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Is Bleach Effective In Killing Mold Damage?

A person is spraying disinfectant while wearing a hazmat suit

Mold damage is often caused by water damage that is left untreated, causing a multitude of problems for homeowners and families everywhere. Mold can cause illnesses and damage to your home, and can leave lasting effects on the structure and stability of your home or building. Getting rid of mold damage is tough, and there are many different avenues to take, but one of the most common ones is using liquid bleach. 

Can Bleach Kill Mold? 

Bleach is a chemical solution of sodium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide, used to whiten or sterilize materials. Most people use bleach; the most common type is chlorine bleach, which is considered a home essential. Bleach is useful for many things: cleaning clothes, brightening whites, and can act as a germ-killer. It sounds like bleach should be able to take out mold with ease, but the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) advice against using liquid bleach to rid your home of mold. 

Technically, yes, bleach can kill mold. That’s all great and dandy, but bleach is used to fight against germs that require a host, unlike mold. Since mold grows in spores and is airborne, mold can essentially “outrun” bleach, unless you catch it at the perfect moment (which is almost never).

Why Can’t I Use Bleach To Kill Mold? 

Although bleach can technically kill the mold that has come into your home, using bleach can cause more harm than help. Since bleach is a bleaching agent (obviously), it can damage your floors and walls, and can remove the color from most materials in your home. 

Another issue with using bleach to kill mold damage, is that bleach can only kill surface mold. Since the spores of mold can grow into things, bleach is unable to reach under the membrane of the mold and kill all of the spores, leading to more mold damage. Because of this membrane, bleaching mold will make the discoloration of the mold damage go away, but the roots of the mold will continue to grow in places that you will most likely not be able to see. 

Cleaning mold with liquid bleach is ineffective because it mostly consists of water. Once the chlorine has dissolved from the bleach after use, it leaves water, which is imperative for mold growth. This means that the water left behind will foster more mold growth, and make your mold issue bigger than it was in the beginning. When mold and bleach meet, the mold knows it is under attack, and will begin to grow faster and deeper into the surface it was growing on. So to make a long story short, bleach is not a good option for cleaning mold damage…ever.  

Bleach: Not As Great As it Seems. 

Bleach is used for taking color out of materials, so this would be the first giveaway that it won’t be very good to remove mold. Although it is a germ-killer, it kills germs that require hosts, unlike mold. Since mold is a fungus it will continue to grow, and if you use liquid bleach, there’s a decent chance that the water will leave behind more room for mold damage. Using this to clean mold damage could be useless considering bleach has a shelf life of six months. 

Another thing to remember about bleach is that it can be extremely toxic in any form: if ingested by mouth, if you come into contact with it with bare skin, or if you inhale the fumes for too long. When you mix bleach with water, dioxins are released, which are a harmful chemical that can cause illness and have a serious impact on the health of you and your family. 

Please Don’t Use Bleach To Fight Mold Damage… 

Bleach is useful for many things, but not when you are trying to mold damage. Our professional team is experienced in water damage cleanup. We know you may have concerns about COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to keep our employees and our customers healthy and safe. As an essential business, we are still open to serve you. Americon Restoration is taking all necessary precautions before entering our customers’ homes. We want you and your family to feel safe and stay healthy! Please contact us through our website or by phone at (216) 485-3374.