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Why Spraying Bleach Does Not Get Rid of Mold: A Guide for Realtors and Homeowners

Why Spraying Bleach Does Not Get Rid of Mold: A Guide for Realtors and Homeowners

Mold can be a significant concern for both homeowners and realtors. It can affect property values, indoor air quality, and the overall health of occupants. A common misconception is that spraying bleach can effectively eliminate mold. However, according to the IICRC S500 guidelines, this method is not sufficient for proper mold remediation. At Water Extraction Experts, we want to provide you with accurate information and practical advice on handling mold safely and effectively.

Understanding Mold and Its Risks

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in moist, warm environments. It can grow on various surfaces, including wood, drywall, and carpet. While some mold is visible, other types can hide behind walls, under floors, and in HVAC systems. Mold can cause health issues, especially for individuals with allergies, asthma, or compromised immune systems.

Why Bleach Is Not the Solution

Using bleach to treat mold is a common practice, but it’s not the most effective method. Here’s why:

1. Surface-Level Treatment Bleach can kill mold on non-porous surfaces, like tile or glass, but it doesn’t penetrate porous materials, such as wood or drywall. Mold roots (hyphae) can grow deep into these materials, and surface treatment alone won’t eliminate them.

2. Temporary Solution Bleach might give the appearance of mold removal by whitening the mold stains, but it doesn’t address the underlying issue. Mold can quickly return if the moisture problem isn’t resolved.

3. Potential Health Risks Bleach is a harsh chemical that can produce harmful fumes. Using bleach in poorly ventilated areas can pose health risks, particularly for people with respiratory conditions.

IICRC S500 Guidelines for Mold Remediation

The IICRC S500 guidelines are the industry standard for water damage restoration and mold remediation. These guidelines emphasize a comprehensive approach to mold removal, including:

1. Identify and Eliminate Moisture Sources

  • Find and fix the source of moisture that is causing mold growth, whether it’s a leak, high humidity, or water intrusion.
  • Use dehumidifiers and proper ventilation to maintain low humidity levels.

2. Contain and Remove Mold Contamination

  • Contain the affected area to prevent the spread of mold spores during cleanup.
  • Use HEPA vacuuming and air filtration to capture airborne mold spores.
  • Remove and dispose of mold-contaminated materials that cannot be adequately cleaned.

3. Clean and Sanitize Affected Areas

  • Clean and sanitize non-porous surfaces with appropriate antimicrobial solutions.
  • For porous materials, consider professional remediation to ensure thorough mold removal.

4. Dry and Restore

  • Ensure all areas are thoroughly dried to prevent mold from returning.
  • Restore and repair any damaged materials and structures.

Practical Steps for Realtors and Homeowners

As realtors and homeowners, understanding and applying proper mold remediation practices can protect your property and health. Here are some practical steps:

1. Regular Inspections

  • Conduct regular inspections for signs of water damage and mold, especially in areas prone to moisture, such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

2. Prompt Repairs

  • Address leaks, water damage, and humidity issues promptly to prevent mold growth.
  • Ensure that any water damage restoration follows the IICRC S500 guidelines.

3. Professional Assistance

  • When mold is detected, consider hiring a professional mold remediation company. Professionals have the tools, knowledge, and experience to handle mold safely and effectively.
  • Ensure that the remediation process includes moisture control and thorough cleaning, as recommended by the IICRC S500 guidelines.


Spraying bleach may seem like a quick fix for mold, but it doesn’t address the root cause or provide a long-term solution. By following the IICRC S500 guidelines and taking a comprehensive approach to mold remediation, you can protect your property and health. At Water Extraction Experts, we’re here to help you with professional mold remediation services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in maintaining a mold-free home.


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