How To Safeguard Your Home From Damaging Lightning Strikes
Lightning damage to your home is more than just an inconvenience. It can pose a danger to your property and even your life. Take the threat seriously and implement preventative measures to minimize your risk.
What Kind of Damage Does a Lightning Strike Cause?
When lightning strikes a building, it can cause significant damage to the structure. One of the greatest risks is fire. Any flammable objects such as trees, or the roof and attic of your home are susceptible. If a fire starts, it can rapidly spread throughout your home, causing extensive damage and loss of property.
Some lightning damage is hidden, which is even more dangerous. Never rely on a quick scan for visible damage. You should always call a professional electrician to get your home thoroughly inspected if you have experienced a lightning strike or surge.
A skilled electrician will check for commonly harmed areas including the wiring, insulation and connections. When these, or the conductivity and grounding of electrical currents are comprised, there is a drastically increased risk of a malfunction that can be dangerous.
Damages caused by lightning strikes can include:
- Loose or arcing connections in your outlets and switches, breakers or electrical panel
- Damage to your home’s internal wiring or insulation
- Damage to the electrical grounding system
- Electrical components that are damaged or malfunctioning such as the electrical panel, meter base and riser
A qualified electrician has the tools and experience necessary to check over all the entire electrical system to ensure that it is functioning properly and safely. They are trained to look for weak areas and locate issues so they can be corrected as soon as possible.
Are There Signs That Indicate a Problem?
There are some visible signs that you have electrical lightning damage. These include a full or partial power outage, tripped breakers or electronics and appliances that have ceased to work.
Another highly noticeable sign is charring located around your light switches, electrical outlets or wiring. If you see charing anywhere, call for professional assistance immediately.
A further indication that your home has experienced a lightning strike or surge is a smoke detector that continues to sound without cause. You can try resetting it, but there is a chance that it has been damaged and that is why it isn’t working properly.
How Can I Prevent Damage and Keep My Home Safe?
Do your part to keep your family and home safe. You can reduce your risk of experiencing damage if you take action. Prevention is the best possible course of action if you want to avoid costly repairs. You can have an electrician complete an inspection to ensure everything is working as it should, and to identify any problems early on.
When lightning strikes, it travels a path. If you interrupt a potential path, you reduce your risk of damage to your home. Trim any tall trees that are close to your home that could be a path for the lightning to take. Keep your roof in good repair and opt for fire-resistant roofing materials if possible.
Lightning protection systems such as a lightning rod can reduce your risk of damage by dispersing and grounding the energy if your home is struck. A whole-house surge protection device is another good preventative tool.
There are also steps you can take inside your home. When a storm is threatening or in progress, avoid using appliances and electronics. You can also unplug them to prevent damage if a surge should happen. Lightning can travel through your home’s plumbing, so it’s best to avoid showering or doing dishes during a storm.
When Is Professional Maintenance and Service Needed?
If you ever notice an unusual occurrence with your electrical system or see any kind of damage, you should immediately call a professional for an inspection. Never try to diagnose a problem yourself, or put it off until later.
A certified electrician has the tools and equipment needed to test for damage and identify areas that need to be repaired. Consider having an annual check by a knowledgeable electrician. He or she can make sure your electrical system is undamaged and working as it should. An electrician can verify that everything is installed properly and recommend any updates you may need to keep your home safe or use electricity more efficiently.
Learn more about the services offered by our licensed and certified electricians by contacting Electrical Pros today! They can inspect your home for signs of lightning damage and recommend the best course of action to correct and repair any issues that they find.