The old school of thought regarding the elimination and control of mold on cement was to use chlorine bleach. However, more experts are moving away from this technique, particularly because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Labor advised against its use in 2013. While chlorine bleach is an effective disinfectant and cleaning product, it is best for use with certain types of fabrics and hard, nonporous surfaces. Many bottles state this on the label.
Chlorine bleach is not designed to soak into surfaces. Because it is 90 percent water, the chlorine dries quickly when you apply it on a surface, leaving behind mostly water (mold loves water) and dangerous fumes. Therefore, when you use it on cement with mold or mildew problems, it may eliminate the surface stains, but not the spores that you can’t see. Moreover, chlorine bleach is caustic and can breakdown or weaken cement.
When cleaning mold or mildew from cement surfaces, it is best to use non-chlorine, oxygen bleach-based detergents (like those that start with the word Oxy-) that penetrate the hidden spores within cement.
It is important to note that killing and removing mold is not enough. You must also take steps to prevent its growth by identifying and remedying the cause of the damp environment. Moldy basements, for example, sometimes have moisture problems because of poor landscaping drainage, inadequate ventilation or leaky pipes. To help resolve the issue, you may need to adjust the landscaping grade so water flows away from the building, fix leaks or install a dehumidifier.
Another issue that you may encounter is the failure of moisture barriers, which are supposed to help prevent moisture problems in cement. If this is the case, you may need to replace the moisture barrier.
In addition to preventing mold growth by keeping the area dry, use a few coats of a solvent-based polyurethane acrylic sealer to help prevent water or moisture intrusion and mold growth.
If you have attempted to remove mold from a certain area several times, the spores might be in places that are too deep for detergents to penetrate. If this is the case, you may need to replace the affected concrete.
If the moldy area is greater than 10 square feet, it is best to call a professional power washing service. The experts have access to equipment and powerful eco-safe detergents, and assume the health risks that come with mold cleanup. After the professionals finish killing and removing the mold, you must still remedy the moisture problem and seal the cement.
Scotts’ expert power washers pair their industrial equipment with proprietary biodegradable cleaners that clean and disinfect moldy, damp environments. Our wastewater salvaging techniques effectively remove the spores that we dislodge and kill. Let us handle the mold in your cement so you can safeguard your health and focus on activities that you enjoy. Call Scotts today to learn more.