People who own homes and buildings with metal roofs may be more concerned about the possibility of a lightning strike. A metal roof is often perceived as a lightning magnet since it’s a highly conductive material. But is that really the case?
Likelihood of a Lightning Strike
Cloud-to-Ground (CG) is a type of lightning strike that discharges from a highly-charged cloud to the earth. It is the most studied kind of lightning strike since it poses the most danger to lives and properties.
CG moves through air to discharge to the earth. A tall building or tree is an easier target for a lightning strike since it shortens the distance the lightning has to move through the air. Lightning will look for the best conductor that’s nearest to the cloud. This means that the probability of a lightning strike isn’t affected by the roof or other structural materials of a building.
Why Metal Roofs Are Safer
On the contrary of what many believe, lightning rods, also made of metal, aren’t used to attract lightning. They are created to direct lightning safely to the ground in case of a strike.
A building with a conductive metal roof and a conductive metal structural frame provide lightning a low-resistance path to the earth. This means that a metal building is more likely to survive a lightning strike with less damage than a building made of combustible materials. Poor conductors with more electrical resistance can convert lightning’s electrical energy into heat, which can cause explosions or fires.
Choose one of your most trusted roofing contractors, Kirtley & Sons Roofing, for your roof’s needs. You can count on our experienced team for commercial and residential roofing services. Call us at (281) 371-6776, or fill out our online form for a free estimate. We serve homeowners in Houston, TX.