Does a Metal Roof Attract Lightning? Metal roofs are very durable, making them an ideal choice for homeowners. However, many people are hesitant about choosing metal over a traditional roof simply because of the myth that a metal roof makes a home more likely to get struck by lightning.
As metal roofs become more and more popular, a lot of curious homeowners considering a roofing upgrade are asking themselves this relevant question: does a metal roof attract lightning? Here we’ll answer that question and clear up some facts about metal roofs, and whether they attract lightning strikes.
Does a Metal Roof Attract Lightning?
Metal roofing systems are typically made from steel, which is a highly conductive material. However, studies have proven again and again that metal roofs do not put a home at any greater risk of being struck by lightning than that of conventional roofing material. According to the Metal Construction Association, “Research shows that the material used in [metal] roof construction does not influence the risk of a lightning strike. In fact, the presence of a metal roof really shouldn’t statistically increase or decrease the chances of a lightning strike. There are many other factors that influence the actual chance of a lightning strike.”
Are Metal Roofs Safe in Lightning?
Lightning strikes in any weather cause damage to homes and buildings. So, while metal roofing doesn’t increase the chances of lightning striking your home, what happens if lightning does strike a metal roof? How does the damage compare to a lightning strike on asphalt shingle roofing? The MCA goes on to say that “As a noncombustible material, a metal roof may even be a more desirable construction option.”
A metal roof is composed of a conductive material, so any electrical charge that strikes the roof travels through the material and dissipates before producing heat. This greatly decreases the risk of fire associated with lightning strikes. Not only is the conductivity of metal better than most roofing material, but the electrical charge will move through the metal roof rather than building up and becoming stronger, which is more likely to occur with a less conductive, more insulative material.
If you’re comparing metal roofs against asphalt shingles, consider the safety of each material. While asphalt shingles aren’t highly flammable, they are often only resistant to mild fire exposure, whereas metal roofs are entirely non-combustible. Both potential roof damage and the threat of danger to the lives of your loved ones are reduced when you install a metal roof.
Can Metal Roofing Lessen the Chance of a Lightning Strike?
The fact that a metal roof is installed on your home doesn’t mean you can sit around counting lightning strikes. Unfortunately, the material a homeowner selects for their home’s roofing does not impact the probability of a lightning strike. While metal roofs are proven to withstand the strikes and crush resistance that is required by many of today’s local building codes, they don’t lessen the probability that a bolt of lightning could strike your home. However, there are some other factors that play a part in whether a bolt of lightning will land on your house or not, such as:
The tallest home relative to neighboring homes is “most likely” to be struck by lightning. However, it’s more likely that nearby trees take the blow, as could telephone poles or anything else of substantial height.
A large surface area is more likely to get struck by lightning than a small surface area, so square footage could play a role in whether lighting strikes your home.
Depending on where you live, climate can impact the likelihood of a lightning strike. If you live in a particularly stormy region, probability states that your home is more likely to be struck by lightning.
Homes located at higher elevations have an increased chance of getting struck by lightning than those located closer to sea level.
Protect Your Home from Lightning with a Metal Roof
A lightning strike can do major damage to almost any type of roof. While roofing material plays no role in the probability of a lightning strike, metal roofs have a lower tendency to be struck than other roofing materials making them the safest choice for a home’s exterior.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your roof to a metal roof, reach out to the experts at Roofing Resources of Georgia. Our qualified metal roofers have experience installing, inspecting, and repairing a variety of types of metal roofs.