Oxidation involves the loss of electrons in a chemical reaction, which changes the structure of a residue to render it more easily removed. Regarding mold removal, the loss of electrons normally ensues with the gain of an oxygen by the oxidized residue, and the corresponding gain of an electron from the residue by the reduction of the oxidizing agent in the detergent that loses the oxygen. This means organic residues can be more easily extracted via oxidation.
Oxidation & Mold Remediation
Oxidation breaks down double bonds in biological and organic residues, making them more water soluble and easier to remove. Alcohol groups being the byproduct will typically render a molecule more polar, and therefore, more water soluble. Additionally, the double bonds that were converted to alcohols can further be broken and oxidized to separate pieces such as ketones and aldehydes. These compounds are smaller and more water soluble than the original residue.
Chlorine bleach is a water-based solution with sodium hypochlorite being the active ingredient. Bleach obscures stains on fabrics and non-porous surfaces by oxidizing and dissipating double bond networks between the carbon atoms causing discoloration. This action does not completely neutralize and break down the matter creating the stain but simply obfuscates light absorption by breaking the bonds that make it visible to the human eye. Applying chlorine bleach to mold contamination kills active growth on non-porous surfaces and lightens staining caused mold, which makes it appear to be eradicated.
Although bleach is an effective mold cleaning agent when applied to non-porous surfaces, the chlorine is unable to penetrate porous substances such as wood, leaving dangerous chemicals on treated surfaces that give rise to harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Additionally, being water based, chlorine bleach ultimately saturates the substrate and provides moisture to support subsequent microbial activity. Using bleach for mold removal can halt actively growing mold colonies, however the mycotoxin laden spores remain.
Chlorine dioxide is a chlorine-based oxidizing agent that is somewhat like the well-known sodium hypochlorite, or standard chlorine bleach. Under normal temperature and pressure, chlorine dioxide resides in an unstable and dangerous gaseous state. For this reason, chlorine dioxide is generated in water solution by a salt known as sodium chlorite.
Chlorine dioxide, however, has significant advantages over chlorine bleach. This EPA-registered broad-spectrum disinfectant has been proven successful in mold remediation applications. This effective oxidizing agent helps eliminates odors and diminishes stains, without the dangerous byproducts produced by bleach.
Susceptible to degradation, chlorine dioxide can become volatile if exposed to sunlight and may produce toxic chlorine gas under certain circumstances. Stability concerns require careful handling and storage of chlorine dioxide to limit liability. Furthermore, chlorine dioxide has no bacteriostatic or fungistatic properties, potentially allowing mold contamination to become established once again during extensive mold remediation projects.
Another oxidizing agent, Hydrogen peroxide, is widely familiar as a commonly used antiseptic solution. For the purposes of mold remediation, the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide is significantly higher than when used as an antiseptic to treat minor injuries.
This EPA-registered broad-spectrum disinfectant is an effective antimicrobial that produces no environmentally objectionable byproducts. Hydrogen peroxide efficiently removes mold as well as the accompanying odors and stains but does not produce hazardous gases if contaminated.
The oxidizing function when cleaning mold with hydrogen peroxide works similarly to chlorine bleach in killing microbes and eliminating stains, but without leaving toxic residues behind that can pollute the air in your home. The byproducts of mold remediation using hydrogen peroxide are water and oxygen.
Solutions of hydrogen peroxide are not stable in sunlight, making careful handling and storage important. If contaminated, the container can undergo rapid pressurization that may cause it to burst. Hydrogen peroxide has no bacteriostatic or fungistatic properties and is stable only under acidic conditions, which can damage surfaces susceptible to acid etching.
Amateur Mold Cleaning
Minor mold contamination is easy wiped away with over-the-counter cleaning products yet mold often returns quickly. Disinfectant sprays and bleach solutions are not effective mold remediation techniques. Consumer disinfectants that boast antimicrobial in many cases will exacerbate a mold contamination problem.
Mold Remediation by Property Recovery 911
Our mold remediation technicians are supplied with state-of-the-art equipment, trained in the latest techniques, and certified by the most respected educational curriculums available today. We start by identifying the cause and extent of the problem. Once the source is diagnosed and eliminated, the mold damage is eradicated, and we restore the area to normal conditions. Contact Property Recovery 911 at (267) 808-7200 for prompt and professional mold inspection, testing and restoration services.