Bleach and Mold Myth

OSHA and the EPA once recommended using bleach for mold, but has since stopped.

Bleach and Mold MythA myth exists concerning the use and “effectiveness” of chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) in the remediation of a mold problem. Many contractors and property owners use bleach as a biocide on mold contaminated building materials. In the past, this was an accepted practice. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the EPA once recommended using chlorine bleach for mold abatement, but has since stopped recommending the use of chlorine bleach as a mold clean-up agent.

Does chlorine bleach kill mold? The answer is yes, but with an exception. The Clorox Company states that their product is “effective on hard, non-porous surfaces”. That is the exception. Mold remediation involves the need to disinfecting of non-pourous AND pourous building materials. The object to killing mold is to kill its “roots”. Yet the properties of chlorine bleach prevent it from “soaking into” pourous materials to get to the deeply embedded roots to do so. Per the dwell time, time the bleach must sit to be affective, is 10 minutes. Dirt and detergent residue on a surface can make chlorine bleach inactive. Inactive bleach is over 90% water, which when sitting on mold, can make the issue worse.

Thus, chlorine bleach should not be used in mold remediation as confirmed by OSHA’s and EPA’s updated recommendations and suggested guidelines. The use of bleach as a mold disinfectant is best left to kitchen and bathroom countertops, tubs and shower glass, etc. Beware of any mold inspector, mold remediation contractor or other individual that recommends or uses chlorine bleach for mold clean up on pourous building materials.

If you believe you have a mold problem, Call Paul! Paul Davis Emergency Services of Camden, GA at (912) 342-2220 for a free estimate.

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