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What Should You Do If Lightning Strikes Your Chimney

One myth about lightning strikes is that there’s no danger if you don’t see rain or storm clouds. However, according to the CDC, lightning often strikes areas outside of heavy rain and can strike as far as ten miles away from any rainfall. And, the National Fire Prevention Association estimates there are over 22,000 fires every year caused by lightning, causing millions of dollars in damage. Since lightning typically strikes higher objects, it’s easy for the home chimney to be a target. In this post, we look at what can happen to your chimney if it’s struck by lightning and what you should do if it happens.

Chimney Fire, Aiken SCWhat To Do If Your Chimney Is Struck By Lightning

Your first concern if your chimney is hit with lightning is whether there’s a fire. If your chimney suffers a direct strike, call 911 or the fire department to inspect it to be safe. Sometimes a chimney fire isn’t immediately apparent, so it’s wise to call the fire department to ensure everything is okay.

Once the storm has cleared and there’s no more threat of lightning, it’s crucial to get a chimney inspection as soon as possible to assess whether there’s damage. While it’s tempting to do this yourself, it’s better to hire a professional chimney repair company because they’re specially trained to find problems the average person might miss.

And, if there is damage, having a professional there can give you a good idea of what it will take to resolve the issues and make your chimney safe to use again. Finally, if you hire a chimney specialist to inspect your chimney after a lightning strike, it’s a good idea to schedule a complete cleaning to remove creosote buildup and any debris that have fallen in.

How Lightning Can Damage Your Chimney

You probably think that because your chimney is made from bricks, it can withstand most severe weather conditions like wind, rain, ice, and high temperatures, which is true. However, it’s estimated that the average lightning bolt contains more than a billion volts of electricity — a tremendous amount of energy that can inflict significant damage to anything it hits.
A direct lightning bolt hitting your chimney can cause the bricks to shatter, the mortar to crack, and the metal components, like the flashing, to warp or detach completely. Furthermore, the heat generated by a direct lightning strike is hot enough to ignite creosote buildup in the chimney, causing a fire. Sometimes, a lightning strike might not leave any visible damage, so you may think it’s safe to continue using your fireplace, but this is unwise because lightning can weaken the structural integrity of your chimney and make it prone to leak carbon monoxide into your home. Moreover, if the lightning cracked the mortar joints or bricks, water can seep in causing further deterioration and mold.

Chimney professionals Augusta GAWhy Hire Advanced Chimney Service?

There are many chimney service companies to choose from in the Georgia and South Carolina region; some are pros and others are contractors who dabble in chimney repair.

Advanced Chimney Sweep is a locally owned family business with over 15 years of experience in the industry. We offer a full-range of chimney services, including inspections, cleaning, repairs, rebuilding, dryer vent cleaning, and more. Plus, all of our technicians are 100% certified professionals, so you can trust the work is done right the first time by people who know what they’re doing. We proudly serve homeowners throughout Georgia and South Carolina. Call us today to book an appointment.

In Georgia, call (706) 833-4630. In South Carolina, call (803) 508-3990.