The Detriments (and Surprising Benefit) of Lightning on Your Home

Neighborhood with purple sky and lighting above it

Lightning strikes about 25 million times per year in the United States, as per weather.com. That being said, your home, yard, and/or trees have a relatively high likelihood of being struck. It’s important to know how lightning can impact your home both negatively and positively. Let’s shed a little light on the possibilities…

Power Surges

power-surgesThis is a pretty common side effect of lightning. Lightning can cause a power surge in your home, even if it doesn’t specifically hit your home. A power surge can be caused if lightning hits a power line near your home as well. To be protected from power surges, it’s best to unplug all appliances during a storm (or before if you can). While surge protectors are an option, they aren’t always strong enough to protect all of your appliances and electrical devices.

Fire

fireWhen lightning hits a home, there is a risk of fire. They are most likely to occur in the attic when a bolt hits the roof. When the heat of the bolt runs through the walls, hitting the wiring and plumbing, it could start a fire as well. Be cognizant, as sometimes you won’t notice that a fire has sparked right away. If this happens, call 911 immediately.

Roof Damage

roof damageLightning can puncture a roof or tear through the attic. A strike that’s powerful enough can rip off shingles and gutters. Unfortunately, this occurrence isn’t exactly preventable and can be pretty costly to fix. However, check with your insurance company as many will cover unpreventable damage.

On a Positive Note, Lightning Is Actually Great for Your Garden/Yard

Plant growing out of the ground on a blue circle backgroundNitrogen is essential to healthy plant growth. Lightning causes molecules of nitrogen compounds to form. When the lightning hits the ground, the compounds are soaked into the soil with the help of rain. Essentially, lightning is like a hyper fertilizer for your plants! Next time your area endures a thunderstorm, check on your yard a few days later – you’ll notice a difference!