There is a common misconception that metals do attract lightning. This misconception has made several metal gazebo owners to be confused about using the gazebo in rainy seasons. This article will clear all misunderstandings and will answer the question, should a metal gazebo be grounded?
What You Should Know About a metal Gazebo
The gazebo is an outdoor structure that can shade you from the sun, rain and other elements. You can use wood, metal, and vinyl to make a gazebo in your home. Metal is one of the materials that can last for a long time if you use it in making a gazebo. You can use metals like steel, iron cast, wrought iron and aluminium to build a gazebo.
One property of all metals is the ability to conduct electricity; likewise, a metal gazebo will also possess the ability to conduct electricity. As a metal gazebo owner, you might feel unsafe when you are inside your gazebo when it is raining. You might be scared of the lightning hitting your gazebo. A gazebo is a safe place where you should enjoy your outdoor stay in different climate conditions. Hence if you have a metal gazebo, it is advisable to ground your gazebo to prevent striking your structure.
Does a Metal Gazebo Attract Lightning ?
Like all metals, if you build a gazebo with any kind of metal, the gazebo can conduct lighting. Conducting lighting should not be confused as attracting lighting. The metal gazebo does not attract lightning but can act as a direction for lightning to follow.
Standing close to a metal gazebo struck by lightning can be very dangerous. It is apt that the lightning will pass through the gazebo to anyone close to the structure. More reason why you should ground a metal gazebo if you have one.
In the case of a lightning strike, If you ground a metal gazebo, it is unlikely that the lightning will pass through the structure to anyone standing close. Rather, instead of the lightning passing through a person, grounding the gazebo will pass the lightning directly to the soil.
If you have a metal gazebo in your yard, you should ground the gazebo to protect it and, more importantly, to protect the people around the gazebo. In areas with thunderstorms or lightning strikes, grounding a metal gazebo can make it safer for you to use. But this doesn’t mean that the gazebo is safe for you during a lightning strike. Like all-metal structure, you should avoid staying close to them during thunderstorms.
Benefits of Grounding a Metal Gazebo
During a thunderstorm, when lightning hits a structure like the metal gazebo, it is the people around the gazebo at that moment that is likely to be harmed. If you ground a metal gazebo, you can prevent the electricity from getting to a person when lightning strikes.
Grounding a metal gazebo will provide a low resistance direction for the electricity to follow. Grounding the gazebo helps to intercept the lightning strikes and guides it to the soil instead of getting to the people close to the gazebo.
Do I Ground A Gazebo That Is Attached to My House?
If a metal gazebo is attached to a house, it does not need additional grounding. But if it’s attached to a freestanding structure in your garden, you should ground the gazebo together with the other structure.
How To Ground Your Metal Gazebo
You can ground your metal gazebo by making use of copper rods. You should place the copper rods at least 6 inches deep into the ground. You should create at least two different lightning paths by using one rod each on the gazebo post base. If you place your gazebo on a hard surface, you will have to drill a hole on each leg of the gazebo.
Once you have made the holes, clamp the rods to the base of the gazebo post with a rod clamp. You can do this by drilling the rod clamps into the gazebo leg’s sides and placing the rod into the hole through the clamp. You can now fasten the clamp around the copper rods. However, you should drill the holes tightly to prevent the rods from wriggling. You can also place cement on the hole’s sides to ensure that the rod is tightly fixed.
A metal gazebo should be grounded to prevent electricity from flowing through the gazebo to you when lightning strikes. You can ground your metal gazebo by placing copper rods on each leg of the gazebo.