Banishing Common Ideas
How effective is bleach in cleaning mold caused by flood damage? (Photo Credits)
Bleach is well-known for its disinfecting, virus, and germ-killing properties. But how effective is it when it comes to killing molds brought about by flood damage?
Rhinohide says it will depend on the surface a property owner is trying to clean.
“Bleach labels will warn you that chlorine bleach will only be effective on a “hard, non-porous surface.’’ This basically means that chlorine bleach is not made to “soak in.” Therefore, its disinfecting properties are limited to a hard surface like tile or glass. So here’s the problem: To ensure survival, mold spores spread its roots (Mycelia) deep into a porous surface. Mold remediation requires a cleaner to reach deep down into wood and other porous building materials to remove or “pull out” the roots. The properties of bleach prevent it from soaking into these materials. The surface mold looks gone (it’s bleached white) but the internal mold always remains to grow back. Another issue: Bleach contains 90% water and mold LOVES water. When bleach is applied, the chlorine quickly evaporates after use leaving behind A LOT of water. This water often soaks into the porous surface allowing the mold to flourish and re-grow in this moist environment. So in effect, using bleach actually feeds the internal mold spores!”
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Surviving Toxic Mold warned its readers about the extreme danger they are to face if they use bleach as mold remover.
“OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a federal agency that gives strong warnings against recommending the use of liquid Bleach for mold remediation or even cleaning any kind of mold/mildew and most recently, The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has since edited their “A brief guide to mold and moisture and your home” so that it now excludes their previously stated use of bleach as a remedy to kill mold. If these ruling agencies are making strong statements and retracting from previous advice given that tells us that they have used govt money to fund some pretty extensive laboratory studies. Let these studies be a warning to us all. NOT to use bleach around toxic mold.”
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Rodales Organic life says that although bleach can be an effective mold remover in hard surfaces, Lemon can be as effective, even in porous surfaces. San Diego
“Both lemon and chlorine bleach will effectively remove surface mold and its stains, but neither can permanently “kill” the mold. Since both are performing the same function, opt for the safer, healthier lemon juice. If you have a particularly tough bit of mold or mildew, rub the spot with salt and lemon juice, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before wiping it away. You can also try adding a splash of vinegar.”
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The best way to permanently remove molds is to tap the services of expert mold removal service contractors.