Do You Need a Lighting Rod?


Here’s the question of the day.. should you get a lighting rod on your roof?

I’m sure we all remember the  time “Touch Down Jesus” went up in flames due to a lighting strike. Now, “5-foot-long Jesus” has a lighting rod you can see from the highway sticking out of his head. This ensures that there will not be another Jesus statue catching on fire. What about your roof? What protection do you need from lighting and are you in an area that’s prone to lighting strikes? Well, keep reading because we’re about to answer all your questions.

When lighting strikes your roof the surges of electricity will cause a strong current of electricity to pulse through your home. That could lead to a small explosion, which could quickly evolve into a large house fire. The main thing to keep in mind though is, if there are large trees or telephone poles close to your home, they will almost always be struck by lighting rather than your home. Lighting strikes the highest point and if your home isn’t the highest point, it will be safe. Lighting rods are really only recommended to homes that are the highest point in their area or church steeples. Lighting strikes are pretty uncommon in residential areas.

Lighting rods are mounted on the highest point of the roof and are grounded so that if lighting was to strike them all the electricity would be redirected to the ground and not your home.

A good first question to ask is if you’re in an area that is highly susceptible to lighting strikes. Areas where lighting strikes are more common is central florid and the Midwest alone tornado alley. Central Florida was even named, “Lighting Capital of the World”.

What about a metal roof? It would make sense that it would be more susceptible to lighting strikes but that’s not the case. A metal roof has the exact same chances of getting struck as an asphalt shingle rod. A metal roof isn’t combustible or flammable. So if your metal roof was to be struck by lightning the energy from the lighting would be disputed through your roof and wouldn’t affect your home.

The down side to adding a lighting rod system to your roof is that it is rather expensive. Lighting rods are only recommended for areas where lighting is prominent and your roof is the highest point in your area. Obviously, there is still the chance that your home could be struck by lighting.. not enough of a chance to pay thousands of dollars for a lighting rod. Talk with a roofing professional in your area to be sure of what they think is the best decision for you.