No WiFi? It could be what’s in the walls

By Published On: March 7th, 2016Categories: News0 Comments

In todays’ tech-based world, WiFi connections are used for many things in our homes, including security systems, baby monitors and, of course, laptops and tablets. As such, intermittent or frequently down WiFi service can not only be a hassle, but also have an impact on our daily lives. If your clients are experiencing fluctuations in their service — or minimal service — it may be caused by what’s behind their walls, according to, “Why doesn’t WiFi work in my home?”  The article, from Quebec, Canada newspaper The Suburban, offers a listing of materials that may affect WiFi service.

WiFi friendly materials include:
Cinder blocks

Interference-causing materials:
Water (large aquariums or above-ground pools)

The worst of the worst:

Chicken wire or wire mesh, is also a cause of WiFi blockage, according to author Ivan Mose, of Mose Home Inspection Services of Montreal, Canada, because it has the same hexagon-spaced wire pattern as a Faraday cage.

Named for English physicist Michael Faraday, the Faraday cage was invented to block signals. It operates because an external electrical field causes electrical charges within the cage’s conducting material to distribute in a way that cancel the electrical field in the cage’s interior, according to Mose. The hexagon pattern in the wire mesh makes it the perfect ‘Faraday cage’ for blocking the WiFi wavelength, similar to the way the mesh on a microwave oven prevents its waves from harming you, he noted.

“Homes that have been plastered with wire mesh are essentially Faraday cages hidden in the walls,” he wrote. “You can’t see them, and you won’t know they’re there until the cell phone cuts out.”

For all the aggravation it may cause, searching out what’s blocking the signal is up to the homeowner.

“While at the moment, it’s not something we home inspectors check for, I expect sometime in the future, WiFi testing will likely become a checkbox on the basic list of inspection requirements,” Mose wrote.

In the meantime, there are steps homeowners can take to help fix the WiFi signal problem, according to Mose. You can tear out walls and replace the current materials with drywall or you can place wireless access points throughout the house to redirect wireless signals.

About the Author: Kristin Warner

Kristin is the Marketing Director at AHIT. She has authored content for numerous real estate brands, and managed corporate communications for a public real estate company. She is passionate about the home inspection and real estate industries, and loves digging into research to provide insights that empower home inspectors and real estate agents in their businesses.