How Lightning Can Cause Significant Storm Damage to Homes | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
Severe thunderstorms can be dangerous for a multitude of reasons, but one of the most dangerous considerations of all is lightning damage. Extremely hot and incredibly quick, a lightning strike can cause significant damage in an instant to anything it lands on—which could very well be your Ulster County home.
Lightning occurs when there is a spark of electricity, which can be between two clouds, in the air or between the clouds in the ground. The significant heat of lightning is also what causes thunder, so every thunderstorm contains the potential for lightning to strike as well.
Lightning can also travel for up to 25 miles away from the sound of thunder, making it a phenomenon that impacts quite a broad area. Below, we will look at how lightning can damage a home so you know what to be aware of the next time severe weather comes through.
How Lightning Damages Homes
-Through Starting a Fire
The risk of starting a fire is the biggest danger that a lightning strike poses. Lightning can reach up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, giving it the potential to immediately cause a fire if it strikes flammable building materials or nearby trees. Lightning can also burn up wires as it travels through the home, creating the potential for an electrical fire within the walls of the home either immediately or at a later date. If your home has been struck by lightning, it's important to have an electrician check for damage within the walls.
-Through Power Surges
As lightning travels through the home’s wiring, it can overload the circuit and cause energy to be shot to anything that is plugged into a wall outlet—this is called a power surge. This can ruin electronics and even send sparks flying, posing another type of fire hazard altogether.
-Through Shock Wave Damage
The same force that causes thunder to sound in the clouds can occur on the ground, where it is called a shock wave. This powerful force can lead to shattered glass, foundational cracks and explosions of brick or cinder blocks if lightning strikes the home or even nearby.