Are Metal Roofs Lightning Magnets?

One of the most pervasive myths about metal roofing is the perception that it’s prone to lightning strikes. But you shouldn’t believe these myths. Here’s why metal roofing is suitable for all weather conditions.

Are Metal Roofs Lightning Magnets?

How Lightning Behaves

The myth about metal roofs being prone to being struck by lightning is probably due to the fact that metal is a highly conductive material and, therefore, is a “magnet” for lightning strikes. But that is not how lightning behaves. Without going into technical details about how lightning behaves – many aspects of which are still unknown – there is enough information to confirm that metal roofs do not attract lightning. In fact, a metal roof is relatively safer than most other roofing types in the event of a lightning strike.

Like any other type of electrical discharge, lightning seeks the path of least resistance. Therefore, lightning is more likely to hit the tallest grounded structure in the area, which could be a tree, a bell tower or a tall spire. This is why a lightning rod is always set taller than the rest of the house: because it’s more likely to get hit by lightning than the house itself. And, in the event that lightning does hit a metal roof, its conductive properties allow it to efficiently dissipate electricity to the ground.

Other Advantages of Metal Roofs

Roofers recommend metal roofs for more than just protection against lightning. They have a long lifespan and exceptional impact resistance, and can efficiently shed rain and snow. This material’s relatively lighter weight makes it the ideal roofing material. An existing roofing structure will not require additional reinforcements to install a metal roof.

Aesthetically, metal roofs are very flexible. Galvanized steel roofs can be coated in virtually any color as well as reflective coatings that help improve energy efficiency. Copper and aluminum roofs can even be installed bare. Metal roofs are highly recyclable, making them one of the most eco-friendly roofing systems available.

Twin Rivers Roofing & Construction is one of the leading roofing contractors in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Give us a call at (540) 899-7774, or fill out our contact form.