Lightning has a power that’s completely unmatched. Each bolt of lightning can contain up to 1 billion volts of electricity, and reach a temperature of up to 60,000 degrees, according to The National Severe Storms Laboratory, a federal research facility overseen by NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.
While lightning doesn’t always strike the tallest object around, it often does, leaving your chimney at risk, perching high above your rooftop.
Because of the heat and voltage associated with lightning strikes, your chimney can sustain extensive damage and be should be thoroughly examined inside and out if ever struck. Most visibly, lightning strikes impact the exterior of your chimney, breaking bricks and destroying the mortar that helps keep them in place. It’s not uncommon to see broken brick and mortar on the ground near the chimney following a chimney strike.
It’s also not uncommon for lightning to have an equally damaging impact on the interior of your chimney.
If you suspect your chimney has been struck by lightning, immediately contact your local fire department to ensure the strike didn’t start a fire and cause more damage to your home. Your local fire department will inspect your home to make sure fire isn’t festering in the chimney, attic or walls.
Once your home is clear of any threat of fire, do the following to make sure your chimney is again safe for use:
- Contact a chimney professional, like MCP Chimney and Masonry Inc., to inspect and assess any damage associated with a lightning strike. A knowledgeable chimney professional will be able to recommend and make necessary repairs.
- Stay away from the chimney outside of your home. The weak structure could cause brick to continue falling after the lightning strike. Keep family members away to avoid any potential injuries.
- Review your insurance policy. Some policies cover lightning strikes, which could reduce the cost of any necessary repair work needed.
MCP Chimney and Masonry has the tools and experience to thoroughly inspect and make necessary repairs needed as a result of a lightning strike. We will replace the flue if needed, and replace damaged brick and mortar, making your chimney safe for use.
If you suspect your chimney has been struck by lightning, or to have your chimney thoroughly cleaned, contact us today.