Key Signs to Look For When Your House is Struck by Lightning

When thunderstorms roll through, the intense flashes of lightning can be both awe-inspiring and terrifying. While it’s rare, a lightning strike to your home can cause significant damage and pose serious risks. Knowing how to identify the signs of a lightning strike is crucial for ensuring the safety and integrity of your property. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key indicators that your house may have been struck by lightning, helping you take the necessary steps to address any potential damage and safeguard your home and family.

Can Lightning Strike a House?

Yes, lightning can strike a house. When a thunderstorm occurs, lightning often seeks out the tallest structures or objects in its path, which can include houses, particularly those with tall features like chimneys, antennas, or nearby trees. A lightning strike to a house can cause a range of damages, from minor cosmetic issues to significant structural damage and even fires. Understanding how to recognize the signs of a lightning strike and taking preventive measures can help protect your home from these potentially severe consequences.

Things to Check After a Lightning Strike

Electrical System

  • Check for tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses.
  • Inspect outlets and switches for scorch marks, burning smells, or unusual sounds.
  • Test appliances and electronics for functionality and signs of damage.

Structural Integrity

  • Look for damage to the roof, such as missing shingles, holes, or burn marks.
  • Check the attic for signs of fire or water damage.
  • Inspect walls and ceiling for cracks, scorch marks, or soot.

Plumbing System

  • Inspect metal pipes for electrical damage or leaks.
  • Examine water heaters and fixtures for unusual issues or malfunctions.

Fire Hazards

  • Be alert for the smell of smoke or burning.
  • Check affected areas for smoldering materials or fire.

Exterior Damage

  • Look for scorch marks, melted areas, or broken windows on siding and windows.
  • Inspect nearby trees and landscaping for damage.

HVAC System

  • Test air conditioning and heating units for correct operation and unusual noises.

Insurance and Professional Inspection

  • Contact your insurance company to report the incident and file a claim.
  • Hire a licensed electrician, plumber, or structural engineer for a thorough inspection.

Responding to Electrical Damage Caused by a Lightning Strike

Inspect Electronics

After a lightning strike, check all your consumer electronics, which are highly prone to damage. Look for signs of malfunction or physical damage. You may need to replace any damaged items. To prevent future damage, invest in surge protectors. These devices are an inexpensive and effective way to protect multiple electronics from power surges.

Check Appliances

Large appliances like your refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher should be inspected for damage. If any appliances are damaged, contact your insurance agent about replacing them. Proper electrical wiring and a whole-house surge protector can help safeguard these appliances from future lightning strikes and power surges.

Evaluate Electrical Sub-Panels

Damage to your interior electrical wiring may require the replacement of your main or sub-panel. Choose a panel with enough circuit breakers to handle all rooms and large appliances in your home. Consulting with your electrician and insurance company will help ensure a suitable and high-quality installation.

Schedule an Electrical Inspection

Hidden electrical damage can pose a significant fire hazard. Schedule an inspection with a certified electrician as soon as possible. They can detect and repair hidden damage and may need to rewire parts of your home. They can also handle related fixes, such as repairing or replacing lighting fixtures affected by the surge.

Replace GFCI Receptacles

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets protect your home from fires and electric shocks but contain components that can be damaged by lightning strikes. Replacing GFCI outlets is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to ensure continued protection for your home. Regularly check and replace these outlets as needed to maintain safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it sound like when lightning strikes your house?

When lightning strikes your house, it can sound like a loud, explosive boom, often followed by crackling or popping noises, and a prolonged rumbling of thunder. You might also hear shattering or breaking sounds if the strike causes physical damage to your property.

How often does lightning strike a house?

Lightning strikes houses relatively rarely, but the frequency can vary depending on location and weather patterns. In the United States, the odds of a house being struck by lightning in any given year are about 1 in 200, according to the National Weather Service. Certain areas, especially those prone to frequent thunderstorms, may have higher chances.

Have You Suffered from Lightning Damage?

Have you suffered from lightning damage? Don’t let the aftermath of a storm disrupt your life. Contact Jenkins Restorations today for comprehensive assessment and restoration services. Our team of experts will quickly evaluate the extent of the damage and provide efficient, high-quality restoration to ensure your home is safe and secure. Trust Jenkins Restorations to bring your home back to its best condition. Call us now to schedule your consultation and let us help you get back to normal.

Have You Experienced Damage From a Lightning Strike?

If your home has suffered damage from a lightning strike, don’t wait to get the help you need. Jenkins Restorations is here to provide expert assessment and repair services.