Mold containment (C) Daniel Friedman

Don't Rely on Bleach for Mold Remediation
Mold Remediation Mistakes to Avoid

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Mold cleanup job mistakes: cross contamination. Here we explain how as relying on bleach to kill mold is by itself an unreliable mold remediation procedure that is not recommended. The proper objectives of an effective mold remediation job are to remove moldy materials that can't be cleaned and to clean surfaces that can be cleaned. .

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USING BLEACH - Bleach as a "Mold Medicine" to try to kill mold or prevent mold in buildings

Mold under wallpaper (C) Daniel FriedmanBleach, diluted bleach, or bleach sprays used in cleaning may be appealing but they are unnecessary, potentially dangerous (if you get bleach in your eyes), and the use of bleach tends to lead to improper and inadequate cleaning - if you substitute "spraying bleach" for actually cleaning or removing the mold your cleanup will not be successful.

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Leaks at the window (photo at left) led to mold growth behind wallpaper as well as in the wall cavity. Surface cleaning of the wall was ineffective and occupant complaints continued in this building.

The object of mold remediation is to clean, or remove, the majority of the mold particles (spores, conidiophores, hyphae, mycelia) from the target surface. The operative word to fix in mind is to "clean" or "remove" the problem mold.


"Killing" the mold is not the object Bleached Stachybotrys spores (C) Daniel Friedman

  1. first of all because our lab work shows that you're unlikely to kill all of the mold on a surface using bleach, unless you use it at a concentration and duration which is so strong that you're likely to completely destroy the "bleached" material, and
  2. second of all because even if you could "kill" every mold spore, you are at risk of leaving toxic or allergenic particles in place - they may be dead but still toxic.

Our photo (left) shows nice healthy black Stachybotrys chartarum spores collected from a "mold-killing bleach" treated surface in a building.

Finally, "mold removal" only works if you're cleaning a relatively hard, non-porous surface such as finished wood, painted metal, or plastic.

Soft materials like Sheetrock™ or drywall which have become moldy generally should be removed, the exposed surfaces cleaned, and then new drywall can be installed (after you've also corrected the reason for the mold growth in the first place).

Spraying anything if spraying of fungicides or sealants is to be used in place of actual cleaning or removal of mold is an improper and inadequate practice which risks leaving a reservoir of toxic or allergenic particles in the building.

Or see MOLD CLEANUP with BLEACH for details about using bleach to clean up or treat moldy surfaces.


Continue reading at RELYING on BLEACH on MOLDor select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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MOLD CLEANUP AREA CROSS CONTAMINATION at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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