Why Metal Roofing Does Not Increase the Likelihood of Lightning Strikes


Roofing is among the most valuable assets in finalizing construction. The roof is a critical component in protecting buildings from external elements. It is the roof that withstands the extreme weather conditions such as lightning strikes. Unfortunately, the roof is usually taken for granted making the term “out of sight, out of mind” relevant. In most cases, people only attend to it when an issue arises. They end up spending a lot of money in roof replacements. People have realized the need for durable and high-quality roofs which this explains the dramatic increase in the use of metal roofing products. The advancement in technology has taken sheet metal fabrication to the next level, the result being the production of high-quality roofing components.

Although many people are replacing their shingled roofs with sheet metal roofing, some are still not convinced of their safety when it comes to lightning. Some still believe in the common misconception that metal roofs increase the likelihood of lightning striking buildings.

Experts maintain that these roofs do not attract more attention from lightning than other traditional ones. They agree that lightning is not drawn to the metal roof despite the fact that metal is a good conductor of electricity. Lightning occurs when electrical current flows between the earth and sky. This flow produces millions of volts. Electrons usually move from the clouds toward the earth. Lightning becomes dangerous when the electrons move in the opposite direction from the ground to the sky along the ionization path. The resistance to this flow generates heat energy that can cause fires, explosion, and any other damage.

Contrary to the common myth, sheet metal roofing protects structures from being hit by lightning. In the event of lightning, the metal roof safely disperses any electric current instead of concentrating it in one area. All this is because metal conducts electricity and this helps in neutralizing the impact of the lightning strike. The noncombustible nature of metallic materials means that structures with metal roofing are safer when lightning strikes them.

The incidences of lightning striking buildings are rare. The likelihood of a building being hit by lightning has to do with its size, height and surroundings and not the materials used to construct it. Although metal roofing protects structures from risks associated with lightning, it does not eliminate the likelihood of strikes. It is the safe location of buildings that lessens this probability.

The materials used to make metal roofs are primarily aluminum and steel. These materials are preferred because they are durable, economical and support paint finishes perfectly well. Other materials such as copper and alloys are also used. They are however less preferable because they are quite expensive and also rare. The Heather & Little Limited – heatherandlittle.ca website has the available resources if you would like to learn more.