What Happens When Lighting Strikes a House?
What Happens When a House is Hit by Lightning?
Approximately 22,600 house fires are started by lightning every year. In some areas of the United States, these bolts can strike the ground well over 100 times per second, and meteorologists have recorded over 900 strikes per minute. Although not all of these will cause a lightning fire, some of them can and do.
The Three Types of Damage
Fire is not the only thing that you have to worry about when volatile electricity strikes your home. There are three ways that it can cause both physical and fire damage.
- Fired damage - caused by a direct strike to wood or other flammable substance
- Electrical shorts - caused by electricity traveling through your wiring
- Shock wave damage - damage caused by the wave of energy released during a strike
These three types are all dangerous and can be the cause of a lightning fire.
Strikes Are Preventable
Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to prevent direct strikes. The easiest is to trim tall trees around your home. Lightning looks for the quickest and easiest path downward. This means the taller the object, the more likely it is to be hit.
You should also make sure that your roof and shingles are in good repair. Use either asphalt shingles or another nonconductive material as roofing. This may not prevent a strike but will help insulate your home from fire damage.
After a Stike to Your Home
If your home takes a direct strike, you may have scorch marks on the walls even if it did not start a house fire. This is because lightning travels through conductive materials like wiring and coax cable. To clean these scorch marks, you will need a professional in Gorham, ME.
Fortunately, a strike does not always result in a lightning fire. By taking some simple precautions, you can lessen the chances that your home will be a victim of this type of fire.