In the Atlanta area Old Hat Chimney Service calls home, severe thunderstorms are a common occurrence every summer. Since a chimney extends from a rooftop, lightning is most likely to strike that part of a home. After a bad summer storm filled with lightning strikes, we typically get calls from customers who think lightning may have struck their chimneys. To prepare you for this possibility this summer, we wanted to share with you some information about the dangers lightning strikes can pose to your home and what you should do if you think lightning struck your chimney.
What types of damage can a lightning strike do to my home?
A direct lightning strike poses three possible types of damage to a home:
Since lightning releases an electrical current when it strikes, it can easily ignite a fire if it hits wood or any other flammable building material. Roofs and attics are most commonly affected by this danger. When lightning strikes a chimney, its current can travel through a home’s wiring system to completely burn up the wires in the home.
An explosive surge of lightning can destroy the electrical wiring system in a home and even affect non-electronic appliances that are connected to that system. Even if a lightning strike does not hit the home but does ground close by, a surge will be produced that can be large enough to affect the electrical system.
This is the type of lightning damage that most often affects a chimney. Lightning strikes produce explosive shock waves that we hear as thunder. At close range, these shock waves can easily fracture the masonry materials of your chimney and cause cracks and other structural damage which makes your chimney unsafe to use.
What should I do after lightning has struck my chimney?
If your chimney has suffered structural damage from lightning, your homeowner’s insurance will most likely cover the needed repairs. Contact Old Hat Chimney Service to schedule a professional chimney inspection to send to your insurance company with your claim. You should also take note of the date and time of the lightning strike, how you discovered the damage, and any other information and details that you feel are pertinent to the event. Being able to quickly and easily provide this information to your insurance agents will help your claim go more smoothly.
If you think lightning has struck your chimney, contact Old Hat Chimney Service as soon as possible. We can professionally inspect your chimney and give you the information you need to provide to your homeowner’s insurance company.