April 18, 2021
Do Metal Roofs Interfere With Cell Phone Reception
Metal roofing offers a plethora of benefits for both home and business owners. In fact, many property owners prefer metal roofs due to their resistance to fire, their energy efficiency, and their many color and style options. But we came across the question, “Do Metal Roofs Interfere With Cell Phone Reception?” in one of the roofing forums we frequent, and we wanted to address the issue in case any of you were wondering why you never hear about metal roofing and cell phones in any of the articles that you read online outlining the pros and cons of metal roofing.
This article will educate you about how metal roofing and other materials may interfere with cell phone signals, and give you solutions and tips that should help you get better reception in case you are suffering from poor reception right now.
Do Metal Roofs Interfere with Cell Phone Reception
So, do metal roofs interfere with cell phone reception? Well, yes and no… The truth is, almost anything can affect your cell phone reception. In fact, many of the materials in your home or nearby building like glass, wood, metal, drywall, and plaster, and fiberglass insulation, just to name a few, can affect your reception.
So to answer your question, yes, in some instances, metal roofs can interfere with cell phone reception. But to really understand what causes poor reception, we will need to get a little deeper into the subject, because most metal roofs will not affect your reception by itself.
Let me explain…
There are numerous factors that can come into play and affect the strength of your cell signal. Where your home is located, how far you are from a phone tower, (also called cell sites) the weather conditions, which cell service provider you are with, etc.
What happens is pretty simple actually. Poor cell phone reception, in most cases, falls into these two categories:
- Localized Poor Coverage – Localized poor coverage is exactly what it sounds like: A Poor cell phone signal where you can get a better signal by moving to another room or going outside. This kind of bad reception is due to building materials or some other local destructive interference, and can usually be fixed.
- Geographical Poor Coverage – Geographical poor coverage happens when there is a gap between service carriers, or your home is simply too far away from the nearest cell tower. Unfortunately, there is usually no way to fix this kind of cell phone signal problem.
What Causes Cell Phone Interference
Cell phone signal operates within – 50 dBm to -120 dBm frequency. – 50 dBm represents a full bar signal. and 120 dBm would be a “dead zone.” The closer you are to – 50 dBm, the stronger your signal. The way signals get blocked from materials is generally each material type or obstruction subtracting dBm from the signal until it is too weak to provide a strong enough signal. The more the materials subtract from your signal, the closer you get to a dead zone.
If there are trees, buildings, or other obstructions blocking the direct line of sight to the closest tower, you may experience an erratic signal that fluctuates up and down. Fiberglass insulation alone can cut your cell phone signal by up to 50%. A good sign that you are suffering from this type of signal interference is instances where you have a perfect signal outside of your home but you lose your signal inside.
Having a ton of apps on your phone running at once or even in the background can also cause cell phone interference. Your apps have to send and receive data in order to perform, whether it’s app updates, game-related information, or streaming ads that you watch at intervals in the process, this all uses your signal and can slow you down.
Here is a list of all of the material types that can work together to interfere with your cell phone signal:
Materials that Can Cause Cell Phone Interference
- Network Traffic
- Trees, Mountains, and Hills
- Thick Foliage
- Glass and Window Seals
- Low-E Glass Windows
- Fiberglass Insulation
- Plaster and Drywall
- Solid Wood Doors
- Venetian Plaster
- At Least 6″ of Concrete
- Solid Pine and Solid Oak
- 1/2 Inch OSB Plywood
So, How Do I Boost My Phone Signal
Luckily, most cell phone interference is caused by localized poor coverage, and that can usually be fixed. Cell phone signal boosters work with your existing signal, capturing and amplifying it to your low reception areas. Wilson is a reputable source for cell phone boosters, which are carrier-agnostic, meaning they work with any cell phone signal, and they can boost your signal by up to 32%. Check out their cell phone boosters here if you are having problems with poor reception.
Do Metal Roofs Interfere With Cell Phone Reception? – Final Thoughts
To summarize and answer your question, “Do Metal Roofs Interfere With Cell Phone Reception?” the answer is generally not by itself. Cell phone interference, in most cases, isn’t just one material or obstruction that is causing the problem, but multiple factors working together to give you poor coverage. It could be a combination of the brick, wood, and insulation in your home, and even the amount of data being transmitted on your phone or the landscaping around your home all playing a part in giving you a poor signal.
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