If you type in a Google search for, “How to clean up mold,” you’ll likely find pages and pages of advice that will tell you that using a bleach-soaked cloth is the best way to kill the mold problem. While it may look like you’re left with a clean, mold-less surface, the truth is that you’ve only removed the discoloration from the surface, leaving behind micro flora which could cause mold growth to return later on if the conditions are right.
Here are three good reasons why you should avoid using any bleach for mold cleanup:
The combination of some types of mold and bleach can cause toxic fumes. Mold spores alone don’t bode well for one’s health or allergies. Then you have bleach, which is also toxic, especially in enclosed areas. If you then combine the two together, you could be compounding your health risks more than the mold itself. There are some molds that will react with the chlorine to create an even more toxic gas which could cause permanent damage to your lungs if you breathe it in. You may not even feel much at the time, but the damage can still be done. As a secondary side effect, you may experience migraine-caliber headaches as well.
The EPA does not recommend using bleach for routine mold cleanup (found under “Cleanup and Biocides”) except under professional judgment.
Bleach does not kill mold. At least not entirely anyway. Molds have hyphae (“roots”) which penetrate organic materials. At the molecular level, bleach’s ion structure does not allow the chlorine to penetrate completely into porous material. The chlorine remains on the surface while the remaining water is the only thing to soak right through. Molds thrive on moisture which may be another reason molds keep returning in the same spot when treated with bleach.
Contact a professional at Healthy Way to get started on a permanent solution for mold problems.