Storm Damage from Lightning

By Frank Zubricki

One of nature’s most dangerous events, a bolt of lightning can travel around 140,000 miles per hour and reach to temperatures as high as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a temperature high enough to change sand into glass. An electric discharge between the atmosphere and an object on the earth, a lightning strike mainly originates inside a thundercloud and ends on the ground. There are four kinds of lightning damage which are physical damage, electromagnetic effect damage, secondary effect damage, and damage caused by changes in ground reference potential.

One strike of lightning can start a fire in a commercial property or home. Most lightning damage, however, happens from an electrical surge that can short out appliances, computers, phone systems or the electrical system of a building. Lightning does not need to hit a property directly to cause damage. A neighbor’s tree, for example, can get hit by lightning and fall on a home nearby, leaving it in an unlivable state. Getting a claim settled in this type of instance is particularly challenging.lightning

Once lightning has struck, a business or homeowner needs to make sure it is safe to enter, meaning there are no downed electrical lines or live wires. The extent of the damage to the property then needs to be figured out. Things such as can the property be repaired and has the lightning strike destroyed electronics and appliances are common questions. If the damage related to a lightning strike is extensive, a business might have to halt operation, or a home may be left uninhabitable. A professional company will need to address the structure and the interior electrical system, and help you to settle their claim in a manner that is timely.

There are some insurance companies which want to know which damage was caused by a lightning strike which caused a fire, and the damage which was from an overload of the electrical system. Sometimes the insurer needs to know exactly where the electrical surge happened since they will not pay a damage claim if the surge happened off the property. These companies also do not differentiate between a power surge and lightning strike, and could want the technician or electrician who tends to the property to let them know that the power surge came from a lightning strike specifically since surges could also be the result of faulty power lines or transformers. The business or homeowner and the technicians, therefore, have to be in agreement that the losses were from a strike of lightning. This should be put down in writing.

Storm damage due to lighting can be devastating. The best choice to repair your property is a professional restoration company. They have the training and certification to restore your property back to normal.