What If Lightning Strikes Your Home?

Does it seem as if seasonal storms in Florida grow more frequent and intense every year? Lightning strikes happen in every state at all different times of the year. And if it happens to your home, you might need a roof replacement, new appliances, new electrical system, new alarm system, new irrigation time, and the worst case scenario a new house.

Lightning Travels Fast, It Can Cause Massive Damage, And Can Be Life Threatening!

Lightning can be deadly and burn your home to the ground. Always do what you can to protect your family first. In just seconds, your home can go from perfectly sound to severely damaged from one lightning strike. Lightning’s goal is to reach the ground, but it will take any path that it needs to get there.

When lightning strikes a house, it can travel in any number of directions. Roofs commonly take a major hit, metal gutters, but there is really no clear path. The surge usually takes the path of least resistance, which means electricity can run throughout the plumbing and all the high voltage and low voltage wiring in your home. But it can also jump from one conductor to another.

You may find damaged shingles, gutters, or even a hole through the roof.

Roof Damage Can Occur From the Strike or the Aftermath

A bolt of lightning is damaging enough on its own. It can puncture a roof, sear the surrounding materials, and tear through attics. A powerful enough strike can tear off shingles and gutters, leaving the roof a disaster.

Fire is another serious concern, lightning doesn’t just travel, it can ignite anything that it touches. And if it travels through wiring, the damage can cause an electrical fire from exposed wires anywhere in the house. That’s why experts advise home owners to quickly check for any signs of fire or charred marks on the roof, in the attic and throughout the home. Then you should call your insurance company if you feel you have damage and make sure you request they hire a license electrician to perform not just what they call a fire safety test but a megohm test which will make sure the wiring in the walls are safe as well. The power surge from a lightning strike can damage the insulation of the wiring which could lead to a unexpected fire at a future date.

Electronics may not work properly, or not at all, or malfunction in the future after a lightning strike.

Electronics are Common Lightning Casualties

Anything electronic in your home is susceptible to damage from a lightning strike. The surge of power through the wiring can destroy computers, televisions, and other electronics. And it can also damage electrical appliances such as refrigerators.

A strike doesn’t have to contact your home directly to cause damage. If its proximity is near enough, indirect lightning can strike a power line and travel to your home using that conductive path according to experts.

What You Should Do if Lightning Strikes Your Home

You probably won’t wonder if your house does experience a strike. Thunder and lightning are loud, but a direct strike is unmistakable. Your power will likely go out, there will probably be an enormous explosive sound, and you might hear buzzing or hissing sounds afterward.

Washington State University Extension Energy Program says that after you make your initial emergency checks for roof damage and fire, you should inspect these elements to determine whether there is any damage:

  • Check circuit breakers, outlets, a light switches for functionality
  • Check the home’s wiring by hiring a licensed electrician to perform a megohm test which uses resistance tester or insulation resistance tester to determine whether any wiring is damaged or exposed within the walls.
  • Visually inspect for leaks in all plumbing lines
  • Test the pressure in water supply lines to identify any leaks
  • Test alarm system and irrigation timer to see if they still work.
  • Check you internet and cable boxes.

A quick call after the storm to an Experienced Public Adjuster for a Free Home Inspection can give you a good assessment if you need to file an insurance claim and take additional steps to protect the safety of you home and family. 

A lightning strike can be a frightening experience. And although they happen more often than anyone would want, the risk of being hit is rare. But if it happens to your home, the actions that you take right away can save your home from further damage. Any sign of smoke or fire you should immediately call 911.

An Experienced Public Adjuster is an expert and property damages and can inspect the home and recommend the right steps to take during a free home inspection to make sure you home and family is safe.

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