One of the most common wisdoms when it comes to cleaning up mold damage is that a bleach solution will take care of it. Perhaps in smaller cases, such as those encountered regularly around showers and tubs, this may be the case, but in cases of larger infestations, not only will bleach not solve your problem, it may actually serve to make it worse. It is always important to act quickly when you discover the presence of mold in your home, but it is even more important to act intelligently so as not to aggravate an already serious problem.
Bleach tends to work on shower stalls, tubs or countertops because you are dealing with a non-porous surface. When used on porous surfaces, such as walls, floors, ceilings, or cabinets, bleach may not reach all the mold that needs to be eliminated, and in some cases, may even feed the mold that is overlooked. If this sounds like a contradiction, read on.
Chlorine bleach is mostly water. Chlorine itself does not always soak down into a porous surface such as wood. If the only thing that soaks down far enough to reach the mold is the water, then all you have done is feed the beast. Just killing one area of the mold infestation will not solve the problem; it will simply grow back over time and continue to spread. Being inadvertently fed by a household cleaner may actually cause it to come back stronger.
Using bleach on a significant mold growth can be tantamount to cutting a few leaves off of a tree while carefully feeding the root system. It will not stop the tree from growing. Leaves will regrow, and the tree will be even stronger because it was well fed.
Clorox, along with industry leaders such as OSHA and the EPA, have determined that bleach should not be used in mold remediation and and is ineffective in mold removal. All it does is knock the growth back for a little while, but then, like Jason or Freddy in a bad slasher movie, it pops right back up and continues to cause problems.
Remember, bleach only affects surface mold. If the area you are working on is the slightest bit porous, then you should never assume that you have eliminated the infestation completely.
Another reason not to use chlorine bleach: chlorine gives off vapors that may be harmful to humans. Unleashing a chlorine barrage in an enclosed area may make for a problem that makes you forget all about the mold.
Remember, even though bleach may knock back the mold, that is never going to be enough. The affected area must be properly treated in order to prevent the mold from returning. The damaged area will need to be cleaned, disinfected, sanitized, and most importantly, well ventilated. Humidity levels should be brought down lower than 50%. Mold loves humidity.
Your local water damage restoration professional will offer mold removal as a part of their service. Call today for a consultation.