Can I Use Bleach For Attic Mold Removal?
While conventional wisdom (and many official sources) suggest you can DIY attic mold removal using household cleaners like bleach, the MoldTech team has been trying to change this yes/no question to a more “it depends” answer for decades. While mold in the attic is a scary discovery, rushing up there with your bottle of bleach to get rid of it isn’t an approach that’s likely to get you long-term results. Keep reading our article to learn more about what MoldTech thinks about bleach — and where and when it might be appropriate to use it.
Is Bleach Harmful?
You can find a bottle of bleach in almost every home — but that doesn’t mean it’s safe or that people know how to use it safely. The primary active ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite, a form of liquid chlorine. If accidentally combined with an acid, bleach can form chlorine gas, a dangerous and life-threatening gas that can cause irritation and damage to the eyes, nose, and lungs.
With all this scary-sounding information, why do we use bleach at home? Bleach is a quick and effective disinfectant that kills many microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The bleach found at the hardware or grocery store has been diluted and is less dangerous than its industrial counterpart, but it still requires protective equipment and caution during use.
How to Use Bleach Safely
Bleach can be used safely. At MoldTech, we recommend using the following protective equipment when using household bleach:
- A face mask
- Rubber gloves
- Long-sleeved shirt and trousers
Be mindful of mixing chemicals — for example; many drain cleaners contain acids that could create chlorine gas.
The Problem With Using Bleach for Attic Mold Removal
If bleach is such a great disinfectant, why does MoldTech not use it for mold in the attic? There are a few answers to this question. Bleach is great to use in cleaning rooms like the bathroom, where there are a lot of non-porous surfaces like the bathtub or tiles. But bleach evaporates quickly, making it much less effective on the types of porous and soft materials that mold grows on.
Additionally, bleach generally only affects surface mold growth, leaving the roots behind to re-grow. One way to think of it is like mowing your lawn to get rid of dandelions — it may remove the stalk, but a new shoot will re-grow in a few days.
So what do we use? At MoldTech, we use a non-toxic bio-agent developed primarily for safe, effective mold removal. It kills the entire mold organism to prevent re-growth and leaves no harmful residues or off-gasses. Professional attic mold removal also involves further safety precautions to avoid cross-contamination, using safe containment and air purifying technologies to eliminate all risks. If you have questions about attic mold that need to be answered, reach out to MoldTech to learn more today.