What can you do if you live in a cinder block house?

Cinder blocks. They’re not just for prisons. Believe it or not there are a lot of homes that are made of cinder block — it was a common building material in the mid-20th century especially in the south. Industrial buildings are made of the stuff too. If you’re in a cinder block building you may find yourself with problems if you try to install an indoor antenna. Even if it works for your neighbors in non-cinder-block homes, it may not work for you.

Old cinder blocks are sometimes strengthened with iron oxide or other metal oxides to give them strength. This basically kills TV reception. It’s probably not doing a great job for cellular reception either, as you’ve no doubt noticed. Either way, you’re going to need an outdoor antenna and that means you’re going to need to find a way to get those wires inside.

Most of us are pretty much afraid of drilling through cinder blocks because let’s be honest, it is kind of a dicey proposition. Get yourself a good masonry bit and then drill slowly and carefully. When you have a good hole, feed the cable in and then seal the outer edges of the hole with a cable bushing and some construction adhesive. If you’re careful everything will look great.

Most of us aren’t that bold, though, and we’re much more comfortable with finding a place we can drill into that’s made of wood or something else that’s easier to patch and less likely to shred. You might need to run the cable a little longer to get to someplace on the home like that, but a little extra cable isn’t going to hurt.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.