The durability and color options of metal roofing make it a popular choice across the country, but many homeowners still avoid this great material because they believe a common myth about it. Learning the facts about metal roofing will help you decide if it's right for your home. Discover how this form of roofing really interacts with lightning before you assume you already know.
First, the misconceptions about lightning itself is part of what feeds the fear about metal roofs attracting electrical strikes. Many people think that clouds roll over and electricity shoots downward towards the ground. While a strike does begin with an ionization path extending down to the ground from the storm above, the electricity actually comes up from the ground when the strike occurs. This is why your roofing material has very little effect on how likely your home is to be hit by lightning. The height and size of a building is what attracts electrical strikes, not how conductive or insulative its materials are.
Testing the Roof
While the concepts of science alone help us understand why metal roofs are safe, the roofing industry also has plenty of testing to back up their claims. Studies of metal roofing installed on real homes reveals that these structures are no more likely than any other similar building to receive a lightning strike.
However, concerns about lightning don't end at getting struck. If you live in an area with regular thunderstorms, there's always a chance of a fire or explosion due to an errant strike. When electricity does reach your roof, the material its made of plays a large role in what happens to the house.
Protecting the Home
A conductive material like metal is what you want on your roof when electricity hits it. A non-conductive material, like asphalt shingles, absorbs the energy in the form of heat and has a high chance of catching on fire or being blown apart by the force. Since the metal roofing absorbs the electricity instead, it follows the path of the structure and has a much better chance of just dissipating harmlessly with no damage to the home at all. Even if there is a fire or other damage, it's going to be much less serious after a majority of the electricity is scattered by the conductivity of the roof. If lightning is a major concern for you and your family, a metal roof is the best choice for your home rather than the worst.
For more information, talk to a professional like A-Preferred Roofing & Contracting.