According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes the surface of the earth one hundred million times per day. Each lightning strike contains enough electricity to power a 100-Watt light bulb for three months.
Since lightning strikes are a common phenomenon, there is a possibility that lightning can strike your house at one point or another. As local Pittsburgh roofers, we have seen our fair share of lightning strikes on all kinds of homes and commercial buildings.
What Happens When Lightning Strikes Your House?
Lightning is a common occurrence during summer and is often seen flashing between storm clouds and the earth. When lightning strikes your house, it will typically hit the highest point of the building or electric and phone lines and find the closest path to the ground through conductive materials.
As the lightning completes its path between the cloud and the ground via the conductive materials in your home, a power surge will flow through the conductors, which can cause damage to electronic equipment and the surrounding structure. In some cases, the heat of the power surge can set insulating materials on fire.
If you smell smoke after a lightning strike occurred but don’t see any fire, there is a possibility that there may be materials smoldering inside the walls or roof.
How Do You Know If Lightning Struck Your House?
If you are home during the strike, you will, in all likelihood, know immediately that your house has been struck. Your power will go out, you may hear an underlying humming or hissing sound afterward, or you may smell smoke.
After becoming aware that lightning struck your home, the first thing you should do is to check for roof damage and fire. Then, make sure that your circuit breakers, light switches, landline phones, and electronic systems are in a working condition.
If you believe you have a damage, it best to call a roofing company and schedule a roof inspection.
Typical Lightning Damage
Electronic damage is a common result of a direct or indirect lightning strike. A power surge that flows through your computer, sound system, or appliance’s wiring can have a devastating effect.
Lightning can damage a roof in several ways. The shock and pressure of a blast can damage chimneys, sending bricks flying which can damage your roof shingles. It can also break almost any kind of roofing material from slate to asphalt! Typically a complete roof replacement is required.
The heat from a surge flowing through conductive materials such as metal gutters, electrical wiring, and metal rods can set thatching, surrounding wood structures, and insulating materials on fire.
Taking Care of Roof Damage
Prevention is better than finding a cure. There are several roof lightning protection measures that you can take to ensure that a lightning strike’s path does not damage your roof or electronics. These steps are especially crucial in metal roof lightning protection.
Installing a roof lightning rod that is connected to the ground can bypass all the conductive materials in your home, keeping them safe. Also, whenever there is an electrical storm, make sure that you unplug any devices that can be susceptible to damage.
If lightning damaged your roof, you need roof lightning repair services immediately to prevent additional damage. Gotcha Covered Contracting offers high-end roof repair services to people who suffered roof damage from lightning.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote, call (724) 581- 8147!