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Lightning and Metal Roofs

Jun 16, 2018

Many common misconceptions exist regarding metal roofs, especially as it pertains to weather resistance. For example, many people erroneously assume that metal roofs are more likely to rust and corrode, but this isn’t the case. Thanks to the availability of alloyed and galvanized steel on the market, metal roofing materials are highly resistant to rot and more durable than other roof types.

Another common misconception about metal roofs also arises from inclement weather – for example, are metal roofs safe in storms? Won’t they essentially be a conductor for electricity? Here’s everything you need to know about storm safety and your metal roof.

Lightning Storms and Your Roof

According to the Metal Construction Association, having a metal roof brings two forms of relief: first, it does not make lightning more likely to strike. Secondly, it might actually make a lightning strike less dangerous if it does occur.

First, understand that the probability of a lightning strike, particularly at your home, is very low. Lightning can be very difficult to predict, but the presence of a metal roof does not make it more likely. Some people erroneously assume that a metal roof works similarly to a lightning rod. In reality, lightning rods don’t “attract” electricity; they simply help lightning travel more safely to the ground in the event of a lightning strike. The likelihood of lightning striking a metal roof is no different than it is for an asphalt one. This brings us to the next point:

A lightning strike might actually be safer if it occurs on a metal roof, as compared to other roofing materials. A metal roofing system with a conductive roof gives lighting an easy path to the ground. In other words, a building with a metal roof may sustain a lightning strike with far less damage than an asphalt roof. Further, an asphalt roof might not offer the same protection to the wooden decking underneath the roof, which could cause a fire. By contrast, a metal roof is resistant to fire and could provide extra protection to your home’s structure.

In short, having a metal roof makes a lightning strike no more likely. Even if a home with a metal roof does endure a lighting strike, it’s less likely to experience damage compared to its traditional asphalt counterparts. If you’re considering a metal roof, rest assured that your family will be just as safe in a storm.

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