Getting The Facts Straight: Lightning and metal roofing

In the past, we have talked a lot about the growing popularity of metal roofing in South Florida due largely in part to how green this product is. It is such an environmentally sound decision it is ridiculous. So why hasn’t everyone gone to metal roofing? I believe this is because people have a lot of misconceptions about metal roofing. So let’s talk about one of them.

How many times have you been struck by lightning?Metal Master Shop lightning over ocean

Have you seen any of the National Lampoon movies when you were a kid? Do you remember the one where the family goes to the cabin up in the mountains and the dad, Clark, runs into the old man that keeps getting struck by lightning? When Clark asks him how many times he has been struck he stutters “Ssssiiiiiixxxxxxx” very slowly and Clark asks “SIX?” incredulously. The old man holds up his hand for patience and stammers again, “Ssssssiiiiiiixxxxxtttttyyyy – Ssssiiiiixxxx”…. To uproarious laughter. That is my FAVORITE part of any of those movies! In reality we knew, even as kids watching that movie, that no one would survive being struck by lightning that many times.

So why do we assume a metal roof would increase those chances of being struck by lightning? Well, we all know metal conducts electricity. In fact copper, which is one of the most aesthetically pleasing metal roofs, is one of the best conductive metals. You may not think I’m helping my case here but stick with me.

Now that being said, a metal roof will NOT increase the chance of your home being struck by lightning. The statistics just don’t show any proof. But what it does show is that if your home was indeed to be struck by lightning you would be better off if you have a metal roof.

Why? Because the metal roof would disperse the energy safely throughout the structure. Causing less harm all the way around. See? I told you to stick with me.

In addition, since it isn’t combustible or flammable it is actually a DESIRABLE roofing option if you live in an area where severe weather is concerned, especially for lightning. Did you know Florida is considered the lightning capital of the United States because of our unique geography? The Central Florida Peninsula area is the hardest hit and the lightning activity peaks in the summertime when it is the warmest. Which is actually, just around the corner!

 So What Can You Do?

Think back to grade school when they talked about lightning safety. I vividly remember thinking how weird it was that one of the things they recommend is that if you can not get indoors during lightning you should get in a car.

I thought, “but a car is made of metal…”, we are all guilty of snap judgements. But even when I voiced this question to the teacher I was told a car is safer because the tires are made of rubber. True, but not the whole truth.

“The steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.”

This is a direct quote from the Hazardous Weather of Florida guide. The steel frame protects you… Think on that for a while.

Is your home or building prepared? Metal roofing is not only a Green product but is also something that could help save your home if lightning were to strike it. Help yourselves be prepared at home or in the office and in other situations as well. Because thunderstorm activity peaks in the summertime, when the most people are working outdoors or enjoying outdoor activities, Florida often leads the nation in injuries and fatalities from lightning. Visit this website for more information on lightning in Florida.

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