All negatively-charged lightning wants to do is connect with the positively-charged earth as quickly as possible, and sometimes your home gets in the way of their reunion. How rude. Well, that may not stop the lightning…so what happens next? And what are you supposed to do?
How will I know if my house has taken a direct hit?
You will hear a loud and powerful “boom” like you would with most lightning strikes, but this one will be memorable and will shake your home. If your house or yard was hit, there may be a continuous buzzing or hissing sound following the strike. Hopefully, there will not be any immediate damage, but it’s possible, so look around for any damaged flooring, appliances, gutters, and/or roofing. You could experience power surges- your electronics may go on the fritz or completely stop working when the lightning strikes. These can damage wiring and appliances in your home. The surge usually takes the path of least resistance, which means electricity can run throughout all of the wiring and even plumbing. Stay away from anything that can conduct electricity- wires, electronics, water, pipes, etc. until your home has been looked over by the fire department.
What do I do if my house has been hit by lightning?
If you see or smell smoke or signs of a fire, leave your house immediately. If it’s still storming, seek shelter with a neighbor. Call 9-1-1 and tell them your home was struck by lightning, even if you do not see signs of a fire. They’ll send out the fire department to check for any signs of fire, hot spots, or potential danger.
Call your insurance company and then contact Autumn Air Home Services in Bessemer, AL to come inspect and repair any electrical wiring or breakers that may have been damaged by the power surge. It’s so important to have a professional handle this step, as the situation could be dangerous or unpredictable. We will also check on your HVAC and/or furnace to make sure they are functioning safely.
Isn’t my home designed to withstand lightning damage?
Most homes are designed to withstand major damage from a lightning strike. Lightning rods are meant to help the electricity get from the clouds to the ground as quickly as possible without traveling through buildings. Many homes don’t have lightning rods, but are equipped to handle the electricity in other ways. That doesn’t always mean it will work depending on where the lightning hits and how strong it is. In order to protect your electronics, unplug them before the storms get too close to your home.
Don’t let all this worry you, it’s very rare to have a direct hit. But if it does happen, the actions that you take right away can save your home from further damage. Our HVAC and electrical experts at Autumn Air Home Services in Bessemer, AL are able to handle the indoor repairs your home may need after a direct lightning strike. We can also recommend trusted roofing and gutter companies if you have exterior damage. Your home will be back to normal in no time and you’ll have a new appreciation for weather. Give us a call at 205-255-9145.