Do Metal Roofs Interfere With Cell Phone Reception?

Metal Roofs and Cell Phones

Metal roofs are becoming more increasingly popular with homeowners, because they have so many benefits.  One common question that might be asked is this: “Does a new metal roof affect the cell phone reception in my home?”

Cell phones have become an accessory that the majority of people in developed countries have deemed a necessity. However, bad connection service, poor voice quality, dropped calls, texts and emails that never send can be a challenge.  And then there’s files with large sizes, such as videos or images, that can be extremely frustrating to deliver via cellular service.  Unless you have good service, your smartphone is basically useless as a device for communication.

However, people tend to forget that they regularly use their cell phones under metal roofs without even noticing it. Many of the restaurants you eat at, the malls you shop at, and other businesses you regularly visit have metal roofs, and you don’t lose cell reception while inside. Your home environment, following the installation of a residential metal roof, should be no different.

What Causes a Poor Cell Phone Signal?

There are various factors that can affect the strength of a cell signal in your home, such as where your home is located.  If it’s in a valley, its proximity to a utility tower, weather conditions, as well as which cellular service provider you use (i.e. Sprint, Verizon, etc.).

There are two ways that are most common for poor cellular service coverage, including:

First, is localized poor coverage, where you can get better signal by moving to another room or going outside. This kind of bad reception can be attributed to particular building materials, or some other local interference, and can often be fixed.

Second, Poor coverage due to geography.  This is where residents of the entire community or region have a weak signal. This kind of bad reception is because you’re just too far away from a tower, and in this case, you’ll have cell phone issues regardless if you have a metal or shingle roof.

With such strong networks today, if you’re near a city or in a municipality (non-rural) area, the cause of a poor reception signal is far more likely to be localized rather than geographical.

There are two main reasons for localized poor coverage, including: Interference from the buildings or landscape around your home. If there’s something blocking a direct line of sight to the closest cellular tower – trees, buildings, or hills, for example, the signal will need to deflect off something before it can be received by the tower. In this case, you’ll typically experience a signal that fluctuates.

Secondly, the type of materials that were used to construct your home. Common building materials like brick, metal, wood, and energy saving window coatings can block or weaken the incoming signal.  You’ll discover this when you have perfect signal outside your home and lose signal once inside.

A metal roof is just one of many building materials that may contribute to a weaker cellular reception. If your reception inside your home is much worse than outside your home, it is a cumulative effect of all materials used; not any one in particular.

If you currently have poor cell phone reception, and you really want the absolute beauty of a metal roof, do not worry. There is always a way to find a solution.