Summertime brings with it storms, and with storms comes lightning. A bolt of lightning can wreak havoc on your home, damaging electronics, starting fires, and it could damage your chimney. A chimney is often the highest point of the house, so it is likely to be the part of your home that would be struck.
What action do you take if your chimney is struck by lightning; we have the answers. Here is what to do if lightning strikes your chimney.
A single lightning bolt is equivalent to 240lbs of TNT, so you can see that a strike can do quite a bit of damage. Among the things lightning can damage your chimney are:
As you probably have guessed, using your fireplace after a lightning strike is not a good idea until a certified chimney sweep has inspected it and performed any needed repairs. Your whole chimney’s structure may be compromised and could allow carbon monoxide to leak into your house. The more likely problem your chimney will have after a lightning strike is cracked and broken bricks, allowing water to quickly find its way into your chimney. Nothing is more damaging over time than water finding it’s way into your chimney. During the winter, the water will expand and contract as the temperature falls below and rises above freezing. The expansion and contraction of bricks will cause them to break down and eventually crumble. Water can also find its way into your home, causing mold to grow and water stains on the ceiling and walls near your fireplace.
If you see or smell smoke coming from your chimney after a lightning strike, call 911; the strike has ignited a fire in your chimney. As we stated earlier, creosote buildup inside your masonry chimney is highly flammable.
Once the fire department has extinguished a fire in your chimney (if there was a fire), call us to inspect it. Our chimney sweeps are CSIA certified and have experience in the field dealing with issues just like yours. We will be able to determine the extent of the damage on the inside and outside of your chimney. Once we have evaluated the damage, we will inform you of what repairs need to be made and how long they should take. Even if your chimney hasn’t been struck by lightning, a yearly cleaning and inspection will extend the life of your chimney and fireplace.
FlameMaster’s qualified chimney specialist can inspect lightning damage to your chimney and make repairs as needed. Don’t delay having your chimney inspected after a lightning strike; the damage could be extensive, and the longer it is neglected, the worse the problems will become.
Call us today at 719-661-3277or fill out our easy contact form. One of our chimney experts will be happy to schedule a crew to inspect the lightning damage to your chimney and recommend repairs.