Lightning tends to strike the tallest grounded structure in the immediate area, which in some cases, happens to be a house’s chimney. Today, we discuss what happens when lightning strikes a chimney, and what you should do about it.
What Happens When Lightning Strikes a Chimney?
Properly built chimneys can withstand most weather conditions, but a direct lightning strike can still cause serious damage, from shattering the brick and mortar to warping or cracking metal components, such as the chimney liner. Lightning can also generate enough heat to ignite creosote and cause a chimney fire.
What to Do if Your Chimney Is Struck By Lightning
Most types of roofs dissipate lightning onto the ground, which means you’d be safe from electrocution should a lightning strike part of your roof as long as you’re indoors. If the lightning strike is followed by a loud whooshing noise or a clicking sound coming from the chimney, look out for signs of smoke – it means the lightning strike has caused a chimney fire. It is important to note that creosote is a highly flammable substance that can collect within chimneys and can burn for hours when ignited. Call the fire department immediately and keep your family at a safe distance.
Once the fire is put out or even if the chimney didn’t catch fire at all, schedule an inspection with your local chimney services company. The purpose of an inspection is to find signs of damage and make sure that issues are fixed before the heating season comes. Putting off chimney relining and other kinds of chimney repair work means spending a few days in the winter unable to use your furnace.
A chimney service professional can also find potential problems with your chimney and fix them before they become real problems that could be too costly to fix. Creosote buildup, in particular, happens out of sight. Keeping it to a minimum, with the help of your local chimney professional, can help keep your heating system at peak performance and your home safe during the heating season.
Chimney Doctors is your leading provider of chimney services, including chimney masonry repair. Give us a call at (518) 896-4107. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Saratoga Springs, NY, and the surrounding communities.