Lightning and trees, they don’t mix. In the big thunderstorm in the end of May, a local church in Jarrettsville, MD got a big surprise. Lightning had struck a tree immediately adjacent to an aluminum storage building. Now they’ve got no tree and some serious building damage to deal with.
There was a 30-ft maple growing next to the aluminum storage shed, located on the back edge of their property. The church used it to store mowers, landscaping equipment, extra chairs, tables, holiday decorations, etc. When the storm came through, it only lasted maybe 20 minutes, as it moved quickly across eastern Baltimore County and western Harford County.
Lightning struck the tree, and the electricity entered the tree, chasing it downward, through a root, which ran right up to the foundation of the building. The electricity entered the concrete foundation, creating a baseball size hole. A flash-bang occurred INSIDE the building, which lifted the aluminum roofing and siding off the frame. While most of the aluminum stayed attached, it was pulled approximately 1-2 inches from the studs and badly warped.
The electricity blew out all the breakers and damaged the electric feeder to the building. They have thousands and thousands of dollars in repair work to do. Sure, insurance will cover it, but it’s going to be a huge inconvenience to relocate and store all the contents of the building while they have the building rebuilt.
Summer time brings those pop up severe thunderstorms. They’re inevitable. You hear them rumbling in the distance, and all of a sudden they’re on top of you, delivering high winds and scary thunder claps.
Let’s be clear: lightning can strike anywhere at any time. There’s no way to completely protect your property from lightning damage, but you can minimize risks of tree strikes that could damage your home or property.
Lightning and trees – here are a few things to watch for:
- Trees close to your home (especially within 20 feet). Especially if they are taller than your home – lightning that strikes these trees may send a bolt into the ground that damages your foundation and possibly ruins your electrical circuitry, appliances – anything plugged in.
- Trees close to metal (especially within 10 feet). Let’s say you have aluminum siding or roof, or a metal downspout nearby. There is a possibility of “flash-over” where the electricity jumps from the tree to a more conducive material nearby.
- Trees that are hovering over anything valuable. In the event lightning strikes a tree and it should split and/or drop a huge branch, what property damage could occur? Would your car, home, pool, shed, or driveway be impacted?
Certainly other risks of lightning exist – these are just a few general tree-related ones. The challenging part of storms is that they bring new forces that are intense and unpredictable. We can help you manage risks to your valuable property and possessions.
Call for a free, professional tree service assessment:
This is one example where a little bit of work can go a long way in prevent a disaster. Call us today to schedule a free assessment and we can provide recommendations for removing, trimming and managing the trees on your property. After hours? Fill out a quote request form here.