Are Metal Roofs Grounded Against Lightning Strikes?

With its high durability and energy efficiency, metal has definitely earned the praise of both roofing contractors and homeowners as one of the top roofing choices of today. This versatile material can be used in a variety of different places. It’s commonly used on standalone sheds and detached garages, but it is not uncommon to see residential buildings utilize metal roofing systems as well.

For all its advantages, there is one question that a lot of people ask about metal roofs: do you need to ground them? Grounding, in a nutshell, means connecting the roof to the ground with a wire. This is done to dissipate any electrical energy from lightning. 

Metal as a Conductor

Metal as a material is a well-known conductor, which is why a lot of people fall into the belief that metal roofing is prone to lightning strikes. This is simply not true. While the science behind it is fairly complex, the most important part to remember is that, as long as the roof is structurally connected to the earth, the interior of your home will remain protected from lightning. To prove the safety of metal roofs even further, there is currently no National Fire Protection Association code requiring grounding for metal roofs.

Indoor Safety

Despite the lack of grounding requirements, make sure that you and your contractor still follow all related safety codes about metal roofing installations. For instance, the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping to connect the roof and your interiors is essential to keep you well-insulated against potential lightning strikes. Nearby metal objects can still serve as a pathway for electricity, however, which means you have to move them away from the roof. If these metal fixtures cannot be moved, then a grounding wire may be necessary.

At Garlock-French Corporation, we can help you find the perfect roofing solution for your home. Give us a call at (612) 722-7129, or fill out our contact form to schedule gutter cleaning services or request a free estimate on a metal roof installation today. We serve homeowners in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas.