What To Do If Lightning Strikes Your Chimney
Your fireplace’s chimney is most likely the high point of your house. The highest point in an area is
where lightning will usually strike. That means your chimney is at risk from a bolt of lightning doing
extensive damage. And the damage a lightning strike can do is substantial. A single lightning bolt has the
energy equivalent of over 200lbs of TNT. You may be wondering what to do if lightning strikes your
chimney; let’s take a look.
When Lightning Hits Your Chimney
The first thing you need to do when your chimney has been struck by lightning is to see if any smoke is
visible or if there is a strong burning smell. Either way, it’s a good indication that your chimney is on fire, and you should call 911 immediately.
Masonry chimneys have a buildup of a highly flammable substance known as creosote that is generated when the wood is burned in a fireplace. If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned annually, there is probably a thick coating inside your chimney. A lightning strike is more than enough to ignite creosote.
Once the fire department has put out a fire in your chimney (if there was a fire), your chimney needs to
be inspected by qualified chimney sweeps to gauge the extent of the damage. Our chimney sweeps are
CSIA and NFI certified and have the experience to determine how much damage a lightning strike has
done to your chimney. Here are some of the ways that lighting can leave your chimney damaged:
- A cracked or broken crown.
- A damaged chimney liner.
- Cracked or broken bricks.
- Cracked or missing mortar.
In some cases, the damage to a chimney after a lightning strike is so extensive it compromises the entire
structure and will have to be rebuilt. Looks can be deceiving, your chimney may appear to be unharmed
from the lightning strike, but its interior is a different story. The best course of action is to have us
inspect your chimney to determine how extensive the lighting damage is and what repairs are required.
In some cases, there will be a few cracked or broken bricks that we will repair to keep water from getting inside your chimney; in other cases, as we stated earlier, the damage could be so widespread that both the chimney and its liner will need to be replaced.
We will also clean your chimney to remove buildups of creosote and remove any blockages that could
keep carbon monoxide from leaving your chimney.
Let Mercer County Chimney Service Inspect and Repair Your Lightning Damaged Chimney
Mercer County Chimney Service understands how devastating a lightning strike can be to a chimney and
home. If your chimney has been struck by lightning, get in touch today.
Call us at (609) 802-5288 or fill out our easy contact form.
A member of our highly trained staff can set up a time for us to inspect your chimney and, if needed, set a time to repair your chimney. Don’t wait until it’s too late to save your chimney from it’s lighting damage; act now!