As a homeowner, you have plenty to worry about, so you may have never considered what happens if your roof is struck by lightning. Unfortunately, residential lightning strikes do happen, and they often leave behind significant damage.
The best defense against a lightning strike is preparation. Keep reading to learn how to prepare for lightning and the steps to take following a strike on your home.
If you live in Arizona, Polaris Roofing Systems has your storm damage restorations covered. Whenever you need an honest and experienced roofer in Flagstaff, Parks, or Williams, AZ, call us at (928) 440-9168. We’ll begin with a free inspection and estimate.
Can I Prepare for a Lightning Strike?
Although no one can prevent a lightning strike, you can take specific safety steps if you live in a lightning-prone area. When lightning-producing storms appear, keep the following tips in mind to be prepared and stay safe:
- Wear Shoes. Lightning always follows the path of least resistance, which may include metal reinforcements or moisture in your home’s concrete surfaces. If you’re standing in your garage or basement during a storm, wear shoes to add a protective barrier.
- Unplug electronics. When lightning travels through a home’s electrical system, it causes surges, which can short or destroy electronic devices and even start fires. Unplug your electronics during a storm, and avoid touching any device that is still energized.
- Avoid water. Electricity from a lightning strike may also travel through your home’s water pipes, so avoid running water from faucets and showers.
Of course, these precautions won’t prevent a lightning strike, but they may keep you safer in case of a strike.
Does Metal Roofing Increase My Risk?
Many homeowners with metal roofing on their homes worry about the conductivity and an increased risk of a lightning strike. In reality, a metal roof struck by lightning may actually disperse the energy more safely and prevent severe damage compared to traditional roofing materials.
There’s no need to worry about metal on your roof, including metal gutters. Although metal materials are more conductive and may provide a path for lightning should it strike, they do not necessarily attract lightning to your home.
What Do I Do if My Home Gets Struck by Lightning?
Dealing with the aftermath of a lightning strike is often chaotic. Let’s look at some of the steps to take directly following a lightning strike, so you can keep yourself and your family as safe as possible.
Your first actions following a lightning strike should be to assess the safety of the situation. Do your best to remain calm and answer these questions:
- Are you hurt? Before you do anything else, check yourself for injuries. If you are injured, get out of the home (if you can), call 911, and ask for an ambulance and the fire department.
- Is anyone else injured? If you are not injured, and it’s safe to do so, find out if anyone else in the home is hurt. If possible, remove yourself and everyone else from the house.
- Can you get out safely? There may be many hazards inside your home following a lightning strike, including fires, exposed wires, and structural instability. If possible, go outside, and avoid going back in until the fire department has inspected the home.
- Who is calling 911? It’s always a good idea to have your home checked out by the fire department after a lightning strike, even if you don’t see any signs of fire. Firefighters know what to look for to ensure that your home is safe.
Put your safety and that of the other household members first when dealing with a lightning strike. Everything inside your home is replaceable except the people who live there.
Once you can go back inside your home safely, you’ll want to assess the damage so you can address what you can and contact the proper experts for repairs. Check for the following damages if a lightning strike hits your home:
- Fire Damage: Damage from fires may be widespread or subtle depending on how it burned and where it spread. Be sure to check for fire signs near electrical outlets and in your attic.
- Electrical Damage: You might notice charred lines on your walls where the lightning followed your electrical system. Certain areas of your home’s electric system may no longer work.
- Roof Damage: Lightning strikes often create holes in roofs, from small holes over a single room to large ones that affect the entire structure. Assess any damage to your roof, and have an expert address it as soon as possible.
Call An Experienced Arizona Roofing Company
If your roof gets struck by lightning, find expert help quickly to prevent further damage inside your home. Trust a reliable and experienced roofing company like Polaris Roofing Systems to take care of your roof repairs or replacement. Contact our team at (928) 440-9168 to schedule your free estimate in Flagstaff, Parks, or Williams, AZ.