Have you ever wondered how to tell if your home was struck by lightning? While it may not be the first worry on your mind, a chance always exists that it could happen. One research firm reported 194 million lightning events in the continental United States in 2021, a 14% increase from 2020.
Lightning can cause significant damage to a house, including the roof, siding, gutters, chimney, and even the foundation if it strikes hard enough. If your home needs repair after an extreme storm or lightning strike, we can help.
At Sundown Exteriors, we provide a full range of home improvement services, including roofing, siding, gutters, doors, decks, and windows. We serve Bloomington, Normal, and Lincoln, Illinois, providing quality workmanship and exceptional service. Call Sundown Exteriors today at (309) 275-6801 to request your free roofing estimate or learn more about our home improvement services.
To learn the signs your home was struck by lightning, keep reading.
Can Lightning Strike a House?
Did you know that the Willis Tower in Chicago is the most frequently struck building in the U.S., with 216 strikes in 2021? Lightning can and does strike homes and buildings all across the country and the world every year.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that approximately one-third of all lightning strike injuries happen indoors. People die from lightning every year, with The National Weather Service reporting an average of 49 deaths per year and ten times as many injuries. The most common lightning injuries people suffer include burns, seizures, broken bones, and cardiac arrest.
Lightning bolts carry a negative charge and one main goal—to reach the earth, which has a positive charge. Traveling at 140,000 mph, lightning seeks out the most direct path to the ground when it strikes. If your house gets in the way, it can cause devastating damage, including lightning fatalities. While a direct strike is the most common method for lightning to enter your home, it can also enter via the wires outside your house or through pipes in the ground.
What Happens If Lightning Strikes Your House? Three Signs to Watch For
How can you tell if your home has been struck by lightning? Even a lightning rod on the house may not provide complete protection. Here are three signs you can watch out for that indicate a lightning bolt may have hit your home.
1. Visible Fire Damage on the Roof
The most significant danger to your home from lightning is fire. Reaching up to 50,000° F, lightning bolts are so hot that they can heat your home’s roof, shingles, and attic enough to cause a major fire. A direct hit can even punch right through your shingles and into the attic beneath, causing damage to the electrical systems, insulation, and more. Fire is more likely to happen if you have metal gutters and water pipes on your roof, which are highly conductive of electricity.
2. Shockwave Damage to Your Home
Shockwave damage is another sign to indicate that lightning has struck your home. A direct hit from a lightning bolt is so powerful that it can split stone, brick, cinderblock, and concrete with ease. If lightning strikes your home, the sheer force of the bolt can wreak havoc on your chimney, causing cracks and fractures or possibly flying shrapnel. A strike can even decimate the structure entirely.
3. Power Surge or Electrical Damage Inside Your Home
Of course, lightning bolts can also cause serious electrical damage to your home. Should the lightning bolt use your home’s electrical system as its path to the ground, it will cause a power surge that can damage every appliance in your home. Essentially, a power surge causes an electrical pressure overload in your home, irreparably damaging the wires and intricate components inside your devices. You will lose power, and you may smell smoke or burning plastic.
Was Your Illinois Home Hit by Lightning?
Whether your home suffered from storm damage or a lightning strike, it’s critical to repair the damage right away. Fortunately, our roofing and home repair team is here to help. At Sundown Exteriors, we offer emergency storm damage repair for customers in and around Bloomington, Normal, and Lincoln, IL. In the meantime, if you need a blue roof tarp service to protect your home, contact us today.
Our team at Sundown Exteriors can repair roofs, gutters, siding, windows, doors, and decks. We won’t leave your home until we complete our 40-point quality control checklist and ensure that you’re satisfied with our work.
As a leading home improvement contractor in Central Illinois, we have the skill and experience to perform any home repairs you need. Call us at Sundown Exteriors at (309) 275-6801 today to request your free estimate.