More than 20 million lightning strikes are detected annually by the National Lightning Detection System (NDLS). A bolt of lightning packs a powerful punch. The electrostatic discharge can contain 100 million to 1 billion volts of electricity. The energy can heat the air around it to 50,000°F for a short time. Lightning can not only be destructive; it can be deadly.
Since chimneys are the highest point on many homes, they are most likely to be struck by lightning. Learning how to respond if this happens to you can help you protect your home and your family.
To give you more information on what to do if lightning strikes your chimney, Batts’ Chimney Services shares helpful tips below.
How to Tell If Your Chimney Has Lightning Damage
It is vital to perform chimney inspections for lightning damage after the storm passes. One of the clues that may indicate lightning damage is the masonry on the ground beneath the stack. There may also be cracks in the chimney crown that were caused by lightning. Since lightning and storm damage to chimneys may be covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy, you should have a professional chimney technician inspect it after a significant weather event.
If you suspect lightning has struck your chimney, follow these steps to keep your home and family safe:
- Contact your local fire department or call 911 to report it. Even if you don’t see flames or smell smoke, it could have sparked a fire in the chimney or attic. It is much safer to let firemen investigate to see if the lightning has sparked a fire than to go looking for it yourself.
- Have your chimney inspected before using it. Keep in mind that damage to the chimney liner may be hidden and hard to diagnose. A certified chimney new construction sweep should be enlisted to assess the health of the structure.
- Stay away from the chimney, especially the exterior walls. Lightning can do serious damage to masonry. If you stand too close, you risk the possibility of being struck by falling stones or bricks.
- Complete any relining or repair work as needed. Some insurance policies cover this type of damage so make sure to look over the details of yours.
Has it been too long since your dryer vent was fully cleaned, beginning to end? Don’t worry … Batts’ Chimney Services is here to “Keep it Safe. Keep it Clean.” To protect you and your family, we offer dryer vent cleaning services performed by a CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician® (C-DET).
Schedule a convenient appointment with us today! Call us at (256) 906-1139 or fill out our online form to get a free chimney quote.