A lightning strike can be devastating to your home. The first thing to do is be glad nobody was hurt or injured. Then it’s time to assess the property damage and develop a plan to getting your home fixed so you can call it “home” again, and set up protection against the next thunderstorm to hit the area.
Although much of your house runs on electricity, it wasn’t designed for the most pure and powerful form of electricity as delivered by a lightning strike. The energy flows through your wiring in both directions, shorting out electronics plugged into wall outlets as well as your circuit breakers. You’re wiring can’t hold all the energy of the electrical current and so it dissipates into heat energy, melting the wiring insulation and in extreme cases causing a fire.
Structural damage from a fire is addressed by a building contractor, typically one who specializes in storm damage. Your insurance may choose the contractor, or allow for you to hire one on your own with a payout. You’ll likely need to personally evaluate damage to your electronics from the energy overflow.
You’re also going to have a licensed electrician such as Harrison Electric in Minneapolis come in to evaluate and repair the electrical damage. This is going to include a thorough evaluation of all things electrical in your home, some of which you may not even be aware of. There is more work than just installing a new fuse box (or circuit box by today’s standards) and wiring. There are inside and outside grounding systems to prevent damage in case of an electrical overload. There are GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruption) units which are intended to blow out to prevent further and more expensive damage.
The Final Solution
For peace of mind after the repairs are finished, you may want to consider installing a lightning rod or lightning protection system. Not only will this prepare your home against future lightning strikes, it may qualify you for a discount toward your homeowners insurance. The lightning protection system will include multiple grounds and points throughout your home to lead a future lightning strike toward those grounds and away from areas that cause extensive and expensive damages.
After a lightning strike, first and foremost be aware of the personal injury it could have caused. Remember that your home can and will be repaired.
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