We performed chlorination experiments to understand the impact of hypochlorite exposure on both cation exchange membranes (CEMs) and anion exchange membranes (AEMs) regarding their properties and performance in a reverse electrodialysis (RED) stack. Changes in membrane morphology, surface elemental composition and chemical bounding suggested the chlorine incorporation in the form of C-Cl bonds and side-chain cleavage of –SO3- or –NR3+ containing molecular fractions. These observations were further supported by observed increases in hydrophobicity and decreases in fixed charged groups of the membranes, respectively. Compared to CEMs, AEMs were less chlorine resistant such that the development of more extensive cracks in the membrane structure further increased water content and dramatically decreased membrane conductivity. The performance of both chlorinated CEMs and AEMs were tested in an RED stack and the results showed the reduced RED power density was largely attributed to the deteriorated electrical properties of AEMs.