If you’ve ever run across mold in your home, you probably did what most of us do: Googled how to get rid of it. Most of us go to the internet to search for the best way to tackle home projects that we’re not familiar with. However, not everything that gets published on the internet is true. For example, if you’ve seen tips online that tell you to use bleach and a scrub brush to remove mold, that’s misinformation.
When you have mold in your home, time is of the essence. Not only does mold reproduce and spread quickly, but it doesn’t take long for you and your family to notice the health impacts of having mold growing in your home.
Obviously, there is no way to clear up all the misinformation surrounding mold and mold removal that's floating around on the internet. However, you must understand what doesn't work and why you shouldn't do it. One such example is using bleach to remove mold in your home. No matter what you've read online, you cannot get mold out of your sheetrock with bleach. Not only does it not work, but there are several reasons that you should not even attempt it.
Why Doesn’t Bleach Remove Mold?
To understand why bleach doesn't remove mold, we need to really understand what mold requires to thrive. Mold is a living organism, meaning that it reproduces and grows. Additionally, it requires a food source. When you combine those three factors, you can gain a better understanding of why bleach doesn't actually kill mold.
One of the most important factors contributing to mold in your home is moisture. Whether it is a busted waterline behind the wall, flood damage, or a closed-off area in your home that receives no ventilation but has high humidity, moisture in any form creates a perfect breeding ground for mold. Yes, if you mix a solution with bleach and water and use a scrub brush to scrub the mold off your drywall, the stained areas may disappear. In that sense, you have gotten rid of some of the mold in your home. However, this is a case of treating the symptom and not the root of the illness.
Since mold requires moisture, putting bleach on a molded piece of sheetrock and wiping some of the mold off does nothing to treat what's causing the mold to grow. Additionally, bleach is a very fast drying substance. That means that while it may be working on the surface of the sheetrock, you're not doing anything to clean the mold inside the sheetrock. The mold that you can see is likely a small portion of the mold that is present in your home. This simply means that bleach doesn't work to clean mold.
What you may not have known is that it’s actually a bad idea to use bleach to try to remove mold. Why is that? Keep reading to discover more about this potentially dangerous myth.
Why Using Bleach to Remove Mold is a Bad Idea
You probably know that mold can threaten the structural integrity of your home. You may not know that the bleach you want to use to clean that mold can do the same thing. Chlorine bleach, which is the most common type of bleach in stores, is actually very harmful to wood. This means that even if you manage to thoroughly soak a piece of sheetrock with bleach in an effort to kill mold, you may be damaging the wood that serves as the framework of your home!
It's also worth noting that bleach itself is a toxic substance. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use bleach when you’re washing your laundry, as you only use a small amount of it. However, if you’re trying to tackle a widespread mold problem in your home with bleach, you’re actually using a toxic substance to try to remove a toxic substance. When you and your family breathe in the fumes produced by bleach, you may notice a host of problems ranging from headaches to respiratory issues.
Since we're debunking some of the myths found online involving bleach and mold removal, it's also important to understand that you should certainly ignore websites that encourage you to mix bleach with other cleaners. Most household cleaners have ammonia in them. When you mix bleach with ammonia, you create a chemical reaction that can be incredibly dangerous. Chloramines, the term used to describe the gasses produced by mixing bleach and ammonia are considered a toxic gas that can cause a range of problems, including chest pains and nausea.
Using bleach on the surface of your drywall does nothing to remedy the mold spores that are growing inside. What you may not know is that this gives those spores an opportunity to grow stronger and reproduce even more. When you scrub the outer layer of the sheetrock in your home with bleach, you may assume that you've remedied the problem, meaning that you won't give it another thought. After all, out of sight, out of mind, right? Not quite. Since the mold inside your sheetrock is still there, it will continue to grow stronger and reproduce. Then, the spores that are the product of that reproduction will reproduce, too. This means that using bleach on your sheetrock actually allows mold to become an even bigger problem in your home.
Ultimately, it's just not safe to use bleach to remove mold in your home, especially if you have a widespread issue. Not only can bleach harm your lungs when you breathe in the fumes for an extended period of time, but it can also damage your skin.
What Should You Do
Now that you’ve realized that using bleach to remove mold from your sheetrock is a bad idea, it’s important that you understand what you should do if you find mold in your home.
First of all, it's a good idea to trust mold remediation to a professional. At the end of the day, unless you have specialized training in mold remediation, there is no way for you to safely remove mold from your home. Professionally licensed mold remediators know how to remove affected materials from your home without doing anything to make the spores spread. Additionally, many local municipalities have disposal requirements that dictate how to dispose of moldy materials. If you don't know what you're doing with pieces of sheetrock that are riddled with mold, you may end up violating local laws.
Once the impacted pieces of sheetrock are removed from your home, you need to figure out why the mold is forming. If you don't, your new sheetrock could be in just as much danger. If there's a plumbing leak, make sure the problem is fixed. If you have faulty floor drains in a low-lying area of your home, get them fixed. If the humidity levels in your home are too high, contact an HVAC company about installing a dehumidification system. Until you kill the source, you will also be in danger of the mold returning.
Finally, you can install different types of drywall that are mold resistant. For example, EnduraFlood produces a waterproof type of drywall. Since EnduraFlood drywall is waterproof, mold cannot attach to it as a food source. This is a great way to protect your home, yourself, and your family from the harmful effects of mold.