5 Things to Know about Cleaning a Flooded Home with Bleach

Posted on Apr 10 2018 - 9:52am

entrance of a house fully floodedHomeowners often reach for bleach after a water damage incident. However, while bleach is convenient, its use has several drawbacks. Here are five things to know if you’re considering using bleach to clean a flood-damaged building.

Bleach has limited effectiveness

Bleach is not a preferred cleaner, disinfectant, or mold remover. Professionals who offer water damage restoration services in British Columbia, such as High Tech Professional Cleaning, recommend non-sudsing cleaners for flood clean-up. Detergents and laundry soaps are also better choices than bleach.

While you can use laundry bleach as a disinfectant, your preferred choice should be a commercial disinfectant or sanitizer. Also, use laundry bleach to manage mold only if you don’t have access to commercial mildew removers or even washing soda.

Choose your bleach wisely

Liquid chlorine bleach can perform several clean-up jobs. However, check the active ingredient in your bleach and choose one that contains sodium hypochlorite. Avoid dry bleach and don’t use any that doesn’t have chlorine.

Beware of toxic fumes when using bleach

Bleach use has been associated with exposure to toxic fumes. Don’t use bleach without reading and understanding the safety instructions on its label first. Also, never add bleach to ammonia or other chemicals. Similarly, don’t clean linoleum or aluminum with bleach.

Bleach water can corrode

If you use bleach, make sure bleach water doesn’t come into contact with your electrical components or any metallic part of a mechanical system. The water can encourage corrosion of these parts.

Bleach water can adversely impact termite control

Bleach water can compromise the effectiveness of your termite treatments. Make sure this water doesn’t come into contact with the soil around where you’ve placed the treatments.

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It’s tempting to reach for bleach every time you want to clean a water-damaged home. However, remember that many types of bleach are not effective cleaners, disinfectants, or mildew removers. Also, bleach use can expose you to poisonous gases if you mix it with other cleaning products.