Does Metal Roofing Attract Lighting?

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Does Metal Roofing Attract Lighting?

16 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Many people who are unfamiliar with metal roofing materials may have concerns about metal's integrity and safety. More specifically, some people may have concerns about whether or not metal roofing is safe during a lightning storm. Knowing the answer to these following questions can help you decide whether or not metal roofing is the right choice for your home.

Does metal roofing attract lightning?

Metal roofing does not attract lightning any more than any other roofing material. If your roof is the highest structure in your area, then your roof may be vulnerable to lightning whether it's made of metal or wood. As long as there are other higher points in your area, then your metal roof is unlikely to attract lightning. Nearby trees, water towers, barns and other structures are all more likely to attract lightning as long as these structures are taller than the highest point of your house.

Are metal roofs dangerous if a home is struck by lightning?

No, metal roofing does not put your home at a high risk if it is struck by lightning. Metal is a highly conductive material, and electricity passes through it with little resistance. This is very different from wood or asphalt roofing, which are both high resistance materials. When lightning passes through high-resistance materials, the resistance makes it more likely that the lightning strike will cause a fire. Lightning that passes through metal is less likely to cause a fire.

Does a metal roof prevent your house from catching fire?

Assuming that the frame is made of wood, your home may still catch fire if it is struck by lightning. This is because the lightning will pass from the roof into the frame, and wood is a high-resistance material that is likely to catch fire when electrocuted.

What can you do to reduce your risk from lightning?

If your home is the tallest structure in the area and you are concerned about your home's vulnerability to fires caused by lightning, the best thing to do is have a lightning protection system, like a lightning rod, installed on your house. Lightning rods are designed to give electricity a low-resistance path all the way down to the ground, which can help prevent fires.

For more information about metal roofing and how it holds up in a lightning storm, contact a roofing contractor in your area. He or she can help answer your questions.