If you’re like me, sometimes you just want the convenience of running to your local Lowes or Home Depot for the materials you need. Someone asked me recently if they could get materials to block RF (radio frequency) or EMF (Electromagnetic Frequencies) at their local hardware store, and I wasn’t quite sure, so I did some investigating.
It turns out you can actually get some fairly good materials for this from your local Home Depot or Lowe’s (but you may be better off getting it online)
So let’s get into it, let’s start by talking about some of the materials you can get, what you can use them for, and some options you can get online.
First, let’s talk a little bit about what we mean when we say a material “blocks” emf or rf radiation.
How Do Materials Block EMF or RF Radiation?
So whether you are at Home Depot, or just shopping online, many materials are capable or reducing radiation, but very few materials actually “block” it entirely. What materials actually do is attenuate the radiation. In physics, the concept of attenuation just means the gradual reduction of force, as radiation passes through a material.
A few examples of this concept would be:
- Walls attenuate sound as it passes through.
- Your tinted windows attenuate sunlight
- The lead vest you wore at the dentist attenuates the x-rays
Materials like mylar, copper, aluminum, attenuate EMF radiation by absorbing or scattering the photons as they pass through. I’ve talked in other articles a bit about the inverse-square law, which essentially means that as you double your distance from a source of radiation, you quarter your exposure to it. So when calculating how much EMF Radiation you’re being exposed to, you have to look at both the attenuation of materials between you and the source, as well as your distance from it.
So, the question becomes, if most materials are not capable of blocking EMF or RF radiation completely, how do we compare which is best?
This is done with the measurement decibels (dB). The chart below will give you a good idea of how different decibel amounts compare to the reduction in radiation.
Many materials that are intended to block EMF radiation, such as EMF blocking blankets (this is my favorite by the way) or clothing, will list what the dB amount is. For example, if a product on Amazon said that it had a protection rating of 30 dB (decibels) you should expect that product to block 99.9% of EMF radiation.
By the way, if you’re curious about the EMF protection products I use and recommend, you can check out my recommended products page.
However, when we’re talking about shielding materials from your local hardware store that are intended for other purposes, these amounts will not usually be listed.
This is partly because the attenuation ability of a material is largely based on how dense the material is (number of atoms per cm) and how thick the material is.
So, for example, the steel sheets you can get from Home Depot that I’ll talk about in the next section absolutely attenuate RF and EMF radiation, but the thickness of the steel you use will make a large difference (which is why you’re going to want to get a good EMF meter, we’ll talk about that also).
This goes with any material you are using to block some kind of cell signal, or radiofrequency, etc. The more material you stack together, the better the shielding capabilities are going to be.
Ok, now let’s talk real quick about what kind of materials you can get to block radio or electromagnetic frequencies at your local Home Depot!
What RF Shielding Materials Can You Purchase At Home Depot?
There are plenty of materials you can get at Home Depot that will reduce RF and EMF signal, but only a few in my opinion that are a well suited, and well priced, to do the job.
The first would be sheets of galvanized steel.
Your local store should carry 3′ x 4′ sheets of this for around $20.00 or less and can make a great materially for reducing rf signal. These sheets can be cut to size and combined with other sheets to fit the project that you are working on. They are unlikely to block 100% of radiation, but they certainly will reduce it. You’ll definitely want to get a quality EMF meter to be able to judge how much rf and emf radiation these sheets will block for your use.
Your next option is a material often used for insulation called Reflectix
Reflectix is a malleable metal insulation material that provides a radiant barrier for use with all sorts of things. The nice thing about reflectix is that it is super easy to use and install, so it is a great choice for DIY projects at home.
Again, you’ll want to get a good EMF meter and test the source of the radiation or signal you are trying to block before, and after, using a material like reflectix to judge how good of a job it is doing for you.
This is one of the cheapest options for Rf shielding you can get at Home Depot and is also one of the absolute easiest.
I believe that just about any Home Depot, Lowes, or other hardware stores should carry this material.
How To Know If These Materials Are Blocking RF or EMF Radiation?
This works for anything you want to test, but getting a quality EMF meter is an absolute must. I personally use, and love, the new TriField TF2 (read my review). This is a great choice for this project because the TF2 will measure all three types of EMF radiation, magnetic, electric, and radiofrequency. As you can see on the dial, you can just flip to the red “RF” section to measure radiofrequency radiation. If you need to start with a lower cost version I also like the Meterk (read my review).
No matter what the project is, getting an EMF meter will become an absolute must. Not only will it allow you to know what kind of EMF radiation you are dealing with, but you can measure how much. In addition, you can understand how well the materials you are are using are working as a solution.
You can do this by first taking a reading in an area that you will be spending time to get a baseline. Then, after implementing your solution such as steel or reflectix, you can take another measurement to see how well it is working for you.
Ok, now that we’ve talked about a few of the solutions to RF and other types of EMF radiation you can get at stores like Home Depot, let’s quickly talk about some of the more advanced supplies you can get online.
EMF Protection Paint
In my enormous guide to protecting your entire home from EMF radiation, I talk about a special type of EMF protection paint by a company called Yshield. I won’t go too in depth into it in this article, instead, I’ll just point you to the huge guide I wrote on it. The guide will show you the best place to get it, what I can be used for, and how to use it.
Essentially though, the paint contains small amounts of metals, and when painted on a wall and dried, the paint is capable of attenuating around 99% of EMF radiation, making it a great solution for things like protecting a bedroom from a smart meter.
EMF protection Fabrics
This is another great option, and not one you are likely to find at your local home depot or other hardware stores. If you have a chance you can take a look at my guide on EMF protection canopies, as it talks quite a bit about how these fabrics work.
However they are essentially real silver, that is threaded with either cotton or polyester in a weave small enough to block the shortest wavelength of EMF radiation.
Blocsilver fabric, which is what I usually recommend, (and can be easily purchased on Amazon), is a blend of silver and polyester and has an attenuation rating of 35-60 dB. If you remember from our chart up above, this puts the materials blocking capabilities between 99.9 and 99.9999%.
This can be used for all types of uses but is often used as a canopy for a bed to protect the body from radiation while you are sleeping.
Final Thoughts On RF and EMF Shielding Materials From Home Depot
To just quickly recap, remember that most materials you get will not stop 100% of the radiation, but instead will reduce it. So it’s really important that you get a quality EMF meter like the TriField TF2 to measure the before and after to see how well you’re solution is working, and how much more you need to do.
Also, don’t forget that there are also some fantastic materials you can get online that provide great solutions to your EMF protection needs.
I really hope this post was helpful to you, please feel free to email me or comment below if I can help you any further!