Lightning Damage

Posted by in Lightning | August 15, 2016

A large tree was struck by lightning (Figure 1).  The home owner claimed interior damage to drywall.

Figure 1 Tree exhibits spiral peeling of bark indicative of lightning.

Figure 1 Tree exhibits spiral peeling of bark indicative of lightning.

Although the tree was not adjacent to the dwelling it was very large and old.  The roots probably extended to nearthe dwelling and there were plumbing lines that lead from the nearby pool to the dwelling.

The interior cracking that was pointed out exhibited cracking with sharp edges and relatively clean fracture surfaces.  Also, the cracking exhibited pieces of joint compound that appeared to have exploded off (Figures 2 and 3).  And, it could not be explained by another mechanism.

Figure 2 Ceiling exhibits cracking.

Figure 2 Ceiling exhibits cracking.

Figure 3 Cracking exhibits sharp edges, relatively clean fracture surfaces, and missing chips of joint compound along cracking.

Figure 3 Cracking exhibits sharp edges, relatively clean fracture surfaces, and missing chips of joint compound along cracking.

We concluded that the damage was related to the nearby and recent lightning strike.

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