because after it is applied, the mold disappears. In fact, it makes it disappear by simply bleaching it.
As mold begins to form and spread, it forms tiny “roots” that will go into the surface of most materials that it forms on. EPA approved products for mold will reach these roots and kill the mold, preventing it from reforming. They are typically safe for most surfaces when used properly and the “Ready To Use” (RTU)’ products do not require the user to dilute the product. These can be used right out of the container. EPA approved products typically are low in VOC’s making them safe to use with proper personal protection equipment. Always follow the directions on the label to ensure your safety when using any disinfectant.
Using Bleach to Kill Mold Can Be Dangerous
- Bleach, on the other hand, will have high volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can potentially cause irritation to the lungs.
- Bleach is caustic in nature and can most certainly damage the surface of whatever it is being applied to.
- The EPA has not approved bleach for use as a mold killer or a deterrent. For that reason alone, it should not be used for mold control.
- Moreover, there are no recommendations for personal protection gear when using bleach.
Prolonged exposure to household bleach may cause irritation to the eyes, mouth, lungs, and skin. The EPA recommends to always ventilate the area and vent the air outside if you decide to apply disinfectants or biocides. Never combine cleaning solutions containing ammonia or detergents containing chlorine bleach because hazardous fumes may be created.
What Products Should Be Used To Kill Mold?
We have used many products over the years in our company and have a few “go to” products that are extremely safe and effective. Our most used disinfectant for mold remediation is Smart Touch. It is EPA registered and a “Ready To Use” product. The directions are very easy to follow and cost effective. Smart Touch is non-toxic but very good at eradicating mold when applied according to the instructions.
Once the mold has been removed, it’s important to protect the surfaces in your home and business from future mold growth and development. Additionally, we have developed a mold inhibitor that is also EPA registered. When applied, it will not allow odor causing bacteria, mold, mildew, algae or fungi to grow. We call this product Common Sense Surface Protectant. When this products is applied it dries and chemically bonds to the surface. This protective coating is not washed away with soap and water and lasts over an extended period of time.
Resolve the Moisture Problem
Mold and its spores can be found almost anywhere, but active mold growth requires moisture. Even after mold is removed from an area, spores may be left behind. If the moisture problem is resolved, they will not be able to grow and colonize. It’s important to address and removed the source of the moisture problem so that the environment is no longer conducive to mold growth. Avoid allowing consistently damp conditions so that mold is not reintroduced to the area once it has been removed.
Get Professional Mold Remediation Help
In the long term, you should consult a professional to assess any mold issues you may have. Cleaning mold won’t completely get rid of the negative effects because they can still release hazardous spores after it’s dead. Mold must be completely eradicated, and depending on the kind of surface the mold has grown on, there are different methods for doing so.
Additionally, the air quality should be tested and restored for the sake of the people who spend time in that space. If you have any mold issues in your house, consider calling in a mold remediation specialist to achieve a mold free home or business.
Mold Prevention Tips
You can stop mold from thriving and growing in your house in a number of ways. Consider using the following precautions:
- Use ventilation fans in the kitchen, bathroom, and any other rooms that may contain water.
- Use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to keep the humidity in your house below 50%.
- Keep your house clean and dry.
- Take care of all water-related problems, including dripping faucets, leaky roofs, and soggy basements.
- Avoid putting carpets in your home’s bathrooms or kitchens, which could get damp.
- When area rugs and mats get wet, make it a point to dry them out.
In addition to being ugly, mold can deteriorate the surfaces it lives on and harm structures. In addition to these problems, mold exposure can also have a negative impact on a person’s overall health, immune system and allergies.
Bleach may appear to kill mold by making it visibly disappear, but bleach does not kill the root of the problem. Mold can return when treated with bleach. It’s best to use EPA registered products that have been tested and proven to kill mold while being non-toxic and safe for the people using them.