Roughly one in every 200 homes is struck by lightning each year. While many lightning strikes do not cause damage, others can cause fires, property damage, and even death. Also, a direct lightning strike on your property can damage electronics and appliances. If you think your house was struck by lightning, it’s crucial to check for common warning signs. Doing so will protect your property and your family.
Common Signs of Lightning Strike Damage
After the storm passes, check your home for any damage, which can appear in various forms.
- Smoke damage: Visible smoke damage on the roof is one of the most common signs of a lightning strike. It usually appears as dirty gray or dark patches or black scorch marks.
- Cracked brick: Lightning can reach temperatures of over 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is hot enough to crack or split bricks or cinder blocks.
- Appliance damage: A voltage surge often occurs after a lightning strike. Some appliances cannot handle the surge. If your home was struck by lightning, you may detect damage to the circuit board of multiple appliances.
- Damaged electrical parts: Check the area around your electrical service panel. Smoke marks usually indicate wire damage. Call an electrician to inspect the panel and determine the extent of the damage.
- Hot spots: Hot spots are caused by damage to your home’s electrical system. They are a serious fire hazard and could lead to electrocution.
If you notice any signs your house was struck by lightning, a licensed electrician can perform a Megger test without the risk of touching live wires. This test is a way to check the condition of the electrical insulation in your home and assess whether it’s functioning properly. Your electrician will use a multimeter to perform the test. If the meter reveals a value lower than two, your wiring is faulty.
How to Respond to Electrical Damage Caused by a Lightning Strike
There are several things you need to check after a lightning strike hits your house. To ensure your property is safe, you should inspect your electronics, electrical panels, wiring, appliances, GFCI receptacles, and sub-panels.
Many consumer electronics are prone to lightning damage. You may need to replace any electronics that are damaged. Use surge protectors to safeguard your electronics from future damage. Investing in these devices is an inexpensive and effective way to protect multiple electronics from a power surge.
If any of your large appliances are damaged, talk with your insurance agent about replacing them. You can prevent future damage to your refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, and other appliances by ensuring you have proper electrical wiring. Consider a whole-house surge protector to safeguard every device and appliance in your home.
If your interior electrical wiring is damaged, your main or sub-panel should probably be replaced. When selecting a new one, choose a panel with enough circuit breakers to handle every room in your home, including large appliances. Discussing your electrical panel installation requirements with your electrician and insurance company will ensure a high-quality device is installed.
Hidden electrical damage can pose a major fire hazard if an electrical surge were to take place. Schedule an electrical inspection as soon as possible. A certified electrician can detect hidden signs your house was struck by lightning and rewire your property accordingly. They can also handle related fixes, such as lighting fixture repairs, if your lights were affected by a surge.
GFCI outlets protect your home from fires and electric shocks. They also contain delicate components that can be damaged during a lightning strike. Luckily, replacing GFCI outlets is easy to do and a relatively inexpensive way to protect your home.
Direct Lightning Strike
If your home is struck by lightning, you need to act fast. Call the fire department so they can check for any dangers or damage. Direct lightning strikes can cause significant damage to your electrical system, damage wiring in your attic or walls, and even start fires that go undetected.
Next, contact a licensed electrician for emergency electrical maintenance services. A technician will check for any problems. Getting your home inspected can prevent costly, long-term damage.
Indirect Lightning Strike
Indirect lightning strikes to a nearby power line or the ground can still affect your home. The voltage surge can enter your home through pipes and wires.
If you have a whole-home surge protector, you likely won’t have damage. If the surge continues through your home, your unprotected electronics and wiring may sustain damage. Schedule an electrical inspection to keep your wiring and power outlets in good shape.
Electrical Repair, Maintenance, and Installation Services
If you notice signs your house was struck by lightning, take action as soon as possible. Our team of licensed electricians in Aston, PA can inspect the electrical system on your property to find hidden damage. We will also help you determine the best course of action to fix the damage and prevent future problems.
Our professionals are committed to offering superior electrical installation services for residents in your local area. To safeguard your home from a severe storm, our electricians also provide extensive whole-house generator installation services for homeowners.We will help you keep your lights on and your appliances operating when you have severe weather in your area. Give our technicians a call at (484) 206-8594 to book an appointment.