• What to Do When Lightning Strikes Your Chimney

    What to Do When Lightning Strikes Your Chimney

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    According to the National Fire Protection Agency, from 2007 – 2011 U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning. These fires led to an average of nine civilian deaths and $451 million in direct property damage. Although most of these strikes occurred outside, the loss of life and property damage were mainly due to in-home fires. As one of the tallest structures on the home, the chimney is one of the most likely places to be struck by lightning.

    Lightning bolts are more than just a little zap. Just one bolt can carry with it nearly 100 million volts of electricity. That is a lot for your chimney to handle! The most common damage a chimney will experience is to its mortar and brick. The bolts cause the mortar to crumble and break apart leaving huge gaps in the chimney itself. Bricks are often found covering the ground below.

    Lightning can also be harmful to the inner liner. Although more difficult to diagnose, the chimneys inner liner can become damaged during these powerful lightning strikes. This can even lead to a fire within the flue.

    If you suspect lightning has struck your chimney, follow these steps to keep your home and family safe:

    • If you suspect that lightning has just hit your home the most immediate concern is the threat of fire. Contact the fire department if your home suffers a direct hit.
    • Keep in mind, fires may not be immediately evident especially when hidden in the attic or chimney.
    • Be careful of falling brickwork from a damaged chimney. Steer clear of the area until it is safe.
    • Have your chimney inspected before using it. Keep in mind that damage to the chimney liner may be hidden and hard to diagnose. A certified chimney sweep should be enlisted to assess the health of the structure.
    • Complete any relining or repair work as needed. Some insurance policies cover this type of damage so make sure to look over the details of yours.

    When it comes the safety of your chimney following a lightning strike trust the team at Lindemann Chimney Service to be there when you need them. We can thoroughly and accurately assess your chimney for any damage that a lightning bolt may have left behind. If structural damage is apparent, our team of certified sweeps can complete the work and get you back to using your fireplace safely once again.

    Here when you need us most, Lindemann Chimney Service is your trusted chimney expert.

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