Does Bleach Kill Mold?

Why Bleach Kills Mold Is A Myth

If I had a dollar for every time some one asked me if bleach can be used to kill mold , I could retire. Although the concept makes perfect sense, bleach is not one of the recommended solutions when removing mold or suspected mold odors. Here are some of the reasons why:

Mold spores dead or alive

The general public believes that once mold and mold spores are killed, then everything is ok and the indoor environment is healthy. Interestingly that’s far from the truth. A live mold spore does not cause health issues, it’s just the body of the spore itself. Let me demonstrate by an example. There are mold removal contractors that offer as one of their services an anti mold fogging. So after all the mold has been visually removed, somehow this fogging of the anti mold chemical will kill anything that was missed. At least this is what is perceived by the customer. Assuming that every mold spore was killed, that leaves millions of dead mold spores hanging around the house or building.

If the area were to be post tested ( clearance tested ) , the results will show that in fact the area of concern still has high concentrations of mold and is still a health hazard. Why? Because whether mold is dead or alive, the body of mold is still a health issue. So bleach as a mold killer in theory is wonderful, the problem is that you have to remove the body of the mold to remove the issue.

Mold Can Be A Lethal Weapon Against You

I think people in general forget that many household products are actually dangerous. Bleach is no exception and mixed with other chemicals can actually produce explosive gasses. I was called years ago, by a group home that had a fire in their house. The members of the home were trying to clean up some exposed mold that was in the attic. They decided to mix bleach with other chemicals and that created a gas that actually exploded and caught the house on fire.

Mold Destroys

The great concept about bleach is that it’s the great disinfectant. It can kill most bacteria and heck any living creature I can think of. The problem is that bleach is a weapon that can get out of control. Let me give you an example:

As you are cleaning the mold off the walls, you won’t notice at that moment that you dripped or over sprayed the area including the carpet, wallpaper and other non carpeted areas. Hours later you notice that the color of these items has changed permanently .

My final comment about the choice of using bleach to kill mold is the idea that bleach will kill mold completely from wood structures and drywall . Actually mold grows roots into the drywall and wood structures ( wood framing ). The bleach only cleans the surface , therefore if the drywall is not removed, the mold will grow back again. The same applies with wood structures. When removing mold from wood structures the wood surface must either be wire brushed or sanded down to remove the root system.

For more information about mold removal, visit our mold removal faq’s or the mold removal service page.

About Author: Jeff Cohn
Expert at Hoarding Cleanup, Water Damage, Fire Damage, Mold Removal, and Crime Scene Cleanup. Over 22 years experience in these industries and numerous certifications such as IICRC, NOVA, and many others.Jeff Cohn Google Profile
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