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We get asking this question many times from customers, "Can I just spray bleach on it?"
Using bleach to take care of mold was once recommended by agencies such as OSHA and the EPA. However, they have since been revised after research revealed that the "do-all, be-all cure" for killing microbial growth, actually had the opposite effect. First, let us take a look at how mold forms to understand why using bleach is not effective.
Mold needs water, food, and typically a warm temperature to grow. This illustrates the first reason to call SERVPRO: if mold is growing, chances are the materials are wet. There has likely been a water loss of some sort, and until it is properly dried, mold will continue to grow.
The chlorine in bleach, due to its ionic composition, cannot penetrate porous surfaces. Porous surfaces include materials such as drywall, ceilings, wood, carpet, and many others. Spraying bleach on the mold will only kill it on the surface. Many people don't know that mold actually has roots called hyphae. These roots will still remain in the porous material and eventually rise to the surface again. Remember that bleach contains both chlorine and water. The chlorine cannot make it below the surface-but the water can. Thus, you are actually replenishing the mold with one of the key things it needs to grow-water! Secondly- it will "bleach" the color, making it appear that the mold is gone. Again, this is only on the surface.
At SERVPRO of Chemung & Schuyler Counties, we use specialized products, designed to travel deep into the porous surfaces to remove mold at its roots. Sometimes we cannot remove the mold from the material and the material must be completely removed from the home for the safety of you and your family. Our technicians are trained to differentiate between what can be safely cleaned and what cannot. In addition, live mold releases spores into the air. The air in your home may need to be treated with specialty equipment to make sure that all spores are removed.