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Should Your Metal Roof Be Grounded?

The popularity of residential metal roofing has been on the rise in recent years, so it should come as no surprise that homeowners in Durham, NC are beginning to make the switch. The problem is that because this roofing technology has only recently been adopted by residential contractors and embraced by homeowners, there are still a lot of questions and misconceptions surrounding metal roof panels and tiles. This article will address one of the most common of them by answering the question, should your metal roof be grounded?

Metal roofs are one of the most exciting materials a roofing contractor can work on. They provide a lot of benefits for a homeowner should they choose to install one. The grounding process is applied to electronic and metallic materials used in construction, primarily due to concerns over lightning strikes. However, some homeowners often ask if they should ground their metal roofs or not. Read on to learn more.

To Ground or Not To Ground?

First off, grounding isn’t required unless your local building code states otherwise. Generally, choosing not to ground your metal roofing won’t lead to additional risks for your home.

According to experts, lightning strikes areas that provide the least resistance as a path to the ground. Therefore, a metal roof wouldn’t increase the risk of lightning strikes hitting your home more than a standard roof since the roof’s surface serves as the path. Grounding a metal roof isn’t necessary as there is no mandate in the National Fire Protection Association’s building codes that requires grounding on your metal roof.

What Is Grounding?

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, grounding refers to the process of providing the electricity generated by lightning strikes with a safe path down into the ground. More often than not, grounding involves installing a lightning rod to attract any bolts that would have hit the house and safely channel the electricity away from people, electrical devices, and the rest of the home.

Metal Roof Vs. Lightning

The primary concern about metal roofs is that they attract lightning more than conventional roofing systems since metal is widely known as an electrical conductor. This belief is nothing more than a myth. Metal roofs aren’t susceptible to lightning strikes any more than other roofing systems.

However, some factors contribute to lightning strikes such as having high, thin points, on your metal roof. Be sure to consult your metal roof company to ensure that your roof doesn’t present hazards that attract lightning. 

Metal roofing is exceptionally safe even after being struck by lightning as its inflammable nature means that the fire caused by the strike wouldn’t spread as quickly. The electricity from the strike will be spread out across a larger area that dampens the impact, keeping everyone inside safe. In this case, metal building materials prove to be safer than other types of materials such as traditional wood-framed buildings since they easily catch fire.

Why Aren’t All Homes Grounded?

At first glance, this definition may give homeowners pause. After all, the damage from a lightning strike can be quite serious. However, in most places, the risk of lightning striking such a small structure is close to zero, and the chances of an unexpected strike causing harm are even lower. Large buildings almost always feature lightning protection systems, but small residential homes really don’t need them in most parts of the country.

Doesn’t Metal Attract Lightning?

This misconception is almost understandable because metal does conduct electricity. That said, lightning strikes whatever offers the path of least resistance to the ground, which means that all other things being equal, the likelihood of it hitting a metal roof is the same as that of hitting a standard roof. Plus, the chances of a metal roof incurring damage or posing danger to residents in the event of a lightning strike are actually lower than those associated with asphalt shingles and other common roofing materials because it is non-combustible.

When to Consider Grounding a Metal Roof

Some homeowners are more afraid of lightning strikes than others, so having a metal roof grounded can offer some peace of mind. Before going through the hassle of contacting a lightning protection specialist, though, it may be worth having an engineer conduct a risk assessment calculation. These experts can give homeowners a clear, objective view of how much risk they are taking on by leaving the roofs of their homes ungrounded.

If you need a metal roof estimate and installation, trust Carolina Home Specialists! We are a fully insured and certified roofing contractor with the mission to provide our customers with reliable products, installation, and customer service. We are a GAF Master Elite® Certified roofing company! Call us or send us your message online to get in touch with one of our friendly, local representatives. How can we help you, today?

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Should Your Metal Roof Be Grounded?

Carolina Home Specialists is a premier exterior home improvement service company serving the Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Chapel Hill communities in North Carolina. We also serve many surrounding communities.

If you’re in the Triad area and need a design consultant, please consider reaching out to our local roofing, windows, siding, gutters, decking, and fencing installation specialists. We’d love to help!

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