Mold: Before You Reach for the Bleach...
Posted by Jamie on Thursday, September 25, 2008

On Sunday, I was watching football on television and checking out the Ryder Cup during the commercials. The golf was incredible, and I sent a text message to a friend to see if he was watching the US beat the Europeans. He texted me back saying that he could not watch golf because he was cleaning up mold in his house. They exact text message read: “No golf. Mold!” He moved into his house less than a year ago. The mold problem reared its ugly head sometime this summer. Mold is a powerful and pervasive allergen that can be inhaled in the form of airborne spores. Ironically, removing mold and mildew involves harsh chemicals that cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma attacks. Because our company carries mold cleaners, I called him later that day and asked him some questions about what he was using to clean up the mold and mold stains. My friend said that he was using bleach. To our staff, using bleach is a poor (and somewhat dangerous) choice to fight mold and to control mold’s affects in the home.

The war against mold involves two fronts. Initially, you must determine your moisture problem. Mold can ONLY flourish in damp areas. You need to dry out the area or room where the mold is present. For this job, a dehumidifier works very well. Plus, it works to ensure that the damp area stays dry. Secondly, the mold has to be removed with a cleaner. The mold may leave stains, but more importantly, you must remove the spores. On drywall, you can replace the damaged piece or you can clean the mold and apply paint. If you take care of your water problem and clean the area thoroughly, you should not have a reoccurrence of mold.

More than 80% of allergy sufferers are sensitive to mold spores. Because mold causes sneezing, chronic cough, runny nose, congestion, itchy and watery eyes, rashes, sinus headaches, and respiratory problems, cleaning up the mold in your home is a health and safety issue. Most household cleaning products are composed of chlorine bleach; yet bleach is one of the most dangerous substances to use when cleaning your home. You must be careful not to mix the bleach with anything other than water. The wrong mixture of bleach with an acid causes chlorine gas to be produced which is very dangerous. Also, any combination of chlorine bleach and ammonia can be explosive, if not fatal.

Often, bleach cleaners fail to remove the mold spores. Because bleach whitens, you could be fooled into thinking you have removed the mold when in reality you have simply whitened it. To clean the area, remove the mold, and protect the surface is a two step process. Clean the area and remove the mold with Vital Oxide. Vital Oxide is a safe and effective solution for mold removal, odor control, green cleaning, and broad spectrum disinfection. To seal and protect the area after cleaning, we recommend M-1 Sure Cote Mold and Mildew Resistant Sealant or AllerMold. M-1 Sure Cote is a clear, non-yellowing, non-toxic, and odorless mildew resistant coating. The compound protects any surface exposed to moisture, high humidity, and weather. It instantly eliminates musty odors. AllerMold is a safe non-toxic agent which inhibits the growth of mold. If applied every two months, AllerMold can help prevent the recurrence of mold in your home. So, the next time you need to remove mold in your house, please think twice before quickly reaching for the bleach. There are more effective and safer alternatives available.

On 10/2/2008 michaelm wrote:
I take issue with only one minor thing about bleach and mold, Bleach actually puts mold spores into a dormant state. leaving them to resurface later after repairs and clean up are done, the mold spores are still there. This is the main reason bleach does not work on mold, the whitening is a side effect.
On 10/6/2008 Cade wrote:
Michael, <br>Thanks for you comment. You are correct. That is one reason why we recommend removing or cleaning mold with Vital Oxide or ne of our other products. Thanks again and keep the comments coming.
On 11/11/2008 patty wrote:
Does the amount of time that the bleach penetrates an object affect the results?<br>Also, isn't bleach an irritant to the skin, eyes and airways/mucous membranes? I notice that when I wash trays in 30% bleach, my eyes get red and dry, and my face feels burned. I also get short of breath. Does Vital Oxide do the same? And, does bleach do that because I use hot water bleach from the steam into the air...
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