Does Bleach Kill Mold?
Bleach is probably the most well known mold killer. In fact many commercial mold killing products contain bleach.
Does Bleach Kill Mold
Bleach kills bacteria and viruses and sanitizes the surfaces it's used on. Bleach also kills mold if it comes into contact with it. The spores and allergens from mold are neutralized as well.
Bleach will kill mold growing on non-porous surfaces like glass, tiles, bathtubs and counter tops. However bleach cannot completely kill mold growing in non-porous materials like drywall and wood. Bleach does not penetrate into these non-porous substances and so only the mold growing above the surface is killed.
Should You Use Bleach to Kill Mold?
The EPA does not recommend you use bleach for killing and removing mold. Bleach is a chemical, and it is better to use natural mold killing products instead. Some good alternative mold killing products are borax and vinegar. Bleach also loses its power with time. Even if bleach is not opened, in 90 days it loses 50% of its killing effectiveness.
Another disadvantage is that bleach is corrosive. Bleach deteriorates materials and the fibers of porous substances. The gas from bleach can even damage your lungs. If bleach touches your skin it can also give you chemical burns.
There is also concern about whether bleach leaves dioxins. Dioxins are highly toxic and carcinogenic substances. They are also teratogenic and animal tests have shown dioxins can cause birth defects.
Bleach can create dioxins in processes like bleaching of wood pulp. Fortunately though, studies have found that bleach cannot form dioxins when it's just used for household cleaning. The materials which are needed for bleach to form dioxins are not usually present when cleaning the home.
Bleach is ineffective at killing mold on many materials, including carpet and upholstery. Bleach won't kill mold on dirty, metallic or porous substances either.
PLEASE CALL SERVPRO of East Honolulu 808-395-9545 IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING MOLD PROBLEM IN YOUR AREA
Hiring a Professional for Mold Removal
If the size of the mold growth in your home is greater than 10 square feet (about 3 feet x 3 feet) the EPA says you should hire a professional mold removal service - SERVPRO of East Honolulu 808-395-9545
Even if the area of mold growth is smaller it's still best to hire a professional. This way you can be certain that the mold will be completely removed without contaminating the rest of your home. Hiring a professional will also ensure that the mold will not come back and that your symptoms will disappear.
A mold professional can also inspect and test for mold in your entire home. This way you can be sure that all mold growth will be found and removed, even if it is hidden.
If you have toxic mold in your home then it's important to hire a professional, even if the mold growth is small. If toxic mold is not removed in the right way it can spread dangerous mycotoxins throughout your home.
How to Prevent Mold
The key to mold growth is moisture. Mold can grow on a food source in 24 to 48 hours if the material remains wet. So the best way to prevent mold is by keeping your home dry.
- Inspecting Your Home For Water Leaks
Check your home for any water leaks. Especially look for leaks in water pipes in hidden areas such as in the basement or below the sink. If you find a water leak, you should fix it as soon as possible.
- Ventilate Your Home to Prevent Mold
Exhaust fans help to reduce moisture in areas where water is often used such as the bathroom and kitchen. You can also open the windows for a while when the weather is dry. Outdoor air might bring in moisture when it is raining or during the night, however, so it's a good idea to shut your windows during these times.
- Minimizing Humidity Helps Prevent Mold
It also helps to check the moisture level of your home. The ideal humidity level is between 30% and 50%. A humidity level of 60% or higher can put your home at risk of mold growth.
Decrease the number of things stored in places like the basement. These materials can grow mold, especially if they are made of paper or fabric. Consider throwing away furniture, papers, clothes, and other items if they haven't been used in the last two years. A lot of the time these stored materials are in a bad condition anyway because of their age, so there is often no point in keeping them inside and risking mold.
Indoor plants in pots of soil can also lead to mold. The soil can provide mold with the moisture and nutrients it needs to grow.
- Maintain Air Conditioners
Properly maintaining air conditioners helps reduce the moisture in a home. Air conditioner drip pans should be cleaned regularly. The drain lines should flow unobstructed.
- How to Prevent Mold in the Basement and Storage Areas
Avoid cluttering the basement and other storage areas. Less clutter can increase the air circulation in these areas. If possible, throw out old or damaged materials to create more space. It's also best to keep mainly washable items in the basement, since these can easily be kept clean.
During warm months, install a dehumidifier to make sure the humidity stays relatively low. Replace furnace filters regularly. The basement floor drain should also be regularly cleaned using bleach and water.
- How to Prevent Mold in the Bathroom
Turn on the exhaust fan when you take a bath or shower. Let it continue to run for a few minutes afterwards as well. You should also check the exhaust fan regularly to make sure it is exhausting the air out of the bathroom properly.
If you don't have an exhaust fan then open the windows instead while you bath or shower. Inspect the bathroom for any water leaks too. And wipe dry any surfaces that often get wet.
- How to Prevent Mold in the Kitchen
Make sure the stove exhaust fan works properly and removes steam from the kitchen. Keep the lid on pots that are boiling, if possible, to prevent the kitchen becoming steamy. You should also clean and dry the drip pan of the refrigerator regularly. Make sure to empty the garbage every day and look out for any leaks around the sink.
- How to Prevent Mold in Bedrooms
You spend much of your life in your bedroom so it's important that you keep it mold free. Make sure to keep your bedroom clean and tidy. If possible, discard any clothes, papers and other things that you no longer use. You can also install a dehumidifier in bedrooms to help prevent mold growing from humidity.
Things You Should Know About Mold
What are ten things I need to know about mold?
- The key to mold control is moisture control.
- If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.
- It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
Call SERVPRO of East Honolulu 808-395-9545 for any questions or concerns about mold in your home/business
Cleaning up after a flood
When your house floods, the water can wreak havoc on the structure of the house, your personal belongings, and the health of the inside environment. Flood waters contain many contaminants and lots of mud. High dollar items can get ruined all at once, even with just an inch of water, for example: carpeting, wallboard, appliances, and furniture. A more severe storm or deeper flood may add damage to even more expensive systems, like: ducts, the heater and air conditioner, roofing, private sewage and well systems, utilities, and the foundation.
After a flood, cleaning up is a long and hard process. Here is a list of common techniques for sanitizing and cleaning flooded items:
- First things first: call your insurance agent. If your insurance covers the damage, your agent will tell you when an adjuster will contact you. List damage and take photos.
CALL SERVPRO OF EAST HONOLULU 808-395-9545. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration.
- Take furniture, rugs, bedding and clothing outside to dry as soon as possible. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to remove moisture or open at least two windows to ventilate with outdoor air. Use fans to circulate air in the house. If mold and mildew have already developed, brush off items outdoors to prevent scattering spores in the house. Vacuum floors, ceilings and walls to remove mildew, then wash with disinfectant. Wear a two-strap protective mask to prevent breathing mold spores.
- Mattresses should be thrown away.
- Upholstered furniture soaks up contaminants from floodwaters and should be cleaned only by a professional.
- Wood veneered furniture is usually not worth the cost and effort of repair.
Solid wood furniture can usually be restored, unless damage is severe.
- Toys and stuffed animals may have to be thrown away if they've been contaminated by floodwaters.
- Photographs, books and important papers can be frozen and cleaned later. They should be dried carefully and slowly. Wash the mud off and store the articles in plastic bags and put them in a frost-free freezer to protect from mildew and further damage until you have time to thaw and clean them or take them to a professional.
You can avoid the hassle of the clean up by calling SERVPRO OF EAST HONOLULU. We will get the job done like it never even happened.
Hurricane Season in Procress
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Pacific hurricane season runs May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes:
- Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
- Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
- Are most active in September.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A HURRICANE WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
- Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
- Evacuate if told to do so.
- Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
- Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
- Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
- Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
- Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
- Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
- Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.
What to do 6-36 hours before a hurricane hits
When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving
- Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
- Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
- Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
- Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving
- Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
- Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
- Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving
- Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
- Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.
When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving
- If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
- Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
- Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
- Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Air Conidition MOLD
General Manager, Lorenzo, testing the air for mold in a Honolulu home and it's surrounding area
Air conditioner mold can spread throughout the house every time you turn your air conditioner on and exposure to mold can lead to numerous health problems, including respiratory disorders and allergic reactions. Air conditioning mold needs to be removed as soon as possible, to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.
The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (AACA) explains that keeping your air conditioning ducts free of dirt and other debris can reduce the likelihood of mold growth by making sure there is no organic matter in the ducts on which mold can feed. Mold also needs water in order to grow and condensation inside air conditioning ducts often provides just enough moisture for mold to thrive. There should not be standing water inside your air conditioning ducts, though, and if there is, you need to have your system serviced by an air condition specialist
You should check your air conditioning ducts for mold if you have mold growing in other areas of your home or if you smell a musty odor in a room but don’t see mold anywhere. If you’re not sure if there is mold in your air conditioning ducts or not, you can have a certified mold tester come in and test for mold. He or she can check for mold in other areas of the home, too, since mold in your air conditioning system is easily spread to other areas of the home when you turn on your air conditioner.
How to Help Prevent Water Damage
It's important to check household appliances regularly. The simple steps below can help you protect your home from the most common causes of water damage:
- First, know where the main water supply is located in case of emergency.
- If you will be away from home for an extended period, shut off the water supply and drain the pipes. If your home is protected by a fire sprinkler system, do not turn off the water to this system.
- Check the drain lines annually and clean them if they are clogged.
- Inspect water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks and dishwashers annually, and have them repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, install water heaters in areas with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.
- Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases, and make repairs as needed.
- If your refrigerator has an ice machine or water dispenser, the hose between the wall and the refrigerator should be made of braided copper, which has greater cracking and corrosion resistance.
- Check pipes for cracks and leaks. Have pipe damage fixed immediately to prevent more costly repairs in the future.
- Check appliance hoses and plumbing fittings for breakage, crimping or bending.
Have smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.
According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 96% of American homes have at least one smoke alarm, no smoke alarms were present or none operated in two out of five (41%) of the reported home fires between 2003-2006. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.