What Should You Do if Lightning Strikes Your Chimney?

Random lightning strikes cause all kinds of trouble for chimneys. The trouble can be minor or major. Regardless of the magnitude, there are a few things you should be prepared to do should it happen to you. National Chimney Cleaners of Fairfield County, CT, and Morris County, NJ, would like to share some information about dealing with a lightning strike and the damage that lightning can cause.

If lightning has hit your chimney, follow these two steps, in this order:

Chimney Fire, Bridgeport CT

1. Immediately after the strike, determine if there is a chimney fire

1. Immediately after the strike, determine if there is a chimney fire
Common signals of a chimney fire include:
 Excess dense smoke coming from either end of your chimney when
your fireplace is operating
 Any smoke coming from either end if your fireplace isn’t in use
 A rumbling sound, like from a distant train
 An odd clicking or tapping sound

If your chimney is on fire after a lightning strike, call 911 and then remove people and pets from the home.

2. Schedule a professional chimney inspection

Do this step even if the lightning damage appears minor. A licensed chimney inspector can see things you can’t and will be able to alert you to “hidden” damage that you’ll want to have repaired before using your fireplace again.
A quality chimney inspection covers multiple areas, including:
 Chimney masonry
 Chimney cap
 Concrete chimney crown
 Chimney flashing around the base of the exterior chimney
 Chimney liner and other areas and components of your chimney.

Important note: Wait until the storm that produced the lightning has passed on before going outside or up on your roof to evaluate the chimney.

damaged chimney in Hillsborough Township NJHow lightning can damage a chimney

Whether or not you’ve ever seen an actual lightning strike, you know how serious this event can be. Chimneys are strong, but they’re not strong enough to withstand the force of lightning.

Here are the parts of a chimney that are most susceptible to damage from a lightning strike.

Chimney crown: The concrete chimney crown can easily be broken apart from lighting. Water can then run through it into interior chimney areas.

Chimney cap: Chimney caps, flue covers and chimney chase tops are all vulnerable to lighting. These components can be warped or broken through, which will allow water to move into your system.

 

Chimney liner: A lightning strike can damage a chimney liner, either directly or through destroyed chimney masonry.

Bricks and mortar: It’s easy for lightning to dislodge bricks and crack mortar joints, creating a serious compromise to the safety of your chimney structure.

Chimney flashing: The flashing that seals the gap between the chimney and the roof can be warped or split by lightning. Water can then move down into your home.

The two primary concerns with a lighting-damaged chimney are structural stability and water leaks. A chimney inspection will let you know if either of these scenarios exists after a lightning storm.

Chimney inspections in Connecticut & New Jersey

National Chimney Cleaners is ready to inspect your chimney following a lightning event or at any other time. Along with inspections, we offer complete chimney repair and masonry rebuilding services. In the Fairfield County or Morris County regions, call (631) 821-0051. You can also reach us with our handy contact form.

 

Use an Experienced, Established Chimney Sweep Company!

Don’t take chances with uninsured, novice, roofers, unregistered business, no workman’s comp.
Our pros have to know what they’re doing when they put their heads up a chimney and to do that, chimney sweeps obtain specialized training and have years of experience in the field.