Building Materials That Contribute To Weak Wi-Fi And Cellular Signals

Have you been experiencing a weak Wi-Fi or cellular signal lately? There are many reasons as to why you might be getting a bad signal but the building materials around you could be to blame for blocked signals. If you get a good signal while outside the building, and a feeble one as soon as you step inside, the building materials used could be blocking the signals, or making them bounce all over. Many of the building materials in use today are known to block Wi-Fi and cellular signals hence could be the reason you have been experiencing a poor connection or slow internet speeds while inside the house.

Although it might be impossible to identify the problem material, you need to have an idea of what materials could be causing the problem. It’s worth noting that mobile signal and Wi-Fi signals are attenuated in the same way, one of the reasons one factor can affect both of them. Frequency range and channels are however subject for discussion. Outlined below are some of the common building materials known to block Wi-Fi and cellular signals.

1. Clear Glass Panes

Clear glass panes are commonly used to allow natural light into the house. Many of us will however try walking to the window in an attempt to get a stronger signal. While the glass pane may allow light through, they cause cellular and wi-fi signals to bounce around hence an even weaker signal double-glazed and triple glazed-windows make it hard for cellular signals to penetrate through, hence could be the reason you are always having trouble getting a strong signal in the house.

Low emission windows are the most notorious in blocking Wi-Fi and cellular signals. These windows are designed to keep elements such as cold and warmth out of the house and have a similar effect on mobile signals. One way to solve this issue would be by opening the window to allow the signals through.

Mobile Signal Booster

2. Sheetrock and Insulation

Although sheetrock may not be capable of blocking strong signals, weaker signals might not be able to penetrate rooms with the same. Sheetrock is known to cause signal degradation and fluctuation up to -2db, hence can make a significant difference in weak 5G, 4G, or even 3G signals. With sheetrock not part of the main floor plan, materials used to build the floorplan may make the issue even worse.

If your house has fiberglass insulation installed, you might then experience a decline in signal strength. Foam boards, fiberglass batts, and other types of foil-faced insulation may have a similar effect on both radio and Wi-Fi signals. The denser the insulation material is, the higher the impact will be on inbound signals. That said, homes with both sheetrock and heavy insulation in place are bound to block signal causing a decline in reception.

3. Plywood and Solid Wood

Most residential properties are primarily made of plywood. A framework of plywood alone is capable of reducing signal strengths on 3G and 4G networks by -6db. The effect is even worse on 5G networks with users getting fluctuations up to -9db. Several factors, such as the plywood's thickness, and whether it is wet or not will cause even more significant signal loss. The signal loss my increase up to -20db if the plywood is compressed and damp.

Solid wood will also contribute to increased signal fluctuation and loss in the house. Home with hardwood flooring will experience a signal degradation up to -12db. Softwoods may however not have the same impact as solid hardwoods.

Mobile Signal Tower

4. Brick

Brick is one of the top signal building materials in use today. In addition to the thickness of the brick, other factors such as mortar and supplementary materials incorporated in the wall make it almost impossible for the signal to pass through. Most brick walls will have sheetrock, electronics, as well as shelves installed. All these factors combined can contribute to up to -20db signal loss. Most homes made of brick, with lots of insulation, and glass windows installed will have inferior signal reception as compared to those made of wood. The density of the bricks plays a considerable role in how the signals are blocked from the house.

5. Metal

Metal is considered the top signal disrupter in homes and office setups. Metal reinforcements in concrete walls, metal roofs, and metal studs cause massive signal disruption blocking the signals through, with metal roofs deflecting the signals. While metal roofs may be aesthetically appealing, they do play a big part in blocking signals. Anyone living in such a home is bound to experience dropped calls and slow internet. The only solution you might have in such a setup would be to invest in a mobile signal repeater.

More than 80% of all homes with metal roofs have a weak cellular signal. This happens in areas with the best signal reception. This is because the metal roof will deflect cellular signals away from the house. Unlike other building materials, a metal roof can see you go from excellent reception to -50db signal loss. At this signal strength, your phone won't be able to get reception if any. This makes it more of a dead zone. The sad thing about this is that simply stepping out of the house will see you get a stronger and more stable signal.


So there you have. Any number of these materials might be the reason as to why your signal might be decent in some rooms but terrible in others. However, one way to stop this being a problem is to get a mobile signal repeaters!

Find Out What Is Blocking Your Wireless Signal

Are you having problems staying connected over your wireless service? Read on to discover more about what could be affecting your wireless signals so that you can get the most of your experience from your 4G LTE network connections and 5G network in the future.

In the following sections, we will explore some of the major reasons for poor reception and then we will learn how to determine the causes in your situation so appropriate solutions can be found. By the end of the reading, you can expect to know a lot more about the subject and how to provide a suitable solution to various communications disruptions.

External Factors Can Negatively Impact Your Wireless Connection

Even though the wireless carriers are generally known for reliable services, there are some external factors that can affect the function of your wireless device in a bad way. Things like network congestion, natural barriers, buildings, weather conditions and an obstructed line of sight between you and the cell tower.

Cell Signal Tower

Congestion or Densely Populated Areas

If you are in a place crowded with hundreds of people, many of whom may also be using their devices as well, you may not be able to get a clear signal. This is because the thousands of others in the building may also be wireless customers and their own mobile devices and smartphones can cause interference. In such a case, data speeds will fall dramatically and calls may be interrupted.

Bad Weather Plays A Huge Role

Inclement weather conditions and weather phenomena like heavy snowfall and rain can also affect the performance of your wireless connection. The more severe weather conditions the greater the interference to your wireless reception.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers can also hamper cell phone communications. Mountains, hills and even forests and buildings can act as shields the deflect signals coming to and from your device. Your reception can even be affected by the metal, glass and concrete from which the edifice is constructed. This is why being in the basement or an interior room of a large building like a hospital or department store filled with electronic equipment can also impact the signal from your phone.

Can't See The Cell Site

Performance issues will also arise when your device does not have a clear view to the cell tower. This can be because your position is too high, low, far or even close to the cell tower. The cell tower has been built and designed to provide the greatest amount of service to the largest population possible. This may mean you fall slightly outside of this broadcast zone. Furthermore, different wireless carriers will provide varying broadcast radios. If you are out of range your signal of your wireless provider’s tower your signal will be understandably weak.

Cell Signal Tower

Determining Which of these Issues Is Causing Your Signal Failure

Now that you know all about the various problems that can occur, let’s discuss narrowing these options to the one affecting your wireless service. If your signal is affected only at certain hours of the day, it is likely that heavy network usage is impacting your signal. If the situation is restricted to certain areas of the building or may be the city, your connection may be affected by physical barriers and distances between your and the cell tower.

Solutions for Solving These Issues

There are phone boosters and network extenders that can increase the strength of your signal and improve your talking experience. If you want your connection problems sorted, check out our list of best selling products right here!

Designer & Installer of State of The Art In-Building Wireless DAS Solution

Mobile Repeater South Africa can offer in-building cellular reception on a single layer of hardware. Its design and installation is flexible and easy. It is very similar to typical WiFi installations. Our service makes use of up of 5 cutting edge DAS components.

Our service is based on future-ready, high-speed fiber networks with full spectrum range. This means that we are ready for the future and this is what distinguishes us from our competitors who also offer DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems).

Our state of the art DAS tech allows us to provide accurate and superior commercial cellular connectivity and public safety radio as per our clients' requirements.


Fiber Based

Our in-building cellular connectivity service makes use of high-speed fiber networks, as well as other existing cable networks installed in the building. The fiber network acts as the backbone of the communication system and therefore links the various nodes in the building to the main hub. Our infrastructure is easy to set up and it is also more affordable due to the use of fiber cables. On top of this, speedy installation also translates to reduced downtime for your business.

Full Spectrum

Our in-building DAS solution supports all cellular and public safety frequencies used today. The frequencies range from 150 MHz to 2700 MHz. If your original setup only supports one carrier, you will not have to secure additional hardware in order to access other frequencies when the need arises.

Future Ready

The solution offered by Mobile Repeater South Africa supports a wide range of frequencies on a single layer of hardware. This design is future-ready, meaning you will not need to add any new hardware if new technologies or extra public safety frequencies are introduced after the initial installation. Check out our products here!

5G Mobile Phone Signal Booster

The Shift To 5G Network And The Need For 5G Signal Boosters

Mobile Signal Booster - Mobile Repeater UK


To shed more light on 5G signal boosters, it is prudent to touch about on the 5G network. Different companies are testing the next generation of internet technology, the 5G. Given the growing volume of mobile data usage, the sensible thing for the mobile phone user is to get familiar with 5G. Read more