Spring is the most popular season for severe thunderstorms in Nebraska. Thunderstorms can produce lightning, heavy rain, strong winds, hail, and even tornadoes. One of the biggest dangers of thunderstorms is lightning and how much damage it will inflict on your home and property when it strikes. Do you know what to do before and after a lightning strike?
What is Lightning?
Air currents and moisture moves around in clouds during thunderstorms. This causes the cloud’s particles to become negatively charged with static electricity. When the cloud’s negatively-charged air interacts with the positively-charged air from the ground, a spark forms and a massive discharge of energy buildup is created. This discharge is otherwise known as lightning, which commonly creates heat at almost 20,000 degrees Celsius. Anything that conducts electricity on the ground (e.g. gutters, downspouts, metal window frames) makes it easier for the lightning strike to occur. If multiple spots on your home are conducting electricity, it’s possible for a lightning strike to jump through the air from one conductive path to another.
Prevent Power Surges
There’s always a possibility that lightning will strike your house, but there are few precautions you can take to lower your chances or lessen the blow of lightning strikes.
One of the biggest risks of lighting strikes is a power surge to your electrical systems, appliances and electronics. Prior to a major thunderstorm, unplug your electrical devices and avoid touching any electrical devices still plugged in during the storm. Electricity can also travel through pipes, so avoid touching any faucets or fixtures that have running water. Avoid standing on concrete floors or touching concrete walls, because lightning charges can travel through metal wiring around the concrete. It’s also important during a storm to avoid taking a bath, shower or doing the dishes.
If you have to walk in your basement, garage or patio, wear shoes to prevent lightning currents traveling through soil and across moist concrete.
Prep Your Structure
Another big risk of lightning strikes is the potential fire damage it could cause to your house. Check the status of your roof and shingles; repair or replace any shingles that are damaged or missing. Use fire-resistant shingles like asphalt, tile or metal to prevent fires from occurring.
In the event of a lightning striking your house, the shock waves that are created are similar to that of thunder and can destruction to the structure of your home. Check your roof, siding, and brick/stone chimneys for cracks or degradation, and make necessary repairs to prevent shock waves from further damaging those areas.
Contact Us For an Inspection
Do you think your house was hit by a recent lightning strike? Contact the team at Exterior Remodel & Design, Inc., for a professional inspection of your roof and home. Our roofers have a plethora of knowledge and experience in a variety of roofing situations.