It is possible to encounter hail, wind, and lightning during spring thunderstorms, which can damage your roof, structure, and electrical system. In the event of a lightning strike, your home could sustain significant destruction caused by lightning, both visible and hidden.
A lightning discharge is typically caused by negatively charged particles colliding with positively charged particles on the ground. The energy accumulated in a storm is discharged by air currents and moisture when the two interact. Lightning strikes generate temperatures as high as 36,000 °F. The easiest, shortest route possible for lightning to reach the ground is to emerge from cloud cover. The following materials conduct electricity and are more likely to be damaged by lightning: gas and water pipes, electric lines, phone lines, cable TV lines, gutters, downspouts, and metal window frames. Once it has found a conductor, the energy can branch out in its rush to reach the ground. In addition to jumping across conductive paths, lightning can also flash in a sideways fashion. For example, lightning can strike a gutter of a house before striking window frames or better grounded water pipes.
Lighting that strikes a home’s windows, gutters, or other conductive surfaces can affect its electrical systems. If lightning strikes electrical wiring, it can cause an explosion. It is very likely that the wires will be destroyed, and the melting and igniting of the material around them will cause a fire. Moreover, surges can cause damage to appliances connected to the electrical system, especially electronics like computers and entertainment centers. It is wise to unplug appliances, electronics, and other items during a storm; cheap surge protectors will protect against small surges but will not protect against direct destruction caused by lightning. In the event of a lightning strike or a lightning observation in your area, avoid any contact with electrical wires or cords. Lightning can travel long distances through phone lines and electrical wires, especially in rural areas. In fact, injuries caused by lightning indoors are usually the result of telephone usage. If lightning is threatening, avoid using your phone.
When thunderstorms occur, lightning is more likely to strike those near or in water, whether inside or outside the home. There is no doubt that water is a good conductor of electricity, and metal pipes are also fantastic conductors. Lightning can strike your pipes, as well as share pipelines distant from your house that have been struck by lightning. It is best not to take a bath or shower, wash your hands, do laundry, use an icemaker, or do anything that uses running water during a lightning storm.
When lightning strikes your home, it can suffer severe destruction caused by lightning. Due to the high temperatures, flammable materials in your home are more likely to ignite. Direct contact can start a fire, but other materials may be ignited by current passing through them and heating them to the point of combustion. In homes with gas piping, lightning strikes may cause flammable gas leaks or explosions. During a lightning strike, valves, regulators, or appliance connectors may be damaged, resulting in flammable gas leaks. Even though it seems counterintuitive, stone-coated steel or metal roofs have excellent fire resistance and can help your home resist lightning damage.
Once the charged air from the clouds is connected to the ground, lightning can travel along the ground for some distance before it dissipates enough to be harmless. Lightning strikes many people as the currents flow along the ground. As lightning can travel through moist soil and across moist concrete, wear shoes if you are walking in a basement, garage, or patio. The wire mesh on concrete garage floors makes them especially hazardous. The majority of houses with very dry basements are safe to enter during thunderstorms; however, be aware of metal reinforcement bars on concrete walls. In your home and around it, current can ignite flammable materials passing through these surfaces.
Can you describe the sound of thunder? A lightning strike actually causes a shock wave, which is caused by heated air expanding rapidly around the strike. Until you hear the sound of lighting, you can’t see it, even though it makes a loud noise. The shock waves we call thunder, however, can be extremely destructive, causing structural destruction caused by lightning to concrete, brick, cinderblock, and stone depending on their intensity and proximity. Brick and stone chimneys are especially susceptible to this kind of damage, since vibrations can damage the mortar and loosen the flashing (potentially allowing water to enter). It is also possible for thunder shock waves to fracture objects and cause flying debris to be propelled dangerously around structures. If you hear thunder, lightning may strike within ten miles. Avoid getting struck by lightning by following these tips. After the last clap of thunder, wait at least 30 minutes before leaving a protected area.
A lightning strike can cause a house or other structure to burn or scorch, especially in the attic. Fire extinguishers approved by the fire department can be used to put out the flames. Even if you don’t see smoke or flames, you should call the fire department when your house has been damaged. In attics and inside walls, fires can smolder for hours without being noticed. After a strike, avoid touching metal window frames, pipes, or electric cords. Call the fire department if there is smoke or fire. Check your home for damage after the storm passes. Your roof, chimney, roof shingles, siding, gutters, and walls can be inspected by an experienced contractor. Roofing, siding, insulation, and windows may need to be replaced or repaired.