Safe Long Lasting Metal Roofs
Some homeowners may have the misconception that metal roofing can attract lightning. It makes sense why one would be worried, as metal is a highly conductive material and your house is a tall object. However, the answer to “will your metal roof attract lighting question is no. Metal roofs don’t attract lightning, and in fact don’t experience lightning strikes any more frequently than any other roof material.
Many people confuse the principles of "attraction" with "conduction". While metal is an electrical conductor, allowing the flow of electrical charges in one or more directions, it doesn’t mean that metal roofing in Burlington "attracts" lightning more so than other materials.
Lightning is basically a rapid discharge of electricity in the atmosphere. This occurs in one of three ways: intra-cloud, cloud-to-cloud, or cloud-to-ground.
A cloud-to-ground lightning strike isn’t determined by material, but rather by topography, geography, and storm movement. As water droplets move up and down rapidly in a storm cloud, the positive and negative charges get separated from one another. When a certain amount of negative charges gathers at the base, positive charges are induced on the ground below.
The voltage continues to increase until the gap of air between the cloud and ground become electrically-conductive, producing what’s called a stepped leader. This is the first thing that has to happen with a lightning strike, and it’s an invisible process. Then, a collection of positive charges will fire upward from the tallest object and will connect with the stepped leader. Electrons then flow from the cloud to the ground, with positive charges flowing from the ground back to the cloud. This creates a blue-white light flash that we see as lightning.
So, metal roofs don’t inherently attract frequent strikes. The frequency of lightning strikes on a roof would stem from the home’s height relative to the topography, not just because the roof is made of metal.
Now, let’s go a step further in the event your house is struck by lightning. Metal is an electrical conductor and doesn’t readily resist an electrical charge. Enter: the lightning rod. When lightning strikes such a rod, the rod grounds the charge to the ground due to the fact that it’s conductive. A similar effect is found when metal roofs are struck by lightning. Rather than resist the charge, the roof allows it to pass downward toward the edges of the home. If you had metal framing, it would engage in a lightning rod effect, passing the charge all the way to the ground. This is the reason so many people will ground their metal roof systems.
Because steel isn’t combustible, it would not catch on fire even if it were struck by lightning. Of course, other nearby materials would, but the metal would be safe.
In the end, no one’s saying metal roofs are impossible to damage by lightning strikes, but they don’t attract the lightning.
Metal Roofing In Greensboro & Burlington, NC
If you have more questions about metal roofs in Elon and have concerns about lightning strikes, contact us for a free quote at 336-350-1450. We would be happy to discuss the matter further.
They came highly recommended and did not disappoint. Hopefully I won’t need a new roof again in this lifetime but if I do, Redeem will get my business
- Category: Metal Roofing