Harsh winters cause a lot of damage to residential and commercial buildings, and those damages can be worsened if mold is allowed to grow. This is why it is important to identify vulnerable spots on your building and inspect these areas whenever inclement weather poses a threat to the water resistance of your structure.
The seals around skylights or any rooftop interruptions can always be compromised. Especially if snow is allowed to rest on the seams for too long, they can become brittle and leak. Today’s skylights are not the leaking monsters of 30 years ago, but they are still opportunities for water entry, so they must be checked.
If a deep snow occurs, and your rooftop is not cleared, snow may render your flashing useless, and it may even hold in some of the water. Flashing around chimneys or walls should be checked, and snow removal should be considered if there is a deep snow.
If you aren’t walking around your building or home a few times a year and checking the foundation, you could be in for an undesirable surprise when the wet weather starts. Check for cracks or any areas where water could get in, or you’ll have mold later.
When it comes to basement windows, there are two common possibilities for water damage and entry into the edifice. One is drainage, and the other is the window seal. If snow covers the windows, you have to make sure all of the seals are in working order, and make sure the window mounting is secure. If the window is in a well, then you have to make sure the well has proper drainage or that there is enough an overhang from the roof that water won’t get it.
Below grade doors are similar to basement windows as far as water damage goes, but proper draining of a stair well will likely involve actual drains or gutters directing water away from the area. Make sure these items are clear prior to any weather starting, so you can depend on them working properly.
Winter is not as much of a mold risk as it is a moisture risk, which will lead to mold if left undetected for too long in the warmth of the indoors. These areas may seem fairly apparent, but even if one is a surprise, then it was worth listing them here today. It isn’t what you know but rather what you don’t know or don’t think of that increases your risk for mold.