Did you know that the Empire State Building is struck by lightning around 25 times per year? This tall building (1,454-foot) is a target as it rises above most other structures in New York City.
If you’re thinking about your building, do you need to worry about it getting struck by lightning? What if you choose metal roofing?
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about metal roofing. One of the most common is that metal roofing is more prone to lightning than other types of roofing. But is there any truth to this claim?
Let’s explore the science behind it and find out once and for all if metal roofing really is more prone to lightning strikes.
The Science: What Attracts Lightning?
The electrical charges in a thunderstorm are created by the movement of air. Warm air rises faster than cold air, and this creates an area of low pressure.
The low pressure causes the air to spin, and this generates electricity. The electrical charges build up in the atmosphere until they are discharged as a lightning bolt.
Lightning is attracted to things that are taller than their surroundings. This is because taller objects are more likely to be hit by the electrical charges that cause lightning. The electrical charges in a thunderstorm are attracted to the tallest object in the area, which is often a tree or a building.
Do Metal Roofs Attract Lightning?
It’s a common misconception that metal roofs are more likely to attract lightning strikes, but the truth is that any type of roof can be struck by lightning. Metal roofs are no more prone to lightning strikes than any other type of roof.
Is Metal Roofing Safer in Lightning Prone Areas?
Would it surprise you to know that metal roofs are actually safer in lightning-prone areas?
One of the most common questions we get about metal roofs is whether they are more or less sturdy in storms, specifically with regard to lightning. The answer may surprise you – metal roofs are actually more resistant to damage from lightning strikes than shingled roofs!
This is because metal conducts electricity, so the charge from a lightning strike will dissipate quickly and evenly across the roof surface. shingles, on the other hand, are made of non-conductive materials like asphalt, which can easily be damaged by a direct hit from lightning. In fact, shingles are one of the most common victims of fires caused by lightning strikes.
There are a few factors that contribute to the safety of metal roofing in lightning-prone areas. Metal roofing is an excellent conductor of electricity, so it is often used in commercial and industrial buildings to help dissipate a lightning strike.
When a building is struck by lightning, the electrical current travels through the metal roof and is dispersed into the ground. This helps to protect the building and its occupants from the damaging effects of a direct lightning strike.
Another factor that contributes to the safety of metal roofing in lightening prone areas is the fact that metal roofs are often installed with air gaps. These air gaps provide a path for the electrical current to travel, which helps to prevent damage to the roof or its supporting structure.
Finally, metal roofs are fire-resistant. This helps prevent them from catching fire if they do get struck by lightning.
Overall, metal roofing is a safe option for buildings located in lightning-prone areas. The conductivity of metal helps to dissipate a lightning strike, and the air gaps provide a path for the electrical current to travel. This helps to protect the building and its occupants from the damaging effects of a direct lightning strike.
Should You Put a Lightning Rod on a Metal Roof?
Did you know that the Empire State Building has a copper lightning rod at the top that helps safely dissipate electricity when the building gets hit?
Lightning is one of nature’s most impressive displays of power. It can also be one of the most dangerous, causing fires and power outages. Because metal conducts electricity, it’s important to take precautions to protect your home from a lightning strike.
One way to do this is to install a lightning rod. Lightning rods are designed to intercept a lightning strike and channel the electricity safely into the ground. They’re usually made of copper or aluminum and are mounted on the highest point of a building.
If you have a metal roof, you may want to consider installing a lightning rod. But even if you don’t have a metal roof, it’s still a good idea to install one as an added layer of protection against lightning strikes.
Do Metal Roofs Need to Be Grounded?
When it comes to metal roofs and grounding, there is a lot of misinformation out there. The most common misconception is that metal roofs need to be grounded.
Metal roofs provide a way for lightning strikes to be brought to the ground rather than in the house. If you want to ground your roof, you can.
However, if it’s not required by building codes in your area, you don’t need to.
Metal Roofing: Safe in All Conditions
Metal roofing is not more prone to getting struck by lightning. In fact, this type of roofing can actually be safer in areas that are prone to storms and lightning.
Are you looking to install a metal roof on your building? Garvin’s Metal Roofs has been committed to excellence for over 30 years. Contact us for a free estimate today.