Do You Need a Lightning Rod on a Metal Roof?
Posted in: Commercial,Residential
On November 19, 2021

For starters, you should know that a metal roof does not attract a lightning strike. Have it in mind that a metal roof does not protect your home from a lightning strike. So, you will need to install a lightning protection system to protect your home from lightning strikes.

So, do you need a lightning rod on a metal roof? Yes, depending on the frequency and likelihood of lightning strikes in your locality. Some places barely experience lightning strikes, making it unnecessary to install a lightning rod.

That said, you may need to protect your home from lightning strikes by at least using non-combustible roofing materials (like a metal roof). That will reduce the intensity of damage to your property.

Here you will learn the factors that increase the likelihood of lightning strikes on a building, what you need to know about the metal roof and lightning strikes, and also lightning strikes in Canada.

Factors That Increases the Likelihood of Lightning Strike on a Building

Lightning Rod on a Metal Roof


Lightning strikes are not so common. In fact, only a few regions experience severe lightning strikes that can damage your property. However, due to continuous changes in climate, more places have become susceptible to lightning strikes. 

For that reason, it would be best to take protective measures even if you do not live in a lightning strikes-prone area.

That said, your home can be susceptible to lightning strikes due to four factors outlined below:

The Surface Area of a Building

Lightning Rod on a Metal Roof


A building with a large surface area has a higher probability of being struck by lightning than a building occupying a small surface area.

The Topography

The building’s location is also a factor that determines the likelihood of being struck by lightning. For example, homes elevated on higher grounds, like hilltops, are more susceptible to lightning strikes.

Height of the Building

Since lightning is attracted to higher points, tall buildings are more likely to get struck than small buildings in the same area.

Geographic Location of the Building

Lightning Rod on a Metal Roof


The geographic location of your building will determine its safety from lightning strikes. For instance, if your building is located in southern Ontario, Windsor, Toronto, or Hamilton, chances that your home will get a lightning strike are higher than if it was located in  Vancouver.

Land located in the tropics is more susceptible to lightning strikes than those in Arctic and Antarctic areas.

What You Need to Know About A Metal Roof and Lightning

Most people assume that since a metal roof is a good conductor of electricity, it will attract lightning strikes. However, that is a misconception based on intuition and not on facts. So, what happens when lightning strikes a metal roof?

When lightning strikes a metal roof, it quickly disperses the charges to a larger area, acting as a shock-absorber. Besides, a metal roof is non-combustible; therefore, it is inflammable and can barely cause a fire hazard.

Therefore, the metal roof will not attract lightning nor prevent it from striking; however, it reduces the lightning impact on your property. So, a metal roof will reduce the danger of lightning, but your property can still be damaged. Consequently, installing a lightning rod on your metal roof is recommended if you live in a lightning-prone area.

Fortunately, you can install the non-combustible material with the highest Class A fire-resistance rating metal roofing if you live in a lightning-prone area. To stay safe, consult your roofing company to receive a professional opinion. If you need to install a lightning rod on your metal roofing in Lubbock, TX, you can get the services from professional roofing companies near you.

Lightning Strikes in Canada

Lightning Rod on a Metal Roof


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Since you now understand the concept of lightning and the metal roof, let’s check on some facts about lightning occurrences in Canada.

So, in Canada, thunderstorms are experienced during the hot weather seasons. In addition, lightning flashes occur about once every three seconds during the winter season in Canada.

In Canada, an average of 10 people die due to lightning strikes every year. Also, lightning strikes seriously injure between 100 to 150 people yearly. The highest number of strikes is in Ontario, with Windsor receiving the most, then Toronto and Hamilton. 

Recently, Canada reported more than 710,000 lightning strikes in a single night. The lightning strikes result from massive clouds generated by the wildfires in western Canada.

So, it is evident that lightning strikes frequency is high, and as a homeowner, you need to protect your home from any occurrences. Therefore, you will need to have a lightning rod installed on your metal roof to prevent eventualities. Also, take these protective measures if you are outdoors and lightning starts striking:

  •  Lightning usually strikes on higher grounds, so take cover on low grounds.
  •  Avoid taking shelter near tall trees or near objects that conduct electricity.
  • Keep away any personal electronic devices like cell phones, walkmans, iPods, or beepers worn on the body during lightning strikes. Such devices can lead to severe injuries when you get struck by lightning.
  • Wearing metal jewelry, body piercing, or even having coins in your pocket can lead to injuries. Although metal does not attract lightning, the metal will conduct electricity causing contact burns.

Final Word

Lightning Rod on a Metal Roof


Lightning strikes are the primary cause of the Canada wildfires. So, if your roofing materials are highly flammable, you risk your property being razed down by lightning strikes. Therefore, you should invest in non-combustible roofing materials as well as a properly installed lightning protection system.

Although lightning strikes might not be common in your locality, installing a lightning rod in your metal roof won’t hurt. Instead, it will protect you from any unforeseen occurrences that might cost you a fortune.

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