One question that comes up again and again is people want to know if they can purchase any items that would help them shield RF (radio frequency) Radiation from their local Home Depot. The reason this matters to people is because they could potentially save quite a bit of money buying items locally. And handy people could save even more by purchasing raw materials from Home Depot to make items themselves.
Home Depot does sell RF Radiation shielding items & materials such as 1. aluminum window screen, 2. metal mesh baskets, 3. Reflectix, 4. aluminum foil tape, 5. galvanized steel sheets. The metal mesh baskets work well for setting cell phones and other WiFi devices in to shield RF Radiation. The rest of the items are raw metallic materials that can be used to make shielding items such as making a shield for a smart meter.
In the rest of this article I am going to briefly touch on RF Radiation dangers, then I will go over how RF Radiation shielding items work, and what each of the above that can be purchased from Home Depot can be used for. I also include several videos in this article where I test shielding items so that you can get an idea of how well they work.
RF Radiation Dangers
Just briefly I want to discuss why you would want to shield yourself from RF (and other EMF) Radiations in the first place. RF Radiation is not only a carcinogenic, but it has been shown in scientific studies to also cause DNA damage (it separates the DNA strands by causing them to rub together) especially in infants and fetuses and male infertility. See the Scientific Studies page of this website to see links to some of the hundreds of scientific studies showing this kind of danger.
With the new 5th generation (5G) technology beginning to roll out, concerns are even getting higher. And for good reason. Within the RF Radiation portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the higher the frequency, the more dangerous it is to living organisms. And the more intense, the more dangerous it is as well. Compared to 2G, 3G & 4G, 5G is extremely high in frequency and high intensity. I explain this in a bit more detail in this below video:
Here is a related article that you might also be interested in reading: “5G Health Risks Debunked – Get The Facts!“
How Do RF Shielding Materials Work?
RF Radiation has a very difficult time moving through parallel lines of electrically conductive metal. This works similar to how sound has trouble moving through a wall (depending on the wall). Some examples of this would be aluminum screen, a steel metal mesh waste basket or a cloth with conductive metal fibers woven through the material. The key here is the metal used must be highly electrically conductive.
These typically come in one of two forms, either a solid shield (like aluminum foil) or a metal mesh (like an aluminum window screen). A solid shield (such as aluminum foil) will reflect the RF Radiation, whereas a metal mesh (like aluminum screen) will absorb the signal.
This works similar to sound waves. When you are trying to sound proof a room, you put materials on the wall that will absorb rather than reflect the sounds. Often it will not work as well if you use things that reflect the radiation, unless you create an enclosed container with no openings.
In the below video I test my 5 GHz WiFi router with a meter both before and after it is placed in something called a “WiFi Router Guard”. A WiFi Router Guard is a box made out of a conductive metal mesh like we have been talking about. In the video you can see how much of the RF Radiation metal mesh absorbs.
In case you want to check out the price of a WiFi Router Guard here is the link to the manufacturer’s website: Wifi Router Guard.
Metal Mesh Shielding Options
Aluminum Window Screen
Aluminum screen is something you can get at most any hardware store. You just want to make sure it is actual aluminum. People use this aluminum screen to make window screens out of. Here are two links so that you can check out the prices of aluminum screen at both Home Depot and Amazon.
There are several things that I have seen people use aluminum screens for (relating to shielding from RF (or any EMF) Radiation). The first is lining the inside of your fence between your home and your neighbors to block any WiFi signal coming from their smart meter, WiFi Router or any of their other WiFi devices in their home.
I have also seen people put the screen behind the headboard in their bedroom to protect from WiFi coming from the next room while they are sleeping. And I have even seen people wrap their WiFi router in aluminum screen to save money so they do not have to buy a WiFi Router Guard as I demonstrate in the above video. Personally to me it is worth the money to get a WiFi Router Guard so that I don’t have to deal with the mess of wrapping screen around my router.
Metal Mesh Baskets
Home Depot has a couple of metal mesh baskets they carry. I show them in the two pictures in this section. There are even more available on the internet such as on Amazon. Metal Mesh Baskets are great for sticking WiFi emitting devices in, such as baby monitors or your Alexa. You should always place your cellphones in one of these (have it higher than your head up on a shelf ) and place it at least 5 feet from your body while you are sleeping. (Don’t worry, your alarm will still go off and your phone will still ring.)
I will list a few links to where you can order these baskets at the end of this section. That way you can check out the prices should you wish to. I will have links to both Amazon and Home Depot. (Be sure it is made of highly conductive metal so that it will be effective.)
The only problem with metal mesh baskets like the ones I show in this section is that they have open tops. The RF Radiation will be dissipated (or absorbed) rather than reflected by the metal mesh basket walls and floor. So you won’t get as much RF Radiation zooming out the open top as you would if the basket had a solid metal floor and walls.
So these work quite well as long as you keep the basket higher than your head when you have a WiFi device in them. Just remember that WiFi goes around obstacles too so the WiFi coming out of the top will still go in all directions once it leaves the basket. The amount emitted will just be greatly reduced by the basket.
In the below video you will see me actually testing the RF Radiation being emitted by a cellphone both before and after being placed in one of these metal mesh baskets. I highly suggest you taking a moment to watch this. You will see that some of the baskets do a better job of absorbing the RF Radiation than others. I explain the whys and wherefores in the video:
Here are the links I promised so that you can check out the prices should you wish to:
- Home Depot Waste Basket
- Home Depot Basket
- Amazon Metal Mesh Waste Basket
- Amazon Metal Mesh Condiment Caddy
Solid Metal Shielding Options
Remember that with these following options they will reflect RF Radiation rather than absorb. So typically there is more RF Radiation that go around these (like sound bouncing off of a hard surface) than there will be with metal mesh options.
Reflectix is a shiny metallic reflective insulation that looks similar to silver bubble wrap. The reflective insulation benefit comes from the interaction of the the air space with its highly reflective surface. Since Reflectix is metallic, if its reflective surface comes in contact with another building material, it becomes a conductor, meaning that it transmits energy by conduction. My only point here is that since it is supposed to be conductive it should reflect RF Radiation.
If you used this as an insulation in the roof and all the walls of a building, it should block RF Radiation from getting into the home. I have not tested this so you would want to test it with a meter for yourself if this was your plan before you invested money in it.
If I was trying to turn my roof and walls into RF Radiation shielding I would paint my home with RF Radiation blocking paint (it has metal particles in the paint). That would be more cost effective. I would only use Reflectix for this purpose if I also wanted to use it as extra insulation for the building. Click on either of these two links to check out the prices at either Home Depot and Amazon.
Aluminum Foil Tape
Aluminum foil tape is a tape made out of conductive aluminum foil. This could be used to line a container to make a Faraday box. Just remember if you do not leave an opening your WiFi device may not work at all.
For example if you wrap your cellphone up completely in aluminum foil your phone will not ring when someone calls you. If you wrap your cellphone with aluminum screen, your phone will still ring.
A conductive metal mesh typically blocks or absorbs 90% to 95% of the RF Radiation being emitted. Something solid like aluminum foil or blocks or reflects 100% if there is no opening. Click on either of these two links to check out the prices at either Home Depot and Amazon.
Galvanized Steel Sheet
The image to the left is a picture of galvanized steel roofing. They also make galvanized metal siding as well as just flat pieces of galvanized sheet metal. If you build a building out of metal it is going to do a pretty good job of reflecting RF Radiation away from the building coming from things like cell towers and nearby WiFi routers.
The thing to remember is that RF Radiation will still get in openings in the metal. For example if your whole building is covered with conductive metal except one wall, you will still get RF Radiation entering the building through that one wall. And since it is a hard reflective surface, more RF Radiation will come around the shielding and into the house through that one wall than would if your house were covered with a conductive metal mesh like Aluminum screening.
It is super important that you have a meter to test each of these things for yourself. Without one you may think that you are protecting yourself when you are not. You can waste a bunch of money unnecessarily that way as well. For help in this area see my article “7 Best EMF / RF Meters and Detectors – My Top Picks!” for the best meters for testing RF Radiation. Click on this link to check out the prices at Home Depot.
Well that is about it for this article. Some of the items you may find cheaper on Amazon and others you may find cheaper at Home Depot. For more ideas on other items you can get to protect yourself from RF Radiation see the “Recommended Protections” page of this website.
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