Homeowners make the constant mistake of wiping everything down with bleach to completely eliminate germs, dirt and even mold spores. This might make everything look sparkly clean, but that’s only because the spores and dirt spots on the surface are wiped away. You might think the bleach is disinfecting every particle on your table or counter, but unfortunately, it’s not going to completely remove the mold.
Mold is grown through roots, just like any plant you have in your garden. These roots spread down deep into the surface and can be incredibly difficult to remove. Mold spores will spread roots into any porous or semi-porous surface in your house, and can’t simply be wiped away with bleach. The bleach doesn’t have the power to penetrate the surface to eliminate these mold roots, also known as mycelia and hyphae. Not only does mold stick around after a bleach treatment, but there are also a few other reasons why mold and bleach do not mix well:
- Bleach can cause further mold growth
- Bleach can damage your surfaces
- Bleach can be dangerous to your household
Bleach Causes Mold Growth
Did you know the bleach you buy at the store is made up of about 90 percent water? Yes, there is chlorine content, but that dries up almost immediately as it touches the surface. All that is left after the wipe down is water and moisture, and what does mold need to survive? Moisture! The water content that is left behind on your counter will be absorbed into the porous surface. The moisture will make its way to the mycelia, and the mold will continue to grow. A few days after applying the bleach, you might even discover the mold has spread to surrounding surfaces that had not previously been affected. Try to avoid using bleach to wipe away mold, especially on porous or absorbent surfaces, or you’ll have more mold growing on those surfaces.
Bleach Damages Surfaces
Bleach is heavily corrosive. This means it has the potential power to eat through the surfaces you use it on. Metal and wood are easily corroded when bleach is applied. These porous materials could disintegrate and weaken, causing irreparable damages to your home. Not only does bleach cause damage to surfaces, but it also causes damage to your body. Corrosive chemicals like bleach can irritate and even burn your skin and damage your lungs when breathed in. Bleach produces chlorine gas when mixed with any kind of acidic chemical. Chlorine gas exposure can irritate your lungs and cause coughing fits. Use extreme caution if you use bleach, and try to avoid easily corroded surfaces.
Bleach is Dangerous
As previously stated, bleach is corrosive and can cause irritation to your skin and lungs. Bleach is not necessarily toxic, but the gasses bleach emits can form airborne particles that are dangerous to you and your family. Products containing bleach emit Hypochlorous Acid and Chlorine gas. These airborne particles can be a threat to your health over a prolonged period of time. High levels of chlorine gas inhalation can lead to severe health problems like chest pain, trouble breathing and Pneumonia. If you use bleach frequently, it is important to wear protective gear like gloves and a mask to avoid any form of irritation.
Bleach is especially dangerous to children, so store your cleaning chemicals in a well-ventilated safe space that a child could not find. The accidental swallowing of bleach by a child under the age of six is one of the most frequent calls at Poison Control Centers, so try your best to keep bleach out of reach of children.
When used correctly and safely, bleach has the power to eliminate bacteria and germs on the surface. Bleach does not have that same power for mold, though. Bleach can’t penetrate deep enough into the surface to kill the roots. If you are concerned about mold damage within your surfaces at home, our team at All American Water Restoration can complete an inspection and help you remove mold for good. Put down the bleach and the yellow cleaning gloves, and trust our team at AAWR to get rid of the mold, starting at the roots!