For many people, chlorine bleach is the preferred product for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Whether it’s the kitchen counters, floors, appliances or spots of black mold growth in the attic, bleach is frequently used in these instances. However, it may not be quite as effective as some people believe. Bleach does in fact kill bacteria and viruses, but its effectiveness when treating mold is limited.
It’s Mostly Water
You might be surprised to learn that bleach is 99% water; therefore, using it to treat mold often has the opposite effect by encouraging the growth of mold. If large amounts of bleach is used in poorly ventilated attics or other areas of mold growth, the excess water will linger behind, allowing spores to continue growing.
Most instances of mold occur on hardwood surfaces, which are incredibly porous. When bleach is used on hardwood, it settles deep inside the pores where the moisture encourage the growth of mold.
Most people are fully aware that beach can cause serious burns when exposed to the skin or eyes, but the real danger this chemical poses comes from its off gases. When bleach is used in the attic, certain gases can build up to create a plum of toxic vapor. Anyone who then enters the attic is placed at risk for exposure. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to become ill after using bleach in the attic, but it certainly increases your risk of toxicity due to the off gases it creates.
It’s Not Recommended By The EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not recommend the use of bleach to treat mold.
“The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present),” states the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) official website.
If the EPA advises consumers not to use a particular chemical, it’s usually a good idea to heed their advice.
So, How Should I Treat Mold?
The Attic Guys use PureGreen24 to treat mold. You can read more about this safe and effective product here, but the bottom line is that PureGreen 24 is one of the industry’s best products for treating mold. Unlike bleach, it’s able to penetrate through porous surfaces without creating a toxic plum of off gases.