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Can I use bleach to kill mold at home?

By
Home Inspector with INDOOR MICROBIAL SPECIALIST HI-80 & MRSA1895

Chemically speaking, chlorine bleach is a water solution of sodium hypochlorite. Common household laundry bleach, used to whiten and disinfect laundry, is typically 5.25 percent (“regular strength”). OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) was one of the first federal agencies to STOP recommending the use of liquid bleach for mold remediation. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has since edited their “A brief guide to mold and moisture and your home” to exclude their once suggested use of bleach to kill mold. So, what is mold? Let’s go over the basics to gets a better understanding of how it works and how it should be properly treated.

 

 NO ONE KNOWS HOW MANY SPECIES OF FUNGI EXIST BUT ESTIMATES RANGE FROM TENS OF THOUSANDS TO THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND OR MORE. - CDC.GOV

 According to scientists, mold is a type of fungi that is neither plant nor animal. This basically means, unlike plants, it cannot derive energy from the sun or actively “hunt” for food like an animal. Therefore, mold must be opportunistic to survive. To reproduce, it regularly sends microscopic spores into the air searching for a suitable environment to live. It only needs a few requirements to survive water, warm temperatures, and a food source. Once it has located the perfect environment, it can begin to grow remarkably fast, sometimes within 24 hours! Therefore, we often see a mold bloom after flooding, water damage, and undetected burst pipes, etc…

 

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 feeds the internal mold spores! Although the surface may look bleached and clean, the remaining spores will root deeper, stronger and will often return worse than before. Water feeds the mold!!  Any question regarding Mold Inspections, Mold Assessments Indoor Air Quality Testing (IAQ) and or PRVs or to schedule an appointment call 850-814-3889 or visit us:   www.INDOORMICROBIALSPECIALIST.com or www.HOMEINSPECTORUSA.biz 

 

MOLD INSPECTIONS & MOLD TESTING. Two offices to serve you: The Villages & Gainesville, Florida. We service from Orange County to Alachua County Florida and everything in between. (The Villages, Leesburg, Wildwood, Ocala, Gainesville, Newberry, Mount Dora, Tavares, Clermont, Orlando, Eustis, Micanopy among other cities.

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Posted by

Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Similar to bleach, ammonia will kill mold which include countertops, glass or tiles but it is not effective at killing mold on porous surfaces such as wood or drywall. Additionally, ammonia is a harsh, toxic chemical. Spray the solution on the moldy areas. Then wipe with soapy water afterwords.

Feb 06, 2022 08:25 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

John, when I have had mold issues, the mold mitigators said never use bleach, it won't help.

Feb 06, 2022 08:45 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Mold needs to be addressed by specialists as it can kill if not treated properly.  I have gagged when going into a house with mold  and turned around and ran out quickly.

Feb 06, 2022 01:48 PM
John M. Acaron, CMI, MRSA
INDOOR MICROBIAL SPECIALIST - The Villages, FL
Master Mold Inspector & Chief Mold Assessor

Mold contamination requires to be eradicated. Eliminate the moisture problem is a must. Bleach will clean the surface and feed the colony. 

Mar 13, 2022 07:22 AM