Bleach is a sanitizer that eliminates viruses and bacteria, but should it be used to deal with mould in homes and properties? Here’s the truth. Bleach can kill mould on hard surfaces, but it’s ineffective when used on softer surfaces, which is where most mould grows. Plus, using bleach can harm one’s health, as well as the surfaces that are treated. Here are more reasons why using bleach to kill mould is not a good idea.
Bleach is ineffective at killing mould on many softer materials like drywall, wood, and carpet. In this case, mould spreads deep into the porous surface. The nature of bleach prevents it from soaking into these materials, so only the mould growing above the surface is killed. Bleach won’t kill mould on dirty and metallic surfaces either.
Bleach contains a lot of water and may stimulate mould growth if it’s used to kill mould on soft materials. The material absorbs the water in the bleach, feeding the mould that survived inside it. Consequently, mould may regrow on the surface within a week or two if the material isn’t dried properly. One can thus end up in a cycle of repeatedly trying to bleach mould, only to have it persistently return.
Not only is bleach ineffective against mould on wood, it’s also corrosive and extremely harmful to these materials. Wood that is treated with bleach becomes weakened as the substance will break down its fibers. This can compromise the structural integrity of the home.
Bleach loses its power with time — it is 50% less effective in 90 days even if its container is not opened.
Using bleach can damage one’s health. Bleach can burn the skin, and the gas from bleach can harm the lungs. Contact with eyes may cause pain and irritation. Bleach can also damage the eye tissues if it stays for a longer time.
Dead mould may still cause allergic reactions in some people. Thus, it’s not enough to simply kill the mould — it must also be removed.
So, what are the alternatives? For a small mould infestation (less than three square metres), it’s best to use natural mould killing products, such as borax, vinegar, or a simple solution of detergent and water, baking soda, and tea tree oil. These substances are not a health threat and can kill mould more efficiently.
Furthermore, after the surface has been cleaned and treated, it must be dried properly. Drying is the key to keeping mould growth in check. For a larger mould problem, professional help from a mould remediation company is the best solution. They can properly remove mould and dry the area to ensure it doesn’t return.
The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.
PuroClean is a leading commercial and residential restoration franchising company. Founded in 2001, the company offers fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mould mitigation and remediation, and biohazard cleanup and removal throughout the United States and Canada through its franchise network of 240 offices. Learn more.