Metal Roofing And Lightning Strikes
Essentially, there is nothing you can do to lessen the risk or probability of lightning striking your roof. Lightning strikes are influenced by these factors: building height/size, topography and geography. Lightning is drawn to the highest points of any area, so the taller the building is, the more likely it is to be struck. Geography simply refers to your location is your area more or less prone to lightning activity?
So, what happens when lightning actually strikes a home or building? A lightning strike should always be taken seriously. A few factors can affect the severity of the strike, including the building materials on the inside and outside. If the building was constructed of non-combustible materials, it will reduce the chance of a fire outbreak. Of course, flammable materials found on the inside will make the building more susceptible to ignition.
Conditions That May Require Grounding
Generally, metal roofing systems do not require grounding, nor is it required by international building codes. However it may be a requirement in local building codes if one or more of the following conditions are met:
Topography Properties with significant variations in its topography, such as hills and flatlands, are typically at increased risk of lightning strikes.
Building height Tall structures are typically at greater risk of lightning strikes.
Proximity to a tall structure If a house or building is placed too close to a tall structurenatural or man-madeit is at less risk of getting hit by lightning. However, grounding the roof can be a safety precaution in case of secondary strikes.
Frequent lightning storms Homes located in areas prone to thunderstorms may be required to ground their metal roofs.
Winfield Builders is your leading provider of metal roofs and replacement windows. Give us a call at 401-5045. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Silver Spring, Rockville, and Annapolis, MD.
Dont Metal Roofs Rust
Metal Roofs have come a long way. Much older systems have rusted through time. Now, metal roofs have Galvalume or galvanized coatings to keep it from rusting. This is an alloy of zinc and aluminum or sometimes just zinc. This coating will not peel off, as it is bonded to the steel when it is manufactured. If your metal roof is painted, it will still have a galvanized coating.
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More Advantages Of Metal Roofs
- Metal roofs are resistant to wind, snow and hail
- Metal roofs do not crack, peel or rot like shingles.
- Metal roofs are more structurally sound, particularly in storm scenarios.
- Metal roofs are mold and termite resistant.
- Metal roofs are more energy-efficient and can even be made from 100% recyclable products
Advantages Greatly Outweigh The Drawbacks
Metal roofs continue to grow in popularity, and one of their “disadvantages” actually turns out to be an advantage when viewed from the big picture. Although initially much more expensive than an asphalt shingle roof , a metal roof lasts much, much longer, and in the final measure is usually the better investment.
Among the many advantages of a metal roof:
- The life expectancy is 50 to 75 years or even more, as opposed to the 15 to 25 years of life for an asphalt shingle roof.
- The surface reflects heat, lowering cooling costs in hot climates.
- They are less susceptible to leaking than shingles when installed correctly.
- They resist wind damage better than other roofing choices.
- Metal roofs are fireproof, making them good choices in areas where wildfire is a risk.
- Metal roofs are recyclable when they reach the end of their useful life.
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Metal Roofs And Lightning
The concern of the uninitiated about what happens when lightning strikes metal is directly related to the fact that metal can act as an electrical conductor. Despite that fact, metal roofs absolutely do not attract lightning strikes. Not only that, they are not struck any more frequently than any other type of roofing material.
What is lightning attracted to? Thin points, high points, and structures that cover a large area of ground. That means that the likelihood of a lightning strike hitting your home or commercial business building depends on both the height and size rather than the materials that were used in the construction.
Speaking of material, there is currently no known material that can be implemented to decrease the likelihood of a lightning strike. You can, however, do things to decrease the potential for any structural harm to your building should the building be struck.
Fire is actually the most destructive element of a lightning strike. This is because most roofs will immediately combust. This is where metal frames actually come in handy. As far as building materials go, traditional wood is much more likely to combust than metal due to the latters non-combustible nature.
So, what happens when lightning actually does strike your metal roof? The electricity will spread itself out across a larger area. This diminishes the immediate impact of the strike. From there, the fire-resistant properties of the metal will help to further protect your building.
So Will My Metal Roof Attract Lighting
No! Metal does conduct electricity, but electricity is not drawn to it. Lightning will strike the highest object in the area, regardless of the material it has. Lightning will most likely hit a tree, antennas, or power poles. Your metal roof will keep you and your family safe from extreme weather and, will last you a LIFETIME. Contact us today and get that new roof project started!
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Are Metal Roofs Safe In Lightning
So while metal roofs dont increase the chances of lightning striking your home, what happens if lightning does strike a metal roof? How does the damage compare to a lightning strike on asphalt shingle roofing? The MCA goes on to say that As a noncombustible material, a metal roof may even be a more desirable construction option.
If a construction material is electrically conductive, as is the case with a metal roof, the charge will quickly pass through the material rather than building up and becoming stronger, which is more likely to occur with a less conductive, more insulative material. This means that the threat of fire is significantly reduced when it comes to a metal roof and lightning strikes.
Both potential roof damage and the threat of danger to the lives of your loved ones are reduced when you install a metal roof. If youre comparing metal roofs against asphalt shingles, consider the safety of each material. While asphalt shingles arent highly flammable, they are often only resistant to mild fire exposure, whereas metal roofs are entirely noncombustible. Safety and durability are some of a metal roofs top advantages.
But What If Lightning Does Strike A Metal Roof
Steel is the primary raw material for metal roofing, and it is highly conductive. However, metal roofs do not raise the risk of a lightning strike.
Lets have a look at what experts have to say.
The presence of a metal roof really shouldnt statistically increase or decrease the chances of a lightning strike. Says the Metal Construction Association about this subject.So, there is no increased risk of lightning striking our homes if we have a metal roof.
But, compared to a bolt of lightning striking an asphalt shingle roof, how much damage a lightning strike would cause?
Conductive materials allow the electrical charge to go through them fast. Because of this, it will not develop any further or stronger. But using materials that are more isolative and less conductive might cause this.
A metal roof could even be a better alternative because it is a non-flammable material, according to the MCA. So, the likelihood of your property catching fire is significantly lower when using metal roofing.
Are you unsure whether asphalt or a metal roof is better for your home? Keep in mind the benefits of a metal roof for your home and familys safety.
Asphalt shingles are not a fire hazard, although they can catch fire easily. However, they can only withstand a small amount of fire exposure. On the other hand, metal roofs are fully fireproof.
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Metal Roofing Reduces The Threat From Lightning
The MCA report states that “based on all of the available evidence, on any given building, a metal roof is no more or less likely to be struck by lightning than any other type of roofing material. In fact, a properly grounded metal roof, in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 780, will actually conduct the energy from a lightning strike over the broader area of the roof reducing the amount of heat transferred to the building and reducing the potential of damage do to fire. As an electrical conductor and a noncombustible material, the risks associated with use of a metal roof may even be a more desirable construction option.”
Building owners and homeowners should consult with local experts to determine the best lightning mitigation strategies for their particular location and conditions.
If you are concerned about metal roofs and lightning, then you’ll love our Ultimate Guide to Metal Roofing.
Myth #: All Metal Roofs Develop Red Rust Over Time
Its true that most metals rust or develop a patina over time when in contact with oxygen and water, also called oxidation. However, not all metals rust with the reddish-brown color that we typically associate it with. While rusting is an inherent characteristic of most metals, the metal coils and sheets that become metal panels are engineered, coated, and tested to prevent rust formation for as long as possible. To easily understand why this is, lets go through each popular metal material individually:
- Galvalume® The core substrate of Galvalume is steel, a rust-prone material, but it is continuously hot-dipped with 55% aluminum, 43.4% zinc, and 1.6% silicone. This coating combines the strength and cost-effectiveness of steel with the rust-resistance of aluminum.
- Many of the old rusty roofs that people see out there are traditionally an older galvanized roof or COR-TEN®, which are materials designed to rust. Galvalume is created to have self-healing characteristics that regular galvanized roofing does not.
- Any steel roof, including Galvalume, can rust quickly if its scratched, perforated, or not properly maintained, especially where there are cut edges without proper hems.
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What Is The Best Metal Roofing System
Most roofing experts will tell a homeowner to go with an aluminum metal roof installation. Why? Because it isnt just durable and corrosion-resistant, but it is also lightweight, making it easier to work with for installation. Aluminum metal roof installation is a great option for most residential roofing systems, including these five types:
- Standing seam
Aluminum metal roof installation is rust-resistant, making it an ideal material for homes on the coast.
Can Lightning Damage A Metal Roof
Metal roofs are the most used in lightning-prone regions because they hold the largest fire-resistance rating.
They do not combust like other roofing materials when lightning strikes. Materials such as asphalt and wood have a higher probability of igniting and causing a fire. Therefore, lightning cannot damage a metal roof directly.
If the metal roof does not have a properly installed earth connection, lightning may force its energy to the housing electrical system in search of an earth connection. If the building catches fire or cracks due to shockwaves, the metal roof will be damaged.
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Nevertheless A Metal Roof Does Not Attract Lightning And Even When It Hits
it does not impact the asphalt roof shingles. Many peoples greatest concern is the risk of being struck by lightning in the event of a storm with heavy rain, such as a hurricane. Countermeasures however intuitive it may seem, metal roofs are much more likely to be affected than asphalt roofs. Metal roofs are much more likely to be struck by lightning than other types of roofs, such as asphalt or concrete roofs, but even then they are not attracted by lightning. If you are actually hit by it, you are likely to be hit only by the lightning itself.
The Metallbau Association even points out that metal roofs can actually provide security in the event of a lightning strike. The presence of metal roofs increases awareness of the need for lightning protection, and the benefits of these benefits are considered to raise awareness of the safety of other types of roofs, such as asphalt or concrete roofs. You can rest assured that metal roofs are not only less likely to be attracted by lightning strikes, but can also help prevent commercial roof fires and limit the damage.
If youre worried about metal roofs and lightning strikes, youll love our ultimate guide to metal roofing in Perth. We know there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to metal roofs, but thats all part of the game.
Metal Roofing Can Prevent Lightning Damage
During storms, metal roofs are far safer than other roofing materials. In this respect, roofing materials have no effect on lightning risk.
Do you want to learn more about metal roofing? Contact the roofing contractor in Clinton MS. Our skilled team can examine, repair, and install any type of metal roof.
Also, you can contact us online or by phone at 601-488-3179. We service Jackson, Flowood, Clinton, Madison. Pearl, Byram, Brandon, and Ridgeland, MS and as well as southern areas of Alabama.
Watkins Construction and Roofing is your expert Jackson MS roofing company on a mission to repair or replace roofs of all shapes and sizes, inspire customer confidence in the roofing industry, and use the best tools and materials for every single roofing job.
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The Science Of Lightning
Lightning develops inside a storm cloud. Initially, air acts as an insulator between positive and negative charges within the cloud and between the cloud and the ground. However, as a difference in charge builds up, the air is no longer able to provide this barrier. This results in a rapid discharge of electricity, aka lightning.
The electric discharge may be between opposite charges within the cloud , or it may occur between opposite charges in the cloud and on the ground .
Metal Roofing Reduces Lightning Threats
Metal Construction recently stated that metal roofing is no more or less likely to be struck by lightning than any other roofing material. In fact, a properly grounded metal roof should conduct energy of the lightning strike over a broader area of the roofing, which will reduce the amount of heat transferred and reduce the risk of a damaging fire, altogether. Due to the lessening of lightning risks, many believe metal roofing is actually one of the most desirable roofing types today.
When lightning strikes metal roofing, it is conducted away towards either the ground or another conductor nearby. Metal roofing can protect the home or building from both the lightnings heat and electrical current. While metal can keep you safe, it likely wont prevent property damage.
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What Happens If Lightning Strikes My Metal Roof
A metal roof is the safest roof in the event of a lightning strike. There are a few reasons for this. According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, if your home were hit by lightning, your metal roof would disperse the energy safely through the structure. Since metal roofing isnt combustible or flammable, its a low risk and desirable roofing option where severe weather is concerned especially for lightning.
A metal roof does not attract lightning. If your home is struck by lightning, a metal roof will diffuse electricity away and cannot catch fire, keeping your home safer in a thunderstorm. This is just one more reason why we at Schroer & Sons believe a lifetime metal roof is the best roof available today.
today to learn more about lifetime metal roofing systems.
Dangers Of Lightning Strikes On Non
The actual danger of lightning to properties and human life during lightning depends significantly on three main factors. These factors include does the building have occupants? Is the non-metal roofing structure combustible? Does the non-metal roofing structure contain combustible materials?
Electronic pieces of equipment are also sensitive to electrical discharges, increasing a buildings risk of experiencing significant lightning damage effects. That is because the electric charge from the striking lightning will always pass through electrically conductive materials without building up resistance.
The electronic equipment will also increase the threat of fire and explosion, increasing the threat to human life and properties.
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Does Grounding A Metal Roof Make It Safer
Electrical grounding provides lightning strikes an alternative route to reach the ground. Ideally, there are countless ways of grounding a building. Many residential properties attach bare copper wires to electrical boxes throughout the building structures. These grounding systems ensure that the lightning is safely dispersed.
Many homeowners think that the same principle applies to metal roofing systems. But is it essential to ground a metal roof in the name of increasing its protective levels during lightning?
The National Fire Protection Association and other reputable roofing contractors agree that metal roofs do not need grounding. And generally speaking, no building codes require homeowners to ground their metal roofs. However, these non-grounding rules apply if the homeowner strictly follows the basic building codes like using lightning arrestors and lightning rods.
Building owners could also consider using PVC piping and extending then from the houses interior to its exterior. In other words, though grounding isnt a must-do requirement, it does not pose any adverse effects on a structure.