Lightning strike?

I inspected a house this Saturday and came across something odd. I don’t know if it was a lightning strike or what. On the roof there was a hole about an inch in diameter straight through the shingle and decking, in the attic there was scorching on the under side of the decking and an antenna about 8 inches from it. The antenna and wiring to it were not burnt or damaged. Could lightning have struck the antenna in the attic? If so it must have been replaced because there was no damage to it.




That’s not scorching, it’s water damage.

The shingle has been damaged and is now leaking.

Agree…something landed or was thrown onto that roof.


Bullet hole???

Same thing I thought of…bullet hole. People ignorantly shoot of guns into the air. Gravity still works.

I was going to put this and add Satellite dish anchor also!

A direct lightening strike to a house would cause devastating damage.

For some reason that crossed my mind but I ruled it out. The black area probed and looked like burnt wood more than water damage for some reason. That’s embarassing, I already sent out the report stating scorched wood. Should I write and say “oops”? To top it off it’s a local real estate agent who is buying it.

Yes. My agreement gives me 48 hours to amend a report. You don’t need to explain anything, just let them know the section number you changed.

Just be honest, stay professional in your addendum. Everybody makes mistakes but people will respect you more if you are up forward with it, state the facts and simply say after more research and conferring with other experienced inspectors you are changing your finding. Regardless, if it were a small hole from a meteorite or a bullet hole, it can be repaired easily. FACT is, you caught it…many would not have. Bullet holes are not something you find every day. I did one years and years ago…bullet holes all throughout the attic…owner was trying to kill a raccoon that lived in the attic…he never did hit it…funny story though.

Good point on the addendum, it is in my contract that I have 72 hrs. Guess I have to bite the bullet on this one…get it…8-

easy fix…upon reviewing the photo’s from Your recent inspection in the office on a large monitor we found…yada yada yada…no harm no fowl…

Jim what dictionary do ya find those words in are they Yiddish

I don’t think anyone that has ever seen a lighten struck roof is going to have to ask what is this. Wife had a home under contract lightening struck the roof blew a hole larger than a basketball it did not catch on fire as it was raining to hard

I understand the difference in what a lightning strike looks like compared to this instance, it’s pretty obvious. The confusion came with the damage being right above and close to the antenna, and a label about a foot down that said “keep away from power lines, it may kill you”, and the decking was flaking off looking more like burnt than water damage (ironic being that one’s fire and one’s water). It put the thought in the back of my mind.

It is not only ok to correct the report, but it is best to correct the report. We all learn something new from time to time. That is what life, inspections, and this forum is all about. We help each other. As spoken in an earlier post, “honesty” is always best. The few folks that don’t respect honesty… well, you don’t want to be associated with them anyway.

…and yes, it is simply water damage. This same discoloring will show up around a lot of chimneys.

Just for future reference… if that is a bullet hole and the bullet was falling, the bullet is probably in the attic under the insulation, unless there’s a bullet hole in the ceiling somewhere.

kinda looked like it was exiting the building from ohio…larger opening appears to be on the outside

The effects of lighting strikes can vary greatly from instance to instance. This one left a small hole in the roof and a traceable path to ground. The sell claimed to have been unaware of the strike.

I will not say no.
Good hypotheses.
I would be along those lines also.
I have seen direct strike, Chimneys, and jump strikes, roofs.
Well the neigbours told the client and we saw the results.

Lightning is know to strike BUR, composite shingles, chimneys, metal roos, the highest residental component, peak or crown cap. etc.
The antenna is a conductor.

  1. It can strike a metal object on the roof.
  2. It can strike a building directly (called a direct strike).
  3. It can strike a tree or silo near the building and jump to the building. This occurs when the building provides an easier path to ground.
  4. It can strike a power line or a wire fence and follow the line or fence to the building.

LPI-175: The lightning protection code, published by the Lightning Protection Institute.

NFPA 78: National Fire Protection Association Lightning Protection Code.

ASAE EP381: American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Engineering Practice.

96AUL: Requirements for Master Label for Lightning Protection, developed by Underwriters’ Laboratories.

Lightning protection systems are commonly installed on roofs in locations prone to
frequent lightning strikes. A roofing contractor typically does not install a lightning
protection system. Rather, a separate contractor installs these items after a roof system
has been installed. When not adequately integrated into a roof system, a lightning
protection system can damage the roof, and/or become displaced and no longer be
capable of providing lightning protection.
The stray tentacle’s off a lightning Branch can contact several areas of a roof.

Lightning is common with the highest elevation or conductor on a building.
Not always.
Chimneys are the catalyst. Metal caps.
I have seen 4 lightning related strikes on chimneys.
Small hole as in several photos posted on this thread.