Lightning is an unpredictable force of nature that can be beautiful to watch. If it strikes a house or business, the damage can be devastating. Even worse, a structure’s electrical system will be compromised and owners won’t even realize it at first. Depending upon how close the strike is, lightning can damage foundations, basements, and chimneys, along with coping and patios around pools.
The most common damage resulting from a nearby lightning strike is the electrical wiring. Lightning creates an explosive power surge that will run throughout the electrical wiring in a structure. That influx of power will damage any appliance or device that’s connected, from refrigerators, air conditioners and water heaters to computers, printers and modems.
Even if appliances and equipment appear to work well and the power comes back on without incident, home and business owners aren’t out of the woods. The wiring will have sustained damage and the structure can require expensive rewiring and replacement of the fuse box. Appliances and equipment may need to be replaced as they can start a fire resulting from damage.
A lightning strike is approximately 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit and produces a concussive shock wave when it strikes that can fracture brick, concrete and stone. Additionally, the electricity generated by a lightning strike will follow the path of any moisture in those materials, along with any steel reinforcement rods.
It’s essential to know that lightning behaves much like water and will “flow” to any available outlet on its journey. If lightning strikes a building directly, it can cause a fire. A licensed electrical professional can provide an assessment and assist with designing a custom lightning protection system to protect structures and property.
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