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Bleach Is No Mold Murder

Aug 18, 2007
In my minds eye I can still see the little spots of mold on the ceiling above the shower of my childhood home.

I can still smell the bleach that my father sprayed on the mold. And I can still see the mold reappear soon after.

We all dry our hair before going out in the cold so we dont get pneumonia. We all wear clean underwear in case we are in a car accident. We all attack mold growth with bleach to kill it.

Well, wet hair does not cause pneumonia. The police, paramedics and doctors wont really look at your underwear, and chlorine bleach is ineffective in killing mold.

Bleach may help with temporary mold removal, but it will win no awards for mold remediation. Due to its dilution, bleach is too weak to eradicate mold permanently, especially if the surface is anything other that a hard, non-porous one.

Surprisingly, bleach will become more and more dilute even in an unopened container. There is an approximate 50% dilution in only 3 months as it sits on the store shelf or in the cabinet beneath your kitchen sink.

Chlorine cannot penetrate porous materials due to its ionic structure. So, if bleach is sprayed on wood for instance, only the water in the solution soaks in, as the chlorine remains on the surface. This only accomplishes further mold growth.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) does not list bleach as a disinfectant of mold. Other agencies have referred to bleach as a poor cleaning agent.

So bleach is out. What is in? The fancy terms relating to getting rid of mold include mold removal, mold remediation, mold mitigation and mold abatement. They all sound wonderful, but how are they actually accomplished?

Current recommendations include containing the mold, killing it, removing it, and finally, protecting against future infestation.

First off, any sources of water (molds lifeline) must be located and discontinued. This may necessitate water extraction or possibly water damage restoration.

Fungicide should then be used to kill any mold and to prevent its recurrence. The next step is to clean and remove as much of the mold as possible. Even dead, mold can trigger an allergic response in some people.

Finally, protection against further infestation can be accomplished by cleaning, maintenance, and regular inspection of the common sources of mold growth.

Many people choose to remediate their mold problem on their own. It is important to remember the dangerous health risks associated with exposure to mold. It is not overkill to wear protective gear including gloves, mask and bodysuit.

Goggles have even been recommended. So as you suit up and get ready to get rid of that mold, leave your spray bottle of chlorine bleach behind. It has been acquitted on all counts in the murder of mold.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
New York water damage restoration companies and
mold remediation companies across the united states.
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