If stucco mesh is like a Faraday cage, can it protect you from lightning strikes?

No. In one of our first articles,, we talked about how the basic construction of a stucco house makes it hard for cell signals to get in. The term we used was “Faraday cage,” and it’s a metal cage that surrounds something, making it impossible for certain kinds of electricity to get through.

You might have seen something like this at your local science museum, where a lab-coated museum worker stood in a metal cage while artificially-created lightning struck him or her. In fact, with a little work on YouTube, we found this one from Boston’s Museum of Science:

http://youtu.be/4WxD4PEBinQ

So, if the person in the video was safe because of the metal cage, does that mean you’re safe in a stucco home? Again, the answer is…

No.

Why? There are three reasons. First of all, the cage in the video wasn’t just a Faraday cage, it was a lightning rod. In other words, it was the tallest metal object close to the lightning source and it was properly grounded. Proper grounting is massively important. If your stucco mesh is grounded, it’s just a happy accident; it’s not necessary to ground stucco mesh and it’s not usually done.

Second of all, in order for a faraday cage to work for lightning, it would have to face the source of the lightning, in other words the sky. Stucco mesh isn’t used in roofs.

Third, and most importantly, the wires in stucco mesh are so thin that even if they initially protected you, they would quickly melt, most likely catching your house on fire while they did.

Whether or not you live somewhere where lightning strikes are common, the tallest metal object on your house, which is probably your dish or antenna, should be properly grounded. This is inexpensive and quick to do, and we offer a guide on just what you’ll need. Although we’d prefer you order from us at solidsignal.com, the parts are also available at most home stores so don’t hestitate to put in proper grounding if you don’t already have it.

And, in case we haven’t been clear, don’t count on your stucco mesh to save you.