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Does a Metal Roof Attract Lightning?

As metal roofs become more and more popular, a lot of curious homeowners considering a roofing upgrade are asking themselves this relevant question: does a metal roof attract lightning? There is a suspicion when it comes to a metal roof and lightning that, since metal is highly conductive, the metal will increase the chances of lightning striking a home.

Are metal roofs safe in lightning? Rest assured that there is no extra danger of a lightning strike when you upgrade to a metal roof. In fact, a metal roof may make a lighting strike less dangerous should one occur.

Does a Metal Roof Attract Lightning?

Metal roofs are typically made of steel,  which is highly conductive. However, upgrading to a metal roof will in no way increase your home’s chances of getting struck by lightning.

According to the Metal Construction Association, “Research shows that the material used in [metal] roof construction does not influence the risk of a lightning strike. In fact, the presence of a metal roof really shouldn’t statistically increase or decrease the chances of a lightning strike. There are many other factors that influence the actual chance of a lightning strike.”

Are Metal Roofs Safe in Lightning?

So while metal roofs don’t increase the chances of lightning striking your home, what happens if lightning does strike  a metal roof? How does the damage compare to a lightning strike on asphalt shingle roofing? The MCA goes on to say that “As a noncombustible material, a metal roof may even be a more desirable construction option.”

If a construction material is electrically conductive, as is the case with a metal roof, the charge will quickly pass through the material rather than building up and becoming stronger, which is more likely to occur with a less conductive, more insulative material. This means that the threat of fire is significantly reduced when it comes to a metal roof and lightning strikes. 

Both potential roof damage and the threat of danger to the lives of your loved ones are reduced when you install a metal roof. If you’re comparing metal roofs against asphalt shingles, consider the safety of each material. While asphalt shingles aren’t highly flammable, they are often only resistant to mild fire exposure, whereas metal roofs are entirely noncombustible. Safety and durability are some of a metal roof’s top advantages.

Can Metal Roofing Lessen the Chance of a Lightning Strike?

Unfortunately, the material a homeowner selects for their home’s roofing does not impact the probability of a lightning strike. While metal roofs help protect your home and family from damage and injuries due to lightning, they don’t lessen the probability that a bolt of lightning could strike your home. Instead, lightning strikes are influenced by these few factors:

Home Height

The tallest home relative to neighboring homes is “most likely” to be struck by lightning. However, it’s more likely that nearby trees take the blow, as could telephone poles or anything else of substantial height.

Home Size

A large surface area is more likely to get struck by lighting than a small surface area, so square footage could play a role in whether or not lighting strikes your home. 

Geography

Depending on where you live, climate can impact the likelihood of a lightning strike. If you live in a particularly stormy region, probability states that your home is more likely to be struck by lightning. 

Topography

Homes located at higher elevations have an increased chance of getting struck by lighting than those located closer to sea level. 

Protect Your Home From Lightning With a Metal Roof

While roofing material plays no role in the probability of a lightning strike, a metal roof is much safer than other roofing types during storms. For more information about metal roofing, reach out to the experts at Long Roofing.  Our qualified metal roofers have experience installing, inspecting and repairing a variety of types of metal roofs. 

If you’re interested in scheduling a roofing inspection, call 866-270-7058 or visit us online today!

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