So you’re staring at some mold covering that corner of the basement bathroom no one ever uses (until your Aunt visits that one random time every 5 years), and you think to yourself, “Bleach – it kills everything, right? It should handle this mold just fine.” So you bust out that old bottle of Clorox you’ve not used in years but kept around “just in case” and slowly undo the cap as flakes of dried chemicals slough off all the time thinking in the back of your head “Should I call a professional? Nah – I’ve got this… I think.”
So the question is this: Does bleach kill mold? I mean, it certainly looks like it does. Pouring bleach on the mold definitely has cleared up the growth – right?
Via Air-Oasis, “The object to killing mold is to kill mold at its “roots”. Mold remediation involves the need to disinfect wood and wood-based building materials, all of which are porous materials. Thus, chlorine bleach should not be used in mold remediation as confirmed by OSHA’s Mold Remediation/ Clean Up Methods guidelines. The use of bleach as a mold disinfectant is best left to kitchen and bathroom countertops, tubs and shower glass, etc.”
Chlorine bleach does disinfect – don’t get us wrong, but it certainly does not kill mold spores. In fact, mold treated with bleach actually grew back resistant to bleach. Now – if you’re still not convinced and you plan to use the old bucket of bleach sitting under the kitchen sink (you know – the one sitting long enough it’s begun to form a ring around the base), know this : Chlorine bleach experiences a 50% loss in killing power in just the first 90 days inside a never opened jug or container. Chlorine constantly escapes through the plastic walls of its containers.
You know the three things it takes to have mold growth? Temperature. A food source. And Moisture. That last one is key because of this: Chlorine bleach will evaporate within a short period of time. If the area is not dry when the bleach evaporates, or moisture is still in the contaminated area (humidity, outside air dampness), you could re- start the contamination process immediately and to a greater degree.
Now beyond its toxicity, its inability to to kill mold, and the opportunity to create resistant strands of mold spores – chemical bleach is harmful to animals and humans and can lead to birth defects.
SO – if you see mold in that basement corner, please, please call in a professional and do not handle mold growth on your own. Mold is not only annoying but it is also dangerous and the treatment required to remediate it should be performed by a trained professional.