You’ve heard it from a friend, “Googled it,” or saw it advertised on some bathroom product: “Use a solution of bleach to kill mold.” Unfortunately, you might be surprised to hear that bleach does not kill mold effectively, and you might be making your problem worse.
Bleach Does Not Kill Mold
Using bleach on hard, non-porous surfaces can be effective for killing mold spores / micro flora, however, mold usually doesn’t colonize on these kind of surfaces.
Mold feeds off of organic material, like wood and sheetrock, which are porous. Mold spores are everywhere in the air, and when they land on these kinds of porous surfaces, all it takes is consistent moisture to begin to populate and spread.
While it may appear that mold disappears from porous surfaces after dousing it with a bleach solution, that’s not what’s happening.
Why Bleach Does Not Kill Mold
Bleach is made up of mostly water. The active molecules in bleach are unable to effectively penetrate deep into porous surfaces. The bad news is that the water portion of bleach, does. So, while bleach may kill the mold and remove discoloration on the surface, you still have to worry about the hyphae (“roots”) that you can’t see.
When the water portion of the bleach penetrates into the wood or sheetrock, it actually feeds the mold problem. Mold on porous surfaces treated with bleach will almost always return with a bigger problem than what you started with.
(Read: No Bleach for Mold Cleanup)
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