My first instructor, Will Southcombe preached about using bleach on mold as if it were a personal attack on his character. He said the last thing you want to try and kill mold with is bleach. He told me that killing mold with bleach is about like dropping a bowling ball on an ant. It will get the job done, but will cause a lot of damage in the process. He was right.

Common household bleach is a great cleaner, sanitizer, and disinfectant. But it is also corrosive. And it is not to be used with any other cleaners. You cannot mix bleach with other household chemicals. Toxic fumes could result. On a leading manufacturer’s website, they say that bleach “shouldn’t pose problems to your pets, children, or pregnant women. Shouldn’t? Not very comforting.

In 2008, we responded to the damage at Galveston Island (TX) cause by Hurricane Ike. The citizens were kept off the island for a week. And the flood waters from the hurricane surge pushed water inside the houses up to 4 foot high. In a damp, hot climate there was mold everywhere. City officials advised the home and business owners to demo their sheetrock up 4’ from the floor, and then spray bleach on everything inside the wall cavities. And a lot of them did. Electricians rejoiced. The corrosive nature of the bleach ruined the wiring inside the walls causing even more damage. So much for your local officials knowing what to do in an emergency.