Mold in your home can be an unsightly and smelly problem. It may appear in a variety of colors including black, brown, yellow, green, and pink. Some mold will appear as a film on the surface, while others will be fuzzy growths. Mold thrives in dark, damp, and low air circulation areas of the home.
Aside from looking bad, exposure to mold can cause several health problems including allergies, asthma, and irritation of your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs.
Typically, when people see mold in their home the first thing they reach for is a bottle of bleach. Bleach can be appropriate for treating mold on non-porous surfaces such as a shower or bathtub.
However, bleach should never be used to kill the fungus on porous surfaces such as drywall, concrete block, and wood. When porous materials have mold on them the fungus cannot be properly killed with regular household cleaners. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have all changed their stance on using bleach to treat mold and now classify it as a hazardous chemical. These organizations advise against using the chemical for mold remediation.
Inefficiencies of Bleach on Mold
Mold on porous surfaces is like an iceberg, you are only seeing part of the problem. If you start to see patches of mold on the surface of drywall, wood, concrete, or other areas in your home there is a high probability that the issue runs deep. If you find mold on these surfaces in your home their spores have already infiltrated your porous surfaces. Meaning if you treat the mold with bleach it may appear on the surface that the situation is resolved, but in fact the mold spores are growing under the surface.
Since bleach is about 90 percent water you are actually adding to your current mold issue if you use the chemical to treat the mold. The water in the bleach saturates the spores and promotes growth.
The Many Dangers of Bleach
In addition to be ineffective in treating mold bleach can be hazardous. Mixing bleach with other cleaners such as vinegar, window cleaners, or dish soap can cause a chemical reaction. This reaction may release vapors into your home’s air that could cause harm to you or your family. Bleach is known to cause irritation and potential damage to the skin, lungs, and eyes.
Finally, bleach used on porous materials such as wood or drywall can break down fibers and weaken the integrity of those materials in your home.
Non-Bleach Mold Remedies
Anti-Microbial and Anti-Fungal washes are best when cleaning mold around the house. Mold is a fungus that cannot be killed with regular antibacterial household cleaners. Yet all of the agents are not created equal. They vary in effectiveness and timeframe for use. Some you have to let sit on mold for over 30 minutes to be effective!
If you have mold in your home it is important to get it treated quickly and properly. You should contact a professional that is trained in mold remediation. A company that specializes in mold remediation will also provide recommendation on preventing future mold growth, controlling moisture in your homes, and improving the overall indoor air quality in your house.
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